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Category: dim sum

Dim Sum at Kirin New Westminster

We had relatives in town and my family took them out for dim sum at “Kirin”. My dad is a fan of “Kirin”, but not the Cambie location due to several brushes with bad service, so a drive out to New Westminster was required today. He liked the finer dining restaurant for its finer details. The thought put into their food presentation, the more attentive service, the overall cleanliness of the space, the free parking on premises; and how the food wasn’t too salty or sweet, but seemed to cater to everyone’s taste. And our meal even ended with a luke warm cloth for wiping up after. I am sure it was meant to be hot given the metal container they were rolled up and stacked in, and the matching tongs that were used to deliver them into out out reached hands.

Our sever was also friendly, not common at most Chinese restaurants. He bantered in Cantonese and wore a smile on this face. Although this might be a different experience on a busier day. Today this was an easy drive on a Tuesday, with less traffic on the road and in the restaurant.

We were seated at one of their many round tables with a glass lazy Susan at its centre. An ideal set up for the easy sharing of small plates, amongst our party of 6. White table cloth over a peach, cloth napkins folded into a peaked cone. And there we sat in light conversation, as the meal began with no one wanting to order. No one wanted to come across as being too forward, or to have the responsibility of ordering for everyone else. There was the passing around of the menu, and the reassurance that no one cared what they would be eating. All until my dad took charge, ordering dim sum staples like “ha gao” and “sui mai”. I tried ordering a few items based on photos posted online, however it wasn’t available at this location and neither were items in the photos pictured on their in house menu. No explanation was given for the false advertising in the latter. None-the-less the following is what we were able to order, in the order of which it came. And everything took longer to come, as it is made fresh to order.

“Steamed shrimp dumplings”. Chunked prawn within a starchy coating, tasty like it always is.

“Beef tendon braised in spicy sauce”. You eat this for its firm gelatine-like texture. Fully coated with a thick syrup-like glaze, seasoned with a slow to creep heat that flavours the dish fully.

Similar in texture was the “Steam chicken feet and gluten in black bean sauce.” But both had more of a soften, rubbery texture with the scrunched up skin on the chicken feet and the folded sheets of the gluten.

The “Sticky rice with pork and shredded scallop, wrapped in lotus leaf” had more filling that most sticky rice bundles I have opened up.

The “Deep fried eggplant stuffed with minced prawn in black bean sauce” was the table’s favourite, as it was the first dish to be cleared. This was cut in halves at the table, for easy sharing. Minced prawn meat formed like a ball and steamed like meatloaf with a similar foamy texture.

The “Spareribs steamed with chopped garlic” were easy to pop into your mouth and have your tongue and teeth do all the work, tearing the typically soft meat and cartilage from bone.

“Steamed prawn and Sakura farm premium pork dumpling topped with flying fish roe”. You could absolutely taste the quality of the meat used in this fulsome dumpling. Definitely one of the better renditions I have had.

“Pork neck bone, peanut and fried fish congee”. This was a nice warming way to end our meal. Lightly flavoured by pork and topped with shredded iceburg lettuce and peanuts for crunch; although there are already plenty of cooked peanuts within this, but those were quick to crumble under the pressure of your tongue. I also got a few of the bones that I ate clean, the meat had no seasoning; but was still the most flavourful element in the bowl. Plus it offered some texture to chew through.

Worth noting, the higher price point comes with additional service. I had my plate switched out twice during our 1 hour meal, and my bowl once. Although each time it was done abruptly by one of managers in a suit.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Everything was tasty, but I have had other dim sums just as good, for less. I wouldn’t necessary make the commute just for dim sum. However if my family is inviting and paying, you can definitely expect to see me here again. Although my dad was very please by how reasonable the cost of the total was today. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

KIRIN
Starlight Casino, 350 Gifford Street, New Westminster BC, V3M 7A3
604-528-8833
kirinrestaurants.com

Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant

We were in search of dim sum, and “Golden Ocean” was chosen for its accessibility. Truth be told, I don’t often choose my Chinese restaurants, nor do I order myself. Typically, both of those matters I leave to my family, as I don’t normally visit Chinese restaurants outside of family gatherings. So it was nice to dine with friends and see what they and their families order and love.

The restaurant was on the second floor, hard to spot if you don’t know what you are looking for. Inside it is huge standard Chinese restaurant. Round tables topped with white cloth and lazy Susans. A bar with a lucky golden cat straddling it, a featured Chinese tapestry, and a live seafood tank. All the hallmarks of a good Chinese seafood restaurant.

The dishes were a group effort in ordering, and are described in the order of which they arrived. “Breaded shrimp with deep fried eggplant”. Firm shrimp-loaf stuffed in to melty squishy eggplant body suit.

I love Chinese style deep fried squid for its chewy texture, exemplified by its cakey flour battering. No dipping sauce needed, these are plenty tasty with its coating of salt and chillies.

They were much like the “Baby cuttlefish in curry sauce”. I too enjoy this for its multiple chews required per small bulb.

“Pan fried radish cake with xo sauce” is yet another dim sum dish that I enjoy for its texture. The firm squares almost melt in your mouth. And I like it’s fishy flavour from the use of dried shrimp within the brick.

“Steamed Pork dumplings” are a classic with it juicy centre.

And “Steamed Shrimp dumplings” go hand in hand with the pork above. I love the starchy shell coating each nugget of shrimp the best, preferring to eat each element separately.

This version of “Steamed BBQ pork bun” was not as expected, it was more sweet than meaty and salty. Even more so with the sugary coarse coating that covered the bun and the honey that coated the meat within it. Our group wasn’t a fan of this rendition.

Our second attempt at ordering “Steamed pork buns proved more successful”. These were the ones we were looking for. Savoury meat in a neutral doughy shell.

The “Shrimp with egg tofu” was a nice one. The same steamed shrimp you get in the dumplings, but nestled atop of a creamy tofu pillow. The latter of the two being my favourite.

