It's been a long 2 years since Victoria Chinese Restaurant last opened its doors... until now. After a kitchen fire damaged much of the restaurant and part of the adjacent Hyatt Regency, it took awhile to do the renovations. Well, it took even longer to get all the paperwork and insurance in order which led up to this point. Since my parents are regulars at the place, they were kept up-to-date which meant we were able to hit it for Dim Sum only a few days after re-opening.
Upon entering the place, I was so glad to see the absence of the blinking Vegas-style lights. Onto the food, we started with their ever-popular Pan-Fried Pork Buns served with a side of red rice vinegar. Fried up crispy and brown on the bottom while sporting a soft and light shell, the rest of the bun was soft and fluffy. Inside, the pork filling was juicy (but no juice) with balanced flavours including a hint of ginger. Next, the Black Bean Spareribs were acceptably salty and garlicky. Most of the pieces were either actual rib portions or completely meat. The rib portions exhibited the classic rebound texture, however, the meat only pieces were rather chewy.
Moving on, we had the Dim Sum standards being the Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) and Sui Mai (Pork & Shrimp Dumplings). Constructed with a fairly thin and appealingly elastic dumpling skin, the haw gow were on point. Inside, the whole shrimp filling was buttery with a moist snap finish. They were sweet and savoury with a hint of sesame oil. Equally good, the sui mai consisted of almost a equal ratio of pork and shrimp. The chunks of moist pork were more meaty than bouncy while the shrimp emulated the same properties as the haw gow. With bits of shiitake as well as being properly seasoned, the dumpling was flavourful.
For the kiddies, we got them the same stuff as always including the BBQ Pork Buns. Although a bit small in size, the quality made up for it. Soft and fluffy, the bun was steamed just right without being dry nor too wet. Inside, the BBQ pork filling was meaty with very little fat. As for the glaze, it wasn't overly sweet. Served on a plate rather than a steamer, the Mini-Lo Mei Gai were pretty good. The glutinous rice was actually rather firm and slightly dry, but the ample amount of sliced pork filling and starch-thickened sauce helped achieve the right texture. Since, the pork was in slices instead of being ground, the whole thing ate a bit meatier.
Also for the kiddies was the Donut Rice Noodle Roll that was served plain without green onions and dried shrimp. That was actually a relief as the kiddies like it without the aforementioned ingredients. Buttery soft while a touch thick, the rice noodle lacked some elasticity. The donut itself was a bit dense, yet still crispy. Continuing on the same theme, we had the Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll which featured what was more like prawns. With 3 of them gracing each roll, there wasn't much to dislike here especially since they were well-seasoned and ate with a meaty snap. Moreover, the rice noodle was more firm and elastic than the previous dish.
Onto something a bit lighter and somewhat healthier, we had the Blanched Fatty Beef with Spinach (I did say somewhat healthier...). As much as the beef was well-marbled, it was cooked a tad too long where it was no longer buttery. Underneath, the spinach was cooked just enough where it didn't become a mushy mess. In fact, the stalks were still a bit crunchy, which is the perfect texture for cooked spinach in my opinion. Another "lighter" item was the Steamed Fish with soy sauce. Consisting of basa fillets which were soft and somewhat flaky, this was a pretty straightforward dish that was seasoned with sweetened soy. I thought they could've diluted it a bit more since the fish was already marinated.
To ensure we'd be full at the end of the meal, we ordered the Seafood Yee Mein Hot Pot. This was chock full of tender strands of noodles mixed with a bevy of scallops, shrimp, fish and squid. The seafood was more or less done right where nothing was overcooked. Unlike the version we've had in the past, this one was much lighter with the soy which meant more subtle flavours. Lastly, the Beef Meatballs were right on with the light bounce texture while not being rubbery. There was still a touch of natural meatiness left in the soft processed meatball. There was enough green onion and seasoning to taste, but ultimately it went better with the side of Worcestershire sauce. So after 2 years away, it was nice to see that the Dim Sum service was still solid like it has always been.
- Above average Dim Sum
- Fairly spacious and comfortable dining room
- On the pricier side