*Restaurant is now closed*
Having already dined at Golden Star for dinner, I was a bit curious of their Dim Sum. After all, there is a big yellow banner on the outside advertising their Dim Sum staring from $2.75. Since we were in North Van, it seemed like a convenient place to go. We didn't really feel like driving all the way to Richmond, wait, I never feel like driving to Richmond! But why am I always in Richmond? Anyways, we met up with my parents at 11:45am and to our surprise, there was no lineup. Not sure if that was a good or bad thing. The parking lot was full, as expected (since it's so small), so I had to find parking a block away. We ended up with a table right at the end of a row which gave us plenty of space. However, it really doesn't matter where we sat because the dining room is actually quite spacious. I mention this since this is quite uncommon for a mid-range Chinese restaurant. There is so much room, you can actually walk in between the 2 rows of tables in the middle of the restaurant. Yup, no obnoxious people sitting on the front edge of a seat whilst backing into your seat causing you to squash your kidneys against the edge of the table. After we sat down, a line began to grow at the front. Hey, that's what we expect at most Dim Sum places in the GVRD.
Like many other Dim Sum places, there are no longer push carts; only a checklist. I actually like this, the food is much fresher this way. The first dish to arrive was the Shrimp Spring Rolls. There was a good amount of crunchy shrimp; but the wrapper itself was soggy. By looking at the colour of the spring roll, we'd expect it to be really crispy. This was not the case. For people who love garlic, there was no shortage of garlic flavour. The Chicken & Chinese Sausage with Rice was next and I love to call it the "filler" dish. If you were hungry and didn't want to order lots of dishes, you should order this. But if you want to eat more of a variety of Dim Sum, I'd stay away unless you have a big party. Despite what I just said, the rice was one of the better dishes of the day. It was not soggy and there was plenty of chicken, sausage, mushroom and veggies on top. I just wish the chicken was de-boned - much easier to eat that way.
We really didn't like the Pan Fried Buns so much. It wasn't that they were bad; but I suppose we are so used to the awesome ones at Victoria Restaurant. All other versions pale in comparison. I felt that the bun itself was too thick and it overwhelmed the meat. Every bite had more bun than meat. My dad wanted to get some veggies and we found something not usually offered at Dim Sum - Stir Fried Chinese Morning Glory with Fermented Bean Curd. Okay, this may not sound that appetizing; but trust me, this combination is money. In this case, the morning glory was still crisp and there was a good amount of saltiness from the fermented bean curd. We always seem to order BBQ Pork Bun and it's probably because my daughter loves these. She is the total opposite of my son, she eats everything. These ones were good. The bun itself was fluffy and there was ample sweet BBQ pork filling.
Talking about unappetizing, for some, the Steamed Duck Webs might not be that appealing. Well, I've been eating these since I was a kid, so I guess it's because I'm used to it. If you like fried gelatinous skin which is steamed in a oyster- based sauce, this dish is for you. I liked the ones here, they were in one piece, not salty while still being soft. As I have mentioned many times over, one of the dishes that Dim Sum restaurants must get right to be legit is the rice noodle roll. In this case, we got one Beef Rice Noodle Roll and one Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll each. The beef one was mostly for the kiddies er... I mean for my daughter because as you can clearly see, there are "things" in it and my son doesn't eat "things". Curiously, the beef roll was not as soft as the shrimp roll. I've noticed this on more than one occasion at different restaurants. My mom hypothesized that the filling might influence the softness of the noodle itself. Whatever the case, both were pretty good with plenty of filling.
I must confess that the next dish is a personal favourite of mine and I always have to get it for Dim Sum. Somehow, I usually end up eating most of it. Not sure if no one else likes it as much as I do or I just hog it all to myself. I'd like to think it was the former. The Steamed Spareribs were pretty good. A decent mix of meaty pieces with cartilage pieces. It wasn't too fatty nor salty. However, once we were finished the spareribs, there was a significant pool of oil that remained. One dish you'd expect to be a bit greasy would be the Soy Fried Noodles. Not only were they not greasy, they were dry and flavourless. Just by looking at them, there is a definite absence of colour as well. This could of benefited from more light and dark soy.
You might be wondering what happened to the Steamed Shrimp Dumplings. After all, almost everyone orders this and it is also the measuring stick for everything else. Apparently, the dumplings got crossed off our table ticket and they thought we already got it. We told one of the managers this and not only did it come out very quickly after that, he came by to make sure it arrived. I was impressed with their handling of the situation. The dumplings themselves were lightly seasoned and the shrimp was crunchy (I always say this, but it's not crunchy in the sense of crispy; rather it has the "bite" associated with cold water shrimp). Despite the hole in the wrapper of one of the dumplings, the skin was thin and just the right texture (soft, but slightly chewy).
It was pretty solid Dim Sum at Golden Star and I didn't have really all that much to complain about. Most of the food was what it should be and the prices were sure reasonable. I really liked that we were not packed together like sardines and never felt rushed. Service was actually pretty decent and they took responsibility over the missed shrimp dumplings. Although Golden Star would not be my first choice of Dim Sum, it is a place I would return to.
- Good spacing between tables
- Food is decent
- As mentioned in the dinner post, the carpet really needs to be replaced
- Small and tight parking lot