Continuing our quest to identify ' foodie acceptable' dim sum venues to add to our current anemic list of choices, fellow chowhounder skylineR33 and myself tried out the rarely mentioned old stalwart ' Sam Woo Seafood ' at Warden and Steeles.
For our mini dim sum luncheon-meet, we ordered the following:
- Special 'abalone and seafood' dumpling in premium broth aka 'Gwoon Tong Gow'.
- Har Gow shrimp dumpling
- Herbed and spiced soya marinated beef shanks and tendons.
- B-B-Q pork rice roll aka Cheung Fun
- Fried taro croquettes
- Prawns spring roll
- Double boiled milk and egg custard with ginger juice infusion.
The highlight of the meal definitely went to the 'surprisingly good' Gwoon Tong Gow dumpling! The deep coloured broth, by 'Toronto standard' was rich, flavourful and dense. Filling of the dumpling included rarely seen 'fresh' crabmeat ( not imitation ones ), real strands of sharksfin, prawns, chinese mushrooms and a whole ' miniature ' dried abalone! In our opinion, we rated this one of the best within the GTA. Unfortunately, apart from the beef shanks and tendons, the rest of the dishes fared only so-so!
First, the Har Gow. Our dim sum measuring yard stick. The skin wrapper lacked the chewy ductility and was too thick for our liking. Prawn filling was also void of diced bambooshoot. Taste and crunchiness of the prawns was inferior to the Empire Court version we had last week.
Similar complain can apply to the Cheung Fun wrapping. Simply too thick and mushy texture for our liking. At least the B-B-Q pork tasted fresh and delicious. Size of the taro croquette was quite big. Texture was fairly light and creamy. Unfortunately, the taro shell and the filling lacked character and tasted bland.
The beef shank and tendons combo was a 'pseudo' success. Tastewise, they were nicely seasoned and delicious. However, I felt that an additional half an hour in the cook-pot might be needed to render them more tender and texturally appealing.
Rest of the dishes were passable
Overall, I beleive our one visit is necessarily insufficient to tell us all we want to know about this place. Consequently, a follow-up meal IMO is definitely needed. Compare to its peers, I would say it's postion is in the middle of the pack. Not alike our Toronto Blue Jays in the American league!