GOLD DIAMOND 346-348 Spadina, at St. Andrew, 647-748-6888 Rating: NNN
We've gone to month-old Gold Diamond (346-348 Spadina, at St. Andrew, 647-748-6888, rating: NNN) in the former Bright Pearl for deeply discounted Chinese. Our charmingly bashful server is repeating the English names of the dishes we've checked from the dim sum list to make sure she's got our order right when she hesitates on the last word of pan-fried seafood roll with laver.
"It's seaweed," say I, who navigates menus for a living. "The Japanese call it nori."
She returns a few minutes later with a plate of what appears to be deep-fried sushi, three somewhat battered seaweed cylinders stuffed with remarkably firm shrimp. The shrimp in both the har gow and chive dumplings are also nicely textured, as are strangely tender tentacles of squid. Baked egg custard tarts come appropriately flaky.
Sadly, shiu mai are more mushy meatball than pork dumpling, stir-fried sticky rice with sausage seems greasy, and fried daikon radish cakes lack their usual fishy pong (all $2.10 Monday to Friday 9 am to 11:30 am and 1:30 to 3 pm, otherwise $2.70 to $4.80).
After we've packed up our considerable leftovers, our shy server reappears with menu in hand and points at #77 under noodles.
Our pleasure: "Vermicelli."