Chinatown · Chinese · Dim Sum · Restaurants

Dim Sum at the Chinese Cultural Centre Cuisine – COVID-19 edition

My friend Karol is busy helping restaurants gain more exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recently, she worked with YYC Takeout Specials and helped to raise $3,000 for families and children in need.

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Now that spring is finally here, let’s listen to something weather appropriate. For this post, I pick “Violin Sonata No. 5, Op. 24” by composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

When I saw Karol’s dim sum post from the Chinese Cultural Centre Cuisine (CCCC), I started to salivate. Look to the dish at the bottom left. Holler! What huge balls! I asked her if I called, would the staff be able to communicate with me in English? Karol said yes, but if I was worried, I could text my order to the manager. I took her up on the offer. My Chinese pronunciation is terrible as I can’t hit the right tones.

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Unfortunately, the day I called the restaurant was slammed hard. By the time the manager responded, L and I had already left Chinatown. Karol felt terrible and insisted on treating me to dim sum. I told her I would only accept her generous offer if in exchange, she tried some of the frozen dim sum I bought from Chuen May Food Product.

dim sum feast

I was impressed with the takeout dim sum. The Har Gow (steamed shrimp dumplings) was fantastic. The shrimp was plump and had a nice snap to it. When it comes to the har gow “skin”, I am particular. Too often, restaurants serve over steamed har gow, resulting in a damp skin that splits apart when you pick it up with your chopsticks. I like it when the wrapper is a touch dry and has some resistance to it. The wrapper was perfect – firm and slightly sticky.

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The Siu Mai (steamed pork, shrimp and roe dumplings) was enormous. I’ve never seen a meatier sui mai. The wrapper was firm yet silky, and thick enough to stand proportionally against the ginormous meatball.

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Good siu mai has a unique texture and flavour. The pork and shrimp mixture was pleasantly crunchy from the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. The shrimp and pork mixture was juicy and so flavouful. I’m going to ask Karol if the restaurant will sell me their dim sum frozen, so I can make it at home. Freaking fabulous. This is one of CCCC’s best dishes.

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The Green Peppers Stuffed with Shrimp Paste is a must order.  I counted three to five shrimps per pepper. The shrimp itself was crunchy with a bouncy texture to it.

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The green pepper was still firm, crisp and sweet. I could taste charred smoky flavour in the black bean sauce. Despite the cilantro, it was still a winning dish.

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The Lo Bak Go (pan-fried turnip cake) was thickly sliced and soft. When I bit into the cake, the shreds of the moist pieces of turnip fell apart. The tiny bits of dried shrimp and pork gave a surprisingly amount of umami.

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L said he wasn’t expecting the BBQ Pork Pastry to be so sweet.  I prefer eating this dish cold because the pastry becomes drier and more crumbly and the sweetness becomes less pronounced.

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Dim sum is the ultimate comfort food for me. This feast reminded me of all the weekly get together my mother would organize for our family and friends. Boss Lady is notorious for over ordering at restaurants.  I have to say, she is the ultimate hostess. Generous and hospitable to the point of over the top, Roman-style gluttony.

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I can’t wait to have dim sum again. I plan to order the sui mai, har gow, and green peppers with stuffed shrimp paste. I also want to try the lo mai gai (mini sticky rice), steamed shrimp pork and chive dumplings, shrimp rice roll, and the eggplant stuffed with shrimp paste. I’m also going to ask for a side of yellow and red Chinese mustard.

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You know how Zoolander couldn’t turn left on a runway? I can’t plate food for the life of me. Despite my disability, you can still see how delicious the dim sum is at CCCC.  Give it a try. I know I’m going to order again. Hitting the Sauce gives The Chinese Culture Centre Cuisine two fat thumbs up.

The Cultural Centre Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinese · Dim Sum · Restaurants · Vancouver/Richmond

Richmond- Shi-Art’s Dim Sum Theatrics

To celebrate L’s birthday, I took him to Vancouver. My parents picked us up at the airport. When we exited her car, I mentioned to Boss Lady that she drives like Mario in Mario Kart. She rolled her eyes and retorted, “I know where I’m going. People just need to get out of my way.” For this post, let’s listen to “Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne.

