Legend has it that the Cantonese steamed/fried mini-plates, Dim Sum, originated in tea houses for travellers along the extremely important 3rd-century trade route, the Silk Road. No, not the murder-y dark web wiki, this 4,000 mile Han dynasty trade route was extremely important throughout the millennia. Perhaps most importantly, it likely brought us Dim Sum. These little plates include fabulous pork and shrimp balls, steamed pork buns, rice noodles, chicken feet, tons of veggie dishes, and dessert dishes like egg tarts, thousand-layer cake, or dou fu fa: silky tofu served with a sweet ginger or jasmine syrup. The following are some of the best Dim Sum restaurants in Montreal, most offering the full-service "order off the cart" experience. PS. If you're from Toronto or Vancouver, I already know that your Dim Sum is eons better and blah, blah, blah.
Le Cristal Chinois998 Boul. St LaurentLe Cristal is one of Montreal's best full-service Dim Sum spots. I know our city's Dim Sum bench isn't very deep, but Le Cristal would be a solid Sum-starter in any city. They even give you a picture book of all the dishes for you to choose, because you probably won't be able to understand any of the names. This Chinatown favorite is a leader in delicious pig ears, chicken feet, pork buns, beef tendon, shu-mai, and pan-fried noodles. This large restaurant is often calm and quiet for lunch -- turning into a lively spot teaming with locals in the evenings.
Maison Kam Fung1111 Saint-UrbainAt Kam Fung the food is exceptional, the portions are huge, and the pricing is fair. You'll want to ask for a table by the windows, though, as you'll get more action from the primo Sum-chariots like congee and chow mein. Kam Fung's food is seriously good. Some of the best items include crab claws, spring rolls, chicken chow mein, chow fun w/ black bean sauce, with tapioca soup or orange and banana slices in chocolate sauce for dessert.
Nouveau Maison Foo Lam9394 de L'AcadieThis Dim Sum spot is tucked away but very worth trying to sniff out! They have the full-service experience, with trolleys loaded with Dim Sum dishes like eggplant, teochew style dumplings, and spicy pork buns. This very inexpensive Dim Sum can sometimes be hit-and-miss, but for the price there's nothing better!
Restaurant Ruby Rouge1008 rue ClarkRuby Rouge is always on the lips of Montrealers when they talk about good local Dim Sum. This spacious restaurant is clean, serves fresh Dim Sum favorites, and is often packed and lively in the evenings. Obviously the food is kickin' and the price is right! The some of the best Dim Sum here include fish with black bean, lotus leaf chicken, and congee. All Dim Sum dishes are $2 before 11AM. Some more special items at Ruby Rouge are the crab roll, sticky rice balls, and sweet ginger tofu.
The Fortune Dumpling & Bubble Tea1629 rue St. Catherine OuestYou don't go to a Dim Sum resto for the decoration, and Fortune evidences this concept. The tasty food inside completely makes you ignore the somewhat dingy interior. The handmade dumplings here will give you the business. Beef and onion, beef and coriander, and pork and shrimp dumplings are obvious sensations. Don't miss out on green onion Jianbing pancakes!
Tong Por12242 boul. LaurentienCartierville's Tong Por does excellent full-service Dim Sum until 3PM everyday. All the traditional Dim Sum favorites like fried/steamed noodles, chicken feet, tripe, shumai (steamed dumplings), and char siu bao (BBQ pork buns). Tong Por also spits hot fire w/ their menu items: beef & broccoli, razor clams, chicken chow mein, and salt & pepper lobster.
Qing Hua1676 ave. LincolnQing Hua is absolutely one of Montreal's best Dim Sum spots. The soup dumplings, steamed pork and coriander dumplings, and shao-mai are fantastic. The pork and leak, lamb and cilantro, and chicken w/ mushroom dumplings are gush-in-your-mouth delicious too.
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