For many of us, decent dim sun has always been inextricably linked with old Chinese women pushing three-wheeled trolleys and yelling various things, of which the only intelligible English words are "pork! shrimp!". Not to mention the majestic (yet crade) halls buried away in some unsuspected corner of Chinatown, with tables clothed in white plastic. And the endless supply of cheap over-brewed tea.
Believe it or not, the dim sun experience need not be so... culturally conservative. Toronto’s Asian Legend offers a wide selection of dim sum and other northern Chinese cuisine selections in a surprisingly modern and Ikea-rich ambiance. Perfect for a friend's night out, business lunch, or perhaps even an (affordable) date, Asian Legend's original Chinatown restaurant has expanded into seven branches in the Toronto area.
Asian Legend's Shanghainese-style soup dumpling (xiao long bao) is hands-down the best dumpling I have come across. Asian Legend has mastered the art of making their soup dumplings thick enough to resist my clumsy use of chopsticks, yet thin enough so as not to hinder the subtle aromas of the soup-filled dumpling that lies within.
Not to mention, Asian Legend has unveiled the mysteries of dim sun by opening its kitchen to the eyes of its customers. Who would have thought that possible?