I wanted to eat at Chef’s Tony or Continental Seafood Restaurant but Boss Lady vetoed my suggestions. She wanted Shi-Art Chinese Cuisine because there is plenty of parking. I informed Boss Lady that if we ordered before 11:00 a.m., we would receive 20% off our bill. She looked unimpressed and said she didn’t care about the discount.

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One of the best dishes we tried was the Mushroom and Scallop Congee ($12.99). The scallops were plump and soft. The mushrooms were mild in flavour and silky in texture.

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The congee was simple and delicious, cooked to a thick smooth consistency, lightly seasoned with salt.  I added white pepper because it gives the soup a prominent peppery zip.

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My least favourite dish was the Steamed Shrimp Roll ($7.99). There was plenty of large shrimp in the roll, but the shrimp lacked a crunch to it. The noodles, even with the soy sauce, were bland.

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I requested Beef Tendon Rice Rolls ($21.99). The beef was soft but parts of it were dry or fatty. L disagreed and said the beef was delicious.  I enjoyed the rice rolls, which were seared on the edges with a noticeable charred wok hei aroma. The tendon was so gelatinous I didn’t have to chew. I prefer tendon with more of a chew to it.

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My mother mentioned several times that the beef tendon wasn’t as good as the other variation she normally orders at Shi-Art, the Braised Beef Brisket and Beef Tendon in Noodles ($21.99). She wrinkled her nose and added that she’s glad she tried this version as I requested it, but her dish was better.

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Our favourite dish was the Pan Fried Pumpkin with Spicy Salt ($12.99). Ludwig and Boss Lady mentioned this dish isn’t served at many Chinese restaurants. The pumpkin was lightly battered and crisp. Boss Lady enjoyed nibbling on the spicy seasoning of shrimp, fried garlic, green onions and hot peppers. I’d order this again.

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The House Steamed Shrimp Dumplings ($7.39) were tasty. The wrapper was dry and not overly steamed. The shrimp itself was large and plump. Far better than what I can get in Calgary.

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We all enjoyed the Preserved and Dried Meat on Chinese Donut Rice Rolls ($7.99). I liked the crunchiness of the deep-fried donut against the softness of the rice wrapper.

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L and Ludwig raved about the Seafood E-Fu Noodle ($18.99). The noodles were piping hot and lightly sauced. The fish, prawns, scallops and squid were nicely cooked. I’d order this again.

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Doug, who appeared to be the day time manager, was chatting up a storm with a customer sitting across from us. My mother interrupted his conversation to ask for some more tea. He didn’t like that one bit and he waved her away with his hand. He took a few steps away, reluctantly turned around and grabbed our tea pot. I saw him dawdle at the tea section and walked slowly back to our table. My father sat up erectly and politely thanked the Doug for the tea. I opened the lid to make sure there was no sign of tampering, like spit.

My mother was pissed. She said the manager is always rude to her and why is he always talking instead of working? I was surprised when ten minutes later, Boss Lady interrupted his conversation again to ask for the bill. Why didn’t she wave someone else over? Doug completely ignored her. Lucky for us, another server got us our bill. L jumped in and snatched the bill before my mother could pay. Our server was impressed. She said it’s rare that young men display such excellent manners. My parents both beamed with pride and chatted with our friendly server for a bit. Boss Lady asked L to ensure we received the 20% discount. With the discount, our bill was around $80.

L and I thought Shi-Art used a lot of MSG because we were both incredibly thirsty after eating there. L enjoyed the food. For the most part, the dishes were fresh, hot and tasty.  I wouldn’t return. I want a dim sum experience without the theatrics. Perhaps the next visit, Boss Lady will permit me to pick the restaurant.

Shi-Art Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cheap Eats · Chinatown · Chinese · Dim Sum · Restaurants

U & Me – Dim Sum Special

I’m planning a trip to Vegas and I wanted advice from Ms. Biz. She knows her restaurants and she travels to Vegas six times a year. She also dines at some of the best restaurants in the world. I was hoping for her toned-down list, as I’m no baller. For this post, let’s listen to “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton.

