Sam Po Dim Sum
Address: 277 Rupert Ave
When Sam Po opened its doors in mid April, it brought modern style to Old Chinatown and quickly assumed its position as the most stylish dining room for all-day dim sum.
In a bright, minimalist space with textured walls and cool lilac chairs (no red or gold in sight), office workers drink tea in white leather banquettes while boisterous families gather at big, round tables to share brunch.
Each Sam Po guest is warmly welcomed with a fresh pot of tea, beginning a decidedly more serene meal than is expected with dim sum.
Focused on the classics, 50 options are laid out on one well-organized and easy-to-read page. Attentive servers have replaced traditional food carts, and a-la-carte orders arrive piping hot from the kitchen.
Artistic little sandwiches of eggplant stuffed with plump shrimp and set atop a brothy black bean sauce make a satisfying textural bite, while
Chinese perogies are near fist-sized flavour bombs. Beneath a crispy crust, sweet, sticky rice flour dough cradles tender minced pork and fresh green onions in a rich, savoury reduction.
Like a nest full of eggs, sweet golden dumpling buns arrive in a bamboo basket. The delicate pillows of dough release their creamy yellow custard at the touch of a fork.
A separate dinner menu features authentic Cantonese cuisine in huge portions designed for sharing.
Pork with sautéed onions and smoky hickory sauce is a stand-out. So, too, are the DIY duck lettuce wraps. Diced duck and vegetables, crunchy noodles, and a dollop of sweet hoisin sauce hit all the right notes.