Windermere’s Dim Sum might look like Awkwafina’s next Comedy Central, but in reality, it’s a car that Isleworth is set to feel is getting a heavy dose of culture. You won’t find the same customers you see at strong dim sum establishments like Peter’s Kitchen, KaiKai, Lam’s Garden, Ming’s Bistro or Chuan Lu Garden, or you might see them at the recently closed Chan’s Chinese Cuisine, but you might get a glimpse of its former chef, Tony Young. Young ran Chan’s kitchen for nearly a quarter of a century until it closed a year ago. Now it’s on an easy street, offering a relatively brief and focused 40-item list of the greatest dim sum hits.
But, come on, no chicken feet? What’s a dim sum without this great absorption of bone and collagen? I tell you, Windermere, whoa! Ask for item 41 on the menu to be chicken feet! Scream it from the rooftops covered with mud tiles! Shout out from the Bentley Continental GTC Convertible! Then drop your black Amex card after enjoying some small Cantonese dishes (not served from a cart, unfortunately) at Dim Sum’s Dim Sum is barely dim, but is actually a pretty bright border.
“This was Spoleto’s Italian cuisine,” my dining companion notes. he is right. We couldn’t help but notice that much of the interior, straight down (or up) even pan art hanging from the ceiling, remained. The prices were noticeable too, at least for us. Now, they probably won’t raise any eyebrows among those who live in the neighborhood, but the Dim Summer veteran might refuse to spend $6.50 for three shrimp and pork dumplings or Xiao Long Bao. More so given the cheesy funk of the former and the cuteness of the latter. While there are no such failures in a bowl of chopped cucumber and garlic, this tonic side does come in at $5.50. If you get it, cut up a piece or two after cutting down on some heavy fare, like a fun beef chow ($9.95) with a wonderful wok essence, or some sparkling, sparkling cut of roast duck ($9.95).
Always check my dim sum dinner card for steamed rice rolls. Its delicate, slippery tubular shell can test a chef’s strength (and the ingenuity of a chopstick user). But the rolls here not only lacked that eye-catching transparency, the folding technique seemed to be done in a hurry, too. The deep puddle of sweet soy sauce in which they sat accelerated their deconstructing qualities. Compared to the ones I enjoyed just three weeks ago at a kookily called Providence 9 in Markham, Ontario, they paled.
On the other hand, the fried sesame balls ($5.50) were the soft, chewy, greasy balls they were meant to be. They’re a little sweet too, so if you don’t like mixing sweet and savory dim sum items, just switch to fried turnip buns ($5.50) or steamed pork dumplings and save the balls for later.
Other drool-worthy areas, however, are the gorgeous black-gold lava cake ($5.50) with cores, and the Mexican custard cake ($5.50), a Hong Kong staple. If you are wondering what is “Mexican” about it, this dessert cake was designed in Mexican style concha by a couple who returned to Hong Kong after being expelled from Mexico. Well, this looks like another Aukovina car. Either way, ask for e bitche. We devoured them, and you probably will, too.
Yes, they are on the pricier side, but hey, even in this neighborhood, you don’t need to be insanely wealthy to enjoy Asian food.