Tim Ho Wan 添好運 – Singapore

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Tim Ho Wan is a famous dim sum restaurant because it was awarded a Michelin star. As we walked around Plaza Singapura, I noticed the restaurant and suggested we give it a try! Since getting a Michelin star in their Hong Kong locations, they have opened up several locations outside of Hong Kong, including in Singapore. I don’t believe this location has a Michelin star though.

 

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Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp

We started off with the Bean Curd Skin Roll with Shrimp which was crispy and not too greasy. Each bite had shrimp and had a nice chew.

 

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Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork

The Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork featured a thin and smooth rice rolls and was packed with flavourful pork.

 

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Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables

Of course, we had to get some vegetable so we just got the Poached Fresh Seasonal Vegetables. Nothing special as they were just poached and dressed with soy sauce.

 

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Pan Fried Turnip Cake

The Pan Fried Turnip Cake was crispy on the outside. No complaints!

 

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Baked BBQ Pork Buns

And last but not least was the star of Tim Ho Wan and also a must order! The Baked BBQ Pork Buns were definitely one of the best I’ve had. The bun was a bit sweet on the exterior and extremely crispy and soft inside. It was filled with a sweet and savoury mixture of BBQ pork. Really enjoyed it and highly suggest ordering this.

Overall, Tim Ho Wan did not disappoint. I thought the other menu items were good but nothing too special. Probably because we are pretty spoiled back at home in Richmond and Vancouver. However, the Baked BBQ Pork Buns were definitely a star. Pricing is also great given it’s a Michelin restaurant! I will have to try the original one in Hong Kong but for now this will do!

 

 

Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant – 4 Decades of Dim Sum

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own personal experience.

Last month, I was invited to Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant co-hosted by ChineseBites, Stephanie Yuen, and Gojoy Berries to celebrate 4 decades of dim sum. Pink Pearl has been opened for 40 years since the 1980s and is one of Vancouver’s oldest Chinese restaurants.

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 Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

First up were some Steamed Shrimp Dumplings which are a staple at dim sum. The shrimp was juicy and wrapping was thin.

 

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Liver and Pork Dumplings

The Liver and Pork Dumplings date back to the 1980s and I’m definitely not a fan of this version. I much prefer the modern version with the tobiko fish roe on top. Liver is quite chalky and I only really eat it when it’s in congee.

 

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Duck Web Wrap

The Duck Web Wrap is also from the 1980s and I quite enjoyed this version. Wrapped inside the bean curd is also taro, ham, and mushrooms. However, all the ingredients easily fell out, so execution-wise, it doesn’t really work out. However, flavours were great together!

 

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Mini Steamed Pork Bun

Another staple at dim sum are Steamed Pork Buns. Great dish to fill you up.

 

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Shrimp Toast

Another 1980s dish is the Shrimp Toast, which I’ve never seen at dim sum. I actually quite enjoyed this as the shrimp paste is put on toast and then deep fried. A little greasy, but I think this should be back on the modern day menus!

 

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Steamed Sticky Rice Roll

Steamed Sticky Rice Rolls are literally carbs on carbs. These buns are filled with sticky rice so can get quite filling.

 

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Handmade Steamed Beef Rice Rolls

Rice rolls are now filled with a variety of ingredients, but beef and shrimp rice rolls are always a staple.

 

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Handmade Steamed Shrimp Rice Rolls

 

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Lotus Wrapped Sticky Rice

Most restaurants serve their Lotus Wrapped Sticky Rice in smaller portions (usually two or three fit in a container), but these are one gigantic portion, so you share it amongst your table.

 

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Pan Fried Half Moon Dumplings

Another dish from the 1980s is the Pan Fried Half Moon Dumplings. It comes with a dipping sauce with chives, but I found the batter of the dumplings to be a bit too thick. Not a fan of this, but it seems like I’m not a fan of most of the dishes from the 1980s!

 

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Wok Fried Lotus Root and Vegetables

Featuring Gojoy gojiberries, this dish has an abundance of vegetables and the lotus roots really give it a great crunch. The gojiberries themselves are very fresh so they are not your typical wrinkly dried gojiberries.

 

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Gojoy Gojiberries Gelle

For dessert, the first dessert also featured the Gojoy gojiberries. The jelly is light and not too sweet.

 

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Black and White Sesame Roll

Laslty, the Black and White Sesame Roll are subtly sweet and a good way to end a usually greasy dim sum morning.

 

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Overall, it was a great experience to try dim sum dishes from over 4 decades, many of which I was unfamiliar with and haven’t seen on modern day menus.

 

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From May 1 – August 31, 2017, Pink Pearl is holding a fundraiser with a dinner menu for 10 – 12 people for $568 including tax and gratuities. Net proceeds will go to the Vancouver Food Bank and Vancouver Sower Society. More details on Pink Pearl’s website.