I wanted to eat at Chong Fat but the restaurant was closed. Lucky Place was too busy so Ms. Biz suggested U & Me for the dim sum set lunch. For only $42 bucks, we could pick two “A” dishes and five “B” dim sum items.

For our first “A” dish, we picked gai lan, which is similar to broccoli but firmer and sweeter. Ms. Biz gleefully noted that the greens were good looking and not over boiled. I never heard anyone call a vegetable attractive, but yeah, I’ll eat that. The smell of the garlic was intoxicating. The greens were hot temperature wise but still crisp.

Our second “A” dish was the XO Fried Turnip Cake. The turnip was lightly grilled, the exterior browned and crispy. Each piece was steaming hot and pillowy soft. The grilled red peppers and green onions were tossed in a spicy seasoning. The portion was generous.

I don’t normally eat Steamed Beef Beat Balls because there is cilantro in it. However, I indulged because there wasn’t an obvious abundance of the green herb. Ms. Biz said the balls were not over steamed and she liked the texture, which was bouncy and spongy. The flavour of the beef was mild. I would order this again.

The Baked BBQ Pork Buns tasted like it was right out of the oven. The pastry was warm and sweet. The pork filling was very warm. This was my least favourite dish because I didn’t like the sweetness of the pastry and filling.

One of the best dishes was the Shrimp in Rice Roll. The ample amount of shrimp was crunchy. The rice roll was slippery and soft. The light soy sauce was mildly salty, just enough to compliment the shrimp and noodle combination.

My mother would approve of the Meat and Peanut Dumplings. The wrapper wasn’t over steamed. I like the simplicity of the flavours and the clean pop of the boiled peanuts.

The Deep Fried Turnip Cake is a must order. It’s decadent and savoury, with a thousand layers of pastry. We only ate half a cake, because it’s that rich. I think the fried turnip cake is U & Me’s signature dim sum dish.

Ms. Biz gave me her list of go-to restaurants to try in Vegas: Joel Robuchon, Raku, Magul Korean BBQ, Monta Ramen, Bouchan, Wynn Buffet, and KJ Kitchen. I’m knocking off Joel Robuchon because there’s no way I’m paying that much to gain weight. I will hit Raku, Magul Korean BBQ, Monta Ramen and Ping Pang Pong for some late night eats and dim sum.

I kept the bill by my tea cup so I could pay after our meal. However, Cruising is sneaky and went up to the cashier to pay while Ms. Biz held me back. On the walk back to work, Ms. Biz told me Cruising’s birthday is coming up. I told them I was taking them to Caesar’s Steakhouse for lunch. This time, I was paying and there’s no fighting me. Ms. Biz said she would split it with me. I told her no way in hell would I let her. This Chinese etiquette thing is getting ridiculous and I’m no mooch.

I came back to the office and regaled my boss with my description of the food and prices at U & Me. He wants to know the details, so here it is. Every single blessed day, U and Me offers this set lunch from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm. If you dine before 11:00 a.m, there are rice and congee deals for only $2.99. There you have it – Calgary’s best dim sum deal.

U & Me Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinese · Dim Sum · Restaurants · Vancouver/Richmond

Richmond – Continental Seafood

Boss Lady wanted L to experience push cart dim sum at Continental Seafood. I don’t like the cart system because the food sits around for who knows how long. Jacuzzi looked around the restaurant and proclaimed Continental not authentic enough. He likes dirty carpets, a dark and dingy atmosphere, and the room so crowded you have to put your elbows out to exit or enter, like the old Miramar in Kerrisdale.

Boss Lady asked our server why there were no spoons on any of the tables. He said for dim sum, spoons have to be requested. This was the first omen of the ensuing drama that would unfold.

Ludwig mentioned that I never post pictures of the menu on my blog and suggested that I start. I told him pictures of menus are boring and I hate it when people tell me what to write. Having said that, I’m glad I did take pictures to appease Ludwig otherwise I would not have been able to itemize each dish.

