Tuesday, August 12, 2008

dim sum!

The conveniences of living in a diverse, multicultural city- within half a block from my apartment, there's a cheap Indian chaat eatery, a Thai, Vietnamese, and Cantonese restaurants, a pizza place, a Japanese sushi joint, a Mexican chain restaurant, and of course, a Starbucks. I think I shall never go hungry again.

Lucky for me, the Cantonese dim sum place is one of the higher rated ones in SF. It's appropriately called Canton Dim Sum & Seafood, and though it sits far out of Chinatown, it still manages to draw a significantly authentic Chinese crowd consistently. Little old grandmothers throwing elbows and canes around trying to get a better look at carts full of chicken's feet and shumai- that's what I call a good time, and a safe bet that you're getting the real stuff.

The roast pork was well seasoned, thinly sliced, porky deliciousness. Maybe a bit on the fatty side, but if you're into that, then it's really quite good.


The fried tofu squares with soy sauce and scallions was nicely fried- not at all greasy, but crispy and light. This is a hard dish to mess up.


This was the only dish of the morning that none of us liked- the steamed pork spareribs with black bean sauce. The cuts of meat were way too large (they are usually only bite-size and very tender). And there was hardly any black bean flavor to the sauce (there were carrots though, somewhat odd...). Oh yes, and a grease trap of a dish. Bleh.


One of my favorites: Xia chang feng, or steamed rice roll with shrimp and soy sauce. It was perfect- soft and chewy rice texture, plump shrimp and a savory sauce poured on top.

A vegetarian delight, and another of my favorites of the morning: Su ji dou fu, dried tofu sheets wrapped to form a roll, stuffed with shitake mushrooms. It's brilliantly chewy, and the name translates to "vegetarian chicken tofu" or mock chicken tofu because the texture resembles eating chicken meat. Be aware though, as it may not completely be vegetarian since it's oftentimes braised in chicken or beef stock.
The stir fried pea shoots were a lovely shade of verdant green, and tender but still crisp at the same time. There were also huge chunks of garlic in there too. Mmmm... lethal!


My mum and dad got bowls of congee and silken tofu, both very traditional, though a tad on the bland side for me. The congee had chunks of hundred year old egg and preserved pickles, but was missing the fried red-skin peanuts that is the usual accompaniment. I enjoyed the tofu better, as it was incredibly soft and light, with a delicately sweet broth poured on top.


Though I had to loosen my belt at this point in the meal, I still made room for the steamed shrimp dumplings. Dim sum is not dim sum without shrimp dumplings. They had a good amount of ginger, and the wrappers were nicely chewy (I hate when they are over-steamed and mushy).


Canton's dishes definitely delivered and did not disappoint, with the exception of the spareribs. I found the menu to be slightly pricier than most dim sum places, but they also serve a high quality of dishes, with very fresh ingredients. I will more than likely frequent this restaurant, as I love dim sum carting, and I dim alot! (That'll be my only comedic contribution to this post.)

Canton Seafood & Dim Sum House on Urbanspoon

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If I lived in a neighborhood with all those choices I might never cook again!

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