Hi everyone, just have a few questions and if anyone has answers, I'd love to hear em! Ok, so I'm a huge Dim Sum fan, really, I can't get enough of the stuff. I'm originally from Winnipeg, I don't know if Winnipeg is known for its Dim Sum offerings or not, but I can tell you that I gorged myself on the stuff regularly and was very rarely left unsatisfied after a meal. I'm now living in Montreal and although I've been here a few years already, I've only in the last 6 months or so rediscovered my old obsession.
Anyhow, to make a long and pointless story short, I had read a posting here on Chowhound that recommended the Ruby Rouge Restaurant (1008 Clarke, in Chinatown) and I tried it out. How was it? Well... it was OK. Granted I had really high hopes that it would be as fresh and tasty as the meals I had back in Winnipeg, but when nearly all of the steamed dumplings I tried were cold (including the inside even though they were fully cooked) I can report with conviction that the meal wasn't much more than passable.
Not one to give up too quickly, I've went back again the following week and although the experience was better (for the most part, the food warm and tasted alright), I still found myself wondering if I should bother to come back again. Well I did go back, many times in fact, and I must admit that on occasion I've had some really amazing tasting dishes and dumplings... although some of the old standbys s/a pork dumplings and BBQ beef buns were consistently less than stellar.
Additionally (although some might consider the following trivial) I absolutely can't stand their soy sauce! It's atrocious! I don't mind the typical dark low-grade soy sauce found in most Chinese restaurants, but this stuff is so salty and dark a simple dab ruins the dumpling's flavor! Same story with their hot red chili sauce, it tastes like someone took a kilo of pure salt, added some Tabasco and a bit of water and voila! And believe me, I LOVE salt, just not in that concentration!! I was debating bringing my own soy sauce, but figured that there must be a better way...
So, does anyone have any suggestions for a new place to try? I found a post about Kam Fung (1071 & 1111 St-Urbain), I think I will try that one next but there must be more options. If you got em, post em!
Also, I am wondering about the 'Shark Fin' dumplings on offer in most restaurants: is there any chance that the dumplings contain even a TRACE of real shark fin? I was under the impression that there is NEVER any real shark fin to be found in the standard ~4$ plate of so-called shark fin dumplings, but after my mother recently refused to eat them because she feared there might be REAL shark-fin meat inside (she objects to sharks being 'finned'/slaughtered, nothing to do with taste), I began to wonder. I was told years and years ago by a waiter that genuine shark-fin is very expensive (and tasteless to boot), and as such is never found in your average dumpling that bears the name. That it is expensive and tasteless and that its harvesting is often cruel to sharks has been verified by some internet searching, but is it still true than NO shark fin is EVER used for cheapo shark-fin dumplings? Even if a very small amount was used in a much larger mix of meats and fish (to be used as dumpling stuffing), I would stop buying it. Any ideas?