Chinese donut wrapped with rice rolls. Chewy, smooth, salty, and sweet; this had everything going on in one mouthful.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I didn’t see anything that really sets them apart from all the other Chinese seafood restaurants, just another option to enjoy dim sum in Kerrisdale. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

GOLDEN OCEAN
2046 W 41st Avenue, Vancouver BC, V6M 1Y7
604-263-8886
Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Su Huang Restaurant

One of the stops on Tourism of Richmond’s #DumplingTrail is “Su Huang”. The dumpling trail is a list of 9 different types of dumplings and the 20 best places to get them, as recommend by Tourism of Richmond

“Su Huang” is a smaller Chinese restaurant located in a plaza, on a side street off No.3 Road. They made it on to this coveted listing for their “Xiao long baos” alone. These steamed soup dumplings are one of the trendiest dumplings, regularly making appearances on instagram feeds. And here at “Su Huang”, they are made to order, all before your very eyes.

The restaurant forks at the entrance, a cluster of tables clothed in white and surrounded by chocolate brown upholstered seats on either ends. Both arrangements are seated under a beautiful framed tapestry of moss green and white blossoms.

And the centre of the space is the restaurant’s bar and dumpling making room. The room is a box of a space outfitted with plexiglass. Here an employee stands rolling out balls of dough, and stuffing them with scoops of raw pork and/or a combination of meats and seafoods. From the other side you stare in and admire just how fresh your meal to come is.

There are many ways to eat these little gems. And each way involves gingerly lifting the dumpling by its knot, as to not puncture the thin skin and have all that hot soup drip out. From here you can either pinch a little hole into the dough with your teeth and suck out the soup, or simply just pop the whole thing in your mouth. But be warned they are served hot and for the sake of the soup, it is best enjoyed as such.

The steamed soup dumplings filled with pork are the classic rendition and the ones I prefer.

Steamed soup dumplings with pork and crab. The addition of the stringy seafood changes the taste and texture of these dumplings.

Sadly there isn’t a vegetarian version of these soup dumplings, as the broth is from bone. But they do also have vegetable dumplings for any vegetarians in your group. Greens on the inside and green on the out. The chopped vegetables in this chewy wrapper were tasty, and fragrant with spring onion.

For dessert we had some “Sugar cakes”. This was a new one for me. A light and airy round, hollow in the centre and coated in coarse sugar for some crunch. A delicious snack and something worth revisiting.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
This is definitely a stop on the #DumplingTrail worth visiting, for anyone who loves a good soup dumplings. Let’s just say there is a good reason why Tourism or Richmond added them to this list, and these dumplings are it. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

SU HUANG
100-8291 Ackroyd Road, Richmond BC, V6X 3J9
604-278-7787
suhang.ca
Suhang Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Empire Seafood Restaurant, dim sum

Today I was having dim sum with Tourism Richmond. They were introducing their “dumpling trail” to a handful of writers covering Vancouver (Richmond) as a travel destination. Coverage and that includes its food, specifically the Chinese cuisine prepared therein. The quality of the cuisine and the freshness of the ingredients that has been gathering so much acclaim as of late.

Seeing as there are so many restaurants to consider, Tourism of Richmond has worked to narrow down your options when dining in their city. With their handy pamphlet they have listed 9 different types of dumplings and 20 of the different restaurants they recommend getting them at. All of which were tasted and tried by the Tourism of Richmond team, all of which hand made dumplings, prepared in house. Not frozen, always fresh dough covering succulent rounds of meat and seafood.

Our first stop was “Empire”. I have only visited the seafood restaurant once before. Then it was for a wedding reception, so I didn’t get an accurate look at what it’s like to dine here. So now was doubly excited to get that, and to try some of their renowned, quality dumplings that is recommended on this tour. On top of that we also got some popular dim sum plates to share.

This Wednesday morning I was surprised to see how busy the restaurant was and how fully sat the dining area could be, even the private rooms were being used to host dim sum diners. We were seated in the main dining area. The opened widows and the white marble walls reflecting light from them, helped to brighten up the room and give sparkle to the many crystal complied chandeliers.

Our meal began with “Wu gok”. Taro dumplings with steamed and mashed taro mixed with mushroom, shrimp, pork, and scallions; then stuffed into a a crispy shredded crust. I am not a big fan of the grainy filling of this dumpling, especially how it stood out in comparison to the extra crispy coating surrounding it. But regardless of preference, I could definitely taste the quality of this dumpling.

“Ham Siu Gok”, Cantonese egg shaped pork croquettes with a minced pork core and a chewy and crispy crust. This was a favourite amongst our table. Deliciously seasoned meat hiding within this starchy shell.

“Har Gow” is a classic at any dim sum table. A shrimp filled tapioca starch pastry that many enjoy.

“Siu Mai” goes hand in hand with “Har Gow” when I order my dim sum. And this was one of the best versions I have ever had. The meat was so juicy and so fresh. This may have ruined all other pork and shrimp dumplings wrapped in yellow and topped with fish roe, for me .

Steamed wild mushroom dumplings with black truffle. I liked the combined textures of the chewy mushroom, made doubly chewy within the crystallize wrapper of tapioca starch.

The “Scallop and shrimp dumpling” was just stunning, wrapped in the bold orange, pumpkin paste wrapper, it was as eye catching as it was delicious. It didn’t taste like pumpkin but I didn’t miss it given the flavour from the scallops and shrimp combined.

The shrimp topped deep fried egg tofu had the same shrimp ball that we had been enjoying above, but this time pairing it with a sweet base. The tofu was creamy, and slightly dessert-like, almost like a custard.

“Steamed rice rolls with sesame and hoisin sauce”. For those at the table unfamiliar with this one, they tasted and simply stayed away. I, on the other had went back for more. Another great dish I enjoy for its texture. Sheets of dough you slurp up, flavoured in a sweet and salty sauce.

The mushrooms in bean curd were chewy, sweet chopped up mushroom pieces kept together in a bundle by a textured sheet of bean curd.

I stayed away from the plate of pea tips with ginger and garlic. I am sure it was tasty with the whole cloves of garlic, but I am just not a fan of soggy and wilted greens.

And my favourite dish of the afternoon was the salted egg yolk bun. The bright yellow hue of the “lava” filling oozes out when you bite in. But be careful as it is extremely hot, thought worth it as they are best when the filling is still oozing. I would go back just for these buns.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
Sadly “Empire” is a far drive for me. I wish there was a location closer to my home, as you would see me there more often. Dining in and more so taking out, just for those buns alone. This could possibly be my new favourite dim sum restaurants to recommend. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

EMPIRE
EMPIRE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Unit 200, 5951 No.3 Road, Richmond BC, V6X2E3
604-249-0080
empirerestaurant.ca
Empire Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fortune City Seafood Restaurant

This Chinese New Year day, my family gathered at “Fortune City seafood restaurant” for dim sum. Having CNY day land on a Friday, and it not being a statutory holiday, meant the restaurant wasn’t as crowded, and they were offering their regular weekday dim sum special. Our extended family woke up earlier and and drove down at 10am to take advantage of this promotion. If you place your order and they input it into the computer before 11am, you get 20% off your entire meal. Once again, this special promo only runs from Monday to Friday: their slower dim sum mornings.