 

Pink Pearl Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Deluxe Chinese Restaurant

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The Deluxe Chinese Restaurant opened up a few months ago in Richmond. It is located next to Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity.

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The restaurant offers dim sum in the early mornings and lunch and switches to Cantonese cuisine for dinner service. What is more interesting is that they serve sushi and sashimi during dim sum service. Yes…that is a sushi bar behind the counter. Honestly, that made me question the food even more because who comes to a dim sum restaurant for sushi?

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The decor inside is definitely pretty nice, on par with the Yuan’s next door. They also have private rooms if you are hosting parties.

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Tea came in a fancy teapot along with a heater. However, because of all these appliances, we found it took up way too much space on the table.

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Shrimp Dumplings

We started off with the Shrimp Dumplings which were quite typical. Large shrimps inside but nothing out of the ordinary.

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Beef Rice Roll

The Beef Rice Roll came accompanied with two gai lans. The rice roll itself was quite thin and smooth.

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Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf

The Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf was a decent size with a variety of ingredients including minced pork, dried shrimp and egg yolk.

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Steamed Custard Bun

Next up were the Steamed Custard Buns. Not super pretty in appearance with the odd bumps here and there, but there was a good amount of filling and the bun itself was light and fluffy.

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Pork Shiu Mai

They offer truffle shiu mai here as well, but we opted for the regular Pork Shiu Mai as my mom doesn’t like the taste of truffle. These were quite large and the wrapper was thin.

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Taro Mushroom Bun

An interesting dish was the Taro Mushroom Bun. The bun itself is actually filled with taro and the outside is decorated with cocoa powder to imitate a mushroom.

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Is this cute or what? Even has the stem! The bun itself is nothing special but the appearance definitely won us over.

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Steamed Malaysian Sponge Cake

To finish our meal, we had the Steamed Malaysian Sponge Cake. This was a big portion but I found it to be a little too dense for my liking.

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Overall, we found The Deluxe Chinese Restaurant to be quite average for the price we were paying. The price is slightly higher than average, but the food was nothing too special. We also found the selection of food to be quite limited unless you want to venture into trying their sushi (which is quite expensive by the way). Not sure if I would return given the many options there are in Richmond.

Pros:
– Luxury ambiance
– Decent eats

Cons:
– Limited selection
– On the pricier side for the quality of food

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 2.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 4 Parking: 2.5 Overall: 2.5

The Deluxe Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine

Yuan’s Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine is one of the newer additions to Richmond’s Shanghai/ dim sum options. It took over the spot of a Korean restaurant and has renovated.

The decor is probably one of the fanciest in Richmond for Chinese food. There are blue velvet chairs, vases, and statues. Somehow we ended up in a private room too which was pretty cool as you got a lot of privacy.

Even their chinaware is nicer than most Chinese restaurants. With such nice ambiance, you would expect the prices to be rather high, but they were actually quite reasonable and in line with other restaurants.

Soy Braised Kaofu with Assorted Mushrooms

We started off with the Soy Braised Kaofu with Assorted Mushrooms. I really enjoyed the flavours of this dish and it was not overly salty. Loved the abundance of peanuts mixed in to give it some crunch.

Smoked Duck (half)

The half order of Smoked Duck was glazed in a plum sauce with the skin being crispy while the meat remaining moist.

Xiao Long Bao

The Xiao Long Bao may make it on the list of one of the best in Richmond for me. The skin was extremely thin while the pork still remaining very moist and filled with lots of broth! A must order!

Pan Fried Juicy Pork Buns

Another favourite was the Pan Fried Juicy Pork Buns. These were decorated with white sesame seeds on the bottom and the inside was piping hot and filled with a lot of broth once again. I find that these can easily be dry in the center, but not these!

Shredded Chicken and Mung Bean Pasta Salad

Another cold appetizer we ordered was the Shredded Chicken and Mung Bean Pasta Salad. Not really a pasta salad, but Shanghai cuisine likes to use mung bean to make these clear jelly which are delicious when mixed with chicken, cucumber and a delicious peanut sauce. these had just the right amount of sauce and the texture was spot on.

Wok Fried Shanghai Round Noodle

Lastly, we tried the Wok Fried Shanghai Round Noodle which is a staple in Shanghainese cuisine. These were surprisingly not very oily like they usually tend to be. However, it lacked the wok flavour.

Overall, we not only impressed by the decor but also the quality of the food. Service, on the other hand, was slightly rude. We had a hostess come into the room initially accusing us of going in when another host had asked us to. The waiters also just drop off food without saying anything which is unfortunate as you would expect more at a restaurant that looks upscale.