We started with Chinese tea ($9.45). Boss Lady complained that we were never asked what type of tea we wanted. He just brought out a teapot, without the customary hot water pot. For this post, let’s listen to “Dear Mamaby 2Pac.

Boss Lady approved of her favourite dish – Beef Chow Fun ($17.80). She said the portion size was generous. L could taste the smoky wok hei in the noodles. I found the noodles oily. I forgot to take a picture of the chow fun, so I stole this photo off Google. Patrick Smith (2018) takes worse pictures than I do!

Jen and Jacuzzi are vegan now, so they ordered Steamed Veggie Dumpling ($6.25). I was tempted to try a dumpling, but L said to leave it for the vegans and my father.


Boss Lady ordered her childhood dish – Steamed Pork and Peanut Dumpling in Chou Zhou Style ($6.25). The wrapper was soggy and broke when I picked the dumpling up with my chopsticks. Boss Lady said the chef put too much water in the dough. I felt the pork and peanut mixture itself was overly moist. She disagreed and said it was the wrapper that made the whole dumpling too wet.


Boss Lady told us the Steamed Scallop Pea Tip Rice Roll ($7.75) was for Jen. I took a bite and warned Jen there was scallop inside it. Jen thanked me. Boss Lady tells little lies. Poor Ludwig has been traumatized so many times. No wonder he’s hesitant to eat anything new.


I enjoyed the Shrimp Stuffed Tofu and Eggplant ($7.75). I thought this one of Continental’s better dishes. The tofu was crispy and the eggplant meaty and flavourful. The sauce tied all the ingredients together.

The Steamed Rice Roll with Chinese Doughnut ($7.75) was delicious. I like the crunch of the still warm, airy doughnut against the soft slippery noodle. The soy sauce gave this dish umami.


I enjoyed the Pea Tips ($22.80). The bright green pea tips were fresh and fragrant from garlic. I ate most of this plate, and the portion was huge.


Jacuzzi and L thought the Soy Sauce Rice Rolls ($7.25) were yummy. I liked the carmelization of the soy sauce but the noodles were too oily.

I didn’t try the Sui Mai ($7.25) but it looked better than Fisherman’s Terrace version. The tobiko was still bright orange and crunchy, and the meat filling looked juicy.

The Har Gow ($6.25) was good. The shrimp was sweet and crunchy. The wrapper was firm and not wet. My niece Har Gow Girl ate about five shrimp dumplings but wouldn’t eat the skin. Funny because her dad would only eat the skin and not the shrimp when he was her age. Narc, my older brother would only eat the shrimp. I would eat both the wrapper and shrimp, but separately.

Boss Lady tried several times to get a few things – like more tea, hot water, and hot sauce. There was one server – an older male – that would blatantly ignore my mother, make a face, or say he would come back but disappear. It was obvious he was avoiding our table. Boss Lady was agitated and began complaining about the service and how rude he was to her. She mentioned again that the server didn’t even ask us what tea we wanted, which is a basic thing to do. Jacuzzi loves egging my mother on when she gets going. He started encouraging her by repeating everything she said.

Boss Lady said at least there wasn’t a ridiculous amount of tea leaves in the pot. She can’t stand it when there are so many tea leaves and the tea is too strong. She started talking about quality control and turned around to Jacuzzi and said, “Is there an echo in here? Why are you repeating everything I’m saying? I feel like I’m being recorded.” I looked over at my father, who sat with quiet resignation. L agreed with my mother and said the service was beyond rude. I wanted to leave. I don’t know if it was the MSG or what, but I was getting flashbacks of unhappier days.


Boss Lady asked for the bill. The female hostess told her to ask the young male server. When my mother told the young male server what the female hostess said, he shook his head and said that was her job.

Jacuzzi tried to pay for the bill but L was determined to win this battle. Boss Lady slipped the young server that helped her a cash tip, and told us to not give a generous tip. I was so annoyed by the whole experience that I told L to not tip. I have never not tipped but there’s a first time for everything.

When we left, I told my parents we were never coming to Continental again. They said in past experiences at dinner, the service were much better. Hitting the Sauce gives this joint two fat thumbs down.

