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Restaurants

Kowloon Restaurant

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on March 8, 2007 / review policy

Sticky Rice in Lotus LeafAs most people who know me (or regular blogTO readers) can attest to, my love for dim sum (and reviewing dim sum eateries) is bigger than me. Some days, I could just have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

So then, when a reader suggested that I try out Kowloon Dim Sum Restaurant on Baldwin Street, I was excited. I mean, they've got dim sum in their name-- that has to be a good sign, right?

Perhaps I just built it up too high, or maybe they fare better in the morning, but when I dropped by Kowloon for their all-day dim sum one evening, I had to wonder why they bothered offering it.

Beautiful, generously portioned, and well presented.

These are the words I'd use to describe the food upon arrival.

Stale, cold-in-the-middle, and off-coloured.

Those are the words that came to mind after I'd dug in.


Pictured at the top: Sticky Rice with Leaf. This lotus wrapped sticky rice was huge. My friends and I just sat staring, wide-eyed, as it was set down before us. One of our favourite dishes, I was excited that there was more than enough to share.

We sliced into it to find it stuffed generously with ground meat and what appeared be slices of pork. The pork was dark red/pink on the edges and dark brown in the middle. Perhaps it was preserved meat, but I didn't like the look of it. The ground rest seemed good, but once someone spooned some onto their dish we found that the centre of the this dish was all cold.

Thankfully the wait staff was friendly and really helpful. We sent it back to be warmed up (for the 2nd time obviously) and moved on to other dishes.

Stuffed Green PeppersStuffed Green Peppers: One of the better dishes, it was warm (woohoo) and actually quite tasty. The peppers were a little dry but the flavour was all there.


Pan Fried Turnip CakesTurnip Cake: I usually go for pan-friend turnip cake instead of taro cake because it's softer, milder flavoured and usually prepared in a way that leaves it less fishy tasting (you probably have to have tried it to know what I mean).

Kowloon's had a nice consistency with added bits of chinese sausage in there, but tasted more like a taro cake (especially in the fishiness dept). It was okay, but I wasn't grabbing seconds.


Peking Duck with BroccoliFrom the regular menu, we picked out Kowloon's "specialty", the Peking Duck.

This dish was so saucy it was hard to not drop pieces with our plastic chopsticks, but it was actually quite good. The meat was wonderfully tender and the broccoli steamed nicely. Most agreed they'd order this one again.


Sponge CakeAnd in terms of dessert, we weren't up for anything much else, but got a order of Sponge Cake.

Now, while I learned to cook within a set of culinary traditions that see sponge cake as an ingredient, not a main dish, I do love myself a nice block o' steamed sponge cake at dim sum.

That said, not this sponge cake.

Dry, dry, dry! We didn't/couldn't even eat it because it crumbled at the touch of a chopstick.

I understand that this was perhaps made fresh in the morning, and am not asking for miracles, but if you can't serve up some kind of palatable dish, then simply take if off the "all day" menu... simple as that.

In terms of budget, dim sum prices start at $2.40 and certain $2.40 dishes are boosted to $3.40 in off-hours, so they should at least be cooked, somewhat fresh, and edible.

If back, I'll be sticking to the dinner offerings at this dim sum place.


--
Kowloon Dim Sum Restaurant
5 Baldwin Street - (416) 977-3773

Discussion

9 Comments

dimsumperson / March 8, 2007 at 11:23 am
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Hold on a second. Anyone who knows anything about dim sum knows that you have to go in the morning or brunch/lunch, preferably on the weekend when things are kicking. You can't go in the evening and then give the joint a crappy review. Dim sum almost always sucks in the evening. At that time, its just leftovers that are usually microwaved into oblivion.

Kowloon is really good. It's not the best, but its good. Totally unfair. Go back for brunch on Sunday, you will not be disappointed.
Jerrold / March 8, 2007 at 12:24 pm
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Dim sum (or any food for that matter) should be prepared fresh always, shouldn't it? If a place can't make their food taste as good at 8pm as they do at 11am, I don't think I'd want to eat there.
Tanja / March 8, 2007 at 12:39 pm
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They offer "all day", not just brunch dim sum, so it should be good/decent all day. If you note the past reviews, you'll see I often (if not usually) go in later -- and some of those are glowing.
dimsumperson / March 8, 2007 at 02:11 pm
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Oh boy . . . its dim slum for god's sake - you're holding it to a wholly inappropriate standard. Its not exactly the tavern on the green.
Gloria / March 8, 2007 at 03:05 pm
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Was "dim slum" intentional? Because that's pretty funny.
dimsumperson / March 8, 2007 at 07:29 pm
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Wholly. I swear. But I didnt make it up.

This site is awesome btw, even if the dim s(l)um review may be a tad misguided. I promise - give kowloon another shot on the weekend for lunch. its good.
Al / April 17, 2007 at 01:57 pm
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Agree with the review. Not the best dim sum place in downtown T.O. and pricey for what you get. The lunch/dinner dishes are a better deal.
Justpassingby / November 4, 2007 at 02:00 am
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1) It's on baldwin, where the demand/business suffered since the most of the chinese population moved up to markham and steels. Probably just cashing in on people who don't know any better... hence the tacky "All day Dim Sum"...

2) Nature of dim sum cannot be "all day", the prep time it needs to make dim sum cannot be compared to 2 min-in-a-wok chicken fried rice. When something is out of its "nature", it can be expected that it won't be in its optimal state.

With those 2 elements together, i'm not surprise you were served crap.
Bohdan / May 30, 2012 at 11:46 am
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I found the food to be awesome for the pice, I always get the black been beef and eggplant on fried noodles, very good.

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