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"Pearl" – An updated review of this downtown Cantonese food and Dim Sum Specialist. Great view but unpredictable food quality!

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"Pearl" – An updated review of this downtown Cantonese food and Dim Sum Specialist. Great view but unpredictable food quality!

Charles Yu | Aug 15, 2017 09:48 AM

Once ranked amongst GTA’s best Chinese restaurant, however, expansion of great Chinese food finds to the north of the GTA has made eating Chinese food down town a rare occasion. As such, it has been over a decade and a half since I last ate at Pearl!

With its super convenient location on Queens-Quay, right next to my nephew’s lake-front condo. After a house visit by the elders, we decided to give this decades old stalwart a long overdue re-visit. Arriving well after normal lunch hours, our party of 9 was given a strategically located corner table with a great unobstructed view of the lake!

The starving male in our group took the lead and ordered a huge array of Dim Sum dishes, covering the bulk of the menu. Quality of food was all over the place! Certain dishes were so delicious, they can easily rub shoulders with some of Richmond Hill/Markham best. However, on the whole, most dishes were just average with unfortunately a few sad ones that were so bad, we cannot help but moan in disgust!

Stand out, delicious few, included the steamed beef tripe and chicken feet. Both were ultra tender and nicely seasoned. The Chives and prawns pan fried dumplings was unique with thin chewy/ crispy shell and juicy interior. Fried Squid tentacles, with just a touch of savory batter were crisp and addictively delicious. Definitely one of the best renditions in town. Steamed BBQ Pork buns ( Char Siu Boa ) was nicely done with generous, juicy filling of fresh BBQ pork morsels.

Unfortunately, the aforementioned pluses were sadly offset by some really below-par products. The common and normally reliable Egg tarts were BAD! The thick chewy shell casing has the texture of cardboard! Taro Croquettes were dry, the curry filling unappealing. We left a couple untouched. Alas! So did the table next to us! Hopefully, management would notice this negative display of displeasure?! Har Gow shrimp dumpling looked promising until one bites into the grainy, non-ductile wrapper. May be a key flour component was missing? Last but not least, hand rolled rice crepes were stingy in filling, the latter wrapped in super-thick doughy casing. Turnip cakes had a watery slimy texture.

In addition, we also ordered some vegetable side dishes to augment the Dim Sum. Sadly, they were mostly over-cooked.

If it wasn’t for its unique and rare, down town, lake front locale, with no nearby competition. Their majority of average products can never attract such a following and command such a hefty price point.

May be another decade and a half before my next visit?!

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