Crown Princess is the new high end dim sum kid on the block that opened in mid-September. It joins the list of places I would take my Canadian friends or out of town guests to try out dim sum for their first time. The list contains Dynasty up at Bloor and Avenue Road, Lai Wah Hein at the Metropolitan hotel, Lai Toh Hei -it's sister restaurant up on Mount Pleasant and Cha Liu which is at Yonge and Eg.
Crown Princess does offer a discount to those who will wake up and come before 11am but to me, dim sum is a lunch time activity however I paid the price (pardon the pun). Perhaps I should consider getting off my high horse to get the deal.
As you walk in you are surrounded by opulent marble, chandeliers and gawdy mirrors. Pristine white tablecloths adorn tables and they even use fine china tea pots and tea cups with handles! This is definitely different from the white plastic table cloths and standard tea cups without handles raising the bar in elegance in both presentation, service and I daresay quality of food.
Outstanding things on the menu:
Deep fried taro dumplings- At my regular dim sum spot, Rol San, these are not on the menu so I was thrilled when Crown Princess had them and they just melt in your mouth and you savour the taste!
Shrimp rice rolls which come with spinach inside it - this dish was perfection. It was light and the spinach added an extra special something something.
Chicken feet- OK folks - don't be grossed out. I like them and don't usually have the opportunity to eat them and they were de-lish-cious.
Har Gaw- they were freshly made and just felt like pillows of shrimp goodness in your mouth.
Deep fried Octopus- they were battered but not too greasy and the tentacles were tender and chewy and not too rubbery.
For lunch, my co-worker Lily and I ordered off menu and asked the restaurant to prepare our favourite fried rice dish which comes with salty cod. They did this no problem as it's a staple in restaurants but not offered as it's commonly frowned upon to eat this as it's a bit stinky. They made it for us and the rice was presented it in a pyramid. It was outstanding.
This place is pricier than usual dim sum dish and you should think twice before requesting more hot water for your tea, it's not complimentary.
Regardless, I would definitely come back as there were things on the menu that I would love to try, the pumpkin congee is one and the chrysanthemum jelly dessert and maybe I"ll even make an exception and go for the early bird special.
1033 Bay St (at St. Joesph)
Toronto, ON M5S 3A5
Mon-Sun 9 am - 11 pm