DYNASTY (131 Bloor West, at Avenue Road, 416-923-3323) Complete dim sum meals for $25 per person, including all taxes, tip and a pot of green tea. Average dim sum $4. Open for dim sum Monday to Friday 11 am to 4 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm, á la carte dinner nightly till 11 pm. Licensed. Access: barrier-free. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Once upon a time -- 30 years ago , say - Yorkville's Colonnade was the chic-est address around.
Today, the once tony residence is home to a TV weight-loss clinic and a laser eye surgery. Most recently, super-chef Wolfgang Puck was mooted to take over the long-empty Patriot, but judging by the lack of activity, it appears that Wolfgang has duly pucked off back to L.A.
Launched in 94 on the Colonnade's upper mezzanine, Dynasty has been considered one of Toronto's most luxe Chinese restaurants. But a dim sum lunch there the other day suggests that this Dynasty is coming to an end.
Not that there's anything wrong with our noontime nosh. Lacking the stomach for Thai-style boneless chicken feet or marinated duck's tongue (both $7.50), we can't fault classic har gow dumplings ($4.95), thick with shrimp and crunchy bamboo shoots. Pork siu mai are meaty and moist, memorably garnished with sushi-esque spirals of surimi and flying fish roe.
Remarkably grease-free, Crusty Assorted Mushroom Roll finds diced Chinese 'shrooms wrapped in deep-fried bean curd skin (both $4.45), although we're unable to detect the advertised oyster in Dynasty's steamed tofu rolls with shredded roast pork ($2.95). The house grilled daikon cake, priced at $4.45, seems similar to those greasy guilty pleasures found on Spadina at half the price.
It's the room that ultimately lets Dynasty down. It's as outdated as a K-car or a shoulder pad. Passé faux-finished walls, well-trod carpeting (by the well-heeled, no doubt) and tablecloths fashioned from a fugly purple brocade that would make even a bridezilla go berserk add up to a restaurant well past its sell-by date.
Restaurant Makeover, we have a candidate!