Yu Garden is a soup-dumpling-lover’s paradise in Richmond Hill. This dim sum restaurant is part of a massive chain known as Nan Xiang that was founded in Shanghai in 1900.
It prides itself on the century-old tradition of delicately handmade dim sum, with particular emphasis on soup dumplings (known as xiaolongbao, or XLB for short).
The key is their use of top-quality ingredients. Minced premium pork leg is lightly marinated with ginger and salt before being mixed with their signature chicken and vegetable stock cubes that melt into a beautiful broth inside the dumplings.
The soup dumplings here are elevated into a near work of art. The Crab Meat and Pork Steamed Bun ($7.99) contains a veritable symphony of flavours from the broth and marinated meat.
I really love the black-coloured Truffle and Assorted Mushroom and Pork variety ($8.99) as the truffle oil and mushrooms provide a layer of richness to the pork.
But my favourite is the green-coloured Mushroom and Vegetable Steamed Bun ($7.49). Pieces of spinach mixed inside gives it a signature flavour profile that is both fresh and hearty. A definite must-try.
The piece de resistance here is undoubtedly the King Size Nanxiang Soup in Steamed Bun ($7.99). These babies are so big, you literally stick a straw in it to slurp all the delicious broth.
The Six Colour Steamed Bun ($7.99) is the most Instagrammable soup dumplings dish around. It comes with six different coloured soup dumplings, each with its own filling. Natural ingredients, like squash and squid ink, provide the colour.
Aside from these soup dumplings, many Shanghainese favourites abound here. The Sweet and Sour Spareribs ($7.99) are succulently flavourful with a nice sweet kick. I just wish the size was bigger.
How about the ridiculously decadent Braised Sweet Pork Belly ($19.99)? Also known as dongbo pork, the layers of fat provide a treat that envelops you in richness. Excellent over a bowl of steam rice.
The Wok Fried Butter Squash with Salted Egg Yolk ($12.99) can be best described as tasting like sweet potato fries taken to the next level. I simply couldn’t get enough of the salted egg flavours, which are finger-lickin’ good.
Meat lovers should order the Braised Minced Meat Ball Shanghai Style ($15.99), which are so huge they are known in Chinese as "Lion's Head."
The famous Shanghainese seared pork buns, known as shengjianbao, ($6.99) are absolutely fantastic. The marinated pork meat is tucked inside perfectly pan-fried dumplings with a thin layer of char of the bottom. The whole thing is just heavenly.The Stir-fried Pea Sprout with Crab ($16.99) is a dish not to be missed. The saltiness of the crab meat complements the more mild-tasting pea sprouts. You’re going to want to eat these veggies.Or try the Chinese Cabbage with Cured Ham in Cream Sauce ($14.99). The combination works surprisingly well.