Continental Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dim Sum · Restaurants · Vancouver/Richmond

Richmond – Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant

My parents make a fuss over L when he visits. A week before we arrived, Ludwig and Boss Lady emailed back and forth, debating which dim sum restaurant they should take him to. L decided on Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant, which also happens to be Boss Lady’s favourite spot. L said after lunch, he and Ludwig could get crepes in the food court.

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When we arrived at the Fisherman’s Terrace, Boss Lady ordered me to ask for  a table even though she knows I don’t speak or understand Cantonese. I showed the hostess four fingers. The hostess said something back to me. I turned around and asked Boss Lady what the hostess said. Boss Lady told me that we have to wait a few minutes. The hostess returned and said something else in Chinese. I asked Boss Lady to interpret and she told me to follow the hostess. The hostess pointed to a table for four and said something and kept walking. I turned to Boss Lady and asked her what did the hostess say? Did she say to sit there? Boss Lady grimaced and gestured irritably with her hands and told me to keep walking. When we got to the table, the hostess asked me a question. I had to wait a few minutes before Boss Lady caught up to us. The hostess repeated herself and Boss Lady told her what tea ($7.20) she preferred. Really Boss Lady, there has to be a more efficient way of doing this! Is this a game to you? In honour of my mother, I’m going to play “Push the Button by Sugarbabes.

I told my mother that we were taking her out for dim sum, so she refused to order her usual feast. She says it’s rude to order so much when someone else is treating. She did request we order Ludwig’s favourite dish – Mixed Seafood E-Fu Noodles ($23.80).

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L liked the spongy texture of the noodles and the sweet, savoury sauce. Ludwig mentioned that unlike other restaurants, Fisherman’s Terrace gives generous amounts of large pieces seafood.

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The scallops were meaty and not fishy. The squid was cut into large pieces, the texture was soft and satiny. The jumbo shrimp had a delectable crunch to it. I added chili oil as I thought the seafood needed extra flavour.

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Boss Lady approved of the Tofu Roll ($5.95). The fried tofu casing was crispy and light. The pea tips were noticeably vibrant and flavourful.

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I ordered the Seaweed with Mushrooms and Tofu ($5.95) specifically for Ludwig. He says he’s a vegetarian but he eats seafood and occasionally, some meat. This time, he was serious. He thought the mushroom dish had a scallop in it and he dropped it like a hot potato on my plate. When we finally convinced him the offending ingredient was a vegetable, he took it back and ate it.

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The Sui Mai ($5.95) was not worth the calories. It just tasted just like a plain old meatball, and the tobiko was over-steamed. L liked the sui mai and said he enjoyed it.

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Boss Lady enjoyed the Shrimp Stuffed Eggplant ($5.60). She said the eggplant was fresh. I thought the sauce could have used a little salt.

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The Pan-Fried Turnip Cake ($5.95) was thinner than I’m use to. The pieces of turnip were juicy. I used plenty of Chinese mustard and hot sauce to liven the dish.

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Our server Kitty was exceptional. At one point during our meal, Ludwig’s hand unexpectedly shook. The noodles he was lifting dropped all over the table. I was so shocked I didn’t immediately respond. Kitty walked over and graciously joked that if my father wanted her to serve, he just had to ask. She quickly served him fresh noodles and kindly cleaned up the mess.

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After our meal, we walked over to Ludwig’s crepe place. Unfortunately, it shut down and in its place was a pretzel kiosk. Poor Ludwig looked completely disoriented. He asked the young lady at the till if she could make him a crepe. I looked at the all pretzel menu and gently told him that this place only sold pretzels. The lady appeared just as confused as my father and looked to me for help when he asked again for a crepe. I took Ludwig’s arm and told him we would go somewhere else for dessert.

Despite the crepe catastrophe, this was a family success with minimum drama! Unfortunately, our next dim sum adventure did not end so well. To be continued.

