T.Pot China Bistro
100 - 9650 Harvest Hills Blvd. NE
I went out with the fam jam for some dim sum at T.Pot this weekend. Growing up in a Chinese family, we used to go out for dim sum every weekend. People would tell me how jealous they are because "they love it so much and it's so incredibly awesome", but it was never something special that I would look forward to since we would go so often. I'm not super picky when it comes to dim sum places, they all kind of taste (super greasy) the same to me. There might be a place here or there that serves a particular dish that I really like but as you will see below, there are a couple of items that I normally get and the rest is filled based on my mood.
First up, preserved meats with sticky rice. Probably not the best item to be eating first as the sticky rice fills you up pretty quick. It was pretty average. A little skimpy on the toppings and as a result not much flavour. Lots of chopped scallions though. Definitely had better.
Next up was the satay beef tripe; also known as cow stomach. In contrast to the sticky rice, this was very flavourful. The stomach lining was a little chewy. We normally don't order this dish but I haven't had it for a long time so I figure why not? Daikon lined the bottom of the plate to soak up all the fatty cow stomach goodness.
The rice crepe arrived shortly after. Made with a dried shrimp and chopped cilantro filling, the rice crepe has virtually no flavour and relies heavy on the toppings and sauces. Typically when I order rice noodles, I get this or Zhaliang which is rice crepe wrapped around deep fried dough. I personally think it's better to ask them to serve the sauce separately (which I forgot to do) so that you have the option to pick which one. I'm not a big fan of the sweet sauce or the sesame sauce. Sweetened soya sauce all the way!
The congee that my dad ordered arrived next. Lean pork and century egg were mixed into MSG filled congee. This is by far one of my favourite congees. The century eggs are so creamy and flavourful! I am well aware that it looks quite rotten but I can assure you that it is not and in fact quite delicious. In moderation. I wouldn't recommend popping these back like Miss Vickie's though (As a side note, Miss Vickie's make the best chips. I get invited to all the cool parties because I bring these as a snack).
The pork dumplings arrived in an oversized steam container. It rolled around a couple of times as the waitress set it on the table. This is probably one of my favourite dishes and I order it every time regardless of where I go. It's really a benchmark of the dim sum of the place. If they have good pork dumplings, then I will generally like it. If the pork dumplings are gross, then it would be very rare that I would go there again. I don't think I've ever been to a dim sum restaurant that didn't serve pork dumplings. It's like a staple item for all dim sum places. Aside from the size, this little ball of deliciousness gets an a-okay from me. At T.Pot (And probably 90% of the dim sum places), crab meat is mixed into the pork along with mushrooms. They are then finished by sprinkling fish roe on top. The crab meat was decent. I've been to places where the crab meat has turned bad and that's never good.
The shrimp stuffed veggies arrived next. Four were available; Two stuffed eggplants and one of tofu and green pepper. You could tell the shrimp cake was refried as it was hard and not crispy at all. And considering you order it from a sheet rather than from a cart, there is no reason for this. The sauce was really thick with scallion sprinkled on top. Definitely one of the more disappointing dishes of the day.
The last item to arrive was the shark fin dumpling in soup. I'm pretty certain all the P.E.T.A. hippies are shaking their fist at their computer screens and writing me angry comments. But you know what? They can hate all they want... because what's done is done. And what's done was also delicious. The dough for the dumpling was thin and soft and ruptured upon being poked. Dried scallops, crab meat, mushrooms and shark fin (might have been in the soup) oozed out of the massive ball of dough. The soup was very flavourful.
The food was decent overall, there were definitely things that they could have done better. Out of all the dim sum places (or Asian restaurants for that matter), T.Pot is definitely the cleanest and classiest. 6 out of 10 stars.