Yum Cha! Dim Sum Fest makes its debut in Toronto

Yum Cha – what’s known in Chinese as “drink tea” is now the name of a Dim Sum Festival organized by avid foodsters Suresh Doss and Frank Kocis. And it had Toronto dim-summers brimming with excitement.

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The first dim sum festival in Toronto celebrated the classic Cantonese steamed buns and small savoury dishes taken to a whole new level with unique inspired flavours by 8 different restaurants and chefs. Yum Cha Dim Sum Fest made its debut at the Chinese Freemasons Association in the heart of Chinatown to a sold out crowd. We saw the likes of Babi & Co, Me.N.u Food Truck, La Brea Food, Chef John Horne from Canoe, Linda Modern Thai, Feast Toronto, and HotBunzz.

Here's a taste of the highlights from the event:

HotBunzz

Emperor's (Not So) Traditional BBQ Pork, Golden Curry BBQ Duck, King Mushroom 5 Cheese & Pea Shoots

Emperor's (Not So) Traditional BBQ Pork, Golden Curry BBQ Duck, King Mushroom 5 Cheese & Pea Shoots

Me.N.u Food Truck by Allen Tan & co

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3 Jacked Pigs riceballs

3 Jacked Pigs riceballs

Green Onion Pancake Roll

Green Onion Pancake Roll

La Brea Food
Mexican & Asian Dim Sum by Trevor Lui

Camarones "Juan"ton Gow - Shrimp wontons w/ corn esquites, jalapeno, ginger & cilantro blend on chili oil soya & roasted peanuts

Camarones "Juan"ton Gow - Shrimp wontons w/ corn esquites, jalapeno, ginger & cilantro blend on chili oil soya & roasted peanuts

Dos Cerditos Bo Zai Fan - Duo of Lap Cheung & Shoyu Adobada char siu on fragrant rice, radish, lime & chicharron crisps

Dos Cerditos Bo Zai Fan - Duo of Lap Cheung & Shoyu Adobada char siu on fragrant rice, radish, lime & chicharron crisps

Ginger lemonade was a refresher (no pun intended)

Ginger lemonade was a refresher (no pun intended)

Babi & Co
Indonesian Street Food

Babi on a Bun (braised pork belly on fried buns w/ pickled cucumbers), Martabak Telor (Green onion, chives, egg pancake w/ Indonesian style salsa), and Lemper (sticky rice w/ shredded coconut chickon on banana leaf)

Babi on a Bun (braised pork belly on fried buns w/ pickled cucumbers), Martabak Telor (Green onion, chives, egg pancake w/ Indonesian style salsa), and Lemper (sticky rice w/ shredded coconut chickon on banana leaf)

Canoe by Executive Chef John Horne

Heart Cold Roll, Game Steam Bun with moose, Shrimp & Scallop Dumpling

Heart Cold Roll, Game Steam Bun with moose, Shrimp & Scallop Dumpling

Pho Dumplings with beef, pho spices, noodles, sprouts

Pho Dumplings with beef, pho spices, noodles, sprouts

They also offered Tom Yum Dumplings & Chrysanthemum Iced Tea

They also offered Tom Yum Dumplings & Chrysanthemum Iced Tea

GwaiLo by Nick Liu

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Big Mac Steamed Bun & Caplansky's Smoked Meat Spring Roll

Big Mac Steamed Bun & Caplansky's Smoked Meat Spring Roll

Steamed, Fried & Chilled Dim Sum Trio - Chicken Lemongrass Siu Mai, Prawn and Sticky Rice Roll, Pandan Custard with Dulce de Leche

Steamed, Fried & Chilled Dim Sum Trio - Chicken Lemongrass Siu Mai, Prawn and Sticky Rice Roll, Pandan Custard with Dulce de Leche

I started to get the dim sum sweats from hastily chowing down my food with the desire to try every single dish in sight (of course, lack of ventilation had nothing to do with it). Even with a big appetite, it's easy to become full after only a few dishes.

Some of the aforementioned vendors will be back at Yum Cha! Part 2 on Sunday, May 4, 2014, which will also feature other notable restaurants such as Momofuku, County General, Lamesa and Richmond Station. I can imagine the venue can only get bigger and better, this time held near Greenwood and Gerrard.

Get your stomachs and cash ready. 

Jean