Fisherman's Terrace Seafood Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Chain Restaurants · Cheap Eats · Chinese · Dim Sum · New York · Restaurants

New York – Tim Ho Wan (East Village)

For Beep Beep’s 40th birthday, we went to New York. This is my second time in the Big Apple. This visit around, I was scammed, spat on and subjected to pornographic language. For this post, let’s listen to JAY-Z and Alicia Keys – “Empire State of the Mind”.

As this was Beep Beep’s trip, I told her to pick all the restaurants and the itinerary. The restaurant she was most excited to try was Tim Ho Wan – the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in New York.

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We arrived just after 5:00 p.m. on a Monday. Even though there were plenty of seats, our server squished us in between other parties. Service was typical for a dim sum restaurant – indifferent and not around when you needed something.

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I read about Tim Ho Won’s famous Baked BBQ Pork Buns ($6). The top of the bun formed a crunchy sweet dome. The bread was warm and fluffy, filled with rich gravy and fatty pieces of char sui pork. Yummy, though I personally found the sugar topping overly sweet.

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Beep Beep and I enjoyed the Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf ($6.80). I liked the variety of meats and vegetables. However, when the rice got cold, it became glue-like. I would order this again but eat it while it was hot.

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The Pan Fried Turnip Cake ($5.60) was delicious. The turnip cake was crunchy from the lacy crispness on the top and smokey from the grill. The turnip was shredded, soft and slippery.

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Beep Beep’s favourite dish was the Deep Fried Eggplant with Shrimp (5.80). This was my least favourite because of the cilantro. The eggplant was so soft, the flesh looked like it was melted when I picked it up with my chopsticks.

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The Steamed Rice Roll with Shrimp and Chinese Chives ($5.80) needed more sauce, as the noodles were dry.  The roll was a little too thick compared to the ratio of shrimp.  I would have preferred a thinner noodle or more shrimp filling. I wouldn’t order this again.

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Beep Beep least favourite dish was the chef’s special –  Almond Encrusted Shrimp Ball ($6.80). I liked this dish a lot. There was loads of delicately crunchy shrimp and I enjoyed the roasted almond crust.

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Beep Beep liked Tim Ho Wan more than I did. What I did like about the food at Tim Ho Wan was that everything came out hot and fresh. The savoury flavours from the pork bun, sticky rice and turnip cake oozed out. The prices were fair. I found the dim sum better than Calgary, but the shrimp dishes weren’t as good as some of the top dim sum restaurants in Richmond.

Tim Ho Wan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cheap Eats · Chinese · Dim Sum · Fast Food · Kyoto · Restaurants

Kyoto – 551 Horai Umeda Hanshin

I noticed 551 Horai when we were about to exit Kyoto Station. 551 Horai is a takeout dim sum stall that is always lined-up. For this post, let’s listen to Dim Sum by CouCou Disco.

Over the course of a nine days, I tried almost everything. Steamed pork buns (650 Yen/2 buns), pork dumplings (650 Yen/10 pieces), shrimp siu mai (600 Yen/12), gyoza (300 Yen/10), and sticky rice (380 Yen). All the food is freshly made in the back and served to you hot, in takeout boxes.

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The best of the bunch were the pork buns. The bun itself is soft and fluffy. The meat mixture was incredibly juicy and flavourful. I kept burping up onion and garlic breath afterwards, so I’m guessing there’s a lot of it. I give the pork buns a perfect score – 5/5.

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551 Horai sells three types of sticky rice. I picked the option with pork. I liked the rice to meat and mushroom ratio. This is better than what I can get in Vancouver or Richmond. The little packets of spicy mustard kicked it up a notch. I thought it was little pricey for the portion, but I know how time consuming it is to make sticky rice, so I’ll give it a score of 4/5.

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The pork and shrimp siu mai dumplings were bland and greasy, even with the mustard. No discernable flavor or texture, just soft and squishy. I’d give them 2/5. I wouldn’t order this again.

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The gyoza was also not memorable. Like the other dumplings, the wrapper would stick together and had no discernible texture or flavor. 2.5/5. Don’t bother.

When I get back in 2019, L and I will just stick to the buns. Though small in size, these buns are densely packed and filling. One makes for a hearty snack. Two for a meal. Three to make ready and four to go.

