I never reported on our January group trip to Richmond for dim sum feasting, so I'll give a brief report on it before I do our May vacation trip.
We had eleven people this year. We went to Kirin Richmond, Chiu Chow, and Kingford Seafood. Hot & sour soup started us at Kirins (200-7900 Westminister Hwy, Richmond, 604-303-8833), followed with 29 dishes of dim sum. Highlights include scallop & enoki mushroom dumplings, steamed rice roll with aspargus & scallops, stemed bbq pork buns, and sesame rice balls with peanuts. 29 dishes plus soup came to $16.90 CDN/person ($11.25 US)
The next morning we went to Chiu Chow (8511 Alexandra Rd, Richmond, 604-270-8933) so the group could try some different dim sums; some were success, some not! Chiu Chow Style Sesame dumplings were loved by some and not even tried by others; I think the black color turned some off! Taste great! Hits inclued taro spring rolls, salmon & Seaweed roll, and coconut pudding with cubes of various colored jello in it. 29 dishes came to $13.23CDN/person ($8.80 US)
The last morning, we went to Kingford Seafood Restaurant (200-5890 No.3 Rd, Richmond,0604-303-9876). I had not tried it but had received an email from Iron Frank just before I left home that it was a must, so... It was a hit. We ate way too much and most of us had to travel home after that! Top picks included egg tofu with 3 kinds mushrooms, shrimp & taro dumplings, spinach (menu said Spanish!) rice roll with beef, shrimp dumplings, and beef balls. We got a couple of special dishes: Kingford marinated chicken and green beans with minced pork, dried shrimp, and XO sauce. Various desserts ended with egg tarts that we had to wait for: hot, flaky, and oh so good! 38 dishes!!! for $18.80 CDN/person ($12.50 US)
We dicided to take our vacation in Richmond this year so we could have more time to try more places. Friends of ours from the San Francisco area (they were part of the group in Jan) joined us, so we were able to try more!
We got there before noon on Sunday and immediately headed out for dim sum to Richmond Mandarin Restaurant (we had been there last Sept when it was President Seafood)(2200-8181 Cambie, Richmond, 604-270-3003). They still have the Chef's Special Soup, which this time turned out to be Dumpling with Shark's Fin. The dumpling was huge, filling up 1/2 to 2/3 of the little pot and was filled with various sea food and vegs. The broth was rich and complex. It was one of the best dishes we had on the trip. The rest of the dim sums were very good, especially the rice roll in XO sauce, but the soup alone was worth the parking fee! $14 CDN/person ($10.15 US)
Next morning, Granville Chinese Seafood (8298 Granville, Vancouver, 604-261-8389)provided one of our more interesting experiences with dim sum in restaurants that rarely see Caucasians. I carefully marked the order form with what we wanted and then a dish arrived that didn't look like anything we had ordered. The girl who brought it insisted that it was (I'm not sure she understood any English) and when we finally got a waiter to stop, he didn't want to tell us what it was, but did say it wasn't what I had marked. When I asked him if it was tripe, he said yes, but no one ever did anything about getting us what we had ordered. We did try the tripe, first time for most of us. And it was on the bill! Tip was on the low side! Rest of the dim sums were fine but there are too many better places for us to return to this one. $10.50 CDN/person ($7.50 US)
Wednesday morning (caught early ferry to Victoria Tuesday, no dim sum!)we tried Shiang Garden Seafood (4540 NO 3 Rd, Richmond, 604-273-8858). We made reservations for the top floor (much nicer than the street level one). Decor formal Hong Kong style. Top picks include century egg and prawn roll with pickled ginger, egg tofu with shrimp paste, taro & roast pork steamed bun, and crystal prawn (same skin as shrimp dumping but round in shape, a whole shrimp with the tail sticking out the top). We were so impressed with the quality of the dim sum that we made reservations later in the week for dinner. Nothing lived up to our expectations! More later. $13.28 CDN/person ($9.55 US)
Friday (Thursday a day trip up the Fraser River) we tried Kirin's at City Square. Huge bus load of Causcasians going in when we got there! They tried to seat us in front of the opening to the room where they were but I insisted on being moved. Way too noisy. Dim sum was very good, especially the enoki mushroom with bean curd warp, prawn and green chives in bean curd wrap, and a deep fried dumpling with shrimp & taro. But we probably won't go back: Richmond branch is much more elegant, and I think, the dim sums slightly better. $10.50 CDN/person ($7.50 US)
Saturday we returned to Fortune Restaurant (650 West 41st, Vancouver, 604-266-7728), the first dim sum place Bob & I ever went to in Vancouver which started this search for great dim sum up there. Hightlights included octapus, scallop dumplings (similar to shrimp, same skin, different shape, and a large piece of scallop included with the shrimp), stuffed tofu with satay sauce, and peanut sweet dumplings. Their egg custard tarts have a cookie crust; I prefer the flaky crust. Still one of our top choices, but several in Richmond now top it. $12.50 CDN ($9 US)
Monday morning (I had promised Bob that he wouldn't have to eat dim sum every morning!), Bob and I finished our Richmond vacation by having dim sum at Kingford Seafood. Once again, excellant dim sums. Hits were scallop dumplings with Portuguese sauce (taro shell), Japanese style diced shrimp dumplings, and egg custard tarts. A real miss was the siu mai: big chunks, chewy (tough!)pork, off flavor. We did not finish them. Only siu mai all week and they were awful! $13.50 CDN/person ($9.75 US)
My current top picks for dim sum in the Richmond/Vancouver area: Kingford, Shiang Garden, Kirin Richmond, and Fortune Restaurant.
I will post later about our other meals.