ORIENT BISTRO, Richmond Hill “ - An exceptional and enjoyable Dim-Sum experience that came surprisingly close to my discerning Hong Kong Standard! ( Long Review )

Here in the GTA, whenever I was invited to a Dim Sum luncheon gathering, especially at a previously untried place. I almost always approach such an event with reservation and guarded skepticism, particularly when it was based on 3rd party, hear-say, recommendation. Using knowledge garnered, whilst savoring well-crafted, traditional and authentic Dim Sum in Hong Kong and transforming them into a reference yard stick. IMHO, the current standard of most GTA Dim Sum offerings and creations sadly fell short of expectation and quality. Most are found to be faulty, unrefined and rough around the edges. The frequently encountered, ‘easily fall apart‘, thick wrapper Har-Gow or the stout, dense and opaque Cheung-Fun rice crepes are prime examples!

Therefore, the surprisingly enjoyable outcome of my Dim Sum lunch at Orient Bistro today was an unexpected revelation and left me with quite a deep and positive impression.

We made our limited selection from a rather immense and diverse dim-sum menu. I was in 7th heaven when I noticed almost everyone of my favorite and desired dishes were present!..so many choices but so small our party size………Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!!!

After some serious brain storming, we ended up going bonkers by picking the following 11 dishes for our party of 3!!... whilst leaving behind a whole slew of other enticing and attractive offerings!..definitely candidates for our next visit!

Our selection included the following Dim Sum dishes:

  • Crispy Spring Roll with Taro and Chicken

  • Steamed Shrimp and Choi-Sum Cheung-Fun Rice Crepe

  • Fried Taro and Pork Croquette Puffs

  • Steamed Shrimp and Bamboo Shoot Dumplings aka Har Gow

  • Steamed Chives with Shrimp in XO Sauce Dumplings

  • Fresh Baked BBQ Pork Buns

  • Salted Egg Yolk Lava Custard Buns

  • Fried crispy Squid Tentacles with Spiced Salt

  • Silken Tofu Jello in Wood-Cask

To these, we augmented them with the following luncheon Chef’s Special dishes:

  • Fried Chicken Cartilage with Salted Egg Yolk Coating
  • Stir fried mini Pork Ribs with Maggi Sauce and minced Garlic

OMG! What an addictive and delectable list of well executed food! Some even worthy of a few rare ‘ Wows ‘. First off, all dishes were freshly made and arrived at the table piping hot. Fillings of all the dumplings were nicely seasoned with some unexpected nice touches added. A slightly pronounced and welcoming sesame oil addition to the usually bland shrimp fillings was such clever approach. Generous fillings with delicious saucy ingredients can be found in perennial favorites like the ultra-crispy Spring Rolls and the smooth and light Taro paste crispy Croquettes.
Wrappers of the Har Gow and Rice crepe, IMO, can be made a bit thinner and more delicate. However, compared to most, they are more than acceptable.
Only slight misses were the rather thick dough Baked BBQ Pork Buns, which were a touch underdone and the slightly dried and under-seasoned Squid Tentacles. Both Casa Victoria and O’ Mei’s renditions of both dishes were superior.

Now, a few words about some of the stand-out stars of the meal!

First off, those ‘to-die-for’ crispy and savory chicken cartilage, over-loaded with thick layer of umami salted duck egg yolk coating. If one compares say the KFC Popcorn Chicken with these heavenly tasting morsels The former would be a 1 whilst these cartilage would be a 10!!!..Yes! They are really that good!!

The fried mini pork ribs were no slouch either! Both the crispy and sticky texture of the exterior coupled with a multidimensional and flavorful taste profile prevented one from stopping eating them!!
Last but not least, a big thumbs up to the rather rare ‘ Silken Tofu Jello Pudding with Ginger Syrup ‘. Delicate, velvety smooth and not overly sweet. Absolutely delightful as a dessert to round off a near perfect meal!: please include [City, Neighborhood] in your post title above. If the topic is about a specific eatery, please click the ‘Add Location’ button to enter the address, so your topic shows up in the Topic Map.

Bravo ‘Orient Bistro’! You just made my favorite luncheon Dim Sum spot in the GTA!