YU SEAFOOD

Yu Seafood

December 1st, 2020 and I officially cannot remember the last time Stephen and I enjoyed a meal inside a restaurant (I looked it up, it was October 2019). Eating out was such an integral part of my day to day routine and something I’ve missed dearly this year. The continuous announcements of Toronto restaurant closures have been disheartening and a constant reminder to support local businesses. Stephen and I have been trying to order takeout at least once a week from local spots since the summer and I’m eager to start sharing our food adventures again, albeit with a 2020 lens. First up is Yu Seafood, our new go to dimsum restaurant, which surprisingly we had never been to pre-pandemic.

Ordering: My preference is to order pickup directly from restaurants, avoiding any third party apps and additional fees for myself and the restaurant. Lots of restaurants have set up their own online ordering platforms, which greatly increases the ease of placing an order. Yu Seafood uses Snappy, a platform also used by Chatime and many Chinese restaurants in the GTA. The menu is English and Chinese. There are no photos so the first few times I ordered, lots of time was spent Google translating the Chinese menu names. Now that we’ve ordered from them several times, it’s not an issue to distinguish BBQ Pork Bun Pastry with Baked BBQ Pork Bun Pastry. Your order history is also stored for reference. We try to place our order during off peak times, weekday lunch or early weekend lunch time, to avoid any delays. I have heard of very long order times during events like Mother’s day but we’ve had no issues so far.

Pickup: Once your order is ready for pickup, a text message is sent for notification. Our house is a 15-20 minutes drive to Yu Seafood and we place our order right before we leave. 4/5 times, the order is ready by the time we arrive. Masks are required for entry and your temperature is checked by a gate using your wrist. You do have to walk through the dining area to the cash to pick up (now that indoor dining is allowed there are people at the tables) but it is a one way track to the exit through a side door. Overall the pickup experiences we’ve had have all been quick and felt safe. We do purposefully avoid peak times.

Food: Prices per dish range from $3.60 to $6.30, quite reasonable for the quality and serving size. Our bill totals ~$80 each meal for Stephen, myself, Alivia and a set of grandparents with plenty of leftovers. Each dish is packed in a leak proof takeout container, which we wash to reuse and have now amassed quite the collection.

By now, I’ve tired 90% of their dim sum menu and all of the items are fresh, delicious and flavourful. The classics, har gow and siu mai, both transport great. Meat dishes like chicken feet, steamed tripe and steamed spare ribs also stay warm and don’t lose much of the experience with takeout. Similarly the baked and steamed buns still taste great at home. I do find the texture on the rice rolls can get a bit chewy once the dish cools and the fried dishes are not as crispy compared to fresh at a restaurant.

Some of our new staple dishes from Yu Garden are their BBQ Pork Puff Pastry, so flakey, and Deep Fried Durian Puff Pastry for Stephen, so fragrant. Alivia loves their Steamed Sweet Egg Yolk Layer Cake that’s soft and airy, and always asks if we ordered the black buns (Bamboo Charcoal & Egg Yolk Bun). We’ve also tried their Deep Fried Shrimp Dumpling with Foie Gras Paste, but prefer the normal steamed shrimp dumplings. The foie gras was subtle.

Overall, pickup from Yu Seafood has been a delicious treat this year and has become our new way of satisfying those dim sum cravings.

Yu Seafood
Yu Seafood
Yu Seafood
Yu Seafood
Yu Seafood