Sherman's Food Adventures: Yuan's Garden

Yuan's Garden

The Shanghainese dim sum game in Richmond is pretty much the best in the Lower Mainland.  Sure, we have some spots scattered around that are pretty good, but yah Richmond is king of all things Chinese and parking lot chaos.  Speaking of which, we decided to check out Yuan's Garden on Alexandra Road and yep, their parking lot is woefully insufficient for the businesses in the complex.  Hence, we found cars parked in spots that weren't even spots (not that we were surprised).  For those familiar with Shanghai Morning, this is essentially their new location under a new name.

Anyways, unlike parking spots, we could reserve a table and thankfully we did as the place was packed.  We kicked things off with the Hot & Sour Soup that featured a chili oil slick on top.  Despite that, the soup itself was not that spicy.  I found it rather mild with enough tanginess.  There could've been more ingredients as it wasn't that fulfilling.  Overall, the soup was decent though as the viscosity was right and textures were good.

Onto the Xiao Long Bao, we ended up ordering 2 steamers, but only one at a time.  Good strategy when you want to keep them hot and steamy.  These featured a medium-thick dumpling skin that was tender with a bit of elasticity.  There was a considerable amount of soup inside that had strong ginger and shaoxing wine notes.  The meat was plentiful and plump being juicy and moist.

We also got the Drunken Chicken as this is one of my mom's favourite dishes.  This was also pretty solid with a good portion size for the price.  It featured an equal amount of dark and white meat.  The skin was nicely gelatinzed while sporting an appealing colour.  As for the meat, both types were tender and a touch firm due to the use of free-range chicken.  There was enough wine flavour to give some floral notes to go with the saltiness.

As we already had the chicken, we decided that we'd get the Nanjing Duck as well.  Personally, I thought this was better than the chicken.  Neatly cut, the slices of breast meat were tender without any dry portions.  It was flavourful with a muted saltiness with background liquorice notes.  The skin was gelantized and it was completely edible without being flabby.  One of the better versions of this dish I've had lately.

Off to my kid's favourite dish, we had to the Shanghai-Style Stir-Fried Rice Cakes.  As you can see in the picture, they used enough dark soy to give the dish colour.  Furthermore, there was enough wok hei (a really hot wok), to caramelize each slice of rice cake.  It was cooked enough that they were tender and soft while keeping their classic chewiness.  Seasoning was on point too.

Instead of getting the usual spicy beef noodle, we opted for the tamer Five Spice Beef Noodle instead.  Yes, this was indeed very mild and in fact, perfect for young kids and those who do not like spice.  For me, I would've preferred the Szechuan style instead.  With that being said, the noodles were al dente while the broth was clean and slightly sweet.  As for the sliced beef shank, it was light on flavour, but quite tender.

In addition to the XLBs, we got the Pan Fried Pork Buns as our second dumpling dish.  Although you cannot see it, the bottoms were nicely browned and crispy.  Hidden within the relatively fluffy bun, was similarly juicy and moist ground pork as the XLBs.  There was also a good amount of sweet meaty soup that was not all that greasy.  In fact, the bun itself did not soak up too much oil either.

So our last 2 items consisted of the Fried Salty Donut as well as the Shao Beng with sliced beef shank.  I have to say the donut was quite interesting as the texture was akin to an egg puff pastry.  The outside was super crispy, but the inside was fluffy and eggy.  Not typical, but still good.  As for the shao beng, it was flaky and crispy with lots of tender beef inside.  I did find it a bit too delicate as it shattered after being cut.  Overall, the food at Yuan's Garden was solid and reasonably-priced.  It is a good alternative to some of the usual spots in Shanghai River, Suhang and Top Shanghai.

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Reasonably-priced
- Ok service

The Bad:
- Super tight seating
- Insufficient parking lot


Search this Site