First of all, this restaurant is known as Kim Fung or Kam Fung depending on Facebook, their website, the sign in front of their restaurant, etc – although there is no consistency in the name it is located on Saint-Urbain in Chinatown in a little mall. Diva #1 and Senior Diva have been going to Chinatown for dim sum since Diva #1 was a wee Diva, she remembers being in awe that such a place like Chinatown existed in Montreal. It was like going on vacation!
Kim (Kam) Fung is one of the better known dim sum restaurants in Montreal. There is no menu, every table has a bill listing everything available from the carts, and the ladies maneuvering the carts mark the bill depending on what you order, before moving along. They barely speak English, so don’t ask too many questions, but they’ll help you if need be. Not for shy customers, you have to hail them down, and try to decipher what’s in their cart, or what the dumplings are stuffed with. It’s a bit of an adventure.
Traditionally dim sum is Cantonese cuisine from China – a type of Chinese brunch if you will. That’s why at Kim (Kam) Fung, dim sum is every day from 7 am to 3 pm. Food is brought to you in small plates, ideal for sharing, traditionally, carts are pushed around the restaurant so that you choose your dishes without moving or ordering from a menu. An important aspect of dim sum is the green tea, and at Kim (Kam) Fung the tea is rather good, and they refill your tea, free of charge!
Carts piled high with bamboo steamer baskets went by, they had various types of dumplings, some crispier than others, and not because they were fried. They used different dumpling wrappers depending on the stuffing, a thicker wrapping for their pork, shrimp and mushroom (what they call black fungus) dumplings. There were even bamboo leaves stuffed in these dumplings for a little green – it was definitely the more complex of their dumplings.
Our favourite dumplings at Kim (Kam) Fung were the scallop and shrimp dumplings. Wrapped so tightly that a slight pink hue from the shrimp can be seen through the almost translucent dumpling wrapper, these are your more traditional dumplings. Just to clarify, dim sum is not only about dumplings, there are plenty of other dishes to choose from, but your dim sum experience would not be the same without a few orders of dumplings.
This Cantonese dish is an important part of dim sun – these rice noodles are filled with shrimp, pork, vegetables or beef and topped with a soy sauce based sauce. Rolled tightly, the rice noodle rolls were stuffed with shrimp at Kim (Kam) Fung, although depending on which cart goes by you may find rice noodle rolls with various fillings – we always opt for the seafood rice noodle rolls and make sure that you dip it into the delicious soy sauce based sauce before taking a bite.
The steamed Chinese pork buns were perfect, with just the right amount of filling, sweet BBQ and tender slow roasted pork. This is a Cantonese specialty, the steamed dough is dense but soft, using both yeast and baking powder to leaven the bun. Senior Diva loved these buns so much that she ate them with the paper lining under the bun that kept it from sticking to the bamboo steamer basket. She’s a little savage like that!
This Chinese pastry is made with a crispy and chewy dough that’s covered in sesame seeds. Often filled with lotus paste, these were stuffed with red bean paste. We had this bun along with your typical chow mein Chinese noodles which are simply thin noodles that are pan fried in soy sauce, making them a little crispy. The chow mein was decent, it didn’t particularly stand out.
Senior Diva wanted some greens to digest all the food and various dumplings. Chinese broccoli went by and we snagged it from a cart. The broccoli was boiled or steamed, and served with a very salty oyster sauce. The broccoli was tasty but we only used very little oyster sauce as it was salty. We had this along with the fried squid, which was unfortunately cold so we did not particularly enjoy it. Fried squid is something that must be served hot, or it becomes rubbery!
We shied away from the traditional egg tart dessert, a dim sum classic, but instead we opted for the coconut red bean bun. The pastry was flaky, and the coconut and red bean was the perfect combination, not too sweet and a great end to our meal. Black and white sesame seeds dotted the top of the flaky pastry.
We wish we had nabbed the eggplant stuffed with shrimp, and the crab claw stuffed with shrimp, both are favourites of ours but sadly they weren’t being served on the day that we went. Sticky rice in lotus leaves, tripe and chicken (known as phoenix) feet are also dim sum favourites but since there is no menu, you’re dependent on what goes by in the carts. Some dim sum restaurants have an actual menu that you can order from, those restaurants ensure warmer food (since it’s not going by in a cart) and often more variety. Kim (Kam) Fung is a Chinatown dim sum favourite, but we generally prefer restaurants with a dim sum menu, it optimizes freshness and variety.
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 1111 Saint-Urbain, Asian, BBQ pork bun, Chinese, Chinese Food, Chinese Restaurant, chow mein, Dim Sum, dim sum cart, Dumplings, fried squid, H2Z 1Y6, Kam Fung Montreal, Kim Fung Montreal, Montreal Chinese, Montreal dim sum, Noodles, pork dumplings, scallop dumplings, sesame balls, Shrimp Dumplings