During the past year and a half of living under Covid restrictions. For my occasional Dim Sum fix, I have grown to rely mostly on store bought frozen Dim Sum.
'Fu Kee Bao Dim, Scarborough', with some of its near-restaurant quality offerings, managed to marginally fulfill these urges. Sadly, I have noticed recently that the PVR ( price/value ratio ) of their Dim Sum products have shrunk, with a slight reduction in quality and skimming on quantity of some selection........a negative result caused by their rapid expansion, increased business volume.....and greed?
With the recent opening of the above captioned competition just around the corner, I have decided to make some purchases from this new outfit and do some taste testing and comparison. Talking to the lady owner manning the small, family owned store, I was told the objective of their Hong Kong trained Dim Sum Chefs is to focus on small batch, artisan, hand crafted products.....quality over quantity!
From their more diversified and varied product list, I bought the following Dim Sum, Bao and Prepared Cooked Dishes:
Shrimp Dumpling ( Har-Gow ), Pan Fried Chive and Shrimp Dumpling, Spinach and Shrimp Har-Gow, Vegetable and Mushroom Dumpling, BBQ Pork Bun ( Char Siu Bao ), Molten Center Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun, Black Sesame Molten Center Egg Custard Bun, Braised Sea Cucumber, Shitake Mushroom & Duck Feet and a jar of house-made XO Chili Sauce for $13.
First impression painted a picture that showed the overall products of ' Best DS' to have a slightly more refined appearance. Price point is at par with their next door competitor. However, taste has to be the ultimate deciding factor. This, 'Best DS' came out on top in the Dumpling categories, with the Chive and Shrimp dumpling a clear stand-out. In the Bao area, 'Fu Kee', with its peerless Char Siu Bao, reigned supreme and easily came out on top.....'Best DS' version lacking in fluffiness of the bun as well as quantity, juiciness and taste of the more generous filling. However, to my surprise, 'Best DS' Steamed Molten Center Egg Custard Bun was an unexpected master-piece! Light and fluffy, aromatic and runny center and most importantly, not too sweet! A delight to eat! The prepared, cooked dish of Braised Sea Cucumber, Shitake and Duck Feet was acceptable though slightly under-seasoned. Preference went to the 'Fu Kee' version for their flavor profile and use of the meatier and slightly rare Goose feet. The XO chili sauce was a disappointment! Though the spicy criteria was easily met however, sauce lacked umami complexity and was way under-salted/seasoned! 'A Juice DS', in Langham Square was more authentic and much tastier. Though at $28 a pop was, IMO, way over-priced!
IMO, a close draw between these two rivals, not unlike rating Toyota vs Honda!!......with 'Best DS' excelling in certain categories like dumplings whilst 'Fu Kee ' still retained a firm foothold in the Bao and prepared cooked food area.
Glad to have a couple of good alternatives to chose from and breaking up the monopoly.
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