The restaurant has your standard Chinese restaurant build, an open space with tightly packed tables that expand and come together as needed. Each clothed in white, seated with chairs covered in brown sleeves that tied at their backs. Crystal chandeliers dripped from the ceiling, catching extra light from the sun’s ray that shone in from the wall of windows. The room faced their feature wall panel of red and black, a stark contrast from the all white walls left void of art or any printed material. This made the perfect back drop for wedding reception dinners, where the married couple would sit before it, flanked by Chinese characters of grandiose wishes.

When it came to ordering, everything was done all at once by checking off boxes from a list of dim sum dishes at a set price per head, and chef’s specials at an extra cost. My family cleverly ordered two of many of the dishes, so that everyone could have some; and so that I could take my time taking photos as they picked off the duplicate dish. But as a result we couldn’t keep up with the number of plates coming. Our table quickly became cluttered and stain ridden as we shuffled saucy dishes around. Although, this is typical of dim sum, I have never had a meal where we left the table relatively clean.

The following dishes are in the order in which we received them.

As always, you order dessert at the same time as the savoury dishes you plan to eat before it, but the dessert is the first to arrive. This makes sense, as most of them are made before hand and kept of chill. My family didn’t like the idea of the “Durian sticky flour balls”, but I ordered them anyways. They thought the king of fruits would be served cooked, where as the flesh was left raw, housed in a ball of glutinous rice along with cream. I found them good for dim sum. Naturally the durian wasn’t fresh, and it wasn’t as potent as it could be. You didn’t get the smell and only minuet amounts of its taste. So you are actually tasting more of the dough ball, making this a good dessert for those who have never tried durian and would like to.

You order the “Deep fried chicken joints with peppery salt” for their texture: if you like the crinkling chew of cartilage. Our family did, so their saltiness and added deep fried batter coating were a hit.

“Rice flour rolls with bbq pork” are a dim sum classic. Their mild flavour and the fact they are steamed and not fried, make them a great palette refresher. I find myself reaching for a square when I need a break from all the greaser dishes that dim sum is typically known for. Not too salty, with a hint of sweetness.

Their “Stuffed eggplant with prawn purée” is fairly popular. This is one of the few dim sum dishes that give you a little veg with your meal. It is best enjoyed with equal parts shrimp to eggplant, the former lends flavour to the more bland latter. The thick starchy sauce that pools around each stuffed slice also helps in this regard.

Chinese style “Deep fried squid with peppery salt” is the reason why I don’t like or order calamari at other non-Chinese restaurants. The thick slices and great tender chew, plus its salty and spicy seasonings make all other renditions of battered and fried squid dull by comparison.

The “Stir fried flat noodle with chives and beef in supreme soy sauce” was under the chef’s special list. This was not the best version that I have ever had, but it was still pretty good. Tender beef paired with slippery noodles in a mild soy sauce. No complaints.

The “Mini sticky rice with shrimp and minced pork wrap” served as a good base for all the meat dishes to come. A rice dish wrapped in leaves that you peel back to expose a tightly packed squares. Cutting into it exposes a good amount of filling compared to others at other dim sum restaurants. I didn’t get any shrimp, but plenty of pork pieces, some diced mushroom, one 1/5 of a salted egg yolk, and one Chinese sausage slice in my bundle.

The other dessert we ordered that came sooner than expected, but was helpful in changing the taste; was the “Multi layers egg custard pastry”. This was served as a solid sponge, then cut down to size with kitchen shears. Its eggy taste was only slightly sweet, like a mild custard cream flavour.

“Steamed superior shrimp dumpling” aka “ha gao” is a dim sum staple. Another fan favourite. The skin is my favourite part, and if I could I would discard the shrimp and just eat it as is.

The “Steamed sparerib with pumpkin” were cooked so tender that you are able to pop the whole piece into your mouth, and easily push meat off bone with your teeth and tongue. Salty meat with soft chunks of sweet pumpkin.

I once loved “Steamed chicken feet” as a child, but as I age the texture becomes less appealing to me. For those who have never tried it, this is a hard one to describe. Basically you are sucking cooked chicken skin off each individual chick claw/toe, and spitting each knuckle bone out. Though the flavour is tasty, and the skin acts like a sponge sopping up the sweeter sauce. I wish I knew what else they cook with it, so I can order it instead, just to get that flavour.

“Steamed prawn purée with fish maws”. “Fish maw” is the swim/gas bladder of a bony fish, it helps to to control their buoyancy. It has a rubbery texture, not unlike jelly fish, except with a wrinkled texture, like how you’d imagine a cooked edible kitchen sponge would feel in your mouth. As for the overall taste, the same prawn style was used here as with the eggplant and the dumpling dishes above, and therefore it had similar flavour.

The “Ginger chicken bun” was disappointing between the grainy and soggy dough, and the minimal filling. The ginger flavour was also overly pronouced, it was an odd pairing with the sweetness of the dough.

The “Steamed short rib in black pepper sauce” was not unlike the sparerib, but just with a lot more pepper flavour. It was also much harder to remove meat from bone without using your hands. I prefer this cut over the barbecue instead.

This was a very standard “Pork dumpling with tobiko (shui ma)”. Meaty with shrimp, another dim sum staple: familar and comforting to all.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Another Chinese dim sum restaurant that is neither good or bad. Nothing stands out, but there also isn’t anything about them that would have me shying away. A decent option for a large family meal in the 1st avenue area. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

FORTUNE CITY
1st Avenue Marketplace
302-2800 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver BC, V5M 4N9
604-255-0008
Fortune City Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pink Pearl presents 4 Decades of Dim Sum

Today I was invited to a Chinese Bites event meant to celebrate “Pink Pearl” restaurant’s 5th reopening anniversary. I was one of 50 other food bloggers and social media influencers invited to take a journey through the 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s and 2010’s, via dim sum.

