Kum Koon Garden

Neighbourhood: Chinatown
Address: 257 King St
Phone: 943-4655
Entrees: $6-$20

As if it were entertainment, Kum Koon Garden orchestrates a certain understated show with its possibilities of exotic Cantonese chow coaxing diners senses via push cart.

The gigantic 650-seat eatery overflows with anticipating families, as food carts tempt with colours, aromas and textures. Favourites such as spicy curry beef wontons and semi-sweet pineapple buns filled with cream custard are eagerly anticipated.

Dim sum is a Cantonese tradition of petite portions and this busy gourmet speed-food hub is no exception with a rotating repertoire of 300 small dishes.

For more than 35 years, heavenly offerings of savoury crab, fresh shrimp, moist scallop and sweetened pork have impressed many. Chef/Owner Geoff Young adds adventurous options like braised pigs’ feet (its high collagen content is known to boost skin’s elasticity) and dulcified black sesame roll, made with water chestnut flour and rolled into a soft ebony nut treat.

The various tender pork dumplings spiced with ginger or chiles pack flavour explosions. Sui mai, wrapped in a translucent yellow rice paper and filled with chewy pork is moist bliss. The ginger laced meat in shark fin dumplings is exciting for kids as it resembles an actual shark fin, while pan-fried pork dumplings crunch with each brackish bite.

Shrimp rolls’ oceanic juice spills from its flaky crust while shrimp and crab wrapped in nori burst with salty gusto.

In Asian cultures semi-dulcet desserts are customarily viewed as part of the meal and eaten throughout. The Chinese doughnut is deep-fried with clinging moist rice paper crossing sweet and salt with a tantalizing crispy chew. Mango pudding bathed in condensed milk is soft honeyed heaven sweetly teasing the tongue.

The sculpted red dragon decor lining the walls signifies good fortune for Kum Koon Garden, and the regular line-up proves the long-standing diner has plenty.

Kum Koon Garden is open Mon-Fri 11 am-3 pm, 5 pm-10 pm; Sat 10 am-midnight; and Sun 10 am-10 pm.