Dim Sum this past trip to Greater Vancouver, BC
Comparing dim sum teahouse which has cart or order off a sheets. Well after thinging this I do not have a answer but more questions.
On this visit to the Greater Vancouver we visited four places, actually two branches of the Sun Sui Wah (in Vancouver and Richmond), Fisherman Terrance in Richmond.
Here are the pluses for carts, you get to see new item you have not tried and you can add favorites to you list.,but you get cold items and will not know until you bite into them.
Pluses for sheets you get everything hot from the kitchen, but you do not see or try new items.
Found Sun Sai Wah had a high strandard for dim sum, new dishes was a new style Shirmp toast with a whole fried shrimp on top of each piece of toast.
Favorite dishes, Fried Big (and hollow no filling) Seasame balls, Tofu Fa in Bamboo Section Cups, Braised Duck tongues, of course there were old standard Har Gaw, Sai Mai, Sticky Rice Chicken.
Fisherman’s Terrace always had the best Har Gaw in the area. Since everything was order from a sheet all the dishes were served hot and prefect. The major drawback is you had to both read Chinese and understand what you are reading to get the best they had to offer. I was lucky in the factor most of us could read and understand food Chinese. I did ask one of the head waiters if he would recommeded some of the chef’s new dishes. Nothing sounded interesting so we stuck with the normal dishes everything was good but nothing stood out in my mind.
Did found a breakfast dim sum house in Richmond which started serving dim sum at 8 AM like Pak Lock in downtown Vancouver. Over all decent dim sum but not compared to the first three but the other were not open as early.
Most dishes were 2.50 or so did not remember but you ordered off a sheet. Lot of steamed rices cheap and filling, pass on those. The best dishes a Buddha’s Jumped over the Wall soup dumpling for about 5 dollars. Cantonese xlb in soup. In the past the old time dim sum chef made this dish with all the soup inside the dumpling now the dumpling is served in soup.
My two cent is to find a dim sum teahouse you like and go to it on a regular bases and get to know the staff and you will be the best. In the San Francisco when I go for dim sum I go to two place and get prime food on a regular bases. While other hounds have gone and they have been hit and miss. So find something good and become a regular and you will be set.
Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant
4940 No 3 Rd, Richmond, BC V6X3A5, CA
Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant
3888 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V3N9, CA
Fisherman's Terrace Seafood Restaurant
4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC V6X4J7, CA
Neptune Seafood Restaurant
8171 Ackroyd Rd, Richmond, BC V6X3J9, CA
Hey Steve, you will find live seafood at Sun Sui Wah and Neptune Cantonese style in Richmond.
Shanghai River has a great Fish Head Clay Pot soup, great flavor but lots of bones. They also have a fillet stir fry (do not remember the exact name but you can ask the staff which fish is fresh).
We had a two formal dinner on this trip which was wanted to post but it is lost in my desktop memory. As soon as I can find it I will post the two dinner.
Thanks for the write up, yimster. As you will know from your pre-trip research, there is divided opinion on Sun Sui Wah here too. I've never had a bad dim sum experience there in my many trips to the Main location but others have, and some swear the Richmond location is better, while others disagree. Your advice about getting to know the staff (or at least what is really good) by repeat visits is sound.
Would love to know the names of your favourites for dimsum in SF, so I can compare them to Vancouver on our next trip :-).
Yes, the staff when they know your taste, they will be able to recommend dishes that you will like.
I have taken some minor heat in the Bay Area board about why when hounds go with me the food is better than when I am not there. The is a myth. I think only thing is the food is fresher and they do not offer me thing that have been sitting on the cart for a while. But they do not make special dishes for me. I am offer new dishes that the dim sum has recently created.
Believe it or not I not dim sum greatest fan the late Mrs Yimster would eat dim sum daily if she could. I was there only as a driver, order and of course pay for the meal.
Don't sell yourself short. When the staff knows you know the cuisine, they will make it "proper". When a Chinese restaurant sees a North American walk in, they always assume that the food must be "toned down." I often have to convince the manager that I would like the food the way he would like it.
Many ethnic places still don't understand the quest for "authenticity." They often think that providing "proper" food will not result in a return visit.
I often take my friend who is a trained Sichuan chef (trained in Chengdu - though she is now cooks Italian professionally, believe it or not) with me when I eat Sichuan food. She is often able to extract authenticity from an otherwise run-of-the-mill "Szechuan" restuarant.
You hit the nail on the head. I have one more advance on you. I am an American born Chinese who speaks and read (enough to read a menu) that helps a lot. But still one my first I am addressed in English. I have had to sell myself desire for the real thing. If you and/or greyelf come to the Bay Area I will return your kind advise.
I am rereading my post on our Cantonese and Shanghai formal dinner need a few more day before posting.
I do not like to write just eat.
Dim sum chef's move around a lot so please post prior to you coming out here and I will surely respond. Post now is kind of a waste unless you really want it now.
But in IMHO I think the best dim sum in not in the city limits of SF. There are good ones but not the very best. I only have some days and some much pound to add so I into the best at this time.
Thanks, yimster, that makes sense. You will see my post on the SF Bay Area board before we go (not till fall, sadly). Don't worry, I will do my own homework first :-).
Looking forward to your remaining posts on your Vancouver trip -- I like to eat, write about it and read other people's commentaries!