August 8

When I was younger, I went through a phase when I only wanted to eat small foods. This consisted of mini bananas, cocktail wieners, quail eggs...basically anything that was miniature in size or its own tiny little package. Dim sum then, became a natural favourite for me because it fit my criteria so well (not to mention that it was delicious). Dim sum refers to a Chinese dish that involves small portions of food, usually served in a small steamer or on small plates. Individual dumplings, or small spring rolls – it quickly became my favourite type of food, and probably still is to this day.

You can only imagine how happy I was when I discovered that there was an all-you-can-eat dim sum and sushi place in town. Sushi has always been something I enjoy and to pair it with dim sum sounded like food heaven to me. I rounded up some company and we went on a rainy evening a while back.

Located at the corner of Brant and Fairview, the parking here is minimal. Once the spots fill up, you are forced to find parking in one of the nearby plazas or on the side streets. We were lucky that it was a rainy night, and there was a spot opening up just as we pulled in. Walking into the restaurant, I couldn’t help but be in awe of the modern decor on the walls and how pretty everything looked. The lighting is soft, and the wallpaper on the walls are textured to have an almost velvet feel to them. The tables are uncovered but reminded me of grey kitchen counters, which felt out of place in the dark beauty of the room.
For $21.99 per person for a weeknight dinner and $1.99 for bottomless pop, August 8 is not one of the cheaper places to go for a meal. However, we were confident that we could get value for our money because we were all starving.  Each table is given a menu that lists all the offerings by number, a stack of note paper and a few pencils. You are expected to write down the number of the dish you want, and the quantity of each. The menu is very clear to point out how many pieces of an item come in each order, so you multiply it by the number of pieces you want (ie. One order of sashimi is one piece, but one order of maki is six pieces). You just have to be careful to note how many pieces make up an order and not order too much.
I tried the Hot and Sour soup and found it to be very sweet, although the ingredients in it were fresh and not overcooked. I am told the miso soup was watery and was nothing special. We ordered tempura shrimp which came out crispy and not too greasy, as well as tempura yam which was also perfectly fried and not soggy. The dim sum was steamed fresh and came out piping hot, and I was impressed at the variety of dishes that was offered. One of the best dishes dim sum of the night was the deep fried calamari which was crispy and cooked perfectly so there was no rubbery texture to be had.
We ordered a fair amount of sashimi and each plate that was brought to us was beautifully presented, and the fish was fresh and cut very thick. We also tried the House Roll, which was a deep fried roll California roll on a bed of spicy sauce. Though sceptical at first, it was well done with a crispy outside and a cool inside. It was recommended that we try the Lovers Sushi, which was an odd concoction of white tuna and crab with spicy sauce on top of a potato chip, and garnished with caviar. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but the strange textures and flavour combination made it an interesting dish. 
Another favourite from the evening included the Unagi Pizza: deep fried rice with barbeque eel, spicy sauce and fish roe. The crispy texture of the rice with the creaminess of the spicy sauce and eel made it a taste explosion. If you like a bit of spice, I highly recommend trying the pizza.
There were also plenty of grilled dishes and we tried the Beef Mushroom Roll: tender beef strips wrapped around mushrooms and scallions, as well as the Asparagus Bacon Roll: a cooked piece of bacon wrapped around an asparagus spear.  The Beef Short Ribs were well seasoned and flavourful, but there was so much fat on each piece we could barely taste them.
The dessert offerings were large for a sushi buffet, and also included a few steamed custard buns typical of dim sum restaurants. We tried the red bean and the mango ice creams, as well as the mango pudding to top off our meals. All in all, a fantastic meal that satisfied my love for dim sum. Judging from how busy the dining room was and how full the parking lot can be, I recommend having an earlier dinner or arriving a little later rather than right at prime dinner hour.

August 8 on Restaurantica
August 8 Dim Sum + Sushi on Urbanspoon
August 8
834 Brant St., Burlington


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