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Dim Sum Brunch at Luckee in Toronto


I’ve never enjoyed Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense, with a honey, dear or darling. I tend to celebrate the majority of holidays the day after, when my favourite food-stuffs are offered up on a wild and wonderful discount: a cheap turkey after Thanksgiving and Christmas and plump ham 24 hours after Easter. The biggest thrill for these “day after” holidays (including Halloween and Valentine’s Day) is stocking up on discounted festive sweets.

This year I arrived at Bulk Barn shortly after 11am the day after V-Day. It was absolutely freezing outside, which had me bursting through the doors out of breath just as staff were posting 75% off signs above bins filled with heart shaped candy. The fact that my relationship to Valentine’s Day is directly linked to taking advantage of reject snacks is perhaps telling of my single-ness. I scooped heaping portions of heart shaped jujub’s, carmel filled chocolates, red and white jellybeans and pink spotted candy corn with zeal. I felt as though I was holding a backpack full of textbooks as I dropped them at the cashier. I couldn’t help but blurt out laughing when the grand total came to under $5. I felt like I had won the lottery! Who needs love when you can indulge the day after?

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Moments later Nicola lurched into the store, gasping from the frigid weather. I plopped a chocolate in each of our months before we squealed from the frostbite on our faces, dashing towards the subway. After zooming under the city’s frozen streets we spilled into the dining room at Susur Lee’s Luckee, enthusiastic to start our celebration of single-ness over a hot pot of green tea.

I’ve visited Luckee several times at the dinner hour and recently realized I was long overdue to conquer the restaurants dim sum brunch offering. I’ve had the opportunity to indulge in the ritual of dim sum during on my past visits to Hong Kong and adore the idea of indulging family style on petite treats. Dim Sum loosely translates to “touch of little hearts,” a perfect ode to our most romantic holiday.

Chef Lee has broken down his menu into Steamed, Crispy and Vegetarian options. As Nicola and I warmed our hands with tiny tea cups we ticked off our dim sum favourites, as well as a few newbies to expand our repertoire and hopefully find a diamond in the ruff.

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Highlights from our dim sum brunch at Luckee: Xiao Long Bao, a warm broth filled pork soup dumpling which playfully squirts at the table as you chow down. Curry Shrimp Spring Roll, the perfect spicy, munch and crunch for those looking to enjoy a contrast between dim sum’s softer steamed side. New favourite, Duck & Tofu Skin Roll arrived slathered in a rich umami forward sauce.

The stand out must try at Luckee is without a doubt the Chicken Cheung Fun Rice Roll, an addictive dish offering both soft and crunchy in each bite. Our chop sticks scooped her up ever so quickly, sitting in satisfied silence for a whole minute before I blurt, “This is basically the Mac & Cheese of China. I think we should order another…treat ourselves for Valentine’s Day, don’t you think?”

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The Feast:

The Dragon’s Roar

1800 tequila, chili, thai basil, ginger beer

Mellow Manhattan

makers mark, campari, sweet vermouth, bitters

Siu Mai

chicken and shrimp dumplings with scallop and black truffle

Char Siu Boa

bbq chinese pork

Xiao Long Bao

pork soup dumplings

Duck & Tofu Skin Roll

shredded vegetables

Chicken Cheung Fun Rice Roll

tofu, ginger, green onion, soya juice

Curry Shrimp Spring Roll

Curry Chicken Mung Bean Dumpling

with mushrooms

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Luckee on Urbanspoon

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