Last time, when we were waiting in line for Dim Sum at the Roc, JuJu noticed that there was another place across the street. That, in his mind, would be our Dim Sum adventure the next time after hockey. Turns out his wife visited the place in the meantime and apparently it passed the test. Thus, after Sunday hockey, we headed over to Kam Wah Loong for some Dim Summing. I know it's a given that I would complain about parking all the time; but honestly, there is so little parking around for so many business in the area. It took me a bit of time to find space. When I walked into the restaurant, I was the first person "in-line". But then I noticed a sign-up sheet on the bar counter. Thus, I headed over and waited for someone to take down my name. While I was waiting, a crowd of people began to form, including an old lady next to me. When the hostess returned, she was about to give the old lady a number first; but I wasn't going down without a fight. In Cantonese, I quickly declared that I was first, despite her skepticism. The old lady didn't offer up that I was indeed first and I knew that I had to stand my ground. Hey, if everyone wants to play the "Chinese" rules of engagement when it comes to lineups, I'm not only playing along; I play to win! I finally ended getting my way and felt proud to outwit, outplay and outsmart a little old lady. Ah, the small victories... Next, I'm going to attempt to win a parking spot in Richmond. Okay, okay, I won't tempt fate.
After a short wait, we got our table, made our order and anxiously waited for our food. You see, we were famished (late lunch combined with playing hockey = me need food badly). We started with the classic duo of Haw Gow and Sui Mai. The haw gow were of a decent size and generally quite good. The dumpling wrapper was slightly on the chewier side while the shrimp was crunchy and modestly seasoned. They could've bonded the filling better since the shrimp fell apart quite easily. The sui mai were solid with slightly chewy pork and the occasional shrimp. I could definitely taste pork here due to the light seasoning. For the life of me, I have no idea why people order Xiao Long Bao in a Cantonese restaurant. I try to avoid doing this; but it never fails, someone orders it. The dumplings never turn out right, usually ending up as a regular pork dumpling with no juice. In this case, it was pretty much the same with a gummy dumpling skin and no juice inside. It did taste good though.
We also got an order of the Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll. Slightly sloppy looking, it didn't detract from the texture. The rice noodle was soft and there was plenty of shrimp. Although, the shrimp seemed to be in little bits. Something that I normally don't order much of anymore are the Fried Taro Dumplings. Hey, I love 'em; however, they are so unhealthy. These fried football-shaped mashed taro dumplings are usually filled with ground pork in a starch-thickened sauce. In this version, it was a curry pork filling. I prefer this type of filling, in addition to the Portuguese sauce version as well. The dumplings didn't appear to soak up too much oil making them a little less guilty to eat. For some reason or another, no one really wanted to touch the Pork Spareribs. There was nothing wrong with them. In fact, I though they were pretty good. As you can see in the picture, most of the meat are directly attached to bone. Not much in the way of cartilage or fatty pieces. I liked how the meat was not over-tenderized; thus there was a nice chewiness to them. Only complaint would be that they were a bit salty.
Since we were so hungry, we got 2 filler items. One was the BBQ Pork & Shrimp Fried Rice for $6.99. With such a large portion, it surely made the $6.99 price tag look very attractive. Furthermore, the rice itself was excellent because each grain was discernible and slightly chewy. The shrimp was just cooked and we appreciated the lean BBQ pork. Sometimes you really wonder if it is indeed BBQ pork or just BBQ fat. With the rice being good, the Satay Beef Flat Rice Noodles was not. For the same price as the fried rice, it was actually a pretty large portion. However, we would've preferred less or maybe none at all. The noodles were so grossly overcooked, it became an indistinguishable pile of mush which was coated with a sauce so greasy, it would make a Pizza Hut pan pizza jealous. To top it off, it had no flavour at all. Yuck.
Other than the crappy rice noodles, most of the food was pretty decent. Things tasted like they should and the textures were bang on. The prices didn't hurt our bottom line and the portions were good. Service, as expected was sparse at the best of times. The place is extremely tight and you really do not want to linger. It gets really busy and you'll need to accept the fact there will be a lineup. Just make sure no little old lady tries to school you in the art of skipping the line...
- Good portions
- Acceptable food for the price
- Very tight seating
- Sparse service