Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dim Sum in Vancouver

Rating: ** out of *****
Last weekend my family went out for yum cha, but instead of driving all the way to Richmond we decided to try out this place in Vancouver. We went there right after church (12pm) and had to wait 15 minutes for a table (not too bad, considering we were there at peak time). The restaurant was very crowded and it seemed as if they squeezed as many tables as they could into the restaurant while giving minimal space for the push-carts to move. I had my chair hit a couple of times by the food-carts, but I didn't mind... the smell of the food distracted me :P

The food they wheeled around on the push-carts was well varied. They had noodles and many different types of baos, dumplings and vegetable dishes.

Braised Beef Tripe, I didn't find it flavourful enough. I thought it needed more ginger.

Deep-fried Shrimp + Chive Dumplings, I quite liked these. They were stuffed with lots of shrimp, and the crunchy wrapper was nice and light.

Almost like Har Gow, but the skin was a bit thicker. These were pretty good too!

My sisters called for the chicken wings... nothing to rave about.

I really enjoyed the stuffed eggplant, they're larger than the ones at Neptune and have more spice to them.

The water chestnut cake was my favourite dish. It was sweet, soft and chewy.

Their mango pudding was just okay, my mom makes a nicer one.

My sister loved the mai lai koh. The push-cart carrying this cake had a giant bamboo steamer (probably 18-inches in diameter) holding that 18-inch cake!

Although the food was fair, the service was very poor. Albeit, the restaurant was very busy at the time (never go around noon, unless you want to wait long to be seated) but they still need to work on their customer service. This one lady in particular must've been having a crappy day, or something. When we asked her for some chili sauce, she begrudgingly gave us one tiny dish. We then asked her for a second one (because one was for sure not enought for the 5 of us) and she gave us one more, but with a frustrated face. After about 3 dishes, we ran out of chili (yes, my family is renouned for our chili using abilities) so we asked for some more chili. The closest server to our table was, unluckily, the same lady who gave us chili the first time. My mom held out the dish, and the lady walked right past her! When my mom asked again, the lady grabbed her chili bottle and angrily squirted my mom's dish and then quickly stormed away.

It wasn't just the server that made the atmosphere tense, but the whole restaurant seemed to be in a "rushed" mode. The push-carts were being wheeled around like race cars, and the servers were talking so quickly you could barely make out what they were asking. It was as if they wanted you to eat-and-leave ASAP. It was a bit more expensive than Neptune. We were lured to East No. 1 because of it's sign, "Dim sum for $2.00 everyday until 3pm". But when we got the bill, the only dish that was $2.00 was the mango pudding! The false advertising was quite disappointing. Being that this place was more expensive than Neptune, and the service was much, much worse, I do not think we will be returning to East No. 1 in the future.

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