Saturday, March 26, 2016

Chef Tony Dim Sum with truffles

Chef Tony Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Following a friend's recommendation, we went this morning to Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant to try, among other things, their intriguing siu mai with truffle!

Interesting to note: NO SAUCE for anything! Even though you are charged $2 per person for "tea and condiment".

TIP: Dim sum order checklist is only in Chinese, but thankfully the numbers correspond to the menu, which has pictures of most (key) items.

Shrimp and Matsutake Dumplings ($5.98 for one steamer of five)
  • Winner! Something about simply putting some truffle on it elevates this juicy siu mai. And also urges you to forgive how rather ugly it is.
  • It is of course highly unlikely that you are seeing large chunks of real black truffle here. Probably Chinese fake truffles but using enough potent truffle oil--otherwise you couldn't get it at $5.98 per tray.
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Black truffle, pork and shrimp dumplings

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Black truffle, pork and shrimp dumpling

Shrimp and Matsutake Dumplings ($5.98 for one steamer of five)
  • Simple, tasty. Firm with prawns, very little filler just to hold it together.
  • Could've used a bit of sauce to jazz it up a bit, honestly. Maybe something chili.
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Shrimp and Matsutake Dumplings

Ox Stomach and Beef Tendon ($5.98 for one steamer)
  • Despite what appear to be chili flakes, there was no spicy heat to this that I could detect.
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Ox Stomach and Beef Tendon (steaming hot)

Chicken Feet in Soy Sauce ($5.18 per steamer)
  • There are some peanuts hidden underneath, sitting in the sauce long enough to no longer be crunchy. I had some. They were nearly tasteless. But waste not want not, right?
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Chicken Feet in Soy Sauce

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - soaked and softened peanuts under the chicken feet

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony

Bitter Gourd and Chicken Shreds Rice Noodle ($5.98 per order)
  • Intensely green rice noodle wrapping the chicken, but no special flavour to it.
  • I detected no bitterness here, though possibly any mild traces of it were smothered by the soy sauce.
  • Initially came without soy sauce and the server asked if we wanted it poured on. I guess you can pass on it if you wanted to.
  • Overall, not a very tasty dish as there weren't any strong flavours here. Just another way to eat noodles I guess. Go easy on the soy sauce unless you just want to taste soy sauce. Just pass on this one.
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Bitter Gourd and Chicken Rice Noodle

Baked Mushroom Pastry ($7.28 for one order of four)

  • Pastry was so delicate that it pretty much crumbles under even light pressure. Yet, neither buttery nor oily.
  • My personal bias, but I felt the taste was ruined by the mushroom flavour being diluted with something else mixed in, maybe bamboo shoots?
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - baked Mushroom Pastry

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - baked Mushroom Pastry

Barbeque Pork Bun ($5.18 per steamer of three)
  • Felt like the outer dough was thick and therefore the bun was skimpy on pork.
  • The pork was okay. Maybe not quite flavourful/sweet enough. Pass on this.
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Barbeque Pork Bun

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Barbeque Pork Bun (inside)

Fried Rice Noodle with Beef and Vegetable ($18.80 per plate)
  • Wow was this expensive!
  • This tasted like cheap oily noodles you can get at a hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant.
  • If you really need the carbs, just go to a cheap Chinese restaurant later.
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Rice Noodles with Beef and Vegetables

Meat and Shrimp Sticky Rice ($5.18 per order of four)
  • Very thick sticky rice shell, so if you dissect it, there's very little filling.
  • The shell is actually quite nice all on its own because of the sweetness, so you may not actually mind that there isn't much filling. Close your eyes and eat this one. Don't dissect it like I did.
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Meat and Mushroom Sticky Roll

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - Meat and Mushroom Sticky Roll

Sweet and Salty Egg Yolk Bun ($5.98 per steamer of three)
  • Do NOT order this till after you're finished your hot and savoury items -- they bring out stuff as it's ready, so you might not get to it till it's cold, which we did. It's probably even better hot.
  • TIP: They can't cut it for you to share since the filling will eventually pour out, but you can just slowly tear it apart and keep each half angled up to cup the filling.
  • Tasty! Sweet but not super sweet, and just enough saltiness to enhance flavour. Slight powderiness sometimes which marred the texture but much better than what I remembered of this same dish from Dynasty. Use of saltiness is brilliant here.
  • Really YUM and you need to get this!
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - steamed Sweet and Salty Egg Yolk Bun

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - steamed Sweet and Salty Egg Yolk Bun (inside)

Steamed Ginger Juice Layered Cake ($5.98 per steamer)
  • Had really no idea what to expect here since none of us had ever seen it on a menu.
  • Good but not too strong ginger aroma. Present but sort-of-weak ginger flavour, competing with sweetness. No ginger burn, if you're worried about that.
  • Very firm and quite rubbery. Get a proper knife if you're cutting this. Comes pre-cut into four pieces.
  • Interesting to try, but ultimately not so tasty I'd want to order it again.
  • Couldn't seem to peel off the layers (unlike a kue lapis layered cake). Might be alternating sweet and gingery layers (?)
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - steamed Ginger Juice Layered Cake

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - steamed Ginger Juice Layered Cake, 1/8th of a single order

"Tea and Condiments" ($2 per person)
  • Automatically added to your bill. Double check as our table was just 8 but they initially charged us for 10.
  • Where were my condiments?
  • Brilliant idea to borrow from afternoon tea places and have a candle under the tea pot to keep it as hot as possible.
2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony - tea is $2/person

10 AM on a Saturday morning and they open right at 10 AM so if that's your reservation, be prepared to wait out in the cold. If you have no reservation, be prepared to wait in the small lobby until a table appears--This is a popular place!

Service OK, hot water regularly replenished.

If you don't mind eating more slowly, you can try ordering in stages so that you don't have a pile of steamers getting cold while you are working on others. They don't freak out if you add to your order later.

The room is bright and beautiful, but this effect is severely diminished by the busyness and tight table spacing. There are, however several private "VIP rooms" if you really need privacy. One huge TV quietly re-runs food porn in case you need ideas for what to order.

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony

2016-Mar-26 Chef Tony

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