Dinesty (Ackroyd)

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Cold Jelly Fish on Cucumber

Dinesty is one of my favourite go to places for Shanghainese food in Richmond. They have several locations, but my favourite has been the one on Ackroyd. However, I was a bit let down this time around when I visited. The food wasn’t up to par and the service was quite rude. Starting off, we had several cold appetizers. The Cold Jelly Fish on Cucumber was not your typical jellyfish. I think this was the part of the head, so it had more of a cartilage type of texture. I wasn’t a huge fan of it, and I found that the soy sauce underneath also didn’t seep into the jelly fish. They should have probably marinated this overnight.

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Kao-Fu with Stewed Mushrooms and Peanuts

Next up were Kao Fu with Stewed Mushrooms and Peanuts. Tons of gluten here! The gluten soaked in the sauce and was very flavourful.

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Preserved Pork Slices

Preserved Pork Slices sort of reminded me of spam, but with a less mushy texture. These were thinly sliced and had a bit of fat on both ends. Not too salty.

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Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings

And of course, we got the Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings, which are a must order. Each diner gets their own dipping sauce which is vinegar with strips of yellow ginger. The dumplings are filled with a creamy soup and the skin is thin.

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Shanghai Fried Noodles

The Shanghai Fried Noodles was probably the dish that really let us down. For some reason, the noodles seemed to be way undercooked. I like it when my noodles are al dente, but these were really hard! And as always, this dish is always super oily!

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Stewed Pork Belly

Another entree we ordered was the Stewed Pork Belly. We had expected lots of meat, but the dish turned out to have a bunch of other items, like tofu, knotted bean curd, and eggs. The sauce was delicious and the pork belly itself had a good proportion of meat to fat. It wasn’t the melt-in-your-mouth type of pork belly though.

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Steamed Glutinous Rice & Red Bean Paste Dumplings

Last up, we had the Steamed Glutinous Rice & Red Bean Paste Dumplings for dessert. The only complaint we had was how the skin felt so thick. I think it was because we chose the option that included glutinous rice as well. This gave the dumpling a more mochi-type of texture, but it wasn’t executed well. I will stick with their regular red bean paste dumplings next time.

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Overall, Dinesty usually executes their dishes pretty well. It was unfortunate that some of our dishes were not as great as I’ve had in the past. Also, service was pretty rude this time, with our server giving us a lot of attitude. Ambiance-wise, their decor is definitely nicer than many Chinese restaurants, but be aware that it is still extremely loud with chatter from the diners.

Pros:
– Large variety of decent Shanghainese dishes
– Reasonable prices

Cons:
– Some dishes were a miss
– Service we received this time was pretty rude

Price Range: $20-30

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

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

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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

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Dinesty

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Dinesty is next to Starbucks and Ebisu in Richmond, and I believe they recently opened one in Downtown on Robson. I’ve gone by this restaurant multiple times, but I don’t think I’ve actually ate here before. At last, J and I decided to grab an early dinner, and he suggested we go to Dinesty. It seems to be his favourite place to go.

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I think we got there around 5 pm, so it was quite empty. However, shortly after sitting down, the place quickly became filled. Apparently, there are usually long waits during dinner time, and it’s almost impossible to get a seat without reservations. The food here seems to be a mix of Taiwanese and Shanghainese food. Decor is simple and clean, and I like the open kitchen they have. You can see the chefs preparing your food, just like Shanghai River. Sort of a similar concept in terms of their floor plan.

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Steamed Pork Dumplings

I wanted some Steamed Pork Dumplings, or better known as Xiao Long Bao! An order came with 8 hot and steamy dumplings.  The wrappers were thin, yet held the pork, and inside, it was juicy. The soup was very delicious!

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Ma Po Tofu

J chose the Ma Po Tofu. It was a large serving, and definitely too much for two people to share. The tofu was soft and the sauce wasn’t too spicy. It would’ve been perfect with white rice, but we had ordered another rice. We ended up mixing it with our Shrimp Fried Rice, since it would be too spicy and salty to eat alone.

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Shrimp Fried Rice

Lastly, I chose the Shrimp Fried Rice. It had a hint of shrimp paste flavour, and the rice was cooked so it wasn’t too moist and sticky. There were also an abundant of shrimps inside.

Overall, I enjoyed the dishes we had at Dinesty. I can see why people enjoy coming here for meals. You get a good amount of food, which is of decent quality, at a decent price. I hear that service isn’t as great once it gets really busy during peak times, so perhaps going early is the way to go here. I also like how all their menu items have pictures, so you get a sense of what you are ordering beforehand. Perfect for beginners of Chinese food!

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