As always, when it comes to a media tasting: plating and portion size may be gussied up and/or paired down, and the service will usually be top notch. Though I can at least paint you the most accurate image when it comes to the food and the setting, as how I interpret it. But as always, these are my opinions and you need not take them as fact. Unless you have my exact background, have lived my exact experiences, and we possess the same tongue; no one can truly taste and appreciate as you do.

“Pink Pearl” is one of the longest lasting Chinese restaurants in Vancouver, they have proven their staying power over the years by surviving a fire that threatened to shut them down. They are best known as one of the only places in the city that still serves dim sum with traditional push carts. Something that requires plenty of space and planning on their part, as well as more work for little gains. To consider the necessary distance between tables, in order to pivot carts, means less seating is made available, and therefore the decrease of profits. Then there is the need for preparations proper planning to ensure you make enough food and the right kinds of food to be picked up from your cart, while it is still hot.

Before we began there were a few welcoming speeches, including mention of their fundraising initiative. The restaurant is looking to support the food bank by offering a multi course dinner, where the money for the tickets will go to fund the food bank’s need for non perishables. The theme behind this would be “Four decades of Chinese dinners”, at Pink Pearl. Tickets are sold by the table. $568 for a table of 10-12, and the price includes taxes and gratuity. This was a nice touch and something that echoed this morning’s “4 decades of dim sum” event.

All the dishes that would be coming to us today were laid out on an informative card. Although they weren’t in order of the card’s listing, or even by decade. Which I think would have been a nice idea, along with a little speech regarding the history of each dim sum item, to educate us diners. The following is the order in which all the food arrived.

But to watch the evolution of dim sum in order of decades and on video, visit the link below.

 

From the 2000’s we had the ever popular dim sum classic of “steamed shrimp dumplings”. A solid, rounded, chunk of sweet shrimp within a shell of chewy starch.

We then jumped further back in time with the 1990’s “lotus wrapped stuffed sticky rice”. This was a bundle of sticky rice for everyone to share, served and made fragrant in its leafy wrapper. The filling was the most I have had in such a dish. Full pieces of chicken on bone, chunks of Chinese sausage, and a golden yolk.

Taking another decade back, before going forward again we had the “1980’s Duck-web wrap”. This is actually my first time having duck feet, the webbing throws me off visually. But wrapped with toes covered like this made things a lot easier to swallow, figuratively and literally. Each foot is wrapped up in a tofu sheet with taro, ham, and mushroom. It was all flavoured in the same sweet and starchy light gravy. I could have done with out the vegetable and ham, as I ended up unwrapping everything and eating it all piece by piece anyways.

Back in the 2000’s we had their “steamed sticky rice roll”. This one was new to me. They combined two dim sum favourites into one. Chewy sticky rice with bits of Chinese sausage and ground pork, stuffed into soft white buns. It was a blending of two textures I like with its taste coming from the seasoning of the rice. The rice was not un-similar to the one served in the bundles of lotus leaves above.

The “1990’s mini steamed pork bun” was another one I am very familiar with. Sweet honey glazed barbecue pork in a perfectly spongy white bun dough. This had a good ratio of meat to bao.

The 1980’s had “shrimp toast”, as another dim sum classic that I have never had. It was a whole shrimp embedded into a triangle of toast. Interesting in presentation and delicious in theory, however I found it far too oily to consume more than a bite of. There was too much butter and oil, causing everything else to be lost and drowning in it.

2010’s had “hand-made steamed shrimp rice rolls”. They were served undressed, but the dish of soy it came with was a necessity for flavour and kick. The rolls tasted absolutely fresh and the table at the plates clean.

So far everyone was thrown off by all the dishes from the 1980’s, and the feeling was furthered by this interpretation of the popular pork dumpling: siu mai; named “liver and pork dumplings”. It wasn’t the most visually attractive, sitting in a pool of glistening grease, and without the yellow wonton wrapper that many use as a visual cue for the traditional dish. And then there was the cut of liver that topped it, not many folks like the iron-y taste and sandy texture of liver. But for me and a handful of others, it represents childhood and being forced to eat such organ meats by your parents, who insisted that it is good for you. Having been socialized to it, I actually like liver prepared liked this and found it delicious. Cooked tender and not so overpowering in taste as to hide the flavour of the pork ball it balanced on.

But the next 1980’s dish I wasn’t as such a fan of. This was yet another dim sum item that was new to me. We each received a “pan fried half moon dumpling” served with a scoop of soup. The former is a two bite, fried pastry with a chalky shell. You can’t make out, let alone taste the specks of filling within it. Overall it was fairly dry and didn’t have much taste as is, so we figured it was meant to be dipped. The tangy light broth helped to balance out its oily texture. And it gave the dumpling a herbal yet citrusy flavour, not that it necessary matched one to the other.

We then jump back up two decades with the 2010’s “wok fried lotus root and fresh mushrooms”. This dish was served family style with celery, carrot, black fungus, and goji berries (which I will talk more about down below). The lotus root was served frimer than what I am use two, it had a starchy finish to it and required some back of teeth chewing to gnaw through. It matched well with the other crisp vegetables in this sticky, mild gravy. A good side, but felt incomplete as is.

 

The 2010’s “hand-made steamed beef rice rolls” were not unlike the shrimp ones we had earlier. Except here the filling was ground up beef seasoned herbaceously with ginger, spring onion, and I believe cilantro. This too required the sweet light soy sauce to make it pop.

We then transition to dessert for our last two dishes, although it is common to get the dim sum sweet served before or along side the dim sum savoury. This is because desserts are often prepared ahead of time, and are typically ready for serving before any other dishes are wok fried or steamed to order.

The 1990’s had this “black and white sweet sesame roll”. Diana from Foodology described its look best by calling them “film canisters”. A layer of black and white glutinous rice flour fused together and rolled up. The flavour of the sesame in the dessert was mild. The seeds sprinkled above it offered more of sesame essence, although I would have preferred them toasted for a nice smokey flavour.

And lastly we finished at our current decade with this 2010’s “gojoy gojiberries gelle”. It was a nice, light berry finish made with the goji berries in mind. The berries added a nice textural chew and gave pops of juice to the otherwise dry jello.

