March 19, 2012

Dim Sum @ Hai Tian Restaurant

I recently tried dim sum at a relatively new restaurant across from Markville Mall (replacing a restaurant that my mom went to quite often). The prices are quite affordable- $2.20 per dish on weekdays and $2.40 on the weekends. Before I even had a chance to place in my order, one of the servers enticed us with a plate of pineapple BBQ pork buns (菠蘿叉燒包), fresh out of the oven! Of course I couldn't resist this heavenly combination of the sweet and savoury! It was utterly delicious and my favourite dish of the meal (although sadly not part of the regular menu).
A sizable bowl of pumpkin congee (南瓜) came next. The pumpkin bits were tasty and I wished for more of that instead of the pork meat.
They were less generous with the portion of the Korean beef spare ribs (韓式牛仔骨). There were only 4 or 5 pieces, but it was pretty tasty.
We also ordered a series of steamed dumplings- har gow (水晶蝦餃皇), steamed shrimp and vegetable dumpling (鮮蝦豆苗餃), and Chiu Chow dumpling with peanuts (潮州粉粿). Out of these, I enjoyed the veggie dumpling the most.
Another favourite of the day was deep fried shrimp rolls with salad dressing (脆皮炸蝦卷). This was similar to spring rolls, but stuffed with shrimp. Oddly enough, they served the rolls with a sweet and sour dip in place of the promised salad dressing. Upon request, they did bring me some miracle whip, and I thought that was a better match.
Loved the chewy exterior of deep fried pork dumplings (安蝦咸水角). I would order this again.
I wasn't particularly fond of this version of layer egg yolk cake (千層馬拉糕). It was rather bland, although the texture was appropriately light and fluffy.
I was also quite disappointed with their chicken and mushroom rice (北菇滑雞飯). The rice was really bland and lacked any aromatic essence of the toppings. However, for $2.40, this had great value and would be substantial enough on its own to fill me up for lunch. On the whole, I thought that Hai Tian is a pretty good option for cheap dim sum, and since the dishes aren't divided into small, medium and large, I don't have to worry about always picking "large" items to maximize value. Hopefully, the pinapple BBQ pork bun will be available again the next time I come.
Hai Tian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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