Let it be known that I consider myself a novice when it comes to dim sum; I can count on a chicken foot's fingers the number of times I have sampled these Chinese tapas of sorts. As such, I felt like more of a spectator than a (wannabe) critic as I visited South Shore powerhouse La Maison Kam Fung for brunch on this windy Sunday.
The mild gusts outside did little to prepare my party for the whirlwind of people squeezed into the restaurant's vestibule; all hopelessly waiting for their name to be called so the feasting can finally commence.
I had visited Kam Fung once a few years ago for a quick and quiet mid-week lunch, but boy is the weekend a totally different animal. The vast, wedding-banquet-themed hall was a true madhouse of activity. An army of waiters pushing serving carts was snaking its way around large round tables holding families of various ethnicities – with Asians making up a significant majority.
For those uninformed on this Chinese tradition, dim sum involves table-side service where diners choose from a plethora of bite-sized items from the aforementioned pushcarts.
Dumplings, buns/cakes, rice noodles and other unrecognizable foodstuffs come steamed, fried, rolled or stuffed; and served in small, shareable plates. The options are endless meaning there's something for everyone, from the finicky to the adventurous eater.
It is often said that the higher the turnover, the better the dim sum; forcing the kitchen to keep churning, thus guaranteeing freshness. As hectic as Kam Fung can get on weekends, the relentless horde of waiters will ensure no table goes unattended amid the frenzy. However, picky eaters with a habit of posing a lot of questions might want to hold back in light of the linguistically-challenged staff.
While we cannot compare Kam Fung to other dim sum joints and have no basis of comparison considering how few we have tried, we can say it's quite an immersive experience – and a wildly popular one at that, given the throngs of people willing to wait indefinitely for a table here. Add the Brossard Chinese community's apparent approval, and you've got a winner here.
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.