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Restaurants

Rosewood Chinese Cuisine

Posted by Joshua Chong / Reviewed on November 9, 2012 / review policy

Rosewood TorontoRosewood Chinese Cuisine might be the answer to dim sum that downtown diners have been looking for. Four months old, and nestled in the heart of Chinatown on Dundas just east of Spadina, Rosewood features all-day dim sum, and a $1.88 menu before 11 am (Mon - Fri). Quality-wise, they're more than able to compete with nearby options like Gold Diamond and have been steadily attracting devoted followers as word of mouth has spread.

During a recent visit here, their staff (which are quite hospitable) patiently answered our questions about the menu and gave spot-on recommendations. It was a nice change of pace given that too often the trend is to hustle and bustle you through in order to squeeze in the next group in line.

Rosewood Chinese RestaurantRosewood dim sum TorontoWhat makes Rosewood truly essential dim sum for veterans and novices alike is their due diligence in composing a menu which pairs the traditional and the new, without getting too carried away with the latter. Diehards will enjoy their authentic Cantonese and Foo Chow homemade recipes, from delectable har gow ($3.68), neatly presented minced beef and cilantro rice rolls ($3.28), "white cloud" chicken feet ($3.28), fried "shrimp" cake rings ($1.00 ea.), and crispy shrimp rolls ($3.68), to fresh and flaky, lightly browned egg tarts ($2.38).

Rosewood TorontoRosewood TorontoLess common, yet not unheard of, are crystal dessert dumplings ($3.28), which come in custard and red bean varieties. Even more fetching is their fragrant and mildly sweet "1000-layer" cake ($3.28), combining several layers of creamy custard and sponge cake.

Rosewood TorontoTo complement the familiar set pieces, I recommend giving their BBQ Korean Beef Ribs a fair shake ($3.68). Unless it's a fusion spot, it's not common to encounter a dim sum restaurant venturing too far away from that wok or steamer. But the sweet and peppery flavours of this sizzling dish balance rather than interrupt, plus it offers a fine detour in a meal all too often defined by shrimp and pork.

Rosewood restaurant torontoA checklist dim sum menu isn't the only option either. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't sample one of their unique Foo Chow starters. Fried until the batter crystallizes, their taro cake triangles ($1.00 ea.) are simply can't miss, as are their deep fried shrimp balls covered in sliced almonds ($3.50 ea.).

Rosewood TorontoThough the fried "oyster" house cakes ($1.00 ea.), which resemble muffin tops, are sans oyster, the shredded cabbage and chive filling is moist and surprisingly tasty. Buttoned on top with peanuts, it'll become a mainstay for return patrons. I'd say skip the French Fries ($1.99), though.

Rosewood Dim Sum TorontoWhen going to Rosewood for your first time, don't be misled by the modest size of the front dining room. Two-tiered (which unfortunately means no cart service), Rosewood can actually accommodate nearly a hundred people when taking into account its second-floor loft. Newly renovated, its upstairs bar and karaoke room can be booked in advance and the restaurant itself might be an attractive choice for those looking to host a well-catered party in Chinatown.

Rosewood Chinese Cuisine

Discussion

13 Comments

Wuh / November 9, 2012 at 09:42 am
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fried "shrimp" cake rings
fried "oyster" house cakes

What do the quotation marks mean? Are they not actually shrimp and oyster?
matts replying to a comment from Wuh / November 9, 2012 at 10:27 am
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"Though the fried "oyster" house cakes ($1.00 ea.), which resemble muffin tops, are sans oyster, the shredded cabbage and chive filling is moist and surprisingly tasty."

sans = without
jkwon / November 9, 2012 at 11:38 am
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msgggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
Bamboostar / November 9, 2012 at 05:23 pm
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Yep, those assorted crystal buns are scrumptious. The custard one is especially delectable.
yoche / November 9, 2012 at 06:46 pm
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uuugghhh! "shrimp" ??
Steve / November 13, 2012 at 12:38 am
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Goddamn that looks good, who cares about the grammar.