Chinese · Dim Sum · Restaurants · Vancouver/Richmond

Shi-Art Chinese Cuisine

Before L and I returned home, I wanted to go out for dim sum with my parents Ludwig and Boss Lady. I planned to pick somewhere high-end because I wanted to treat my family. However, my mother always has the last word and she wanted Shi-Art because there’s a lot of parking. For this post, let’s play Leonard Bernstein’s I Feel Pretty because every time I listen to the Westside Story I think of how Boss Lady would sing along whenever my father would play this recording.

Shi-Art offers 20% off the bill if you eat before 11:00 a.m. The food is excellent by Calgary standards but it’s considered average by Richmond residents. I like the food quite a bit, particularly the seafood. One of the best dishes is the e-fu noodle with scallops and shrimp. The noodles were a bit oily, but the shrimp are large and have a good bite to it. The scallops are huge and nicely seared by the hot bowl.

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I didn’t bother to try the haw gow. I know what it tastes like and since Boss Lady always orders way too much food, I passed. L liked it so much he had two dumplings.

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Narc tried to put the chicken feet close to L and myself. Boss Lady told him to move it closer to him, as L and I don’t eat it. I can’t stand putting chicken feet in my mouth – the bones are too pokey and make me want to gag. Narc mentioned that his kids love chicken feet because it’s fall off the bone tender. He said the chicken feet tasted good – soft and not greasy. I’ll take your word for it.

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The congee was good. This one was filled with large scallops, Chinese mushrooms and large shrimp.

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The texture could have been thicker, but that’s just my preference. I prefer thicker, puffier congee over the silky smooth type.

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The fried doughnut was nice – light and not doughy. It is greasy though, which is why you dunk it in the congee. Cut that grease with rice gruel.

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Sui Mai was average despite the size. The texture was good – meaty and juicy but it lacked a little flavour. Maybe MSG?

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I really enjoyed the beef tendon with rice roll. Office Dad would love this dish. Such a big portion, with tons of gravy sauce. The tendon was very soft and there was plenty of tasty pieces of tender beef. The rice rolls were seared against the hot bowl. A little greasy though. Boss Lady was surprised I like this dish. She said she always orders it when she visits Shi-Art.

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The shrimp roll was tasty. The wrapper wasn’t too glutinous and the shrimp had a nice bite to it. Narc took the picture of the shrimp roll because I was getting too lazy at this point. He’s better than I am at taking photos.

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The deep fried squid was below average. The squid was doughy and the oil tasted old. If Narc or Boss Lady visits me in Calgary, I’ll take them to Ho Won for their famous deep fried squid. Too bad none of Ho Won’s other dishes are stellar.

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One of the best dishes was the fried taro ball with ground pork. The exterior was light and airy. The meat filling was saucy. The taro was soft and hot.

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The bill came and I fought hard with Boss Lady for a good minute. I told her if she didn’t let me pay I would hug her. She froze for a second but called my bluff. L tried to pay but my mother easily brushed him off. Narc just smirked while Ludwig stared off into space, probably thinking of the latest episode of Star Trek Voyager.

Why do the Chinese fight over the bill? I read this article but in my experience it’s more about showing respect and in this case, showing gratitude for all their support. Boss Lady said she did all the ordering, so she should foot the bill. However, it was my idea in the first place to go for dim sum, so I should have paid. In the end, Boss Lady agreed I would treat the next time.

Shi-Art Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinese · Dim Sum · Restaurants

Great Taste Chinese Cuisine

My friend Beep Beep visited me from Vancouver. Now that she has a baby, where and how we eat out has changed. Bigly! I have to think about parking, baby-friendly washrooms, and avoiding restaurants with stairs. My buddy Office Dad recommended that we try a new dim sum joint in Huntington Hills called Great Taste.

