Refined dim sum with artistic touches.
There is something just so special, awesome and downright familial about parking a large group of people around a lazy Susan, sipping tea and enjoying dumpling after dumpling.
Dim Sum is one of the most enjoyable eating experiences a person can have – and, when done well, it can turn a Saturday or Sunday morning into something pretty darn special. Urban China lives up to its name; its Dim Sum offerings are a mix of the traditional and adventurous. Steamed spare ribs with pumpkin. Turnip cake. When I went there with a large dining party, there were food items that I hadn’t seen before.
The favourites were there: The cha siu bao – sweet bun with barbecue stuffed inside -was sweet and sticky; dessert and dinner all mixed together in a few delicious bites. And har gow, the soft shrimp dumplings that are dim sum staples, were plump and filling. Plus, the taro root dumpling stuffed with meat, a personal favourite, was crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Sometimes, you’ll go to places where the dumplings sit out for lengthy periods of time, leaving them greasy and soggy. That was not the case here.
But, we also got a series of not-so-traditional dim sum offerings, which looked as if they were formed at a candy shop or in a fine-dining spot. Shrimp and pork were tied together with black nori, all covered in taro. All that was missing was the bow. There’s an artistry to what Urban China offers, that makes its dim sum feel a little more refined than what you might be used to. (10604-101 St., 780-758-1888, urbanchina.ca)