Today’s event was also sponsored by two local goji berry farmers from “Gojoy”. “Gojoy” is one of the first to farm goji berries here in Canada. Starting every June to the end of summer, on their acreage, you have the ability to visit them for “you pick”. This is where you get to pick your own fruit from their actual orchid and get charged for how much you pick. They attended this event today to showcase their goji berry smoothie mix before the event, along with bags of frozen berries you can take home and thaw out to use as needed. They also spoke to the application of goji berries in cooking as seen in the savoury lotus dish above and now this jello-like dessert. The berries are easy to tie in to Chinese cuisine, as it is already noted in Chinese culture for its medicinal properties. They are now scientifically proven to be beneficial for the eyes, liver, and kidney.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I haven’t been back to “Pink Pearl” in years, until today. This was one of my parent’s favourite places for Chinese seafood dinners and dim sum, growing up. But I think we actually stopped coming in, after they burnt down and took half a year to rebuild. So to see them get back on their feet and continue to try and do new things, to bring in a larger, more diverse crowd is inspiring. This was a great event, offering a very unique way to showcase the familiarity of dim sum. Hopefully they do this and more of it, more often; offering a variation of today’s event to the paying public. It will not only bring in fans of Chinese cuisine, but even those unfamiliar and willing to learn through ingesting. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

PINK PEARL
1132 East Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, V6A 1S2
604-253-4316
pinkpearlrestaurant.ca
Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant

According to our host, who brought us all together today. This was suppose to be the best place for dim sum in the city (Something she had read). I guess it is debatable, but seeing as she did the research and none of us wanted to, we accepted her assessment and found ourselves there on a Sunday at 10am.

We were given a table in the back corner, by the hallway leading to the washroom. It wasn’t a glamorous table, but we were happy just to be seated. Our reservation helped, but those who walked in without one, were left to wait by the door, crowding the tables close to the entrance in their wake.

The space was definitely maximized, tables inches away from one another. Each time someone adjusted themselves on their seat, it racked the chair behind them. It was a sea of collapse-able round tables with white cloths, and a glass lazy Susan for the large ones. The room was just as standard in Chinese dining aesthetics. A red panel wall in velvet, a golden dragon facing off against a golden Phoenix, a crystal chandelier bathed in a golden gold, and hand written specials on the walls.

For this meal, you order by way of check box. A coloured list of all their small plates in Chinese characters and English script. A few had their photos featured to help sway the decision making process. We filled our form and went back for seconds with dessert. Our plates came one at a time with a five minute wait time in between each. A sign of a busy service. Whereas I am use to one dish coming, and you get the next few as a group, all at once. But this way we found ourselves finishing the first few plates clean, getting the taste of food and not wanting to stop, but having to pause.

We were so hungry that in fact we grabbed a plate of “BBQ pork pastry” as it was walked by and was being offered through shouting. It was topped with a crispy topping, and sweet from it and the honey glaze pork filling. It was more like dessert, except it featured meat.

“Deep fried stuffed pork dumplings”. The shell was crunchy on one side and sticky and tacky on the other. It was a great covering to keep the savoury inside saucy and moist. A plate I only order for its great texture to chew on.

“Steam rice flour roll with prawns and yellow chives”. Sheets of noodle wrapping sweet prawn. With this it is cut with scissors and dressed with a sweet soy as it is served at your table. A nice light dish, and like the others full of carbs, but less deep fried. The green vegetable presented with it seemed more for show. They were overlooked and lacked flavour. It was fibrous and hard to chew through, lacking the crunch it seemed like it could have.

The “Steamed mini sticky rice wraps with dried scallops” is a favourite of mine for its sticky tender rice. Though this one in particular lacked filling and could have been more flavourful.

“Steamed shiu-mai dumplings” (pork dumplings) is a dim sum favourite. Though these are the largest I have ever seen. Each one was equivalent to three elsewhere. And it had a similar flavour, minus the use of mushroom, which we were not all that familiar with.

Similarly, was the “Steamed ha-gao” (shrimp dumplings). They too were fairly large. Though taste wise, they were pretty standard.

The “Steamed BBQ pork buns” had the exact same filling as the BBQ pork bun above. Except with these you were getting a plain white bun, and there was an emphasis on the savoury filling instead.

The “Deep fried prawn spring rolls” were boring. They had a one tone taste, hiding behind its crispy fried shell that was oily to the touch. It needed something to dip into, like a sweet chilli sauce to brighten it up.

We ordered a serving of the “Steamed spareribs with black bean sauce” the first round, but they missed our checkmark on it. So in order to get it, we had to reorder it and have our request go back through the queue. With an estimated 30 minute wait, as guessed by our server. We appreciated his honesty over our missing dish, but was surprised by the restaurant’s unwillingness to simply correct the issue by delivering us our plate out of queue, as soon as possible. None the less, it was worth the delay. These were the largest pieces of meat I have ever seen used for this dish. Some pieces were all meat and no bone. A few were on the tougher side, but most were tender and chewy with gristle. Not to mention, they had a flavour as well.

Typically dim sum dishes are served as they are made ready, so it was smart for us to punctuate our order and make our request for dessert at the end. Otherwise we would be mixing sweet with savoury; or worst, leaving them to the side, resulting in cold pastries.

The “Baked egg tart” is another popular dim sum pick. This batch was a tad too oily for my taste. The buttery pastry was battling against the gentle flavour of the egg custard.

The “Chilled mango pudding” was shaped in a heart mould, and coated lightly with evaporated milk. We found it a great palette refresher.

Similarly was the “Green tea and coconut gelatin”, mild flavours and a chilled temperature to cool and end your meal on.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
In my humble opinion, dim sum tastes pretty much the same where ever you go. It is like all the restaurants use the same recipe and aim to hit the same mark for consistency. Therefore when picking or judging places for their dim sum, it is usually more about what is cheaper and what is closer, for me. But here they inched out a little with their larger servings and their mostly good ratio of filling to wrapper, bun, or shell. A solid choice. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

WESTERN LAKE
4989 Victoria Drive, Vancouver BC, V5P 3T7
604-321-6862
westernlake.ca
Western Lake Chinese Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fortune Terrance, dim sum

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After seeing many photos online of cute animal pastries and ones where steamed buns spittle a little; I have been searching for a place to get my hands on these playful dim sum dishes myself. My search yielded “Fortune Terrance” in Richmond, across the street from the Olympic Oval. But a meal here comes at a steep price.

According to fellow food bloggers, they have claimed that this restaurant serves the most expensive dim sum plates in Canada. We would go in ourselves, and confirm this to be true. We filmed our entire experience from playing with our food to grading how it tasted. To skip the reading, click the link for the video.

When calling for a reservation, I was treated to one of the nicest table reserving experiences, for a Chinese restaurant. A moment that was short lived and would set me up for disappointment during brunch. The hostess was bilingual, she spoke with patience and kindness in her voice. She took the time to confirm my information and sounded like she was truly appreciative of my business. Sadly one the day of, her service would not past the hostess booth.

Aside from the patterned decals and the matching wooden shutters, there really isn’t much to the exterior. Nothing indicating what you will be getting within, nothing to invite those walking past to learn more. However, walking through the threshold, the lavishness of the place engulfs at you. Embellishments you’d expect given the restaurant’s pricy reputation.

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A life size stone horse guards the front door, Chinese artifacts and art surround you in detailed stone and shiny lacquered wood, and the ceiling is one that won’t be outdone. All above the dining room are domes stencilled with orange koi fish, some of them cast patterns of the fish that they hold. Their display is projected on the floor in a play of shadow and light. Paper butterflies dangle from fine string, surrounded by chandeliers that look like upside down wedding cakes meant to illuminate. It all didn’t really match cohesively, but each itself, did add a sense of opulence to the overall scene.

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But what really captures your eye is the screen towards the back of the room. It is the length of four round tables. With it, the room was set up like a theatre. Tables in rows, and everyone with view of the screen. It was like the restaurant was constantly ready for an emergency wedding with it, and the purple satin covered seats held in place with a decorative circle pin. The screen plays scenes of blue rippling waters, white dewy sands, palm tree in silhouette, and neon coloured sunsets( on a continuous loop. Once again, lovely features, but I don’t know how well put together it is to everything else decorating the room.

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The menu was a check-box list. Majority of its options offered little description. Given that, and that we were here for the novelty dishes I saw online, I whipped out my phone and proceeded to order with Instagram instead. I showed our server photos and she pointed their names out on the menu. However, she couldn’t understand my request for more unique items, or really anything else I had asked for.

When offered tea I asked for oolong, but when it came, it tasted like and was clearly marked as jasmine. I took it with no complaints, as you have to pick your battles at a Chinese restaurant. And I instead decided to later take issue with the plate of buns that was suppose to be shaped like little turtles (as I ordered it via photo), but came out as regular miniature pineapple buns. After our server directed my query to the manger. He was pleasant enough, and explained that they are only available during special occasions. My rebuttal was that I only wanted them for their shape, a point I stressed to our server through our communication barrier. He eventually removed the dish and didn’t charge us for it afterwards. I got the outcome I desired, however, had I brought up the first mistake, I feel I wouldn’t have gotten any traction from the second. I would simply be labelled a fussy customer, and given even less warmth than what was already directed towards us. Service at a Chinese restaurant is stereotypically, all function and speed, without the desire to humanize.

As for the food, as a visual diner and a lover of novelty, this had me squealing. However as a food blogger and one who has eaten her fair share of dim sum, the taste felt me wanting more.

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Our “Baked egg yolk paste bun” dessert came first. We should have ordered it after we submitted our list of savoury starts. Although I wish it would be intuitive of the kitchen and staff to serve this to us at the end of our meal. After all, it was odd to start the service with something sweeter, but given that steam buns are best warm, we had no choice but to eat them first.

This is a variation of filled steamed buns come with eyes at $6.80 for three. The intention is, using one of your chopsticks, you poke a hole in the bun where its mouth should be. And from here you are able to squeeze the bun and have its insides spill out, as if the bun is throwing up. Immature, yet cute. This was our favourite dish for flavour as much as fun. We enjoyed the taste of the egg yolk and it’s gritty texture, in the otherwise smooth runny custard filling. And the warm dough was airy and chewy, an ideal housing for the lava of neon orange hiding within.

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The “steamed taro and BBQ pork roll” sounded good on paper, but proved disappointing in look and taste. Especially given the price of $6.80 for two. The sauce of the filling was too sweet, and there wasn’t enough meat to white bun ratio. And what made the dish stand out wasn’t all that good. Their use of pork belly combined with taro paste and steamed up made for a one tone bite. Fatty meat and mashed starch have you craving for something more solid.

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I ordered the “Steamed okra and crab meat dumplings” at $8.80, for their look alone. They were like green tortellini made using glutinous rice flour instead of the traditional white flour used in Italian pasta making. Despite the hue, the shell had no flavour, and with the seafood filling and very little okra, it reminded me of a not as tasty ha gao (shrimp dumpling).

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Another order based on unique colouring was the “Snow fungus and fish paste rice roll” at $9.80. Once again the purple glutinous rice wrapping was all for show, without any actual flavour. My guest found it bland overall, but I decided it tasted like it ought to and that it was best and necessary when dipped into the side of sweet soy sauce.

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The “Deep fried potato bun” is $7.80. They are shaped like cute little hedgehogs, but more croquette than bun. Biting in, it had a great flaky and buttery crust. Although having to chew through it, I found things too oily. And despite the surprise of a purple potato filling, it really didn’t have much taste. It wasn’t sweet or salty, just textures that you could do without. It was also fairly dry, maybe a nice honey based sauce would have helped in all of the above?

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The “Almond soufflé” at $8.80 was the one featured all over their Instagram presence. It was a mountain on a plate, with the texture of fluffy and eggy meringue. When presented, a server cuts into it using cooking shears, and you eat it with clawing hands. Peeling the top layer back uncovers a softer centre, some syrup is injected at its centre for additional sweetness. This portion reminded me of a gentle custard. It was a nice surprise, but made you realize what you were missing from the rest of the soufflé. There was not enough sweetness to properly flavour the bland dessert. Maybe a well of syrup, or a drizzle of condense milk to self pour or dip would have helped?

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The “Jelly fish in Sichuan spicy sauce” isn’t all that special or all that common on a dim sum table. But my guest had never tried the delicacy, so we gave him the opportunity to do so today at the steep price of $12.80 for the plate. It is anything special or different compared when to other Chinese restaurants. It is served cold, with the tell tale half gelatine, half cartilage texture one expects from the aquatic animal. The sweet chilli sauce gives it its flavour.

