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Dec 26, 2013 01:44 PM

One dim sum place -- or maybe two.

There is a lot of dim sum discussion here that I've been going through. But it hasn't gotten me to where I know where to go as there doesn't seem to be much consensus. That's probably a good thing in terms of the overall set of options.

I'm from the San Francisco Bay Area, so I'm used to what's there, particularly in SF. I've been to some of the Rosemead/Arcadia places in LA, too.

So what I'd like to find is something that stands out above any of that, something that I wouldn't match in CA.

I don't care about whether it's on a cart or off a menu. Upscale is OK, if you get what you're paying for. I don't really have a preference between regions, either, though I might opt for one over another if it's otherwise equivalent.

So far, I've noted places like Golden Ocean, Golden Paramount, Red Star, Dynasty, Sun Sui Wah, Jade Garden and a few others. SSW seems like, at best, it's up there, but that it's not always at its best.

Any thoughts? It doesn't matter whether it's one of the places I've mentioned or not.

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  1. Just came back from a big family (3 tables) dim sum lunch at Dynasty (777 W. Broadway @ Willow St). We go there maybe 2-3 times a year. Consistent quality, bright and airy space, not too big nor boisterous (like SSW, Floata, Red Star) so you can actually hold conversations at sub-yelling levels.


    From *my* experience alone, I would give overall rankings of your listed options in the following arbitrary "3-star" categories:

    *** SSW, Red Star, Dynasty

    ** Golden Paramount, Golden Ocean

    * Jade Garden

    I've not been to dim sum in SF/LA areas for eons so obviously I'm not qualified to compare anything in Van to what you're used to. Other local options include (using my same arbitrary ranking system):

    *** Kirin (various locations), Victoria Seafood (Hyatt Hotel)

    1. How many in your party, what are their preferences, and what are (if any) budgets ?

      1 Reply
      1. re: LotusRapper

        Thanks for those rankings, LR. Much appreciated.

        There are four of us, though only three of us will eat much. (One of my kids loves dim sum, the other, not so much.) As a group, we're not likely to order deep fried items, though pan fried are fine. We all like steamed dumplings of various sorts. Notable XLB would be well received, but isn't a must. A place that has some veggies would be preferable, whether they're in dumplings or as sides. A place that's creative enough to do their own items to some degree is appreciated, though I'd rather go somewhere with nothing but the traditional if they're using higher quality ingredients and the execution is better. I'm happy to pay more for better ingredients in general.

        Budget. Hmm. For nothing but dim sum (we aren't likely to drink anything), I'd say somewhere around $35 per person tops unless the place is really extraordinary.

      2. I personally don't like SSW. I think the food is mediocre, and the service is terrible (unless you're a VIP customer).

        Dynasty is pretty solid, though I far prefer them for dinner. It's my current favourite for a multi-course Cantonese dinner.

        Kirin (at 12th/Cambie) is my family's favourite. I like that they periodically change the menu, so there are always some interesting twists in addition to the usual classics.

        Consider Shanghai River or Dinesty for Shanghainese-style "dim sum" too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: twinkienic

          Thanks, twinkienic.

          Sounds like Kirin fits some or all of what I mentioned above in that they do some of their own thing along with the standards.

        2. Golden Paramount might be good if you're willing to order their specialty plates. Lots of attention to detail, resos mandatory.

          I'm with twinkie!

          My go-tos in town are Kirin on 12th and Dynasty. Resos also key at both.

          Resist the urge to order XLB at anything but a Shanghainese resto. I know they are popular at Canto places in the Bay Area but... just don't :-).

          4 Replies
          1. re: grayelf

            I'll follow that XLB advice, grayelf. :)

            What are the GP specialty plates?

            Is Dynasty the same as the oddly spelled, but apparently correct "Dinesty?"

            1. re: maigre

              You won't have to spend (up to) $35/person at any of these places, not even Sun Sui Wah. Comparatively, Vancouver is cheap by other N. American metropolitan standards when it comes to eating out. For your family of four, you can dim sum to your heart's content (there's a joke back there .....) in Vancouver for << $100.

              Dynasty is not Dinesty ..... yes it can be confusing !



              Well having been to DYnasty today, I think it would work quite well. As would Kirin which is a mere 5-10 mins walk away. If you can get a window seat at Kirin that would be bonus, the room is very spacious yet cozy. You can get parking validated in the City Square Mall's underground parkade.

              1. re: LotusRapper

                Thanks everyone. You've all been a great help. I should be having this meal(s) sometime soon, in a few days or so. I'll report back.

              2. re: maigre

                I believe they change seasonally but it should be reasonably obvious. I recall several oyster dishes being standouts one visit, for example and they see to have the deep fried ones all the time. The crab meat and meat and the veggie dumplings should be good for you. But it's all pretty solid. Have fun! Now I want dimsum...

                Ignore the bit on the Night Market which is only in the summer but otherwise this is pretty good: http://gastrolust.com/2013/08/best-bi...

            2. We went to the downtown Kirin. I was mistakenly thinking that was the City Square one until I coincidentally happened to drive by the actual City Square the next day. Oops. No matter, hopefully. Our meal there was very good, reminiscent in flavor and style to Yank Sing in San Francisco, to which we are accustomed. Hopefully, I'll get another chance and will get to try more things.

              We also went to Dynasty, where we had a bit smaller sampling of their Dim Sum. I thought it had a different flavor, in general, not quite as much to my liking, but very much to my liking, just the same. My one complaint was that I thought they overcooked the shrimp in a couple of dishes. Their sticky rice in lotus leaf, which one of us ordered, was moister and less sticky than any other I've tried. The balance of tastes and textures was a nice counter to the usual sticky, starchy version. It's not something I usually get, but I really liked it quite a bit.

              Thanks for the recommendations. Vancouver is a nice city and I enjoyed my time. I wish it could have lasted longer.