Saturday, May 02, 2015

New Tan Tan - Dim Sum


I've made it a goal to try every dim sum restaurant in the city, so I always keep an eye out for places that advertise dim sum. Well, I've passed by New Tan Tan many times and figured I should give it a try. However, I should probably have stayed away due to numerous warning signs. First of all, I have never heard any mention of it in the Chinese community. Secondly, the restaurant does not even have a Chinese name displayed outside. Later I realized that it actually does have a Chinese name, but the fact that it was not obvious means the restaurant mainly caters to a different audience. This was confirmed when I stepped in and found that there were no other Chinese customers. And instead of being able to choose the tea we wanted, we were simply given a jar of iced water and complimentary green tea. I guess that wasn't really a bad thing since dim sum restaurants usually charge for tea, but I think the tea was free because the food was slightly higher priced. Dishes generally range from $3.50 to $5.50, but most fall in the middle or higher. There are even special dishes that cost $6 to $7! The food was satisfactory, but definitely not worth the price.

Now to get into the food...
The shrimp dumpling was a fail. It actually looked pretty good and the skin appeared to be thin and translucent. Good sign, I thought. But in fact, the skin broke readily as I picked it up with my chopsticks and turned into mushiness as I put it in my mouth.


The next item was flattened beef on a stick. I've never seen something like this at a dim sum restaurant before. Interesting... The meat was so tender that it did not seem natural. Tenderizer powder maybe? But the flavour was quite good with lots of honey brushed on top.


I've read several positive reviews about the cocktail buns, so I got some to try as well. They had a sweet yellow coconut custard filling and tasted alright. Nothing to write home about though.


The other dishes were average at best, and not too memorable.

shrimp wrapped in noodle
BBQ pork buns
chicken feet
eggplant with shrimp
steamed pork and veggie dumplings

The dim sum carts came around frequently, but they always contained the same dishes. I think the restaurant is just not big enough to merit the use of carts. I came for lunch on a Sunday right around noon, and there were only 2-3 carts going around with the same items over and over again. The lack of variety in both food and tea, as well as the elevated prices, would discourage me from returning.

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