There’s something magical about sitting around a table with friends to enjoy dumplings.
Dumplings are little pieces of heaven that come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavours. If you’re not a dumpling aficionado, you may still recognize some of the classic favourites like har gow, sui mai, and xiao long bao. Expert or not, there is no wrong way to fill a table full of bamboo baskets and happy eaters.
I have been a long-time fan of Dinesty on Ackyrod and No. 3 Rd in Richmond City Centre. The food is always exceptional and the service is speedy – what more can you ask for? When I found out that Dinesty opened a new location at Aberdeen Centre, my friends and I were on our way! Aberdeen Centre is already a mecca for foodies from around the world. Between it’s world-class food court and restaurant heavyweights such as Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant, it only amplifies the profile of Aberdeen Centre by adding a Dinesty location.
Nothing is quite as comforting as a hot, steamy and soupy xiao long bao, XLB for those in-the-know, to start our dumpling dream meal. Everyone has different ways that they prefer their XLB: some like them plump and full of meat; some prefer small and soupy. At Dinesty, these little pieces of happiness are bite-sized and have, in my opinion, a perfect balance of soup and filling. When it comes down to actually eating a XLB, it is a personal experience, kind of like eating an Oreo cookie. Some like to nibble away, some pull them apart, some are very methodical about biting a little hole, sucking the juice and then popping the remaining dumpling in their mouth. Regardless to how you get the job done, eating XLB can be a hot mess that is not recommended on first dates. The end result is worth the eating process. The XLB at Dinesty were truly one of the most comforting dining experiences I’ve had.
We also ordered the pan-fried chive dumplings, the pan-fried marinated beef wrap, the steamed shrimp and pork soup dumplings, and the shanghai rice cakes. Other than the XLB, the standouts of the meal for me were the pan-fried marinated beef wrap and the shanghai rice cakes. The marinated beef wrap is a favourite for so many reasons; it is thin sliced beef with hoisin sauce, green onion, and cucumber wrapped in a light pancake and pan-fried. The combination of ingredients leads to a savoury, and satisfying dish that compliments the greater meal.
The shanghai rice cakes were saucy, filling, and had an ample amount of succulent pork within. The rice cakes were served a bit chewier in texture than I have had before, but they were delicious nonetheless. I normally find when pork gets added into a dish, it doesn’t stand out, it is simply a protein addition. However, that was not the case at all: the pork was rich and added a hearty element to the dish that would have been otherwise lacking.
The other two dishes, the pan-fried chive dumpling and the steamed shrimp and pork soup dumplings, were both good. Standard and nothing fancy, but complemented the meal quite well.
Although dumplings might not spring to mind on the sultriest summer days on the West Coast, as soon as the forecast hints at a cloud and a drop of rain, I’ll be seeking the comfort of XLB with friends at Dinesty again. See you there!