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Given all the sweeter dessert and pastries we ordered, we finished our meal off with the more savoury “Steam pork rib and taro in garlic sauce” for $7.80. Sadly it was one of the worst interpretations of the dish I have had. The meat was extra fatty pieces, served in an as oily sauce. Altogether it was too much and not at all enjoyable.

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As is often the case with Chinese restaurants, our server didn’t check in, no eye contact is ever made, and employees move about the room with only speed in mind. Therefore, we were left feeling forgotten. Napkins, more tea, some water, and the bill was a struggle to retrieve. And when it finally came time to pay our $66.66 dues, there was complications. We had ask to split the amount between two cards, and the manager didn’t believe our math. Before he accepted our payment, he was brazen enough to ask if the amount we cited included tips. It did, which made me reflect how I hate how tipping is expected and no longer has a relation to quality of food, service from staff, or overall enjoyment of the stay. It was at least nice to discover that we were given a lunch hour discount for coming in earlier.

 

Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
I have had my fun, and don’t see the need to return. The food left much to be desired and was even more disappointing given the price. However, as the only place I know offering such Instagram-able dishes, I would have to recommend them as the only option…. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

FORTUNE TERRACE
#130-6200 River Road, Richmond BC, V7C 0B1
604-285-8980
Fortune Terrace Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kongee Dinesty

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Looking for a brunch time destination with my parents, we went to “Kongee Dinesty”. They serve as a cross between a Hong Kong style cafe’s tea time and traditional Chinese dim sum. I mention that I was with my parents, so that you know to expect food and ingredients I wouldn’t otherwise order myself.

The restaurant is wrapped like a present with all its windows covered. The pattern was of Chinese style geometries, mandalas, and script. It was as ornate inside with a collection of traditional Chinese patterned tea pots and cups by the entrance, an arch way with plastic firecrackers dangling by the threshold, and contemporary Chinese style wood carvings that look like miniature doors, on the walls.

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They don’t take reservations and therefore we had a minor wait at the front. This pause only lengthened when we weren’t able to register our name with the host right away. Instead, a party that came after us, got looked after and a table first. But that’s the Chinese way, first seen, first serve, literally. I was surprised that it was so busy at 11am, but felt lucky that we missed the rush at 12pm. We missed having to wait in the line that reached out the door. After all, we were in Richmond, on the weekend, in morning, when nobody cooks.

Service had a dim sum feel with a check box menu, white table cloths, and tea pots with leaves steeping in hot water. But instead they offer small share style plates, that are a little more substantial that the bites of dim sum. Just looking at the larger plates with more depth, seated at every table settling, you knew it expect more food.

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Aside from the chipped corners, the porcelain dishware was lovely and some of the nicest I have seen at a Chinese restaurant. On it was a barely visible textured pattern, a series of squiggles that could be mistaken for petals of a flower or an opened blossom.

The dining space was a little smaller than your typical Chinese seafood restaurant by night, and dim sum place by day. Their live seafood tank was also less prominent. It was positioned adjacent to the large windowed viewing of the kitchen. Behind the glass, staff were dressed in all white buttons ups, dawning matching caps, working behind plumes of smoke. It was busy on the floor, so I can only imagine the pressure behind this window pane.

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Their signature dish was the ability to customize your own congee. You begin by choosing your “kongee” base from plain, seasoned, or black pepper. Then selecting two ingredients from a list at 18 proteins to be mixed in. Like the basic pork and chicken, with seafood like clam and fish filet; and there was also liver, stomach, and salted egg for those wanting something more exotic. And finally you choose the toppings on your “kongee”, like green onion, peanuts, and pickled ginger.

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We ordered two different types of congee to share. The first was century egg and pork kidney in a black pepper base congee. Topped with everything: peanut, green onion, ginger, pickled radish, preserved vegetable, and cilantro. The toppings were what gave the congee most of its flavour. The peanut was a great accent with lots of crunch. The preserved vegetable lent the porridge its saltiness, the pickled radish offered tang, the ginger gave some spice, and the green onion was there for freshness. Although, it was topped so high and so full that you couldn’t mix the bowl before serving. You couldn’t stir things up, to ensure everyone got some topping in their portion. Despite all this, my folks still preferred it with an additional splash of soy. They claimed that, like salt it enhances the taste, “but not with actual saltiness, just its own flavour”. What stood out for me was the pepper of the congee. You could smell it wafting in the air and taste its spice on your tongue. As for the proteins, “century egg” is a common pairing in congee. It is preserved chicken egg with a green to grey coloured yolk and a dark brown, translucent jelly “white”. It is chalky and rubbery with a unique acrid taste. Definitely one that needs to be acquired, as is pork kidney. The organ reminded me very much of liver, with its grainy and iron-rich taste. I preferred the porridge without the latter and more of the former.

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The second bowl of “kongee” was pork stomach and fish fillet in their seasoned congee base, with all the toppings once again. The stomach is rubbery and ruffled organ meat, it was easy enough to chew through, but it did take a while to do so. The fish by comparison flaked apart and possessed no flavour on its own. But once again it was the peanuts and company that stole the show.

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Each congee combo comes with a complimentary beverage. You had a choice between regular soy, light soy milk, and black sesame soy milk. I didn’t know the last was and thing so was eager to try it. The black sesame was a wonderful accent to the already fragrant soy milk. Strong, but not overwhelming. Both together had just the right amount of flavour and sweetness to be an accompanying drink to lunch.

We must have been late because they were out of “Chinese fried doughnut wrapped in rice roll”, a classic dim sum and congee side. Our disappointment was met with no similar substitutions, nor was there anything else our server was able to recommend. And we did see a table get a full order after us.

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We instead got our fried dough fix with their “Handmade salty Chinese doughnut”, though it wasn’t the same. This round of dough was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. It wasn’t oily, but it had a gentle sweetness that was coupled with salt. This was the perfect snack for those who love their carbs. Best dunked in the warmth of my soy milk, but other than that this was essentially just bread.

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There was also ran out of the “stir fried halibut with rice cake”, so we got the “spicy xo rice roll” instead. This was a nice, light chew you take in for the texture. Spicy as the name promised. The bean sprouts added some freshness with a nice crisp, and the egg gave the dish a different texture and some needed colour. Another dish for those who love their carbs.

