Toronto Underground Market – March 2012 (Missed Vendors)

This is a few of the vendors at the Toronto Underground Market that I wasn’t able to get to. I snapped shots because they either were visually interesting or I had heard good things from my friends. Due to the cold I was less inclined to hang around and try as much as I had at the last TUM.  I honestly think that the cold made my stomach smaller.

This is just a photo journey as I don’t have much to say about each item since I didn’t eat them!

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Dim sum in a food court!?

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I had a quick lunch again at the Urban Eatery, this time I tried out the Szechwan Express. I know what most people will be thinking, “Dim sum in a food court?! Gross!” but it was actually surprisingly not bad. Now as a proud Chinese-Canadian I’ve had my fair share of dim sums in all types of places here in Toronto and in Hong Kong. So hopefully I can provide a broader view on dim sum quality.

At $9.75 for the sampler platter of 8 pieces it was certainly not a cheap option but worth a shot for something very different than the usual food court fare. As you can see, you get 2 hai gow (shrimp dumpling), 2 Sui Mai (Chinese pork meat balls), 2 dumplings, 1 BBQ pork bun and 1 sesame ball. I’ll break it down by item because some were certainly better than others. Ranked from best to worst.

Worth it.

  1. Sesame ball: This was actually really good. It was gooey and sweet but wasn’t too greasy. It had a nice crispiness to the coating which adds a great texture change to each bite. If I were to come back I would probably get only a couple of these along with the hai gow.
  2. Hai gow: The best I can say was that these tasted very authentic. They would be exactly what you would expect from a dim sum restaurant in Chinatown. Nothing revolutionary but more than I expected. I would have these again.
  3. BBQ pork bun: Full disclosure, I’m not usually a big fan of these even at the best restaurants so not a surprise this had a lower ranking for me. It was ok, but like most versions of this the ratio of filling to bun was far too low for me.
  4. Sui Mai: Nothing special here either. Not really worth having again but they weren’t offensive.
  5. Dumplings: These were the worst of the bunch. The main flavor that I got was just pure grease and a bit of meat. I would avoid these if I were you.

Overall, it was better than what I expected to get at a food court in a mainstream downtown mall. Given the chance I may grab a couple sesame balls as a sweet snack but the rest isn’t worth the price for what you get. At least it’s a change of pace from the boring burger and fries combos you see at all other food courts.