There is definitely plenty of room for another Dim Sum restaurant in Burnaby. Taking a page for the "build it and they will come" playbook, Grand Dynasty enters the scene. Situated within the Grand Villa Casino at the Delta Hotel, Grand Dynasty is definitely upscale. From the beautiful decor and attentive service to the "Downtown" prices, this place is unlike anything we've had in Burnaby up until now. Similar in concept to the Kirin attached to the Starlight Casino in New West, Grand Dynasty offers upscale Chinese food for the gambling clientele and beyond. The actual restaurant is not really that big. I can safely assume a banquet would involve catering into one of the large ballrooms. Honestly, I didn't even know that the place had opened up (only 5 days ago). My mom had tipped me off since she heard the ads on Chinese radio. Always anxious to try out new places, we headed there the next morning for Sunday Dim Sum with the family.
We started with the Sui Mai which were good. A balanced amount of snappy shrimp and pork took care of the textural aspects of the dumpling while the mild amount of seasoning and shiitake made for a good tasting product. I liked the appearance of the dumpling, especially the ample amount of tobiko on top. The Haw Gow (or Shrimp Dumpling) were equally good. Modest in size; yet high in quality, the shrimp had the requisite snap while the dumpling skin walked the line between being soft or chewy. Not overseasoned either, we could definitely taste the sweetness of the shrimp. I liked the Pork Spareribs. They were tender with a bit of chew left while there was a good flavour from the garlic and peppers. Too bad there was so little of it. When it arrived, it looked as if half of the order was missing. Look, you can see the bottom of the plate! Not a good value at $4.95.
Much like the Shrimp Spring Rolls at Bing Sheng, they were plated with the rolls cut diagonally. I kinda like this presentation actually, even though it really isn't functional for dipping purposes. The spring rolls were crunchy and full of garlicky whole shrimp. Solid dish. As for the next one, I wasn't so sure about the concept. It was Black Chicken with Bamboo Pith and Dried Fish Maw. Hey, the bamboo pith and dried fish maw were good, excellent textural items. The wolfberries on top were both aesthetically pleasing and added a muted sweetness and a touch of bitterness. However, the chicken itself is not something I prefer to eat. You see, black chicken is quite tough and would be best used in soups. Predictably, the chicken here was not very tender, albeit it had a level of sweetness that I liked. I think this would've worked better with regular chicken.
Now for some dishes for the kiddies. We got the Baked BBQ Pork Bun for my son, not because he likes it particularly. Rather, this version had a sugary topping which he absolutely loves. So I got the BBQ pork, he got the bun. As for the bun, it was light, soft and of course sweet with the topping. I liked the BBQ pork, it had sweetness with depth and colour without being overly sweet. Consequently, the Steamed BBQ Pork Bun tasted just as good since it had the same filling. I did notice that there was not too much in the way of pork fat in either bun. I do realize pork fat is yummy. I just don't want it predominantly so. The steamed bun was slightly on the chewier side, I would've preferred it to be a more "loose". Not a big issue though.
Another fan favourite for the kids is the Pan-Fried Rice Noodle Roll with Soya Sauce. Although the presentation of the dish left a lot to be desired, it was better than it looked. One of the reasons why the noodle rolls looked like they were falling apart was due to the delicate texture. The rice noodle rolls were very soft (in a good way though) with good colour and a nice caramelized soya flavour. Naturally, the Shrimp Rice Noodle Rolls were expected to be just as good and they were. The rice noodle was once again soft while not disintegrating on contact either. Curiously, instead of the typical 3 rolls, there were only 2. Although... there were 4 large, perfectly cooked crunchy shrimp inside. Usually, there are only 3. So by doing the math, we are only short by one shrimp despite missing on entire roll. However, it just didn't seem right with only 2 rolls.
Normally, Shark's Fin Dumpling is comprised mainly of pork and does not contain real shark's fin. The version here is made up completely of shrimp and chives topped off with tobiko and imitation shark's fin. An interesting take on a classic dumpling. Much like the haw gow, consisting of practically the same ingredients, the textures and flavours were good. Despite employing an ordering system with a checklist, there are times when special dishes roam around the dining room in hopes that someone will try them. My mom loves shrimp/prawns, so it was given that we would take a chance at the one that arrived at our table - Pan-Fried Prawns. Now don't laugh... These type of whole prawns with head on are deep fried and then wok-tossed with ketchup. Yes, ketchup. Of course there are other things that go into the sauce; but ketchup is the base. Don't knock it until you try it! I'm serious! The prawns here were cooked perfectly and the sauce was a nice balance of sweetness with a touch of tartness and savoury.
Moving along, the Pan-Fried Daikon Cake was nicely browned. It was mildly seasoned with most of the flavour provided by the dried shrimp and Chinese sausage. It was decently soft, although I would've preferred it to be smoother. Not a big deal breaker though. At first, when the Deep Fried Taro Dumplings arrived, they looked pretty good. And in fact, they were very crispy and hot. However, the filling of pork, mushrooms, Chinese sausage and shrimp were diced up into really small bits. Sure, it is supposed to be in small bits; but these were too small. The result was a gritty texture that was none-too-pleasing. I felt that there wasn't enough mashed taro either. Lastly, some parts of the dumpling were quite oily too.
Onto dessert, which is my kids favourite part of the meal. Naturally of course... So we started with the Thousand Layer Cake, which is not really all that many layers really. Normally, I really like this dessert because of the salted duck egg yolk. I like the texture and salty-sweetness of it. Yet, it turned out to be more custardy than anything. It wasn't too sweet, which I liked and there were pine nuts. I like pine nuts and it somehow sorta worked here. I saw the coconut and ate the coconut, I just didn't get a lot of coconut flavour. Despite all this, the cake was still decent for what it was. Predictably, my son didn't want any of it; yet curiously ate the Steamed Custard Bun willingly. Why curiously? Consider this. The custard bun here consists of the salted duck egg yolk. Yes, the same stuff that goes into the thousand layer cake. It's all in the head my boy! Anyways, what I didn't get in the cake, I got here in the bun. The salted duck egg yolk filling had it all. It was a bit greasy, a bit salty and a bit sweet. You gotta eat it to understand what I'm saying. It was good, lots of filling too. The bun was slightly chewy much like the BBQ pork bun. Not a big deal again.
Our last dessert was the Egg Tarts. For me, I am completely biased towards the flaky pastry-type. I absolutely despise the tart shell version. I find that it completely ruins the texture of the soft egg filling. So for me at least, I was happy with the egg tarts here. The flaky pastry was a tad sweet though. I found that it interfered with the egg custard itself. Not a big deal I suppose because the egg tart as a whole was quite good. In fact, I thought most of the food was solid due to the use of good ingredients and careful preparation. It better be though. The prices are extremely high for Burnaby. Normally, we wouldn't find these prices other than Downtown at places such as Imperial, Victoria and Kirin. I guess the prices reflect the level of service, decor and restaurant class as much as its location in the Delta Hotel. If you were looking for value, it would be best to move along. But if you want to pay handsomely for all the aforementioned characteristics, then Grand Dynasty is your place.
- It's a nice place with nice decor, attentive service and an air of class
- Solid food
- Lots of free parking
- Really pricey considering it's not in Downtown
- Smallish portions
- Not a big place, lineup for sure