Recent postings on the Toronto board have brought to my attention that a lot of discussions and recommendations pertaining to Shanghainese and/or N.E. Chinese style cuisine ( paricularly those involving pot-stickers and Xiao Lun bao etc ) have been centered around only two popular but overrated restaurants - Ding Tai Fung and Asia Legend. Whilst food quality of the two aforementioned establishments are generally acceptable, however, there are many more eateries in and around the GTA that offer equally authentic but tastier and more superior products!!
In my opinion, Asia Legend has expanded to such a stage that they are now operating more like a 'chain' establishment, following a fixed formula and producing dull and mundane food. Depending on whether one is frequenting their Markham, Thornhill or Downtown locations, the food coming out of the various kitchens can be highly inconsistant and sometimes very disappointing. Ding Tai Fung was great when it first opened a few years ago. However, their chief dim-sum/dumpling chef and a few supporting staff have since left and one can notice a definite deterioration in quality and taste.
For those of you foodies who appreciate the BEST in Shanghainese/N.Eastern style Chinese cuisine. Rather than sticking to the norm, I urge you to give the following 'out-of-the-way' establishments a try. You will be pleasantly surprise!!
- Shanghai Xeu Yuen, 5 Glen Cameron (Yonge/Steeles)
- Green Willow Village, 1883 McNicoll ( Kennedy/McNicoll)
- Shanghai House, 633 Silver Stra Blvd ( Steeles/Midland)
- Fangs Restaurant, First Markham Place (Hwy7/Woodbine)
Just one taste of the broth and filling of the dumplings and you'll know what I mean! ( Addition of ginger and good Chinese cooking wine makes the difference!)