I met up with a reader, Michelle for dim sum. If you remember this post, “Where can I find Shaobing in Vancouver?“, this is the same Michelle I’m talking about here. Michelle is here with her mother and sister for the Vancouver Winter Olympic. Her sister works with NBC. After the games, Michelle contacted me for a meet up for dim sum.
I picked Red Star Seafood Restaurant as I’ve never been to it before. Red Star Seafood Restaurant is located on the 2nd floor of President Plaza on Cambie Road and coincidentally it’s where I found the Shaobing place too. The location is used to be Richmond Mandarin Restaurant where Ben had organized a 9-course Chinese dinner for 30 people in 2007. Red Star had opened in this Richmond location for 3 years already according to the general manager, Wallace. The Red Star in Richmond is owned by the same people behind Red Star on Granville St.
When Michelle and I were there for lunch at 1 pm, the main floor was full. We were given a table at the lower level which was very quiet. Only 3 tables were occupied. Michelle did not like the quietness of it as she prefers the buzz of people at a dim sum restaurant. She also like to see what other customers have and order based on the popularity of the dish. Unfortunately, we have to settle with the more quiet setting. I dont mind though.
Their menu is rather simple. The order sheet is just a 2 pager and it’s in Chinese only. So, I left the ordering to Michelle who reads Chinese. Red Star is a mid to high end dim sum place. The prices ranges from $3.50 for small, $4.25 for medium, $4.95 for large and $6.00 for special. More chef specialty items are $8.00 and above.
Michelle tried to order items that are not too common. The first item is the Rice Rolls with Scallops and Asparagus. This is $4.95. We were quite disappointed with this because it is not served piping hot.
The above Black Sesame Roll is not in the menu. It is those specialty items that the server brings around and ask if we want it. According to the server, this is very good for your skin. It is not too sweet and has a slightly sticky/chewy texture. Guess what, they forgot …to bill us on this item. I only found out when I blogged on this few days later.
Michelle also ordered the Hot and Spicy Shui Kau Dumpling. This is a large one and priced at $4.95. This one is actually pretty good. The dumpling is stuffed with wood ears, chives and prawn. It is only mild spicy and we wish they are more spicy. This is served hot unlike the rice roll. Michelle told me that she thinks the skin for the above dumpling is store bought as it is a bit dryish. Michelle is an expert in dumpling as her family has a restaurant specializes in dumpling in US.
The last item Michelle ordered was the Fish Tofu with Pea Leaves in Special Sauce. Again, this is a large item which costs $4.95. The fish tofu is soft and flavourful and the broth has a deep flavour too. We like this dish.
When the general manager came around to check on us, most likely attracted by my camera, Michelle was able to get a complementary dessert from him. Now, I realized why Michelle is so bold to ask for a complementary dish because her family is in the restaurant business too. Well, we got the ‘Tarn Sarn’ which is some flaky soft dough coated with cane sugar syrup, shredded coconut and sesame seeds. It is something that I will relate to ‘Shat Kek Ma’ from Malaysia which is a more condensed/pack version. I love this nevertheless.
The bill came to $18 with one complementary item and one item slipped through the bill. Michelle told me that she was rather disappointed with the limited menu options and she would love to try more dim sum before she heads back to Australia. Otherwise, I had a great time meeting up with Michelle.
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It sounds like your guest was disappointed and rightly so. It’s unfair to bring visitors to places you’ve never tried before. When you want to show someone the best your city has to offer, you should bring them somewhere that is tested and true. It’s not the time to experiment. My 2 cents…
I recommend you come back for dinner sometime as they have some unusual dishes. I had an egg casserole dish with some type of fish innard (yue pok) served in a beggar’s dish (hat yee dou)that my dining partners (older asian foodies) said were homestyle dishes that were hard to find.
Also, their soy sauce chicken is supposed to be superb. They ran out when I was there.
i like the look of that black sesame roll, i want to try it! sadly i don’t read chinese…
Their BBQ items are good i.e. the suckling pig & roast duck plus the soy sauce chicken. I normally go to the Granville St. location & their dim-sum is pretty good too.
I live close to the Granville location, and I love going there if I want some higher quality dim sum instead of standard 🙂
WOW! I’m famous!
Thanks suanne, it was so much fun with ya! I sound like a bit of a picky eater in this post… oh well, i guess I am!
It was a weird dim sum experience, wasn’t it?
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