Royal Dinner and Dance on Garden City and Blundell, Richmond

ChowtimesNoWord32x32Update 22-Dec-2010:
This restaurant does not seems to serve dim sum anymore and opens only for dinner.

Shhh … don’t tell anyone about this place.

I am just kidding. I just wanted to catch your attention and read on.

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It had been a while since we had dim sum as a family. The beauty of having a blog is that you can easily figure exactly when the last time it was. Everything is so well documented. For us, the last time was in October last year. We are not much of a dim sum people.

Last weekend, we decided to just go to a restaurant closest to home. Suanne reminded me that there is a place that serves dim sum with an odd name … the Royal Dinner and Dance. This is located on the strip mall on Garden City and Blundell in Richmond.

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The moment we walked through the door, we had a good feeling that this is going to be good. All these years, we did not even realize this place would be like this.

The restaurant is located upstairs. You walk up a very wide staircase which has pictures of dancers. I think this place doubles as a dance club too because there is a stage and half of the restaurant is on the dance floor.

The restaurant is bigger than we imagine from the outside. What caught us by surprised is how many customers they have despite its size. The place was filled with customers. This is the kind of place where entire/extended families come for dim sum.ย  A lot of the tables taken were parties of four and above.

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The table already were prepared with the order form and a pencil. It took us a while, as usual, to make our selection. The prices are cheap too.

Service is hurried as one can expect from a place this this. They came by twice asking if we are ready with the order. They were cool when we said we needed more time. For people who are not used to this type of places, you would take it personally when they abruptly turn away and go to the next table. We don’t consider this rude but understand that some people not used to this will feel slighted.

We were glad to see the varieties they have on the menu. So, we try to pick one or two items from each section … and in the process over-rule some of Arkensen and Nanzaro’s choices. If we leave the choices to them, they will pick TWO orders each of siu mai, har gow and sticky rice. So unexciting. LOL!

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I was surprised when both Arkensen and Nanzaro said that they wanted the Rice Rolls with Chinese Donut ($3.75). We never thought they will want such traditional and to us, bland dish.

The Chinese donut here was not crispy but a tad soft. A sign that it is not made fresh. The flavour comes mainly from the soya sauce. They also gave us hoisin sauce and sesame sauce too which we thought it was kind of weird. I actually asked our waitress if it is meant to go with the rice roll and she said “yes”. *shrug*

It was quite nice too dipping the rice roll on the two sauces.

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The Pan fried stuffed eggplant with shrimp is kind of skinny. Other than that it is cooked just nice. It is not overcooked that it is all mushy and loses the whiteness inside and yet also not undercooked that it’s raw and fibrous. The flesh inside was still white. We thought they did this perfectly and like the sauciness of the dish too. The sauce was great with the rice roll. Only $2.50.

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Well, Arkensen also ask for this … the Steamed Crystal Prawn Dumpling (also $2.50). The size is respectable and the texture was firmly springy.Very good.

We were looking for that tell tale sign of freezer burn and all to see if they are just simply steamed direct from big batches of pre-made ones. They looked good enough for us.

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They also have several congee options. We got the Lai Wan Boat Congee ($3.95) because we do not know what it is. We still do not know why this is called Lai Wan or what the words Lai Wan means.

The congee bowl is quite big for a $4 portion and has in it squid, prawn, pork rind, peanut, and Chinese donut. The congee itself does not carry a lot of flavour but a dash of soy sauce and ground pepper does the trick.

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Next up is called the Fried Sticky Rice with Preserved Meat ($3.95). It came in a glass bowl and is supposed take a form of the bowl when they cup it upside down on the plate. Well … it fell apart and the waitress had to scrap the rice into the plate, losing the form.

You see it was not sticky enough for that. And I was thinking that this is FRIED sticky rice and so it is not supposed to be that sticky.

Anyway, the sticky rice has lots of … dried shrimp and preserved meat which gives this dish its flavour. It is nice.

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Suanne ordered this for me saying that I like liver. Hmmm … saying that I don’t mind liver is one thing but that I like liver? I don’t know.

The above is Steamed Pork Liver Siu Mai (only $2.50). I was the only one who ate the pork liver which is lightly steamed. Pork liver could easily be overcooked making it hard and tough but this one is just right. The siu mai doesn’t have the wonton skin (or whatever you call that skin).

This one is just OK but really need sauce to taste it up.

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The Deep Fried Smelt ($3.75) is no good. Although the smelt is big, the batter is different from those we normally eat. Yucks, not so nice and we did not even finish this.

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The best part of our meal is the dessert. Oh man they are awesome.

The Steamed Sweetened Egg Yolk Sponge Rolls is $2.50. It was served steamy hot and it is too hot to pick up with the hands.

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The texture is soft … very pillowy soft. This has got to be one of the best dim sum dessert we had. It just melt in the mouth.

