When was the last time you ordered too much food? I find it’s so easy to go over at dim sum restaurants because everything arrives in multiples. Unless you’re dining with a group, it can be a lot of food for two people.
This was definitely the case last night when Mandy and I ate at Ding Tai Fung Shanghai Dim Sum in Markham. I was starving, as I hadn’t eaten a meal since noon and we didn’t get to the restaurant until maybe 7:30pm. I’m blaming my intense hunger on the fact that we ordered so much. Also, the sizes of the dumplings were bigger than I had expected…
We ordered Steamed Soup Dumplings (xiao long bao), Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai (shown above), Shanghai-style Pork Buns, Pan-fried Pork Dumplings, Fried Squid Tentacles, and Stewed Beef Pancake Wraps. We ate until we were dizzy, and then proceeded to nurse our little cups of scalding hot tea in an attempt to digest all of that food.
This was my first visit to this popular Chinese restaurant, which specializes in Shanghai dim sum. I was pretty happy with the quality of the food, although all of the pork dumplings tasted very similar. I wasn’t expecting them all to have “soup” inside of them either! They aren’t all soup dumplings, but they all had a small amount of the same liquid/fat which probably helps keep the filling moist.
The best item that we ordered was the Steamed Soup Dumplings, which you can see in the steamer basket in the picture below. They were the perfect temperature, and had a flavourful meat and soup filling. I would definitely eat those again! They weren’t as good as the soup dumplings I had at Dinesty in Vancouver, but those were in their own category of deliciousness.
There are no dim sum carts at Ding Tai Fung, and it looks like all of the dumplings are made to order. You can even watch the chefs make the dumplings from the dining room. They work fast!
The Fried Squid Tentacles weren’t bad, but I wished they had given us some kind of dipping sauce for them. I used the vinegar and chili paste on the table, but it needed something a bit heavier. I thought the Stewed Beef Pancake Wraps were ok, but I wasn’t a big fan of the beef filling. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized these wraps were made with green onion pancakes. I would enjoy the plain green onion pancakes much more.
The Shanghai-style Pork Buns seem to be pretty hit-or-miss, as I’ve seen both rave reviews and complaints online. Mandy didn’t really care for them, but I liked the texture of these cute little balls of dough. To be fair though, I think I would enjoy a different filling, but the dough was kind of airy and chewy at the same time, and I was fascinated by it.
Overall, we had a decent meal at Ding Tai Fung, and I can see why it’s such a popular dim sum place. It’s very clean, the service is fast, and the food is fresh. They have a full sit-down menu too, so that might be something to try the next time I’m in the area.
Have you eaten at Ding Tai Fung? Let me know what your favourite item on the menu is!
This is not a sponsored post.