Sherman's Food Adventures: Westview Oriental

Westview Oriental

As much as I lament the lack of Dim Sum options in and around Burnaby North, the same could be said about the North Shore.  With a whopping 2 restaurants that serve up Chinese brunch, one would wonder why there aren't more.  Why open another Chinese restaurant in Richmond when the market as saturated as ramen on Robson?  Since we were heading to the North Shore Auto Mall to check out cars, we stopped by Westview Oriental to see if much has changed since our last visit (4 years ago).

Much like many of my revisits, it was deja vu once again as we were seated at the exact same table.  Arriving first was the very golden brown Shrimp Spring Rolls that were super hot and crunchy.  Despite its tanned appearance, they were not greasy.  Inside, the shrimp filling had a mousse bounce-like texture that was plenty seasoned.  To balance out the deep fried dish, we had the Stir-Fried Garlic Pea Tips.  This was a well-prepared dish where the pea tips were tender with a light crunch.  This was minimally oily while mildly seasoned.  We liked how the garlic came through without being interrupted by too much salt.

After this, practically every other dish we ordered showed up.  After furiously taking my pictures, I dug into the 2 most important dumplings in the Haw Gow and Sui Mai.  I found the shrimp dumplings to be decent, but the thick and somewhat doughy skin affected the overall texture.  The filling was a mix of whole shrimp pieces and mousse (which was somewhat bland).  Hence, it was similar to the spring rolls being soft with only a touch of rebound.  As for the sui mai, the chunks of pork were soft and only slightly meaty.  The only bounce texture came from the shrimp.  In terms of flavour, the dumplings were good with natural pork juices melding with the ample seasoning.

For the kiddies, we got them the standard 2 dishes in the Lo Mei Gai (Sticky Rice) and BBQ Pork Buns.  We found the sticky rice to be on point with soft while still glutinous rice mixed with a good amount of ground pork and shiitake mushrooms.  There was the right mix of moist ingredients to go with the rice while not making it mushy.  Amply filled with lean BBQ pork, the buns were subsequently flavourful from the sweet and savoury mix.  We found the filling to be appealing since there was more meat than actual glaze.  Furthermore, the bun itself was soft and fluffy while not wet from the ingredients.

For myself, I didn't go for any offal this time around, but I did get one of my favs being the Bean Curd Skin Roll.  This was rather saucy, yet the bean curd skin still maintained its chewy texture.  Inside, the ground pork filling was succulent and mildly seasoned.  That wasn't a problem though as the sauce was plenty salty.  To mask that, I dunked it into Worcestershire sauce.  We also got the Black Bean Spareribs which were very well-marinated in black beans and salt.  Therefore, the dish was plenty flavourful bordering on salty.  The texture of the ribs were a touch soft with only the slightest of rebound.  There were many more meaty rib pieces than fat and cartilage.

Normally Viv doesn't really care what I order, but she did want the XO Daikon Pudding Cake though.  Good call as they were lightly fried where the exterior wasn't crispy, yet the inside was soft and spiked with Chinese sausage and dried shrimp.  A quick wok toss in chilis, XO sauce, garlic and onions ensured some heat and aromatics.  Lastly, we had the Beef Meatballs that were a bit pale in appearance.  Texturally, they were buttery with a light rebound.  There was a minimal amount of green onion which meant the flavours were pretty one note except for the intermittent hits of dried orange peel. So similar to our first visit years ago, Westview Oriental pumps out decent Dim Sum, especially for the North Shore.  With nothing in the way of competition, we could see why the place was packed.

The Good:
- Decent Dim Sum
- Decent service
- Clean

The Bad:
- Pricey
- A touch salty

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