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We also got another dessert. The Baked Tapioca & Lotus Seed Pudding ($3.95) was equally delicious too. The pudding was soft and smooth and even has lotus paste at the botoom. The amazing part is the “flaky” pastry on top. It is not exactly flaky-flaky but more like powdery-flaky if you know what I mean.

Sweet … very good … very nice.

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Like I earlier said, the service is “efficient” and abrupt but they do follow through.

Like when we tried to order the Braised E-Fu Noodle earlier we were told that they are only available at 11AM when the “sifu” comes in. Guess what? They actually came by after 11AM and told us that the “sifu” had arrived and if we still want it. We were impressed.

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The prices are cheap here and the quality not bad. The food is just typical dim sum fare and nothing too fancy. We love this place and told ourselves we will come back again — if we do not have to blog!

Royal Dinner and Dance on UrbanspoonBusiness Hour

7 days a week

5:00 pm to 11:00 pm

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Chris

    I love dimsum..sadly the kids don’t! I think dimsum is the original tapas! Those prices are amazing..no such thing here in Ont.
    Lai Wan is a shortened term of “Lai Chi Wan”(same as in the fruit lychee)…it is a bay(=wan) in this area of HK(Kowloon side) called Lai Chi Kok(kok = corner). I used to live a couple of MTR stops past Lai Chi Kok when I worked in HK.

  2. Marike

    Mmm…the egg sponge roll looks heavenly.

    I love dim sum, but unfortunately my SO does not. Maybe I could convince him with the unique items here… hehe…

  3. Adelaide

    We go here quite often whenever we want some cheap dim sum. The quality is pretty good. Of course it’s not comparable to KIRIN’s, but then again, you’re not paying KIRIN prices. And you never have to wait for a table, like you would at other dim sum places. This restaurant used to be a chinese buffet many moons ago.

    Next time try the steamed spareribs & rice in that ceramic hot pot bowl. It is quite good, and it’s only $4.00+ or something.

  4. LotusRapper

    Fancy smancy place ! Prices are amazing, esp. considering the decor and ambiance.

    Ben, how would you rate RD&D’s dim sum quality (price notwithstanding) against King’s and Floata ? We usually go to Floata because its room is cavernous, and even with a fully-packed house my kid and our dim sum guests don’t feel agoraphobic. RD&D looks like a “comfortable” place to dim sum even when crowded.

    1. Ben

      Hi LotusRapper: I had never been to King’s and Floata before and so can’t comment. We like Royal D&D because of their service, prices, size and most important of all, it is just 3 minutes from home.
      Ben

      1. Ben

        He he he … Suanne corrected me saying that we had been to King’s before. We had. From my memory now, I find that King’s is “cozy” and has that chaotic dim sum atmosphere that we grew up on. It has its charm in that sense.

          1. Doug

            Hi, sorry for the off topic here. Can you add a function where you can edit an old post or a post that was mistakenly posted and wanted to edit the wording or sentence?

  5. RobynT

    my mom (Cantonese) calls the wonton wrapper “pi.” It’s pronounced like “pee,” unfortunately. not sure if there is different name for the different kinds of wrappers…

    1. LotusRapper

      “pi” means “skin” in Mandarin (“pei” in Cantonese). Not sure if there are different names for different skins.

  6. whiners

    it’s actually very common for the rice roll wrap with chinese donut to come with sesame and hoisin sauce.. it comes with all rice rolls~
    mmm mmm good~ ๐Ÿ˜›

    1. LotusRapper

      I like to mix a bit of hoisin and the red chili paste and put them on the rice roll. Mmmmmmmm !

  7. Blythediva

    Looks like they gave you a discount/made a mistake in the tea charges, if you went with your family of 4, they should have charged you tea for 4 people, not 2! You are special!

    1. Ben

      Oh, we did not see that on the bill. But now that you mentioned it, we asked for iced water for Arkensen and Nanzaro. They don’t like Chinese tea and said it is for older people. So, I think they just charge the tea for Suanne and I.

  8. Adelaide

    They usually only charge a tea fee for adults.

  9. Eat. Travel. Eat!

    The dim sum here is quite better than what I usually have in CA. Here, the Rice Rolls with Chinese Donut usually come with hoisin sauce and sometimes sesame sauce along with soy sauce. I’m quite intrigued by the Baked Tapioca & Lotus Seed Pudding; haven’t had that before. Have you ever tried almond milk with gingko nuts with a puff pastry top before at dim sum? Quite a popular item in my area.

    Dim sum isn’t a often thing for me with school but I do have it a lot during the summer :). Is it just me or is it that Richmond has a lot of Mercedes Benzes (A Class/B Class? don’t know which as US doesn’t have them)? 2 right at the entrance of this place :).

    1. Ben

      Yeah, Richmond does have its fair share of expensive cars. Mostly Asian owned … people who came to live here with lots of cash and spend their time eating out at dim sum places.