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The “Hong Kong style fried rice noodles” with beef was very similar in texture and taste as the dish above. This was a classic I grew up with and it was as good as I recalled having grown up. Well dressed strands of salted flat noodle, tender chewy beef, and crisp sports.

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The “Stir fried tofu in garlic” was cubes of tofu stacked like bricks. They were serve stilling piping hot in the middle. The garlic was salty and the only thing that gave each rectangle its taste, with a nice ground up crunch as a bonus. This was the fanciest application of tofu I have ever seen, it felt gourmet in this light breading, and smooth and creamy centre. It was jut missing a dipping sauce, perhaps a sweet chilli sauce to give it more dimension.

There was great value in our meal. $55 for all that we had, and we took half of each dish home to enjoy later. So basically all this serves 6 comfortably.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
It is a little out of the way for everyday dining, but when in the area, I would not be apposed to a return visit. This was one of the nicest dim sum-like restaurants I have been to. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

KONGEE DINESTY
150-9020 Capstan Way, Richmond BC, V6X 3V9
604-278-0077
kongeedinesty.com
Kongee Dinesty Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Red Star Seafood Restaurant

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It was Father’s Day, I told my dad to pick the place and I would take him and my mother out for lunch. Not surprisingly he choose dim sum. My parents know what they like and typically keep within those bounds. I was however delighted that they look this blog into account and choose a Chinese restaurant I have yet to visit. My father has been here once before and remembered it fondly, enough to want to return again.

Located within a shopping plaza you have all the parking you need in an levelled lot. It wasn’t very busy so we needn’t wait for a table. But with its long corridor and foyer with bar, there was plenty of room to grab a spare chair and stretch your feet out if you had to. This was also the perfect room to admire a few of their awards. Framed achievements from “Vancouver Magazine” and “HSBC Chinese Restaurant Awards”. Both gave “Red Star” accolades across several categories and spanned several years.

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As far as Chinese places go it was pretty standard. It checked off all the common practical and decorative markers, a traditional feel with flares of grandeur. The dark patterned carpet perfect for hiding stains and spills. The white table cloths that get soaked with tea from a leaky pot and covered in oil stains from the mishandle of chopsticks. Easy to gather by the ends and throw into the wash. The grandiose came from the cut out ceiling features and the lights that hung from it, and the flat screen televisions helping to steer your meal to a more visual direction. The lights were adjoining circles with staggering silver lamps. And each television screen was a looping of choice menu items across dim sum, lunch, and dinner service. The mango pudding shaped like koi fish were tempting broadcasting over tables. And, as per Chinese restaurant standards the staff wore their uniform vests gold, patterned in Chinese fabric to set them apart. Their managers dawned a full suit to show their rank.

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The menu was a helpful check list in coloured printing. You use it as a visual reference when ticking off the items from the self select ordering sheet. Clear photos with descriptive names in Chinese and in English. In the photos, when it wasn’t a stir fry piled high in a mound on a plate, you could see the dish being brought together with finesse. Sliced fruit garnishes, a bloomed flower topper, rice rolls stacked neatly like logs, and pieces of dumpling or fried whole fish positioned to have their points converge in a star shaped pattern. Not many Chinese restaurants take the time to dress up dim sum like this. And I appreciated that after you submitted your menu to any staff that would take it, it comes back to your table. You get it returned as a reminder of what you have ordered, and as reassurance that you have everything you asked for.

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As always, I allow my parents to do the order when it comes to Chinese restaurants. I don’t often visit a Chinese restaurant without them, and when I do, I don’t venture out of the basics. Therefore letting them take the reins means I get to try more than only what I am familiar with.

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The “Chicken joints in spicy salt” were surprisingly up my alley. They didn’t have a crunch like cartilage, a crunch like I expected. Instead it was more like popcorn chicken. A not spicy, more salty morsel that you could pop in your mouth with beer, or from a bucket in a movie theatre. I could have eaten a wok full, especially with some more chilli flavour and some garlic chips to add a different textural layer.

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We were confused by the “Deep fried shrimp paste crepe”. When you read crepe you think a wrap, a softened covering. These were spring rolls, deep fried and crispy. Each was filed with a thick mass of shrimp loaf. My parents mentioned that the Chinese title had garlic, but in reality I tasted none of it. It had a very flat flavour. Blandness that could have been rectified with a dipping sauce, even bottled sweet chilli sauce would have done well. Before we bit in, we questioned a server who insisted that we got what we were suppose to, before quickly scurrying away. Although I feel that she would not have said otherwise if it were the case.

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And thanks to the confusion above, the deep fried prawn balls were overkill. More shrimp loaf, more crispy fried coating. Although they may have looked different, they sure tasted alike. Thank goodness for the dish of sweet chili sauce partnered with it.

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The “Steamed prawn dumplings” are a staple for me. The same lump of shrimp above, boiled fluffy and stuffed into a chewy covering of starch here. I like it for the carbs, and will often eat the shrimp first to get over with it, before saving the skin for my last bite. The soft gelatine meets rubber texture is what I like best.

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I forgot to do a cross section shot for this one… The “Steamed king oyster mushroom and truffle dumpling” was a tender bite, that could have have used a sauce. A thick hoisin would have accentuate the earthy flavours of the mushroom. Without it, it was pretty bland as is, leaving us to make do with soy sauce.

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Similarly my mother’s found the “Steamed chicken feet with black bean sauce” bland. It didn’t have enough flavour according to her. We took her word for it, as both my father and I no longer take any fowl feet. It’s a textural thing and the fact that I can’t get the thought of webbed skin between claws out of my head, when gnawing on it. I feel I should love my food visually, mentally, and texturally when I am eating; that’s the only way to make the calories worth it.

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The “Specialty BBQ pork buns” was the perfect dish to end on. It was straddling the line between salty and sweet. The powdery topping of a pineapple bun filled with BBQ pork. It was salty pork surrounded by sweet sauce, sweet dough, and sweet crumbly custard topping. This is one I would go back for and take out of.

 

Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
It was 50/50 on the dim sum. Although I find most dim sum pretty standard. I think a better tell of the restaurant would be during a dinner service with their set family style share dinners. For now I don’t have a strong opinion on this one either way. Don’t deny your cravings.

 

RED STAR
#2200 – 8181 Cambie Road, Richmond BC, V6X 3X9
604-270-3003
redstarvancouver.com
Red Star Seafood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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