As mentioned in this blog numerous times before, Choobee doesn't like venturing far for her eats. Getting her to go East of Main is as difficult as protecting your parking spot from a big luxury SUV in Yaohan Centre. Recently, she has been working in Richmond and that meant she is forced to eat outside of Vancouver. I took advantage of this development by meeting up with her for lunch. Unfortunately, I didn't check the operating times of our intended destination... So with nothing as a backup plan, we made the simple decision to go for Dim Sum at the nearby Kalok. Since Dim Sum is best shared with friends, she made the quick call out to JoJo and others.
We started off with the Green Beans with minced pork and olives. As much as this dish was prepared properly with oil-blanched beans finished off with plenty of caramelization from high wok heat, the whole dish was overly greasy. Overlooking that, the flavours were good though with just enough saltiness from the olives. Next, we tried something a bit different in the Fish Paste & Pea Tips Rice Noodle Roll. Wrapped in a thin and slightly elastic rice noodle roll, the fish paste and pea tip mixture was fried until crispy. Texturally, there was a nice rebound with the slight crunch of the pea tips. Personally, I thought the filling was far too dense for a rice noodle roll.
From fish to shrimp, we had the Eggplant with Shrimp Paste. I swear there was more shrimp paste than eggplant as there was no room for more. The eggplant was a bit oil-logged, but tender while not mushy. Light and bouncy, the shrimp paste was moist and sweet. Despite the rich black bean colour, the sauce was not really that impactful. With actual black beans on top, the Steamed Spareribs with pumpkin were even more greasy than the green beans. With an oily film gracing each piece, it was rather unappetizing. With that being said, there was a decent rebound texture to go along with the adequate amount of seasoning.
Moving on, we had the Phoenix Talons (Chicken Feet) which were aesthetically-pleasing. In this case, looks did not deceive us as each claw was plump with moist fried skin that retained a bite. Underneath, the cartilage was soft without melting away. To round things out, there was a good amount of garlic to accent a balanced savoury sweetness. To this point of the blog, I don't think there have been many Shrimp Spring Rolls that have been bad. Well, this one was not very good. They were fried too long in old oil which meant that there was this greasy flavour that offset the decent filling. Sure, the shrimp were buttery with a slight snap, but the exterior of the roll was just not very appetizing.
Onto the standard, the Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumpling) was the beneficiary of the same filling in the spring roll. Hence, the bits of shrimp and shrimp mousse were buttery and moist. I would've liked to see more snap, but it was sufficient. Although there was a certain degree of sweetness, it didn't seem to have much shrimp flavour nor enough sesame oil. As for the skin, it was thin and nicely chewy. Seemingly tossed haphazardly on top, the tobiko on the Sui Mai resembled a crime scene. The mixture of pork, shrimp and shiitake was completely over-processed where the dumpling took on mousse-like qualities. In terms of taste, I found the good amount of shiitake went well with the sweet and savoury elements.
Continuing on, we sampled the Pineapple BBQ Pork Buns. These could've been money if they had prepared them properly. It appeared that the oven temperature was too high as the bottom of the buns were crispy and brown while the other parts were underdone. Overlooking this, the BBQ pork filling was nicely balanced while the bun was actually quite airy despite being underdone. As a filler of sorts (like we needed any), the Stir-Fried Sticky Rice was decent. Normally, this dish can be greasy due to the its preparation in a wok. However, this was not the case here as they achieved good caramelization without excess greasiness. Furthermore, the rice was on point being chewy while not too hard or soft. Despite the bits of Chinese sausage, I would've liked to see more seasoning.
Choobee was truly intrigued by the Veggie & Meat Bun in Hot Pot as she tried to envision what that would look like. Well, it was literally, pan-fried buns served in a hot pot. Essentially "sang jeen bao" that were further steamed/roasted in a heated claypot, the buns themselves were pretty decent. They were fluffy and filled with moist and flavourful pork, yet they could've been seared a bit more. Lastly, we had the Steamed Sponge Cake which was pretty much indicative of our meal. It was "okay", but not as fluffy and moist as we would've liked (more lard please). Moreover, it didn't have a depth of sweetness either. Yup, the food was alright, but pales in comparison to other places in the same price range.
- Food came out quick and dessert came out last
- Service was decent
- Food is alright, but with faults
- Not exactly expensive, but not cheap either