  10. DylanK

    “People who came to live here with lots of cash and spend their time eating out at dim sum places.” That could be a Richmond-only “Heritage Minute,” like Joe Shuster inventing Superman or Jacques Cartier misnaming the country. Or even a new slogan for the city.

  11. LotusRapper

    “People who came to live here with lots of cash and spend their time eating out at dim sum places.”

    I think that applies to most parts of Metro Vancouver, but only more conspicuous in Richmond because of both its high concentration of Asians, and Chinese restaurants.

    However I would add that while there’s definitely a segment of clientele that are more “conspicuous”, there’s also a majority of “less conspicuous” clientele (Asian or not) who are supporting local businesses and restaurants. They just don’t drive M-B’s, BMWs and Audis.

  12. Amy

    Ben & Suanne,

    I love your blog. I was wondering if you’d be able to recommend a few dim sum places that serve vegetarian dim sum? or any vegetarian dim sum places? If there are any, that is!

    I haven’t ever tried it in fear of not knowing what to order as what I can usually eat is very limited.

    Thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Ben

      Hi Amy:
      We can’t think of any vegetarian restaurants that has dim sum but certainly a lot of dim sum restaurants has vegetarian dishes. Will that work for you? Anyway, we went to Jade Restaurant in Alexandria where we noticed that they had a section on vegetarian dim sums. I’ll blog about this place today just so that you can see what they offer. See the menu here: http://chowtimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Jade-Restaurant-Menu-3.jpg
      Ben

      1. etranger

        If you are a true vegetarian with no meat stock and no fish allowed, I would be careful about eating anything except the Chinese Broccoli. I’d get that without the sauce, if you absolutely can have nothing with a meat derivative in it. The sesame balls with bean filling (a dessert) probably don’t have meat. The lotus-leaf wrapped rice has a little meat in the center.

        The only place I’d eat vegetarian Chinese food with confidence that it had no meat at all would be a restaurant identified as vegetarian. There are a few in Seattle (Bamboo Garden near the Space Needle is one).

  13. blythediva

    Jade Chinese Restaurant on Alexandra Rd in Richmond has a page of vegetarian dim sum.

  14. Winnie

    Hi Ben,

    I have to thank you for reviewing this restaurant’s dim sum dishes. We finally tried it today and both me and my boyfriend were surprised by the quality of the food. We had really good “fun gor” (็ฒ‰ๆžœ) which is very hard to come by in Vancouver/Richmond. My boyfriend is allergic to shrimp and we found a lot of dim sum dishes that he can still order. Service was casual and friendly. And they were not bother by our questions (e.g. does this dish have shrimp/prawn many times…)

    Thanks again for the good find.

    Winnie

  15. A

    Ben:
    the prices on your bill are cheaper than the menu – is there an early morning special?

    1. Ben

      Hi A: I am not sure if there is an early morning special. I randomly check the prices against the menu. They do look the same. Which item are you looking at?
      Ben

      1. Ben

        Hi A:
        I see what you mean now.
        The Steamed Crystal Prawn Dumpling is classified as a “Large” dim sum which is $3.75 from 8AM to 3PM normally.
        The special/promotional pricing for “Small”, “Medium” and “Large” are $2.50 from 8AM to 12noon
        The special/promotional pricing for “Small”, “Medium” and “Large” are $2.88 from 12noon to 3PM
        Ben

  16. Lissa

    Haven’t gone for yum-cha for quite some time so decided to do so this morning after dropping the kids at chinese school. Aisyeh, came here at 10.30am and it was CLOSED!!! I thought from Ben’s lastest posting here, it says promo from 8am? Or do they only open at noon on weekends? In the end, went to try the dim sum at Continental Seafood at Cambie.

    1. Ben

      Hi Lissa: That is strange. If anything, dim sum restaurants opens earlier on the weekend than on weekdays. I think we were there at about that time too (our receipt was printed at 11:47 AM and so it must be around 10:30 AM we were there. I hope they did not go out of business. I see a lot of restaurant closures these days (I get email notification from Urbanspoon once a restaurant reviewed by chowtimes closes) Ben

  17. Lissa

    Before we went to Vivacity, we came here around noon today to see if it’s opened. It was closed. Either I don’t have luck with this restaurant or this place is closed for good. Saw a “lease” sign on the billboard.

    Ben, since you live nearby maybe you can go check it out?

    1. Ben

      Hi Lissa: OK, I went to Royal Dinner and Dance this morning. The restaurant is still there. However, the sign outside says that they are now only opened for dinner starting at 5PM. It seems like they no longer serve dim sum here. Ben

      1. Crispy Lechon

        Hi Ben, its nice of you to that. You go an extra mile for your readers. Thats why we love Chowtimes a lot.

      2. Lissa

        Thanks for the update, Ben.

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