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This place is a winner! Great Taste is my new favourite dim sum joint in Calgary. There was ample free parking. Servers spoke limited English but were for the most part friendly. Most importantly, the dim sum was delicious and reasonably priced.
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We ordered a small bowl of Special Congee. If this is a small, I can’t wait to see the large bowl! The congee was served bubbling hot, filled with bits of savoury char sui, shrimp, chicken, dry crunchy peanuts and some other unidentifiable ingredient. I’m guessing it was cow stomach? I could taste the fragrant ginger and a touch of cilantro. Unlike some places, the congee wasn’t over salted. I added white pepper to my congee because that’s what real Chinese people do. I learned that from Office Dad. Though honestly, it didn’t make much of a difference to me.

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One of the best dishes was the Pan-Fried XO Sauce Turnip. Oh my. The portion was generous. The thin exterior shell was crispy and the inside was silky and soft. There were tiny cubed green and red peppers, crunchy slices of fried garlic chips and dried shrimp. I loved the flavours and textures.

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The Soup Dumplings were good. I know a lot of foodies that go crazy over this dish but I’m always indifferent. It was a good dumpling and the soup inside was hot and tasty. Beep Beep bite halfway into it and the juices squirted across the table.

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I loved the Shrimp and Pea Tip dumplings. The shrimp was crunchy and the pea tips added a  freshness to it. The wrapper wasn’t too dry or wet, just perfect. Three dumplings per order, but each was twice the size I’m use to in Calgary.

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I can’t wait to return to try more dishes. This is the closest I can get to quality I’m use to in Vancouver and Richmond.  For all that food, our bill was around $30.00. Secret’s out. Great Taste is the place for dim sum in Calgary. Hitting the Sauce gives Great Taste two fat thumbs up and a hearty “hou sik” (very good).

Great Taste Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinese · Dim Sum · Restaurants

Shi-Art Chinese Cuisine- Dim Sum

My parents picked me up at the airport. I purposely didn’t eat all morning because I knew we were having dim sum at Shi-Art. Located inside Richmond Centre, I like how there’s always parking and that the restaurant takes reservations.

In Richmond, Shi-Art is not considered the best or the cheapest. However, if this restaurant was in Calgary, it would be easily considered a dim sum destination. Office Dad told me it’s because the top chefs won’t go to Calgary due to the climate and its smaller Asian community. My mom thinks it’s because the restaurant scene is so competitive in Vancouver and Richmond, that if you’re mediocre, you’ll be out of business in no time. The seafood is also cheaper and fresher in Vancouver. So it makes sense that my favourite dishes included shrimp and scallops.

One of the best dishes I tried was Mushroom and Scallop Congee. The rice soup wasn’t heavily seasoned, which I preferred, as it allowed the natural taste of the scallops and mushrooms to shine through. The mushrooms were cut in thin wedges, soft and slippery. The scallops were fat and silky.

The haw gow was supersized with sweet crunchy shrimp. The white dumpling wrapper was thin, but not wet. My pet peeve is moist haw gow, when the wrapper gets wet and slippery from the moisture.

The shui mai was also large. Each dumpling contained a flavorful, juicy mixture of pork the size of a golf ball. I didn’t try the beef balls because there was cilantro in it. My mother enjoyed it.

Another winner was the deep-fried shrimp spring roll. The wrapper was crunchy and cracker-thin, filled with a cylinder of crunchy shrimp meat.

The pan-fried radish cake with preserves tasted fresh from the kitchen. Steaming hot, the cake was soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The deep-fried rice doughnut was delicious. The doughnut was freshly fried and warm and crunchy, snuggled inside a perfectly steamed rice wrapper. So tasty, I didn’t bother to use the side of peanut and hoisin sauce.

The steamed shrimp roll was less than average. The shrimp was small and not sweet or crunchy. I should have listened to my mother and ordered the BBQ roll instead. I didn’t bother to take a picture of it as the roll didn’t look too appetizing.

The seafood E-Fu noodles didn’t have much flavor, but the scallops and shrimp was plentiful and properly cooked. Again, I didn’t mind the noodles were bland as it allowed me to taste the freshness of the scallops and shrimp.

Overall, I was happy with the food and service. My pick for Shi-Art – any dishes with scallops and shrimp, excluding the steamed shrimp roll. The prices are reasonable and I believe if you eat here before 11:00 a.m., you receive a discount off your entire bill.

Shi-Art Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato