This is a revisited post for Ruby Rouge. Click HERE to see the original post.
Metro: Place-d’Armes, Champ-de-Mars, Saint-Laurent
Bus: STM 14, 15, 55, 80, 129, 150, 410, 427, 430, 435, 747
Visit: March 2, 2013
For anyone of Chinese descent, Dim Sum is a mandatory practice that is part of living the traditional life. What used to be exclusively a Chinese activity had now become one that is now shared with just about anyone who likes to eat. I had an unfortunate Dim Sum drought that lasted years. It wasn’t until 2 years ago that the dry spell was broken with a visit to Ruby Rouge. Now, 2 years and 3 other places later, I have returned to Ruby Rouge to give it the due it so richly deserves.
In April of 2011, I made my initial visit to Ruby Rouge, unequipped to really judge what I was eating. Then, in the realm of the posts I would write, I would gloss over things too quickly. Now, I take a little more time in writing the posts and making sure that I add more fluff than necessary. So, I figured it was the right time to revisit Ruby Rouge.
There are almost half a dozen places in Chinatown that offer Dim Sum. For those of you who are new to the practice, Dim Sum is like an equivalent to brunch, though you won’t find many breakfast items there. In the majority of DIm Sum places, there are ladies who push around carts with a large variety of items. If you see something that you want, you make sure that you stop the lady and pick out what you’d like to nosh on.
The language barrier has been a major issue in the past when it comes to this place. These days, you should be able to get a modicum of English out of the ladies. Even at that, it’s not going to be the easiest thing on the planet. That is the reason the cart system works so well, because you see the food right there.
Going to Dim Sum on the week-end might be a very difficult thing to do, especially when all the rest of the world has the same idea as you. The idea is that you want to get there when the food is fresh. Either you show up really early, or you show up after the rush. For this revisit, we showed up around 1 p.m. and had our pick of where we wanted to sit.
Normally, we end up sitting outside the main room. This time, we actually got to sit with everyone else. Ruby Rouge is an expansive space. You can see that from the moment you climb the stairs. There are even some private rooms behind a glass barrier. Those private areas are great for extremely large groups. I’ve seen a whole line-up of 5 carts waiting outside these rooms once or twice. But, eating right near the stairs is a unique experience because you see all the action.
When I go to Dim Sum, I make sure to get my tried and true dishes. There are always a few things that I must get and I rarely go beyond that. I guess you can say that I’ve grown into a Dim Sum comfort zone that I’m very reluctant to go beyond. Then again, I know what I like and anything else just doesn’t do it.
These are shrimp dumplings. The interior of the dumpling is filled with ground shrimp meshed together.
These are some of my favorite items to get at any Dim Sum. The first thing that I like about these dumplings are the shells. The texture of that shell is what sets it apart from other types of dumplings that are mostly fried. The steamed kind actually make it fun to eat.
Some of the drawbacks of this type of dumpling comes when you try to pick them up. You have to be very careful because some of the shell will stick to the container. So, being delicate here will help you quite a bit.
These dumplings are usually filled with various items like pork and shrimp.
For many years, this used to be my big time favorites. It’s very tough to find a really good quality version of this dumpling. Though I have no complaint with this one, I’ve had better.
This is very self-explanatory. For those of you who follow my misadventures regularly, you’ll know exactly what’s coming up next. Just the fact that I managed to take a picture of this is enough of a victory for me. Just like octopus and squid, I’m not touching this because it makes me very queasy.
In my previous post, I had trouble naming this particular dish. With an outer, crispy covering, the inner stuffing is filled with either taro or yam.
This has slowly become one of the my favorite dishes when it comes to Dim Sum. The outer shell is fun to get through and what you find inside tastes really good. I managed to put down an entire plate of this and didn’t regret it at all. This was definitely a sleeper hit.
BBQ Pork Bun
First appearances can be deceiving, but that’s what they are. I’m still on the fence when it comes to this. I tend to like BBQ pork, but only if it’s freshly done. In a bun, the mixture of meat and dough is a little tough to get used to. This time around, it wasn’t half bad, but I wouldn’t stock up solely on this.
Shrimp Cheong Fun
During this visit to Ruby Rouge, there was one dish I was waiting for with great impatience. Let’s make this clear, if you don’t make eye contact with the cart lady, they tend to skip you. But, sometimes, they skip you for no good reason. This was the case with the rice noodle roll cart. This cart passed around at least 4 or 5 times. It wasn’t until we made it a point to stop this individual that we got what we wanted. I was prepared to camp overnight to make sure I got my fix.
The rice noodle is probably one of the more popular items. The rolls themselves are quite thick, but they go down easy. They are usually filled with anything from shrimp to beef. I recently tried the beef one and was pleasantly surprised. This time, there was no disappointment at all here. You just have to make sure that you have enough soy sauce to keep things really nice.
Once your meal is over, you need to call up your server, who will add up your total and take your money. An average Dim Sum meal comes out to about 20 dollars a person, which isn’t half bad.
While the debate about who has the best Dim Sum in the city is one that will be waged on for many years to come, Ruby Rouge has turned out to be one of my favorite places to go to. You’ll find a lot of acceptable dishes here to sample.