We were craving for some dim sum this weekend, and not wanting to travel too far we looked to Ryan’s Chinese in North Burnaby (I live in Burnaby, so close is anything in the city).
The restaurant was fairly busy, so we went it optimistically. Though sadly between food and service, the experience bears no repeating. We were seated by the front, right within range of the front cash and service station, however it was difficult to attract the attention of any of the 4 servers in vests and the 2 managers in full suit jackets.
Food wise, my guest was so disappointed that he announced we would have to go back for better dim sum, else where next week. He wasn’t wrong, the taste and the texture of everything was slightly off. The texture of most: gelatinous and mushy, like everything was once frozen and reheated a few times to luke warm. And the flavours of most of what we had stale with age.
Keep in mind, this could be an off day for the Chinese restaurant, or they too are struggling with the employee shortage that the world’s pandemic has brought. But nonetheless my goal is to always be honest with an underline of empathy, so here is the food as we ate it, and my honest thoughts on it.
Shrimp and egg plant is a dish we always seem to order, I guess this is our “vegetable” option. Here, the eggplant was soggy, the prawn ball only slightly warm at its core. If fresh this would have tasted good, as the sauce was done delicious.
I typically like Curry cuttlefish at other dim sum places, but here it was gritty with bits of sand embedded. It would not have been so noticeable if the texture of the cuttlefish wasn’t so spongy. It wasn’t a firm chew, the protein felt like it was stretched out. Once again if fresh, this would have been a different story.
The Tendon was left in large chunks. This with its flubbery texture I didn’t mind, but my guest (who introduced me to tendon at dim sum), felt that the whole dish was off; although could not exactly explain how or why.
I did notice that the chicken feet was off in it gel -like texture. The flavour was standard, but the skin and joints over used, old meat and a reheat is what we suspected.
So I guess the best dish had to be the spare ribs with pumpkin, as we didn’t really have any issue with the small chunks of meat on bone, that are suppose to be highly soften and tender to the point of almost overcooked.
Similarly, we had no issue with the siu mai pork dumplings. Large in size with enough flavour that you need nothing else with it.
The scallop and shrimp dumpling’s presentation spoke to what we thought. The restaurant was rushing and cutting corners, and it showed. Having only three dumplings in the steamer felt like we were missing one from the typical quadruple offering, at other places. The tobiko was carelessly topped and the shrimp not well wrapped. Having eaten with our eyes first, our stomachs agreed that this was no where near the elevated har gow we were expecting when we splurged on the addition of scallop.
In short, too much disappointment to bear repeating. Skip this one in the Heights.
Ryan’s Chinese Restaurant
4524 Hastings St, Burnaby, BC V5C 2K6