Thanks for covering this place.
All day? / November 25, 2012 at 01:38 am
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On account of this review and some of the comments, I went to Rosewood earlier this week in the (not too late) evening, hoping at first for dim sum. There was very little dim sum to be found on the menu. There were some steamed pork dumplings, but no har gua, no rice noodle rolls, etc. Granted the menu I was presented with was expansive and filled with interesting dishes, but most of the options were large soups, main-sized noodle dishes, meats in various sauces with rice, etc. It's just a bit confusing because the article mentions "dim sum all day". Perhaps there was an additional menu that I didn't receive, or just didn't notice? Maybe I should have been more proactive and just asked the server directly, but I was happy enough to order a some dishes from the menu I was given, in particular their seafood pumpkin soup. Anyway, I looked around at all of the other patrons' food, and it all seemed to be in the form of large main dishes.

Had the foo chow --- it was really good.
Sunny / May 3, 2013 at 11:56 am
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Dim sum is traditionally eaten in the morning so going in the evening is totally frowned upon in more traditional restaurants. "Dim sum" means "to lightly touch your heart." So just little dishes for the start of the day. It's usually never served after 3 PM unless stated (like brunch) but if you're insistent, they can make leftovers for you. But that would be like asking a place to make you an omelette at 5 PM.

Dim sum is typically eaten before 1 PM.
Sunny / May 3, 2013 at 11:58 am
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Sometimes they say all-day but they don't mean it. But again, you can ask for it and they'll make it. Usually they have a head dim sum chef and that chef has probably gone home for the day but they probably have lots of leftovers or frozen stuff. It's worth the ask if you really feel like it.

I feel like all-day dim sum is more common in Asia. Here, there's still a bit of a disdain for people who order it past 3. It kinda implies that you were too lazy to get here in the morning.
Carlos U / July 7, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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I went here today and we were not satisfied. The food was pretty good, but contrast to that, the service was awful. When we came in, they were pretty nice. However, it all went downhill when we ordered a certain variation of their chicken feet. I was certain they gave us a different dish, one that was cheaper than what we actually ordered. We were fine with that. We were fine with still eating it, AS LONG AS THEY CHANGED OUR ORDER TO THE CHEAPER DISH IN OUR BILL. And of course, they failed to do so and ended up charging us more for what we ate. We tried to clear up this issue with the servers, however they denied their mistake. They urged us to pay the higher bill despite the mistake. They insisted that we actually ate the more expensive dish even though we actually received the cheaper one. I even suggested to review the surveillance cameras for proof that they gave us the wrong dish. They said they were not willing to do so which gave me the impression that their cameras were not even working which is already against the law. It seemed that they refused to face the proof that proved we were right. Even though the difference was a few dollars, it was their principle of being so unjust towards customers is what we were trying to expose. We were very outraged therefore we did not give a tip. We will definitely not come back in this restaurant. Before entering the restaurant, make sure to take caution.
Carlos U / September 14, 2013 at 12:13 am
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Not sure, what you meant by more expensive chicken feet as dim sum is all one price at rosewood. $2 for the day till 4pm. Also if the camera's aren't working how come they have a TV where u can see yourself on camera :/ Never had a problem with Rosewood, they don't charge us for Tea, give us a 20% discount on weekend dim sum if we decide to go and offer us incentives to return. Carlos I suggest you go to a all day dimsum so you can pay $4 for ur chicken feet :D Also not sure how you miss up your order since you are given a sheet of paper and pencil.
Terry / September 21, 2013 at 02:06 am
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I went to Rosewood again today, probably my 20th visit, and this place is one of the best Dim Sum and quality dinner restaurants in Toronto. They have a very nice 2nd floor washroom which is a bonus. When we booked a table for 10 for dinner, they portions and quality of the food was 5 star. Big lobster and crab.

For dim sum, its not the cheapest, theirs another place that is $1.9 but they stop that pricing at 10:30am I think. Rosewood now extended their $2 pricing till 4pm which is fantastic. The quality I find is alot better and consistent portions.
keven replying to a comment from All day? / February 15, 2014 at 10:36 am
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If you go in the evening, they assume you're there for dinner. Next time you go, just let them know that you're only eating dim sum when they seat you - and ask for a dim sum menu.

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