Saturday, March 1, 2014


Mouthwatering Montreal Montreal restaurants



Their website:
43 Rue de la Gauchetière Est, Montréal, QC H2Z 1J4
Telephone:(514) 940-8811

Their dim sum menu:

Price range: This really depends on your appetite! But typically, if you're a group of 4 or more people, everything - meal, tax, tip - will average out to be between $12 and $20 per person. It's a good deal, folks!
Tong Sing on Urbanspoon

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har-gau (shrimp dumplings)

Mouthwatering Summary:  A variety and a ton of great Chinese food, literally wheeled right to your table - CONSTANTLY.
Meal to try: Dude. Seriously. Just try it all.

Ah, dim sum. The Cantonese form of restaurant breakfast/lunch/brunch, where a small army of waitresses constantly push carts laden with appetizer-sized plates (sometimes main-dish-sized plates) of different Chinese food from table to table. All customers have to do is just select the dishes they wanted from the waitress, be served, and then enjoy the food (and then, of course, settle up at the end. No free lunches and all that). I remember when I was a kid, it was the highlight of the week to go on a dim sum excursion. The variety of the type, smells, tastes, colours, and shapes of the food was something that always intrigued me.

These days, I don't go anywhere near as often as I used to. Still and all, it's a nice little bit of nostalgia every time I visit one of these places :). One of the dim sum places that I visit every time I introduce people new to the concept is Tong Sing in Chinatown. I just really like their quality of food! (Of course, it's not the same as in Hong Kong, but then again, what would be?)

Anyhow, before I get to describing the little (and sometimes not-so-little) Chinese delights, a bit of explanation on prices: The grand variety of the these dishes are in the neighborhood of $3 to $3.50 - so I'm just not going to bother with separating the prices. Just know that there items that set you back $5, but those are few and far between. If you must know - just ask the waitress!

Okay, off we go!

Let's start with the two dishes most commonly associated with dim sum (I mean, it's basically just ingrained into the consciousness of Cantonese people) - har gau (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings, but primarily pork):

Har gau (shrimp dumplings)
Siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings)
Siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings)
 So, in the first case, har gau is basically a nice full clump of salted, soft shrimp encased in a translucent, chewy dough shell - all steamed in a wooden basket. It's basically a mouthful of delicious, tender shrimp. As for the siu mai - it's primarily very, very finely minced, savory pork (basically a solid paté) mixed with a bit of shrimp that's, again, encased in translucent wrappers and steamed. When I was a kid I was positively addicted to these things, and even now as an adult, I have some problems with self-control when it comes to siu mai...

Next, some giant, steamed beef meatballs:
These are the Chinese equivalent of those giant meatballs that you get with spaghetti or lasagna. The major difference? Besides the fact that they're steamed? No CHEESE in them. These things are good and savory, and, for some unfathomable (but awesome reason), you're given worcestershire sauce on the side. Try them both with and without. You won't be sorry!

Next, an example of how to stuff mushrooms CORRECTLY:

Do you SEE that? The Chinese mushrooms aren't so much stuffed as they just cap off a HUGE morsel of tender minced pork and shrimp. This is how I love my stuffing (of anything): BEYOND OVERFLOWING. It. Is. DELIGHTFUL. Be careful with the mushroom though - it can come off easily. Like everything else so far, this dish is steamed.

This is Cantonese "fun gow" (Cantonese dumplings):

It's another steamed dumpling - this time with shrimp and snow pea leaves. Careful: They stick to the basket!

Here's one of my father's favourites: Steamed bean curd rolls:

I also love these things! They use sheets of bean curd... pasta? Is that even the right word here? Anyhow, it's like a lasagna noodle, except made from bean curd. Inside, you'll taste bamboo shoots, pork, and Chinese mushrooms. Just exquisite, really :).

And now, here's one of my mother's favourites, steamed stuffed green peppers with black bean sauce:

Again, another example of how to stuff something. I mean, look at it: The stuffing (pork and shrimp) (do we detect a pattern yet?:P) is simply overflowing again! And the black bean sauce just makes it all taste that much better!

Now, lest you think that dim sum is only about steamed stuff, let me show you food that's cook in other ways. First, let's have a look at grilled taro squares (not TAROT - TARO):
This is made from a root that only Chinese people seem to have ever heard of (do feel free to correct me if you know otherwise). It's a paste made from the pulped flesh of the taro root into which bits of salted prawn and Chinese sausage are folded. The whole concoction is then grilled/fried and cut into squares. It comes with hoisin sauce - I suggest, HEARTILY, that you dip the taro squares into this sauce!

Here's the deep-fried version of the beancurd rolls above:

Same comments as before, except that these taste even better than their steamed counterparts (at least to me), by virtue of being deep-fried :P.

And now, a show of something whose name confused me to no end as a kid. These are IMPERIAL ROLLS, although many, many, many people confused the heck out of me by calling them egg rolls - which look and taste and feel absolutely NOTHING like these beauties:

Essentially, you have here pork, carrots, bamboo shoots, and various other little things wrapped in a rice-paper shell and deep-fried till golden. Damn good, but damn heavy too - try not to eat them all in one gulp!

One of the things you can also get as part of dimsum is congee - that is, hot Chinese porridge:

Man alive, this stuff is great. Basically, it's a porridge made from rice mixed with a lot of water. And this one in particular has shredded pork and preserved duck eggs in it. Don't freak out about the blackened egg white and the green yolk - it's supposed to look that way! Sprinkled on top is deep-fried spring roll shells - minus the spring roll. A superior crispy thing relative to potato chips, as far as I'm concerned!

Speaking of rice-based things, here you have fried sticky rice:

There's peanuts and pork an Chinese sausage in there. It is savory and it is GOOD. It's probably my favorite item on the menu, to be honest!

And now, a touch of dessert - egg tarts:
These little bite-sized tartlets are another addiction of mine. It's sweet egg custard baked into a flaky tart shell. As far as I can tell, the Chinese based this off of a similar Portuguese dessert. I do believe the Chinese improved heavily on it though! :P Tong Por makes these REALLY well, by the way. I find that they do a much better job than a lot of Chinese bakeries, to be honest.

Phew! I have gotten myself crazy hungry recapping all of this! Must make food now! But, before I go, one final bit of trivia regarding dim sum. The Cantonese name for this type of meal is "yum cha" - literally, "drink tea".
I suppose this is because the traditional drink with this meal is Chinese tea throughout the course of eating. Be careful how much you drink - the tea goes down fast, and the caffeine adds up!



Map of restaurants I have reviewed:

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Mouthwatering Montreal - Tong Por is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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