On Saturday morning, I headed north of the 401 for a dim sum tweet-up. A tweet-up is, as the name suggests, a meet-up with Twitter folks. This one was organized by the lovely Bonita of Bon Eats, who took us for an authentic dim sum experience at Diamond Banquet Hall.
The amount of food paired with the size of the table and the cavernous dining room made for a pretty overwhelming experience! I didn’t pay as much attention to my food as I usually do because I was too busy chatting and getting to know the other people at the table! I shared my meal with Tonya from What’s On My Plate, Jing from Omakase Box, and Mack from M3 Foods, to name a few.
Bonita ordered for us because she was familiar with the menu and knew what was good. Some of the dishes in those photos are: shrimp siu mai, spare ribs with black beans, taro spring rolls, fried dough rice rolls, fried shrimp rolls, squid tentacles and curry cuttle fish.
I really liked the taro spring rolls and the deep fried taro (which I don’t have a photo of), and I thought that the fried shrimp rolls were interesting – They had seaweed inside of them so they were kind of like a deep-fried sushi roll minus the rice. The fried dough rice rolls were like the fritters that you get with congee, but wrapped in rice noodle. We also ordered BBQ pork buns, a few different rice rolls and various dumplings, but I didn’t get a chance to photograph everything.
Here’s a shot of the most interesting thing that I tried: Steamed chicken feet. They were steamed in a chili sauce and they tasted great, but I couldn’t get my head around the texture. They were chewy and there wasn’t much actual meat on them. Someone at the table said that they would have preferred them deep-fried and I agree! I had deep-fried cockscombs at The Hoof Cafe when it still existed and they were crispy and delicious; similar to chicken wings. I’m sure that the chicken feet would have had a similar texture if they had been deep-fried.
I saved some room for a puffy egg tart, and I’m glad that I did because it was a nice sweet way to end the meal.
This was my first real dim sum adventure. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I’m glad that I got to go with someone like Bonita who knew the lay of the land. It was also great to go with so many people so that we could order a wide variety of dishes to try. Between 11 of us we ordered enough food to stuff ourselves silly for around $25/person. It was a great experience, both for the opportunity to try new foods and for the opportunity to meet new friends!
Diamond Banquet Hall
3225 Highway #7 East, Unit 1A
Markham, ON L3R 3P3
(To see the other participants’ photos and thoughts, search the hashtag #dimsumtweetup on Twitter.)