Sherman's Food Adventures: Dim Sum @ Lougheed Wonton Restaurant

Dim Sum @ Lougheed Wonton Restaurant

About 5 years ago, we had randomly stumbled upon Lougheed Wonton Restaurant in its original location. You see, they used to be in the plaza on the corner of North Road and Cameron. We were actually at the Dollar Giant and walked over to try it out. We ended up eating there quite a few times. Both Dim Sum and dinner were more than acceptable at a reasonable price. Although the place was small, the service was hurried and sparse. Then all of a sudden, the plaza was bought-out and slated for demolition. Now a restaurant with no home, they had to relocate. At first, there were rumours that they would buy out Yan's Garden and relocate there. But it never materialized. In fact, Yan's went on to expand and do its own thing. Therefore, if you were wondering why a restaurant on St. John's in Port Moody is named Lougheed Wonton Restaurant, this is why. We had visited the place immediately after it moved and the dinner was okay. The place is definitely bigger, if not in need of a serious cleaning. Service once again was hurried; yet friendly. For reasons unknown, we have totally disregarded the place as a source of Dim Sum even though I pass by it daily. We have ended up going as far as Coquitlam to Kam Ding and Poco to Rainbow Butterfly. So when Viv asked what we were doing for lunch on Sunday, I thought it was about time we returned to try out their Dim Sum.

Reminiscent of my youth when my parents would take me out to Dim Sum every weekend, it seems like we take our kids to do the same as well. Great, now my kids will think that eating out so often is normal. The cycle continues... But I doubt my son would continue writing this blog since all he eats are carbs! Anyways, unlike last time at Chong Lum Hin, we didn't park in front of a sex shop. Rather, it was a consignment store. No need to explain what "adult toys" are to my son this time. Lucky for us, we had arrived just before the rush. This place is nuts on the weekend! Mind you, not everyone was having Dim Sum. There were quite a few tables eating crab, Peking Duck and even lobster! Wow... Extravagant lunches! We couldn't order those dishes even if we wanted to. The kids would not be impressed. Instead, we started with the Soya Fried Noodles. As evidenced in the picture, the noodles were really wok-fried. So much so, it was nearing the point of burnt. But no harm, no foul and the noodles were alright, if not messily prepared. Another kid-friendly dish was the Chicken & Mushroom Congee. We really wanted the prawn congee instead since they were all one price. Hey, the Chinese in me took over. Get the most expensive item for the same price! Anyways, it was a no go. My daughter insisted on chicken. As for the congee itself, it resembled something I'd make at home. That means it was very much home-style where it was not really all that flavouful while being chunky thick. The chicken was decently tender and there were big shiitake mushrooms throughout. Of course, we got a Salty Donut to go along with the congee. That and my son absolutely loves it. He also loves beaver tails and spring roll wrappers. Hmm... something about fried dough... Darn carbs again! This was indeed freshly-fried and not too oily. Not as airy as we would've liked; but it was good nonetheless.

Onto the most important items of all - Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) and Sui Mai (Pork & Shrimp Dumplings). As for the haw gow, they were big and full of shrimp with the desired snap texture. However, there was a slight fishiness to the taste. It didn't ruin the dish; but it was noticeable. The dumpling skin was perfect though. Slightly chewy and not too thick. The Sui Mai were okay, if not a bit too fatty. I realize that there must be a certain amount of fat for flavour and texture; however, there were big chunks of fat that could not be chewed readily. Despite it tasting pretty good, the big fat chunks ruined it for me. As mentioned, we had ordered the salty donut. For some reason or another, they brought out the salty donut rice noodle roll. Despite not ordering it, they tried to talk us into taking it. Since we already had the pan-fried noodles and a Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll coming, we took a pass. It was comical to see them trying to hawk the darn thing to every other table. As for the one we did order, the shrimp were big and crunchy. The noodle itself was also quite good although being slightly on the thicker side. Not sure if it was just bad luck; but our rice noodle roll was appreciably smaller than the other ones we saw at neighbouring tables.

One of Viv's favs is the Deep Fried Eggplant with Shrimp Mousse. These ones were perfectly cooked with the eggplant still retaining its structural integrity (I bet you didn't think I would use that term in a food blog!). There was a decent amount of shrimp mousse and they didn't overdo it with the amount of black bean sauce. Seems like we always get the BBQ Pork Buns; yet the kids rarely eat it. Why do we order it then? We end up taking it home all the time. I guess that is our breakfast for the next day! As for the buns, they were not bad. They were fluffy while the BBQ pork wasn't too fatty. We did find the filling to be on the sweeter side though. At this point we decided to order 3 more items and it took quite a long time. However, the server did warn us of this. At this time, the restaurant became super packed and the available staff were working really hard to keep up. Dishes were not cleared and the teapot was not refilled. I think they might need at least one more worker, maybe a bus boy to collect dishes and stuff. So as for the 3 dishes, the Beef Short Ribs were a complete miss. These are normally quite tender. Sadly this was not. They were extremely chewy and frankly not worth eating. We did like the garlicky peppery flavour though. The Phoenix Talons (aka Chicken Feet) were passable. A tad on the over-steamed side, there was very little in the way of anything underneath the fried skin. Once again, the flavour was quite good though being garlicky. Our last savoury item was the Bean Curd Skin Rolls which are actually fried bean curd sheets wrapped around pork and veggies. These rolls were in dire need of moisture. The filling was pretty dry while there was not much sauce at the bottom of the plate. The rolls would greatly improve with the addition of more moisture or possibly more veggies in the filling.

The Egg Tarts were not really the last dish we had for our meal; but I just couldn't talk about it in the order we received it. For some reason, talking about dessert at the start of a blog post seems odd... Besides, it seems like Dim Sum is a free-for-all where dessert shows up first. Yes, they are far too busy to ever expedite food in their proper order. Despite the use of puff pastry for the tart shell, it was still not that flaky. Furthermore, the filling was a tad runny. It was a bit bland; but that is a whole lot better than too sugary. I would say that these were pretty average egg tarts. In fact, the Dim Sum as a whole was pretty average. Of course we shouldn't expect too much considering we were having Dim Sum in Port Moody. One thing that works against this place is the lack of staff. Granted they are trying their very best while maintaining a cheery disposition; yet it is quite frustrating waiting for something as simple as tea. I guess if one was not too picky, this would not be an issue. But it took us almost 2 hours to finish our meal due to waiting. I'll let you be the judge of whether that is a good thing or not.

The Good:
- Inexpensive
- No other Dim Sum within a country mile
- Servers are friendly despite being completely overwhelmed

The Bad:
- A bit dirty
- Severs overworked; thus there really isn't any service
- Average food

Lougheed Wonton Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Ginseng said...

We've tried this was a complete miss. The service was lousy, the place was dirty, and I don't even want to comment on the state of the bathrooms. It was only our family, so we only ordered a few dishes, but the gap in bringing them to us was so long. Other tables were seated, served, and gone by the time we got the last of our food. The kids got cranky and we were out of patience. I'd rather drive an extra 10 mins for dim sum.

Sherman Chan said...

Ginseng, yes, I won't be going back either.

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