Pros:
– Great dim sum items
– Beautiful decor

Cons:
– Service is lacking
– Some dishes are on the pricier side

Price Range: $15-25/person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food:4 Service: 1.5 Ambiance: 4.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 3.5

Yuan's Shanghai Serendipity Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Victory Seafood Restaurant – ChineseBites Media Event

Note: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions were based on my own personal experience.

I think the last time I visited Crystal Mall has got to be over 10 years ago. Driving in the parkade is the worst experience ever so I avoid this mall at all cost. But when ChineseBites invited me to do a dim sum tour at Victory Seafood Restaurant, I ventured my way out and luckily around 2pm on a Saturday, the parking lot wasn’t as busy (the parking was still pretty bad though!).

We were seated in more of a private room, but outside, the decor is similar with gold being the focus. I could see this as a decent restaurant to host Chinese banquets.

As this was a ChineseBites dim sum tour, we ordered literally almost everything off the dim sum menu – a total of 37 dishes! Dishes range from $4.49-$7.49 depend on size and specialty.

Baked BBQ Pork Buns with Crust Topping looked just like a pineapple bun but was filled with savoury BBQ pork filling. The top was sweet and the bun itself was fluffy.

One of my favourite fried items was the Deep Fried Shrimp Spring Rolls with Garlic. The wrapper was light and crispy and the inside was packed with shrimp and garlic filling.

The Deep Fried Dumplings with Pork & Dried Shrimp were also quite delicious with the outside crispy and interior like a mochi chewy texture. The inside was filled with a savoury pork and dried shrimp filling.

We tried a variety of rice rolls, with my favourite being the Steamed Rice Rolls with Crispy Deep Fried Fish Paste. The rice rolls here are quite silky smooth. The rice rolls with the chinese donuts were also popular.

I like how they give you both the Pan Fried Radish & Shredded Taro Cakes when you order this dish, so you can sample both. The taro cakes are harder as expected, so I do enjoy the softer radish cake personally.

A dish I did not try, but was told by others to skip was the Smoked Salmon with Fruit Salad Sauce Tarts. I guess it’s more a westernized dish, so you can’t expect much at a Chinese restaurant. Apparently, the ingredients just didn’t mesh well.

A new item on their menu was the Steamed Red Rice Rolls with Shrimp. We were all curious about the red colour, but turns out there is no flavour to it. More of a gimmick so I would just stick with the regular rice rolls.

Onto the steamers! Suddenly, everything came out all at once. The Steamed Meat Balls were packed full of flavour and remained moist.

Dim sum isn’t the same without an order of the Steamed Pork Dumplings (Siu Mai). These were topped with flying fish roe and packed full of minced pork.

One of my favourite dim sum items to order is the Steamed Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf. Packed tightly in the lotus leaf, the filling to rice proportion was pretty good.

Other than your steamers and fried food, the dim sum menu also features some clay pot rice, including the Steamed Rice with Chicken & Black Fungus. These were decent, but lacked the crispy rice at the bottom.

Overall, some hits and misses, but overall, a decent spot to have dim sum with a large variety and reasonable prices.

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

Dinesty (Aberdeen)

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Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings

Dinesty opened up last year in Aberdeen Mall, and I was glad since the No.3 Road location is usually packed. Upon arriving for dinner time, there were groups of people waiting for seats. We weren’t really acknowledged for a good few minutes, but we waited probably only 15 minutes to get a seat. Of course, we started off with the Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings. An order comes with 6 and these were decent. The skin is thin and the pork is juicy with a good amount of soup.

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Deep Fried Popcorn Chicken

Next, we ordered the Deep Fried Popcorn Chicken. Probably not something you would normally order at a Shanghainese restaurant, but these were actually decent. They were seasoned with basil leaves and were very crispy. Thee chicken could have been more juicy and moist, but they weren’t too bad overall.

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Fried Rice with Baked Salmon

Lastly, we got a Fried Rice with Baked Salmon to change things up. We normally get fried rice with your typical ingredients, but we decided to go for something different. However, this was a bad call as the dish just tasted odd. It was literally flaked baked salmon mixed in the fried rice. This made the rice very fishy. Not going to be trying this again.

Overall, the experience at Dinesty Aberdeen was average. Service was not that great and it was difficult to wave down the servers. Other than the pork dumplings, the items we tried were just average. It seems that many believe that the No.3 road location has better food, which I think I would agree.

Pros:
– Steamed pork dumplings are pretty good
– Large amount of seating

Cons:
– Service lacked
– Other menu items we tried were just average

Price Range: $15-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 2.5 Service: 2 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 2.5 Overall: 2.5

Dinesty Dumpling House 聚 (Aberdeen) on Urbanspoon

Kongee Dinesty 金津粥品專門店

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Kongee Dinesty opened up earlier this year in the complex on Garden City. It offers congee and limited dim sum items during breakfast and lunch, but becomes a typical Chinese restaurant during dinner time.

