A visit to Richmond, BC, for a dim sum eating expedition began, as all culinary adventures should, bright and early in the morning. See, there’s a 9:43am time stamp to prove it. (Context: It also took place after a night in Vancouver that involved five izakaya visits plus a ramen finale. There was less than a twelve hour window from the last bit of noodles, broth, and pork until the bell rang for our first dim sum dishes. Plus, we were unaware that there would be thousands and thousands of people in Vancouver that night for fireworks. More on all of that in another post….) This, after all, was a six-hour marathon; not a sprint. So with our first order of dim sum secured at Neptune Seafood Restaurant, it was time to pace ourselves for an epic day in British Columbia.
The steamed cuttlefish in a yellow curry broth was the highlight at Neptune. (Instagram commenter: “Poor guys look delicious.”) This dish did not have the crunch of Corn Flakes, but was one hell of a change of pace for breakfast.
Our next dim sum destination was Top Shanghai Cuisine, where I would face my nemesis: the soup dumpling. See, the last time I was in New York I ordered these. Not only were the enormous, but I had no idea how to eat them without singeing my mouth with sizzling hot soup and/or wishing I had a (elegant, stylish, understated adult) bib to soak up the waterfall of boiling broth that would cascade from mouth to shirt to pants.
I learned to eat these soup dumplings in the least harmful manner by first biting the tip off, sucking the broth, then putting the rest of the dumpling in my mouth. Oh, and I understand the best way is to just put the whole thing in your mouth and let it explode in there. OK. Moving on….
Next stop was Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant located right by River Rock Casino Resort. Do you know how much I prefer the Queen’s English when it comes to spelling? I’ll take harbour, colour, flavour, etc., over boring old harbor, color, and flavor. Sea Harbour was notable for an incredible crush of people at the host stand, the presence of (empty) bottles of some of the world’s most famous French wines, a dish involving pumpkin breaded, fried, and dusted with something cheese-like in flavour, along with chicken feet. I regretted not trying the chicken feet. Here’s a triptych of photos I never expected to compile:
After the cacophony of Sea Harbour, Golden Paramount Seafood was a quiet respite. And one that offered my favorite dish of the day: panfried oysters surrounded by green chiles. It was nice to have something with some heat and
color colour. The day’s first cold beer may have been a contributing factor (but not the ultimate decider) to my selection of this dish as #1.
So that was it for dim sum. But not for the eating. A quick pit stop for lo mein at MaxNoodle House took place, sans photos. I like that the noodles had a little chew to them as well as the judiciously applied spicy sauce. We stopped at Parker Place Meat and BBQ for some pork that had the kind of crispy skin that shattered like fine crystal with every bite. Except you wouldn’t want fine crystal to shatter in your mouth. Pork skin, however, I recommend. When anyone dares to denote any food “crispy”, I now know it will pale 1,000 times out of 1,000 in comparison with this pork.
Finally, it was time for something sweet. I did not go into Kam Do Bakery, but I asked for something with some fruit in it. I got this adorable pastry that had some kind of a pineapple and walnut filling, possibly with some dates, as it was a very thick. Speaking of shattered, the pastry crust flaked into a million little pieces. Get a bowl when you eat this. And then you can use the abundant filling to sweep up the crispy bits of dough at the bottom of your bowl.
And then nothing was left to do but to tie a ribbon around this gift of a day by guzzling a Underberg, purely for digestive purposes, and boarding a Victoria-bound ferry.
Special thanks to my friends Sonja Groset and Hanna Raskin for letting me tag along on their entire journey, as well as the welcome presence, expertise, and enthusiasm of Jay Friedman and Akiko for most of the day. And though I have yet to meet him, Fernando of Wise Monkeys was an invaluable and prompt resource on Twitter, also introducing me to Mijune of Follow Me Foodie.
Thank you Richmond, British Columbia. This day of eating in BC was the complete opposite of being super bored.