yum cha

Nothing is a better cure for a crazy Saturday night, than Sunday morning dim sum. A popular breakfast choice for the Cantonese, dim sum (or “Yum Cha”, which translates to “Drink Tea”), has also gained popularity in the west — and for good reason.

Traditionally, sitting down for morning dim sum takes you on an adventure in flavours and textures, all of which are well-known in Asian cuisine. Served bite sized, steamed and fried dumplings, noodles, roasted meats, congee (broth or porridge made from rice), crispy squid and egg custards, are all commonly found at a traditional dim sum feast. Toronto food lovers had a chance to experience both the traditional and more inventive dim sum fare at YumChaTO (Yum Cha Dim Sum Fest), the second sold-out installment of dumpling festivals, presented by Spotlight City. (See how much Torontonians like dumplings?)

Held in a warehouse (being converted into a brewery for Toronto craft brew in Toronto’s east end), hungry brunchers left their scrambelled eggs at home, to nosh on a selection of dim sum inspired dishes from Toronto’s top experts. The vendors were serving up a variety of dishes, from Momofuko’s famous steamed buns, to Parts & Labour’s Buffalo chicken feet. Most dishes were a “re-invented” take on a classic. Feast T.O.’s Tom Yum and Pho dumplings for example (although Chef Jonathon Poon’s Chantecler, Turnip Cake with Chinese sausage and X.O. sauce, leaned more towards traditional), and was arguably the stand-out dish of the event.

So whether Har Gow, or Sui Mau fusion tacos are your cup of tea, at YumChaTO, you were guaranteed to sample an assortment of tasty bites, with several local-made spirits and craft-made brews (not just tea), to wash it all down. Another YumChaTO event has not been announced as of yet, but for upcoming events, go to: Spotlight Toronto or follow #yumchaTO.


Jen Jennifer Myers Chua is an art director, Asian-food enthusiast, and all-around creative type. Obsessed with culinary pursuits and whitespace, Jennifer spends her days working as a freelance designer and contributing blogger. She spends her nights deconstructing recipes in her mostly all-white loft with her mostly all-white French bulldog. You can check out more of what she does at www.jennifermyerschua.com