About Chalau Dim Sum Restaurant

View of the inside of Chalau Dim Sum Restaurant
Click to see a slideshow of Chalau's interior

"Chalau" is a Cantonese pronunciation of "dim sum restaurant" originating in early 1900 Mainland China. At that time, "chalau" meant "serving dim sum all day long". It accommodated different clienteles' needs at that time.

Chalau dim sum restaurant of Toronto has a history of over 10 years, originally located at Yonge and Eglinton as "Cha Liu dim sum shop". "Cha Liu" means, "a small eatery for travellers in the ancient time, to stop over at for a cup of tea and some dim sum during their long journey". Chalau means a bigger dim sum place well-located in the city, aiming to serve a more diverse customer base.

For nine years, Cha Liu Dim Sum Shop occupied a small, second-floor restaurant near Yonge and Eglinton, serving as a beacon of authentic Chinese cooking in an area well-known for Italian restaurants and fast-food chains. When it closed in late July of 2011 due to the end of its lease, many of its faithful customers hoped the wait for its relocation wouldn’t be too long.

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A mere nine months later, the restaurant re-opened on April 23, 2013, at its new Yonge and College location, 476 Yonge St, under a slightly different name — the sign out front now reads Cha Lau Dim Sum Restaurant. The new space is nearly twice as large as the old one, and more accessible than ever before, boasting 80 seats and a street-level entrance. The menu, however, has been left largely the same, with some new rice and noodle additions to lure in the young patrons of the area.