Location: It’s a truck, so check their Twitter
FeasTO is a very single-minded food truck: they serve dumplings, dumplings, and more dumplings. It’s always a good idea to do one thing and do it well.
FeasTO definitely does it well.
I tried a couple of things: the Korean Chicken and the Chili Sesame Shrimp Wontons.
They were both quite tasty, though I think the shrimp was my favourite of the two. They were basically like the shrimp wontons you’ll find in a bowl of wonton noodle soup, with a tasty sauce that adds some zing.
It’s nicely cooked; the thin wrapper isn’t too mushy, and the shrimp is perfect.
I didn’t like the Korean fried chicken quite as much, but there certainly wasn’t anything wrong with it. It’s deep fried and crispy, and tossed in the type of sweet and spicy sauce you’ll find on Korean fried chicken.
The sauce is a bit more subtle than I’d like (or perhaps there just wasn’t enough of it) and the spice level was non-existent (this was an issue with both varieties), but I still quite enjoyed it.
Location: 180 Queen Street West, Toronto
I just talked about Shanghai Dim Sum, a dim sum restaurant in Richmond Hill that’s both delicious and delightfully affordable.
Well, Planta Queen serves dim sum on the weekends, and it’s the complete inverse of that — it’s ridiculously expensive and thoroughly mediocre.
I managed to try a few things, and while nothing was outright unpleasant, everything I tried was an inferior version of something you could get at a dim sum joint or elsewhere. The dumplings were probably the worst offenders — the various fillings were fine, but the wrappers were flabby and overcooked.
Adding insult to injury? They all ranged from 13 to 15 bucks for an order of four. For 15 bucks, I could get 60 soup dumplings from Shanghai Dim Sum (well, I’m sure they have a limit per table, but you get the idea) — and those dumplings were about a million times better than any of the dumplings here.
The other things I tried — a dosa, fried mushrooms, dan dan noodles — were all decent enough, but again, they were crazy expensive and thoroughly inferior to the real deal.
The best thing I had — by far — was the chocolate cake. The pastry chef here is clearly the real talent in the kitchen, because the cake was abundantly satisfying. It was rich, fudgy, and slightly fruity, with a deep chocolately flavour. It was amazing.
Location: 330 Highway 7, Richmond Hill
If you’re looking for a delicious and delightfully affordable meal, you could absolutely do worse than Shanghai Dim Sum. If you show up before 11:00 AM (and you should definitely do this) you can order off a special early morning menu that includes an order of four soup dumplings for 99 cents.
99 cents! Are they they best soup dumplings you’ll ever have? No, but they’re quite tasty, and for the price, they’re outstanding.
Everything else was quite good as well. We managed to try a generous amount of stuff (I was quite full by the end of the meal) — the total bill? About 30 bucks for three people. You can’t argue with that price.
The restaurant also has the distinction of serving what might be the garlickiest dish I’ve ever had. The boiled pork with garlic paste features tender slices of pork belly doused in a sauce that’s effectively pure, uncooked garlic. It was actually quite tasty, but that garlic taste lingered on my palate for a solid 24 hours.
Location: 160 East Beaver Creek Road, Markham
Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine is a dim sum joint that does well. We showed up at around 10:40 on a Saturday, and the place was seriously crowded. By the time we left, it was even more packed, with a crowd waiting for tables almost going out the door.
Eating the food, it’s easy enough to see why. Some highlights:
The char siu was sweet and incredibly tender.
These fried seafood-filled tubes were nice and crispy on the outside, with a fishy (but not overbearing) flavour.
The fried dough noodle rolls were probably the best version of that dish that I’ve ever had, with a surprisingly complex flavour and a very satisfying contrast of textures between the chewy noodle, the crispy fried exterior, and the soft interior.
I really should have taken a picture of the interior of these salted egg buns, because they were absolutely crammed with an oozy, sweet custardy filling.
There were only a couple of weak dishes — surprisingly, they were the dim sum standbys that you’d think they’d work especially hard to get right. The har gow featured an overly thick, almost gummy wrapper encasing overcooked shrimp.
And the pork buns featured a filling that tasted a bit too leftovery.
Still, they were only two mild weak points in a meal that was otherwise quite stellar.
Location: 1 Byng Avenue, North York
Sang-ji bao are basically like a traditional soup dumpling’s (a.k.a. xiao long bao) more rugged cousin. They’re pan fried, with a slightly thicker skin and a dark brown crust on the bottom. Soup dumplings are delicious, but if you want something a bit more hearty, sang-ji bao’s got your back.
And as you’d probably guess from the name, Sang-ji Fried Bao specializes in the stuff. I was pretty excited to try it.
We started with the scallion oil noodles, an absolutely delightful flavour-bomb of oily (but not overly greasy) noodles topped with peanuts and fried scallions. The peanuts offer a nice crunchy contrast to the chewy noodles, and the imposingly dark fried scallions are packed with flavour and immensely satisfying.
I liked this dish even more than the fried dumplings.
The sang-ji bao were certainly nothing to scoff at — they’re pleasingly porky and packed with scalding hot soup. The wrapper is a bit too thick, however, and the whole thing is a touch on the bland side.
Still, it’s got that satisfyingly crispy bottom, and the whole thing is tasty enough, even if it’s not the best version of these things that I’ve ever had.