With all the newer sexier options for Dim Sum these days, the ol' skool spots are often left out of the equation. Hey, with an avant garde decor and pricey modern Dim Sum, Chef Tony is probably the antithesis of places such as Continental out on Cambie Road in Richmond. Geez, I've remember frequenting Continental as a kid! Entering the place, it is like a time warp where the large dining hall-like space brings back memories of large wedding banquets. Add in the push carts and yep, it's like we're partying back in the 80's. So how does the place stack up to the newer and more trendy spots? Well, we did a revisit to see for ourselves.
Since all the food was in push carts, we got most of it right away. Why don't I just start with the standards in the Haw Gow and Siu Mai? To be frank, I was super surprised that both were pretty good. Being relatively thin, the haw gow skin also featured an appealing elasticity. Inside, the shrimp filling was sweet with the aromaticness of sesame oil. Texturally, there was the desired buttery snap. As for the siu mai, they textures of both the pork and shrimp were on point. The chunks of pork exhibited a rebound while the shrimp emulated the filling in the haw gow. There was a good mixture of both where there was plenty of seasoning as well.
Off to the Beef Meatballs, they also nailed down the expected texture. Processed enough, the meat was buttery tender while not completely mousse-like. There were bits of meat still present. I liked how they were easy on the greens which meant they didn't overwhelm the already subtly seasoned beef. On the other hand, the Phoenix Talons (chicken feet) were heavily seasoned with garlic. This was a good thing as the dish was impactful. We found the chicken feet to be pretty large and well-prepared with soft cartilage and relatively soft skin. It was a tad on the dry side in some spots though.
For me, I did what I usually do and got the Steamed Honeycomb Tripe. By appearance alone, this was a winner. I loved how each piece was substantial in size while at the same time, tender with an appealing chew. They were actually pretty bang on being just soft enough without becoming mushy. The flavours were also in balance with a nice garlickiness too. That flavour profile was also true for the Steamed Pork Spareribs except the natural meat flavours came through. There was a mix of pieces but more of the rib portions (which is a good thing). The texture was more meaty than bouncy, but that didn't matter as the dish was still good.
We couldn't decide which Rice Noodle Roll to order, so we got them all! These included the shrimp, beef and BBQ pork. Consistent across the board, the rice noodles were soft and not too thick with a nice elasticity. We found the shrimp to be decent with a snap while the beef was similar to the meatballs. Surprisingly, the BBQ pork was our favourite as it was stuffed full of meat that was lean and flavourful. Also indecisive, we got both versions of the Spring Rolls including shrimp and pork. These came out hot and crunchy while not greasy. The shrimp was again very similar to the other ones we had while the pork filling was a touch dry, but it was not fatty either.
Onto some filler items, we had the Lo Mei Gai. These were fairly large in size for mini-versions. They were stuff full of soft glutinous rice that was on the wetter side. In the middle, there was no absence of ground pork and shiitake mushrooms. I found the flavours to be mild, yet enough to flavour the rice. Staying with carbs, we ordered a plate of Yang Chow Fried Rice. This was well-executed and the beneficiary of hight wok heat with chewy, dry and nutty rice. It was also well-seasoned. I would've liked to see a tad more in the way of shrimp and BBQ pork, but that didn't affect the dish too much.
For dessert, we got a couple orders of Egg Tarts where also on point. The puff pastry shell was flaky and buttery while fully cooked throughout. In the middle, the silky egg custard was fairly sweet and very smooth. The egg tarts were a really good end to a super surprising Dim Sum service. As much as Continental doesn't have the sexiness nor modern appeal of other newer spots in town, it still stacks up well in the food department (complete with ol' skool push carts!).
- Above average Dim Sum
- Push carts, if you are into that
- Interior looks dated and not really inviting
- Push carts are cool, but it also means you have to wait for your favourites