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Neptune Restaurant, dim sum revisited

I have been to and blogged about Neptune Restaurant recently. This is the popular dim sum spot in Burnaby’s Station Square, adjacent to Metrotown. However, an update needs to be made, as my latest visit was with my family and we ordered far more food, with not just a focus on their cute dim sum options (like I did originally); but menu items my family actually likes and/or wanted to try. So here is Neptune Restaurant revisited. For the original review, click on the link below.

Neptune Restaurant dim sum


The Deep-fried chicken knees were sold out so we went for the Deep-fried squid tentacle instead. For the former you are basically ordering it for its unique crunchy texture, so the squid would have done the same if it wasn’t over fried with a slight acrid char to it. A sweet chilli dip or even just some salt would have helped it here.

My favourite dish of the day was the Sautéed spareribs and pig liver rice rolls. I grew up eating liver so am familiar with the chalky, yet dense texture, and the distinct nuance of liver. The organ meat was tender, similarly soft, but in contrast with the slippery rice roll skins that laid at the bottom of the bowl, under them. The light sweet soy sauce drizzle over it all brought both together.

The Deep-fried tofu with salt and garlic was a nice bite in-between more flavourful morsels. It was incredibly soft, crumbling on impact with whatever it comes in contact with. On the blander side, as the flavour was only from the seasonings that breaded each cube of tofu; a layer that was not thick enough to penetrate to the centre.

The Stir fired clams in black bean sauce was a tasty mix, it had a great prominent black bean flavour that coated everything in its thick and salty sauce. The red peppers did throw me off, you don’t often see them in Chinese cuisine, let alone this application.

The Swan pastries with mung bean paste were very pretty. Prepared with skill and detail, especially in the placement of the sesame seeds lining the would-be tail feathers of each swan. Best eaten when it arrives at the table hot, as the longer it sits, the more the oil from its fry bath soaks in and takes away from its intended flavour. The result was an ashy shell and muted filling that did not flavour the pastry. Better to look at than to eat.

The Steamed spicy beef tripe was overcooked, and as a result, its gelatinous texture felt off. Or perhaps it could have been that the organ meat was old, which was hard to hide even with a deep spicy burn from the collective efforts of cumin and five spice.

I like the chewy and slightly gummy texture of Pan-fried turnip cakes. It almost melts with savoury pops of pork and shrimp.

The Deep-fried eggplant with shrimp paste in black bean sauce is a solid option. Tender eggplant and crispy shrimp, well flavoured by a more muted and thick black bean sauce.

Another dim sum classic I often gravitate towards for texture and taste are the Steamed spareribs with black garlic. It gives you tender and salty, chewy and fatty all in morsels that you easily pry off bones.

The Sticky wild rice with pork, dried shrimp, and Chinese sausage wrap was tasty. I like the filling combination in Neptune’s version, although it felt like there was not enough meat to rice, given the ratio. It felt thrifty to only see 1/4 of a salted egg yolk at the centre of the bundle.

My mother was disappointed by the Pan seared fish paste pancakes. She found this common, and nothing special. The chewy fish cakes were herbaceous in flavour, a fragrant mix that benefitted from the side of sweet spicy chilli sauce for dipping.

And since my last visit, they have redone their Kawaii egg yolk custard lava buns. Instead of the Sanrio knock offs they once were, Neptune now prepares all 3 buns to look like tigers, in celebration of the Chinese zodiac for 2022. Same white bun dough, same pool of runny salted egg yolk within. And as always, I would have liked more salted egg yolk flavouring and paste.

In closing, I still find Neptune a solid option for dim sum in the area. Although a little seep in price for what are essentially industry standard dishes. I have since discovered a new option for dim sum, and prefer their menu for its more reasonable prices, and the creative liberties that they take to make each dish their own. (Stay tuned for that review).

Neptune Restaurant
4405 Central Blvd 2 FL, Burnaby, BC V5H 4M3
(778) 379-0639

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