Sherman's Food Adventures: Sun Star

Sun Star

Whenever there is a new spot for Dim Sum near me, I am always on it.  On the other hand, there haven't been many good experiences though as the best Dim Sum is generally found in Richmond and sometimes, in Vancouver.  So when I noticed that the newly relocated Sun Star offering up Dim Sum, it was with some trepidation.  I've had their takeout Chinese food before when they were on North Road and it was decent.  Wonder what we had in store at their new digs in the Ramada Inn off Lougheed?

Well, the renovations were not exactly extensive as the remnants of the shuttered Char 631 were still visible.  I guess it was extra noticeable as we were seated in the lounge which sported far-too-high banquettes for the tables.  Toe start, we ordered a couple of noodle dishes including the Seafood Fried Noodles.  This was strangely fishy and it wasn't because of the fish either.  It was actually the squid and it wasn't that appealing.  Too bad as the noodles were fried crispy and the rest of the ingredients were fine.  A touch on the pale side, the Pan-Fried Rice Noodle Rolls were okay.  We would've liked to see more caramelization and saltiness though.  It wasn't too greasy as it normally can be.

Continuing with the carbs, we ordered the Fish Congee with a side of Salty Donut.  For a small size, the congee was rather large being enough for the entire table.  It was a touch on the thinner side, but not watery.  I found it to be mild-tasting whereas the generous amount of fish did add some sweetness.  Nice touch on the condiments on the side including peanuts, green onions and wonton crisps.  Seemingly refried, the donut was pretty crunchy yet not completely oil-soaked.  It was seasoned well and somewhere in between dense and airy.  Staying with the deep-fryer, we got the Shrimp Spring Rolls which were served in a modern bowl.  As evidenced in the picture, they could've stood for a bit more filling.  They were crispy though and the shrimp were bouncy and well-seasoned.

It looked like we overdid it with the carbs, but in reality, the limited menu didn't offer up many other choices, especially with some things that were sold out (including the Siu Mai on a Saturday morning???).  So we got the Lo Mei Gai (sticky rice in lotus leaves) and they were pretty typical.  I thought there could've been a bit more ground pork filling which would've softened up the slightly dense sticky rice.  It did taste good with plenty of umaminess.  So they were also sold out of the BBQ pork buns, hence we had no choice but to get the next best thing which was the Steamed Chicken Buns.  Honestly, I'm much more a fan of the BBQ pork buns than chicken buns.  Therefore, the fact that the bun was fluffy and the chicken was juicy and well-seasoned didn't win me over.

As mentioned, the siu mai was sold out, which meant the Ha Gau were rather lonely without its partner in crime.  They were fairly large and the filling was decent.  It was a combination of whole pieces of shrimp bonded together with some shrimp mousse.   Texturally, there was the classic bounce texture, yet the whole thing was lacking seasoning.  As for the dumpling skin, it was a touch thick and really wet.  I think the dumplings were oversteamed at tad.  Well at least these could be considered good since the Xiao Long Bao were sub-par.  As you can clearly see in the picture, the dumpling skin was soaked with moisture and hence lacking any texture.  No elasticity whatsoever.   There was also very little soup, yet at the same time, the pork was tender and tasted fine.  It just lacked variation in flavour.

2 other typical Dim Sum dishes we had were the Phoenix Talons (Chicken Feet) and Beef Meatballs.  We thought the chicken feet were acceptable with plenty of garlic and a nice balance between sweet and salty.  The chicken feet themselves were on the scrawnier side and could've been cooked a bit longer.  Nothing wrong with the fried skin, but the cartilage underneath wasn't soft enough. As for the beef meatballs, this was actually one of the better dishes of the meal (not say much I suppose).  Texturally, it was on point being soft and tender with a rebound when bitten into.  There wasn't a whole lot of green onion nor cilantro, which was fine by us as we think most places over do it and hence the whole thing tastes like the herbs only.  Interestingly, there were 4 of them rather than 3 which was a good value.

Ending with 2 more savoury dishes since the selection of desserts were limited, we tried the Steamed Pork Spareribs and the Pan-Fried Bun.  Although rather plain-looking, the spareribs were quite good.  Plenty of meaty portions and low on the fat, this was plenty hearty.  Furthermore, it was well-seasoned with garlic and appealing saltiness.  I guess we ended off strong as the pan-fried pork buns were also decent.  The bun itself was soft and fluffy and not too thick.  Inside, the pork filling was juicy and tender.  We wished they were a bit more aggressive with the sear on the bottom though.  Overall, the Dim Sum at Sun Star was rather mediocre with a limited selection.  I give them props for trying, but for me, I'll stick to their take-out combos instead.

The Good:
- Nice people
- Reasonable-pricing
- Plenty of parking

The Bad:
- Dim Sum is mediocre
- Limited selection


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