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They offer a kitchen with glass windows so you can watch the chefs prepare your food. The restaurant itself is pretty nice with your typical dim sum restaurant decor. The restaurant itself is quite small though. We were lucky to score a spot at around 11:30 am, but it soon became packed by the time we left. The waitress basically put our bill down before we asked to shoo us out, since there was a line forming at the door.

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Sampan Congee

Of course we had to try their congee, so we went for the Sampan Congee. We ordered this off their pre-customized congee menu, but you can actually customize your congee for $8.95. With this option, you can choose two toppings of your choice, the congee base and garnish. If you order from 8:00am to 11:30 am, you can also choose an extra side, like Chinese donuts, free of charge. Anyways, we ordered the Sampan Congee and added preserved eggs in addition. Sampan Congee comes with just about everything and it definitely had a lot of toppings. We shared this between four people, and everyone had at least one bowl or more. Quite delicious!

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Gingko Nuts and Bean Curd Sheets with Baby Bak Choy

Next, we got some veggies, so we went for the Gingko Nuts and Bean Curd Sheets with Baby Bak Choy. This was a healthy choice and the bak choy was very fresh.

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Chinese Donut Wrapped with Rice Roll

Then we went for a dim sum item, with the Chinese Donut Wrapped with Rice Roll. The Chinese donuts were fresh and crispy with the rice roll being relatively thin.

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Yee-Fu Noodles with Golden Chives

Lastly, we got the Yee-Fu Noodles with Golden Chives. The noodles were chewy and were not too oily. It came with baby scallops and vegetables, so pretty good for the price you pay.

Overall, I was quite satisfied with Kongee Dinesty. Prices are reasonable, but the restaurant is quite small, so I can see it being packed very quickly. Great place to go if you want to get congee. I especially like how you can customize it.

Pros:
– You can customize your congee
– Items other than congee are pretty good too

Cons:
– Not a place to have long chats – they tend to kick you out
– Not a lot of seats

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4
Service: 3
Ambiance: 3
Parking: 3
Overall: 3.5

Kongee Dinesty 金津粥品專門店 on Urbanspoon

Empire Seafood Restaurant

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A while back, Empire Seafood Restaurant took over the old Milestone’s located next to London Drugs in Richmond. I had literally just gone here to eat the week before, but had failed to get some pictures since I arrived late. Since I’m leaving for Europe soon, my parents decided that I would miss Chinese food so much, that they basically took me out to have dim sum every weekend. Since they enjoyed it so much last week, they said we should go again… Yea, they don’t get sick of eating at the same place every week…

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Deep Fried Eggplant w/ Prawn Paste

First up were the Deep Fried Eggplants w/ Prawn Paste. I don’t like eggplants, so I just ate the Prawn Paste. It’s very good especially when you dip it in the spicy vinegar sauce.

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Steamed Phoenix Claws 

And here came my favourite Steamed Phoenix Claws. They were flavourful, but at the same time, not too salty.

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Steamed Rice Roll w/ Crispy Pork Roll 

I’m not sure why they call it the Steamed Rice Roll w/ Crispy Pork Roll, but it is basically the typical steamed rice roll with Chinese donut and pork fluff inside. These were decent, and the rice roll was smooth.

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Taro Root & Duck Pastry

These are always oily and fatty no matter where you go. They had a lot of filling in it, and the outer pastry was extremely flaky.

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Beef Congee w/ Preserved Egg

The Beef Congee w/ Preserved Eggs were one of their specials. I think it was around $4, and is definitely a steal for the amount you get. It’s a size of a small bowl, but probably enough to go around for 4 people.

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Steamed Layer Egg Custard Cake

I liked how these were different from typical sponge cake, where in this case, you can actually see the different layers. Still has the texture of a sponge cake, but it wasn’t as dry.

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Pan Fried Chive & Pork Buns in Stone Pot

We were surprised to see the Pan Fried Chive & Pork Buns actually come in a Stone Pot. It was sizzling when it arrived with chives layered at the bottom for added flavour. They were quite delicious with a decent amount of filling and I especially appreciated the fried bottoms so you get a bit of crunch.

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Pan Fried Turnip Cake

Last but not least were the Pan Fried Turnip Cakes, which were one of my favourite dishes. This was a large dish and great to share with lots of people. They were cut into cubes and lightly pan fried, and they definitely had some heat to them! Not the typical XO sauce, but a spicier sauce. Really good though!

Like many other Dim Sum restaurants, they also offer early bird specials. If you place your order between 9:00 am and 11:00 am, you get 20% off your order. Great for those early risers!

Empire Seafood Restaurant 帝苑皇宴海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon