Dim Sum

0 1160
Dim sum

There’s no English signs to let you know you’re at Mr Wong’s Family Taste Chinese Cuisine until you’re inside. It just says “Chinese Cuisine” outside.

This place is in the so called “Chinatown” plaza here in Orlando – on Colonial Drive just west of Pine Hills Road where 1st Oriental Supermarket is located. It’s right next to Sapporo Ramen.

With that said, good dim sum is hard to find in Orlando. I think Ming Bistro and Golden Lotus are a few of the better ones in Orlando, but it’s not saying much. Mr. Wong’s would be up there in the top 5, but their service knocks it down a few notches. The decor is a bit Spartan and the waitresses here are a bit more rude than usual. But the har gow shrimp dumpling and beef chow fun are quite good.

Good dim sum is hard to find in Orlando.
Dim Sum menu
Dim Sum menu
Fried shrimp ball
Fried stuffed taro dumpling
Turnip Pudding
Dimsum
The push cart – dim sum served daily 10am – 3pm
some fried stuffed tofu
Shrimp Rice paste
Stuffed eggplant

Fox 35’s Valerie Boey and the members of AAJA Florida
Dim sum
Siu Mai and Ha gow

Mr Wong’s Family Taste Chinese Cuisine
5076 W Colonial Dr
Orlando, FL 32808

Mr. Wong's Family Taste Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It’s a Chinese family tradition – while some folks sip on mimosas and munch on French toast on the weekends, others hit up one of the few dim sum restaurants in town for some steamed shrimp dumplings and a cup of Jasmine tea.

Dim sum, which means a little bit of heart, is the term used for the collection of small plates made of dumplings, sweet buns, and other little delectable bites, all eaten of course with tea and shared around a table with family and friends.

SONY DSC

One of the best dim sum restaurants in Orlando has been Ming Bistro. They recently went under new ownership changes and have even had some interior decoration changes. Gone are the chandeliers, replaced with lowered, black painted ceilings and dim lighting, giving the restaurant a slightly more sophisticated feel. Quality remains about the same, though some friends have noted a slight decrease.

Same are the long lines at the door of customers waiting for a table to clear (you can avoid this by going on the off hours – outside the 12pm-2pm peak hours on the weekends). They serve dim sum all day here, but you can only get the push cart service on the weekends. I prefer ordering my dim sum dishes by the menu a la carte – where you are guaranteed hot and fresh plates coming out from the kitchen, rather than something that may have been sitting out for a while.

SONY DSC

Service at Chinese restaurants have historically been quite lacking. It is a little better here, where a manager made the rounds asking how things were and the waitresses made sure the tables stayed clear.

How to Order Dim Sum

  • Make sure to order some tea, like Jasmine or Heung Pin, as well as a glass of water as it can get salty
  • As the carts make their way around the room, wave one of the ladies down to showcase her wares from the carts – one is steaming, the other not.
  • Each dish has a certain price range, from $3 to $5 depending on the size.
  • Drizzle a dab of soy sauce and some chili sauce on your dumplings to taste.
  • The shrimp rice paste can be ordered separately as can any of the dishes on the regular menu, such as beef chow fun.

SONY DSC

Typically, we order shrimp ha gow dumplings, siu mai pork dumplings, fried taro shrimp balls, chicken feet, steamed spare ribs, a plate of beef chow fun, salt and pepper calamari, and some egg custart tart pastries for dessert. Typically the bill comes out to be about $12 a person, great value.

My favorite dim sum dish here is the fried turnip pudding cubes, crunchy and salty, perfect with some hot chili.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC Fried Turnip Cake Cubes
SONY DSC

Beef Chow fun noodlesSONY DSC
SONY DSC

Here are photos of the menu:

SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC SONY DSC

0 2188

Lam’s Garden is probably known best for their banquet style Chinese Cantonese cuisine.

Though my favorite dim sum restaurant may be elsewhere, Lam’s Garden also offers solid dish choices for the weekend dim sum lovers.

They have the steamed push carts here for dim sum service, where guests can point and ask what plates lay hidden beneath the covers. I prefer the menu method to ordering dim sum – no waiting and wondering for your favorite dish, and it arrives hot and fresh more often than not in comparison to the push cart service method.

Dim sum is served here every day, but the push carts are only on the weekend.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Spare Ribs, Pork Siu Mai, and Sticky Rice in Lotus leaf at Lam's Garden
Spare Ribs, Pork Siu Mai, and Sticky Rice in Lotus leaf at Lam’s Garden
Steamed Chinese BBQ Pork Buns at Lam's Garden
Steamed Chinese BBQ Pork Buns at Lam’s Garden
Pork Siu Mai dumplings at Lam's Garden
Pork Siu Mai dumplings at Lam’s Garden
Fried stuffed shrimp tofu at Lam's Garden
Fried stuffed shrimp tofu at Lam’s Garden
Fried taro dumplings
Fried taro dumplings
Shrimp ha gow dumpling
Shrimp ha gow dumpling
Egg custard tarts for dessert
Egg custard tarts for dessert

Dimsum-2NEW-805x1024

Dimsum-1New-805x1024

Clams stir fried in black bean sauce
Clams stir fried in black bean sauce
Salt and pepper calamari / squid
Salt and pepper calamari / squid
Braised beef and tofu hot pot
Braised beef and tofu hot pot
Braised beef and tofu hot pot
Braised beef and tofu hot pot
Stir Fried lobster
Stir Fried lobster

SONY DSC

Lam's Garden on Urbanspoon

0 1848

On a sunny, early Saturday afternoon in South Florida, a Chinese grandma sits with her children and grandchildren around a round table with a lazy Susan in the center. The family are all enjoying the delights of “yum cha” (literally drinking tea) with dim sum plates with their family at Toa Toa, a famous and Zagat-rated authentic Chinese restaurant located in a small plaza in Sunrise, Florida, a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, just a few minutes away from the Sawgrass Mills Mall.

South Florida’s Asian-American community is growing every day. The Chinese community in Coral Springs in particular has a strong presence here with local festivals, restaurants, markets, kung fu schools, and shops dedicated to Asian cultural palates and needs. I think it may be the good schools and nice, warm weather down there that keep them here.

Or it may be the delicious Chinese dim sum at Toa Toa Chinese restaurant. Named after a famous dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong, Toa Toa has been serving these tasty small plates (as well as a full Chinese dinner menu) since 1990, over 23 years ago. Chef To Wong and his wife Alice Wong opened the restaurant after moving to South Florida, hailing from the mecca city of dim sum: Hong Kong. Chef Wong started working to support his family at the age of 15, in Hong Kong’s dim sum restaurants, working hard every day and night in the kitchens and learning and mastering the art, the “kung fu”, of creating delicious, high quality dim sum dishes.

Lotus Leaf sticky rice with pork and mushrooms
Lotus Leaf sticky rice with pork and mushrooms

According to daughter May Wong (also, my fiancee!*), Toa Toa restaurant is able to continue to serve the South Florida community for so many years due to the love of their many loyal customers and the quality and consistency of the food that the kitchen puts out. The weekend lines out the door at Toa Toa are a testament to this.

Some of the favorite dim sum plates at Toa Toa include classics such as steamed shrimp ha-gow dumplings, siu mai pork dumplings, and shrimp rice paste noodles with a sweet soy sauce. They also have popular baked sweet custard buns, sesame balls filled with lotus seed paste, and flaky egg tarts for dessert. The dishes are made fresh and from scratch on the premises by Chef Wong and his staff, the same way since they first opened in 1990.

Shrimp Dumpling - Ha Gow
Shrimp Dumpling – Ha Gow

Traditionally, the way dim sum is served is by a push cart that has all the dishes inside and pushed around the restaurant. This way has been going away for a while now, even on a recent trip to Hong Kong, I found that it was a rare sight to see, almost a was rare to find. The reason is simple: if you could get your dishes fresh and hot from the kitchen, why would customers choose cold and stale plates from push carts which may or may not have what you want if and when they finally make their way around to your table. Here at Toa Toa, the dishes are served a-la carte, through a menu system where you write down the number of plates you want of each item, so that it comes fresh and hot from the steamers and woks.

Singapore Noodles with shrimp, chicken, and roast pork
Singapore Noodles with shrimp, chicken, and roast pork

Unique to Toa Toa is their famous Sate Squid, a dish made popular in south-east Asia, flavorful and full of spices such as tumeric, soy sauce, and more. Customers are known to come from afar just for this one dish. In addition to dim sum, they serve tasty noodle dishes such as Singapore noodles, won ton noodle soup, beef chow fun noodles, soy sauce noodles, hsia mien noodles, and more.

If you are ever in South Florida, make sure to drop by Toa Toa Chinese restaurant and have a cup of tea, savoring the wonderful dim sum dishes here .

Closed Wednesdays, they are open every other day at 11:00am and serve dim sum all day.

Toa Toa Chinese Restaurant
4145 NW 88th Ave
Sunrise, FL 33351
(954) 746-8833
toatoachineserestaurant.com/

*Full disclosure: I am a very lucky man to be able to eat dim sum all the time when I visit South Florida haha.

Shrimp rice paste noodle with stir fried clams
Shrimp rice paste noodle with stir fried clams

Toa Toa Chinese on Urbanspoon

1 1393
Photobucket

I visited Golden Lotus many times before but was recently asked by Asia Trend to visit Golden Lotus again for a article in their upcoming issue. Here is a rough draft:

Golden Lotus: Authentic Chinese Restaurant in Central Florida

Seafood Pan Fried Noodles

Chinese cuisine has been an integral thread of the American cultural tapestry since the gold rush days in California, with Chinese rail road laborers setting up shop and making “chop suey” dishes out of everything they could find. This all changed when in 1972 President Richard Nixon visited China for the first time bringing new attention and interest for all things Chinese, especially for authentic Chinese food.

Golden Lotus restaurant owner Jackson Lo started his career around this time many decades ago beginning in Hong Kong. He is now a builder of Chinese restaurants throughout the Central Florida area and also owner of the famed Szechuan restaurant near Walt Disney World. Golden Lotus is the restaurant he created to bring authentic Chinese food to Central Florida.

Golden Lotus restaurant is hidden in a plaza on the southeast corner of Sand Lake Road and John Young Parkway, only a few miles away from the Florida Mall. The wait staff here is attentive and kind, having been at the service of Golden Lotus for many years, a loyalty that is not found in many other restaurants.

Golden Lotus specializes in Cantonese and Szechuan dishes, serving dim sum until 4pm daily. They have helpful menus with pictures of dim sum, items on them to aid those of us who may be confused what a fried taro dumpling or shrimp rice paste looks like. Their dim sum is among the best in Central Florida, with fresh ingredients and skillful preparation.

Photobucket
Ha Gow – shrimp dumplings
Photobucket
Siu Mai pork dumplings
Photobucket

Egg tarts

The egg tarts here are flaky and bite-sized sweet delights, a perfect dessert to go with hot tea, a drink cultivated for thousands of years by the Chinese for their healthy qualities. The shrimp dumpling (ha gow) and pork dumpling (siu mai) are both plump and savory, freshly steamed from the kitchen.

Photobucket
Lotus Leaf Steamed Rice
Photobucket
Beef Chow Fun Noodles

A specialty at Golden Lotus is their beef chow fun noodles, hand made right on the premises from scratch, giving the noodles its unique texture and taste not found in any other restaurant in Orlando.

Photobucket
Tea Smoked Duck

Another specialty is the tea-smoked duck which takes hours to make. The duck is first salted and spiced inside, then hung over night. The duck is then dry smoked with Chinese tea leaves using wood chips over hours to absorb the flavors into the duck.

Their Szechuan wontons are a spicy treat, with just the right amount of kick. They also serve noodle soup bowls starting at $6.95, a great meal for a great price. I’ve had their beef noodle soup on a previous occasion and can attest to their heartwarming flavors and beefy aroma.

Photobucket
Szechuan wontons

Golden Lotus is a restaurant full of tasty surprises and authentic dishes made with care. Visit them soon for a fantastic Chinese meal for an affordable price.

Golden Lotus Chinese on Urbanspoon

2 2472

Golden Lotus – Dim Sum – Orlando

For a city with a relatively thriving Asian population, Orlando is surprisingly lacking in the delicious dim sum department. Sure there are establishments out there that serve dim sum, and some proclaim they do but really don’t (Dim Sum Feast in Pine Hills does not – its a buffet). Of my visits to various Chinese restaurants in our area, I believe that Ming’s Bistro still stands firmly as the best for dim sum, if you don’t mind the weekend crowds.

If you are not in the downtown area, there is one other place in Orlando where I can trust their dim sum to be deemed delightful: Golden Lotus.

Situated in awkward Wal-Mart Plaza on the corner of John Young Blvd and Sand Lake Rd, you might visit it if you are headed to or coming from the Florida Mall just a few street lights away. The place is often sparse on the weekdays but can get quite busy on the weekend. They serve dim sum every day till 4 pm.

Inside, at first glance it may seem to be another stereotypical “Chinese” restaurant, but take a look closer and you will find delicious wonders within.

Although the die hard dim sum fans who love the “authentic” push dim sum carts may be disappointed that Golden Lotus only serves their dim sum the “list” way, I actually love that they use this method rather than the former. The reasons are simple: I hate waiting for a slow moving cart who by the time reaches your table, has either a) ran out of desired dish b) not have the dish at all or finally, c) is stale/cold from sitting there all day.

I’d much rather order on a list and at least assure that my food is hot and fresh and I get what I want.

Anyways, Golden Lotus has some delicious food ….

In case you forget what is what they have a helpful little menu outside with photos and corresponding names:

other delicious items on their menu:

 

one of the most popular dishes:
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (or Ha Gow in Cantonese)
Steamed Pork dumplings (siu mai)


Shark Fin Dumpling
( i think its actually rice vermicelli noodles inside…)

Fried Shrimp Dumpling

Fried Shrimp Dumpling (chomped)

Shrimp rice paste (don’t ask me why its called rice paste)

Singapore sweet bun

Sweet Egg custards

Beef Chow Fun Noodles

Dan Dan noodles (it was ok)


Overall, I would highly recommend Golden Lotus for some good, fairly priced authentic Chinese food and would rate it 2nd only to Ming Bistro . Also try the Szcheuan Beef Noodle soup here, a huge steamy bowl of deliciousness.

Golden Lotus Chinese on Urbanspoon

1 1472

Ming’s Bistro in Mills-50 district

Dim sum is a time honored tradition of Chinese culture, beginning when rural farmers, exhausted after working hard in the fields, would go to teahouses for a relaxing afternoon of tea.

Every weekend hundreds of families pack into their cars and drive to one of these eateries to have a brief respite from the past work week and to drink some tea and eat these small delicious and often steamed dishes that make up the pantheon of dim sum gods.

In Orlando, there are a handful of restaurants that serve dim sum and even fewer who do it well. Ming’s Bistro located in the Mills-50 district on the northeast corner of Mills Ave and Colonial off of Woodward Street behind the 7-Eleven, is one of these few who fall in the latter category.

The dishes are often fresh and steaming, full of flavors and textures that entice the palate and make your tastebuds dance. From the familiar such as the shrimp dumplings (a dumpling made of translucent wheat skin and stuffed with shrimp steamed to perfection) to the more exotic such as chicken feet and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf.

You may notice a lot of seafood ingredients in the dishes as the cuisine was developed by the Cantonese whose province of Guang Dong borders the South China Sea.The wait at Ming’s Bistro on this weekend was longer than usual, with a line of patrons waiting out the door. You know its gotta be good if there is a line for the food. Children, parents, couples, old friends, all gathering on this early afternoon to share in the delights of dim sum.

The dim sum here is served on the traditional push carts with each plate representing a predetermined price which the push cart ladies would mark down on your ticket as you go. I always preferred the non-traditional way of ordering from a list because then you are assured that the dim sum is straight from the kitchen steamers and not sitting on a cart for the past two hours.

Siu mai (pork dumplings), shark fin dumplings, steamed and baked roast pork buns, turnip pudding cakes, shrimp rice paste (shrimp wrapped in a giant rice noodle and served with a sweet soy sauce), fried shrimp balls, fried taro dumplings stuffed with pork, and more were all consumed by our crew this day.

And all was well in the world.

Ming’s Bistro continues to be a delight for those dim sum cravings (they serve it through out the day). There are also other authentic dishes on the menu that you can order for dinner or lunch portions.

fried shrimp in egg plant
shrimp rice paste
chomp chomp chomp
sticky rice in lotus leaf
the ubiquitous chicken feetTasty Chomps Rating!
4 out of 5 TASTY CHOMPS !!!!

Note: Ming’s Bistro is the winner of Orlando Sentinel’s Best Chinese Award for 2007 and 2008
Ming’s Bistro
Phone: 407-898-9672
1212 Woodward St., Suite 6
Orlando, FL 32803Ming's Bistro on Urbanspoon

Chef's Spotlight

0 1200
The restaurant that started as a craving Hunger Street Tacos was borne of a husband’s desire to make his wife happy. Luckily for all of...

Featured Articles

0 295
Tucked inside the busy Dr. Phillips Marketplace (seriously how many restaurants can fit in there??), you can find La Carraia, a new gelato shop...