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After having a huge dim sum craving one morning, we ended up at Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine, located in the East Beaver Creek plaza in Richmond Hill.

I’m not quite sure why they use the word “fusion” in their name as it usually comes with negative connotations when used to describe Asian fare. But I can assure you, I didn’t find any fusion items on their dim sum menu. Perhaps dinner is where the fusion is at?

Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine

Anyway, given their location, you can imagine that parking is a bit of a nightmare. We came by for a late lunch (just before 2pm on a Sunday) and the restaurant (and parking lot) was packed. It’s not a small restaurant by any means and even at 2pm, our party of 3 waited half an hour for a table.

The interior

The restaurant is clean and actually quite nice. It would be a great space for a Chinese banquet. Maybe that’s why the prices are a little on the higher side: small – $2.80, medium – $3.80, large – $4.80 and XL $5.80. If you can get yourself out of bed at a decent time, come here before 11am and all dim sum dishes are only $2.80 (orders must be in before 11).

Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine

Like most dim sum restaurants these days, there are no carts. It always makes ordering a bit of a guessing game since the translations aren’t always accurate. Speaking of being accurate, our server wasn’t the most attentive. We noticed there were a couple items we had marked off on the sheet that he had missed. So, double check the receipt!

We started off with the Steamed Shrimp Dumplings – aka Har Gow ($4.80) which was stuffed with plump pieces of shrimp. Definitely one of the better har gows I’ve eaten!

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

Up next was the Steamed Pork Dumplings – aka Siu Mai ($3.80). Like the shrimp dumplings, the pork dumplings were plump and the filling was delicious. Definitely no complaints here.

Steamed Pork Dumplings

One of my favourite dishes was the Baked BBQ Pork Puff Pastry ($4.80). These bite-sized puffs were filled with delicious BBQ pork. A must-order for BBQ pork fans!

Baked BBQ Pork Puff Pastry

I always have to order a rice roll at dim sum and decided on the Steamed Angus Beef Rice Roll ($3.80). The rice noodle was wonderfully delicate and the beef was well seasoned.

Steamed Angus Beef Rice Roll

One of Mike’s favourite dim sum dishes is the Steamed Rice Noodle with Fried Dough ($3.80). This was definitely one of the better ones we’ve had. It had the same delicate rice noodles as the beef roll and the doughnut was well fried – crispy without being too greasy.

Steamed Rice Noodle with Fried Dough

Another great dish was the Deep Fried Sticky Pork Dumpling ($2.80). Like all the fried dishes here, I was impressed that these weren’t too greasy. The dumplings were filled with a decent amount of minced pork and the dough-to-filling ratio was perfect. More often than not, you end up eating a ball of sticky dough with a few crumbs of pork inside. Thankfully this wasn’t the case here.

Deep Fried Sticky Pork Dumpling

We also ordered the Steamed Pork Dumpling in Soup ($5.80). One order came with two bowls of soup with three dumplings floating in each. The clear broth wasn’t too salty like many Chinese broths can be but I didn’t find the dumplings memorable at all.

Steamed Pork Dumpling in Soup

Up next was the Pan Fried Turnip Cake ($2.80). They were well fried, not too greasy nor too dry or crumbly. They were solid turnip cakes but I’ll be honest, nothing beats my Congee Wong guilty pleasure – the super greasy chili turnip cakes (they definitely hit the spot after a night of drinking!).

Pan Fried Turnip Cake

When I saw Fried Glutinous Rice – with BBQ pork & preserved vegetables ($15.80) on the menu, I knew it was something we had to order since I don’t often see it at restaurants. When the dish arrived, I initially thought I had ordered the wrong dish since I’m accustomed to a rice dish that is dark brown in colour with sticky clumps of rice. Nevertheless, it was a really enjoyable dish and even though it wasn’t quite as sticky as I’m used to, the rice still had a nice chew and slight stickiness to it. Overall, a very solid dish.

Fried Glutinous Rice

As usual, I ordered a little too much and took the Steamed Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaf ($4.80) to go – it was still tasty the next day!

Steamed Sticky Rice with Chicken in Lotus Leaf

Despite being full, I always leave room for egg tarts at dim sum. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any regular egg tarts (I’m assuming they were sold out since we were having a late lunch) and brought us some Sweet Pastry Tarts with Taro ($3.80) instead. I enjoyed the crust which had a nice flakiness to it. The taro flavour was quite subtle and although they tasted like regular egg tarts, I found them a little less appetizing due to its purple colour. They don’t say you eat with your eyes for no reason…

Sweet Pastry Tarts with Taro

I know I’m sidetracking a little but when I was young my mom bought some purple ketchup to use in our sandwiches after seeing it in a commercial (“the kids looked like they were having so much fun” she said…). It tasted like regular ketchup but looked like mold was growing in our lunches. Needless to say, she never purchased purple ketchup again.

Getting back on topic… On the whole, we really enjoyed the dim sum at Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine. If the huge crowds and long wait times are any indication, it’s definitely worth the wait!

At a glance:
• While their name has the word “fusion” in it, the dim sum menu didn’t consist of any fusion items (pretty standard dim sum fare)
• Impressed with what they had to offer
• Located in the East Beaver Creek plaza in Richmond Hill
• Prices: small ($2.80), medium ($3.80), large ($4.80) and XL ($5.80)
• Order before 11am and all dim sum dishes are $2.80
• Tea charge: $1.20 per person
• Always busy on weekends – be prepared to wait if you go during prime times

Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 2 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars

Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine on Urbanspoon

  1. Peter (Reply) on Tuesday 21, 2014

    Thanks for posting your review! Just tried the restaurant this past Saturday after reading your blog post. The snow and early start (10:00am) was helpful in avoiding the crowds. I was born and grew up in Vancouver and grew up with a fair bit of dim sum. I have to say that Dragon Boat really stands out. I really appreciated the attention to details – we tried the steamed scallop rice rolls with XO sauce – the texture of the rice roll was just perfect – there was actually springiness to it!

    • Jess (Reply) on Tuesday 21, 2014

      So glad you enjoyed it here. It’s one of my favourite dim sum spots in the GTA.
      I’m from Vancouver too! These cold winter days really make me wish I was still home…