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price shock

I went for lunch today with some co-workers.  Well, specifically, it was 5 managers, 1 partner and me.  FUN.  I decided to go cause they were going to have dim sum* and I wanted to see how good this restuarant is.  People at this office go there quite often and it was named one of the best dim sum restuarants in Toronto.  Now, I expected it to be a bit pricey because (a) it's downtown and (b) it's right on the waterfront.  When the bill came, I almost choked on my tea.  ~$110 (which included a 10% discount!) for 7 people.  Plus tip & everything, that's about $20/person.

You have to understand -- up in the suburbs, $20 at a decent dim sum restuarant can feed 3-4 PEOPLE.  And you would've ordered way more than we did.  I checked the bill -- per dish price was about $5, I'm used to a $1.10/dish ($1.50 if we're feeling generous); we ordered 2 plates of chicken fried rice and they were $17/plate which is at least double the price in the 'burbs; and the kicker?  Tea was charged at $10.  We were CHARGED FOR TEA.  I've NEVER been to a Chinese restuarant where they charged for tea.  And it wasn't the fancy chrysantheum tea with the flowers floating on top.  This was your basic green tea.  I can't get over it.  

The food?  Was decent.  Nothing special.  The view was beautiful though which is probably why the prices were so high. 

On the way back to the office, one of the managers who has never eaten there before, commented how the price was so reasonable and you really get a lot for what you pay.  I had to keep my mouth shut from saying "Are you kidding me?"  LOL

Yea, I'm not going there anymore unless it's for a special occassion.  And I'm hungry now cause I sure didn't eat $20 worth for lunch.

*for those who don't know what dim sum is (I didn't want to presume everyone did) -- it's basically a Chinese method of ordering/serving food.  Dishes are usually pushed around the restuarant on carts and you choose what you want.  The dishes are small in size, for example, one dish will contain 4 dumplings.



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 17th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
I still boogles the mind. When I move downtown, I'm gonna be in constant sticker shock! Looks like I'll be making weekly treks to the 'burbs to get cheap Chinese food and groceries.
Mar. 16th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
Feeling hungry now...
I've only gone out for dim sum twice, but both times I enjoyed it. The first time my sister-in-law and her parents (who are from Taiwan) treated us at their restaurant, so they knew what to choose for us North Americans! Second time was with a friend whose girlfriend was Chinese. I'd like to go again but I'm a little nervous about going without someone in the know. Any advice?
Mar. 17th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
Re: Feeling hungry now...
Taiwan represent! =)

I find most North Americans like dumplings (shrimp, spinach, fried dumplings which are usually pork, sui mai which is pork), spring/egg/shrimp rolls and rice, whether it's sticky (rice that's wrapped in leaves) or fried or steamed with some meat & veggies. There's also steamed buns that contain either chicken or BBQ pork. Steamed pork ribs, short ribs, chicken. Some places also include fried noodles so that's usually a safe bet.

If you're feeling brave, you can try the tripe or squid.

I won't recommend the chicken feet or congealed pig's blood. ;)

One good thing about dim sum is that since the portions are small, it's not that big of risk to try something new. Another idea is check out what the other North Americans in the restuarant are eating. :)
Mar. 17th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)
Not so hungry anymore
I won't recommend the chicken feet or congealed pig's blood. ;)
Haha, my older brother has mentioned trying the chicken feet at his in-law's restarurant when he helped out there on occasion--he was not all that impressed. What do chicken feet taste like? Let me guess--like chicken?

Speaking of congealed pigs blood--that just totally brought up a memory of my childhood at my grandparent's farm in New Mexico of my dad collecting the blood from a butchered ram in order to cook it up. He was like, "mmmm...this is delicious, why don't you try some?" God--it was gross to watch. I didn't taste any. I'm not sure if it was cultural and other New Mexicans did it too with their butchered livestock, or if it was mostly that his family grew up really poor and they didn't waste a food source. Whatever the reason, it was really gross and had an odd smell when he cooked it. Kind of what I imagine blood sausage smells like. I've never had that either. Hey, that reminds me of seeing slabs of congealed blood for sale (along with calf brains) in the meat counters of the big market stalls in Barcelona. No, I never tried any of those either! I was a very finicky eater as a kid.

Anyway... :D
Mar. 16th, 2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
Well, speaking from the UK it doesn't sound particularly expensive to me. We went out for Chinese food a couple of weeks ago and for 5 the bill was over £100, including wine, and that wasn't big city prices either, but a restaurant in a small seaside town (St Andrews).
Mar. 17th, 2007 02:42 am (UTC)
Did you order dishes off a menu or was it dim sum? If it was the former, including wine, then it's not so bad. Still pricey though which is why when my friends & I ate really small meals while in London *g*

With the high competition keeping prices down, I've been completely spoiled price-wise. Once I move downtown, I think I'll be making frequent trips back to the 'burbs to get cheap Chinese food.
Mar. 17th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
That's crazy, you guys were totally paying for the view! I haven't had dim sum in ages, and thanks to your post, I'm totally craving it now =(

We should do dim sum in Chinatown one day for lunch, it's also about $1.50 a plate there. Sure the waitresses are rude but hey, at that price, who cares!

Congealed pig's blood!! Ick, that's where I draw the line! I can do the chicken feet, tripe, and squid, but pigs blood?? Gross! I always freaked out when my parents ate that stuff. Just tried to imagine that it was only cherry jello! haha
Mar. 17th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
Yea, we were definitely paying for the view (and their property taxes LOL).

So, dim sum next time? Taking a break from the sushi? =) $1.50/dish is totally reasonable and if the waitresses are rude, no tip for them!

Congealed pig's blood just looks NASTY -- especially after you know what it is! My mom loves the stuff, my dad can handle small portions.
Mar. 17th, 2007 04:44 am (UTC)
A break from sushi? No way, we can do that for dinner!! =D

I know you're busy all weekend with POTO and renovating, but if you're hungry, you know where to find me!

Mar. 17th, 2007 10:51 pm (UTC)
You two and your freaky sushi and freakin' chicken feet and congealed blood?!?!? OMG. So gross.

Oh, and just found out the youngest nephew has tried sushi and likes it. I knew that kid was a freak in the making.

Now I'd try SOME of those dishes if y'all wanna go when I'm there sometime.
Mar. 18th, 2007 01:14 am (UTC)
Are you talking about the sushi or the dim sum? ;)

Oh, I am so going to hold you to that. *g*
Mar. 18th, 2007 12:44 pm (UTC)
NOT the sushi part. Not in a million years.

Unless it came with some naked Kiefer.
Mar. 18th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC)
Hey, don't knock the chicken feet!! They're braised in black bean sauce and they're really good! Dim sum isn't complete without it!

But it is one of those things you have to grow up eating to appreciate, and it's best if it's introduced at a very young age when you don't really question anything! LOL

If we have time, we should definitely try some Dim Sum when you come to visit us in May. And if you really hate it, we can always go to Subway afterwards! hehe
Mar. 18th, 2007 12:46 pm (UTC)
If not May there's always September!! Woo hoo!! Hee.

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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