With so many establishments changing hands nowadays, Chinese restaurants north of the 401, offering reliable and good food but at the same time possessing the longevity of a 'Spring Villa' is becoming very rare.
For some unknown reason, this popular restaurant often frequented by the locals, somehow seems to fall through the chowhound crack and seldom got mentioned during our discussions.
Being the favorite go-to Dim Sum place of 'Maple Yip's' lady owner, this fact alone should shed some light as to the quality of its food. With this in mind, I decided to give Spring Villa a long overdue Dim Sum re-visit.
Armed with a table reservation, our party of 5 arrived at the restaurant on time. However, being a holiday, we still have to wait over 15 minutes for our table.
Our order comprised of the following dishes:
- Pan fried savory Turnip strips
- Fried Squid tentacles with 5 spice peppered salt
- Prawns and Yellowing Chive Rice Roll (Cheung Fun)
- Spring Rolls
- Har Gow Shrimp Dumplings
- Braised Beef Honey Comb Tripes with Turnips
- Steamed Omassum with Fried Tofu
- Steamed all vegetable Dumplings
- Deep fried Seafood cake with Wasabi Mayo
- Stirred fry Cheung Fun with spicy Sichuan sauce
- Fried savory and chewy dumplings
- Steamed veal back rips with Satay sauce
- Baked flakey crusted turnip cakes
- BBQ Pork and Scallion Pancake
- Multi-layer custard spongecake
- Japanese mango mochi roll
- Baked Egg-white tarts
......I'm sure I left out a few.
Worthy of special mentioning were the savory turnip strips, the crispy and well seasoned squid tentacles, the crispy and chewy seafood cake, the flakey turnip cake, the BBQ Pork pancake ( what can go wrong with things BBQ pork?! ). Quality and taste of the remaining dishes were more then acceptable. Again, only minor misses were the 'expected', overly thick wrapper of the Rice Roll Cheung Fun and the Har Gow. However, knowing Toronto can never create the right Har Gow or Cheung Fun as per Hong Kong standard, I have lowered my bar and learned to accept this sad reality.
Overall, I would rank 'Spring Villa' slightly below the elites of the 'Casa Victoria', 'Casa Imperial' or 'Yang's Bayview'. At par or better than say, 'Dragon Boat', 'Richlane' or 'King Dragon', 'Spring Villa' is still head and shoulder above a lot of the other mediocre ones in the Markham/Richmond Hill area.