Fresh off a decadent dinner at the newly opened Deluxe Restaurant in Richmond, we returned a few days later for of their Dim Sum service. This was a good thing, not only because the food was comped, it also guaranteed us a table! The place is usually packed in the morning. Unlike most conventional Cantonese Dim Sum spots in town, The Deluxe also offers up sushi. Okay, I know what you are thinking and honestly, I thought the same thing too - what's up with a Chinese restaurant serving sushi? Well, we will get to that in this post...
But to start, we had the more usual items including the Ha Gau (Prawn Dumpling) and Truffle Siu Mai (Pork & Shrimp Dumpling). After some incessant-picture taking, we got down to eating so the food wouldn't be cold (thanks to Steph). Chewy and relatively thin, the ha gau dumpling skin exhibited an appealing elasticity. The buttery pieces of shrimp had a moist snap while being aggressively seasoned with sesame oil. The little bits of veg provided a certain crisp brightness. As for the siu mai, the pork was meaty and tender, but lack some resistance. Seasoning was mild except for the hit of black truffle and shiitake.
From there, I decided to move onto Garlic Prawn Spring Rolls served in a cup. I found these firmly crunchy and easy on the grease. The wrapper was a tad thick, hence the inner portion was on the denser side. Beyond that, the prawn filling was buttery with the requisite snap texture. There was enough seasoning for impact, including plenty of garlic. Interestingly, the best thing we ate was dessert in the Baked Portuguese Tarts. One bite and the creamy and aromatic filling was super appealing and not too sweet. The whole thing practically melted in my mouth. Loved the tart shell as it was buttery and lightly flaky.
One dish that was familiar, but uniquely different was the House Special Wild Rice Noodle Roll with shrimp. Beyond the colour of the rice noodle, what set this dish apart from the regular was the crispy vermicelli encasing each shrimp This provided a beautiful light crunch that was a textural contrast to the soft and elastic noodle. The shrimp itself was on point being buttery and well-seasoned. I also enjoyed the Shredded Chicken with Cucumber since the chicken itself was nicely gelatinized including the skin. The crunchy cucumber and taro strips added a pleasing texture while the seasoning had a little bit of everything including sweet and salty as well as a light spice at the end.
As simple as a bowl of Preserved Egg and Pork Congee can be, there is something comforting about the dish. I ate a couple of bowls because this version was on point. They didn't skimp with the ingredients and especially with the preserved egg (which was excellent being nutty and creamy). The pork slices were tender and also in abundance. As for the broth, it was thick, smooth and not over-seasoned. I also gave the Pumpkin Congee with Sparerib a shot too and it was even thicker with a background sweetness. Even tough it was thicker, it was still smooth and easy to eat. I loved the ample amount of tender sparerib which was mostly meat and not cartilage nor fat.
Interestingly, the Steamed Buns with Mushroom & Taro were made to look like mushrooms (as with a few other places in town), but rather than having a mushroom filling, it was mainly dense taro. That in itself made the bun rather heavy and negated the fluffy exterior. I would've much rather see a loose and savoury mushroom filling. The Steamed Creamy Carrot Custard Buns were attractive to look at and ultimately were pretty decent. Again, the bun was soft and fluffy while the inside was creamy and runny (however, we ate them when they had cooled down, so it would've been even runnier when hot). It wasn't too sweet though, which was something that I personally appreciated.
Now about that sushi... Well, I would have to say the presentation and care to detail was definitely there as it looked appetizing and picture-worthy. Secondly, the quality of the ingredients were good visually and ultimately texturally and flavour-wise. This was especially true with the Nigiri as the hamachi was really good. Each slice was buttery with a bite and naturally sweet with a touch of the sea. Same could be said about the salmon except it was more mild-tasting. As for the Maki Sushi, it was beautiful to look at and again, the fish was on point. However, the rice was a bit too excessive and trending towards gummy for my tastes.
One of my favourite dishes was a more standard offering. On appearance alone, the Steamed Pork Spareribs looked appealing in colour with large meaty rib portions. In reality, it ate just as good as it looked with a meaty bounce with very little in the way of fat or cartilage. Furthermore, it was packed with flavour including a garlicky saltiness accented by a hint of the peppers found on top.
As with many Chinese restaurant meals, we were treated to 2 carb heavy items at the end including the Singapore Fried Noodles. This was subjected to enough wok heat where the curry flavour was caramelized being aromatic with a background deep spice. The noodles were on the drier side though. As you can see in the picture, there was no absence of ingredients evenly distributed. The Soy Sauce Chow Mein was quite good featuring chewy noodles with good wok heat infusing the flavours and smokiness. It wasn't too greasy and there was an array of veggies to vary up the texture.
The last 2 items actually arrived early on into the Dim Sum service, but I decided to eat them last. These included the Green Tea Glutinous Pancakes with mango and also the Country Style Steamed Honey Comb Cake. I found the pancakes to be somewhat dense and chewy. It wasn't overly sweet, but it did hinder the impact of the mango. Sweet, but not as sweet as it appeared, the honey comb cake was soft with a certain rebound texture. There was a deep richness to the flavour as the colour indicated. In general, the Dim Sum at The Deluxe is above-average complete with superior service (for a Chinese restaurant). However, the pricing is a bit higher as a result. Sushi was interesting and was actually decent, but not something I would necessarily order.
*All food was complimentary*
- Above-average eats
- Excellent service (this was consistent with other tables)
- Some interesting items
- On the pricier side
- Sashimi was not bad, but the rice was subpar