Remember how I recently became friends with the pomelo? I wandered past a bin of them at Kin’s Farm Market and couldn’t ignore the enormous, pale green and yellow citrus. Well, you can imagine my thrill at dim sum yesterday when I discovered a dish featuring that ultra-thick pomelo rind. I also finally got to try a pineapple bun from Happy Date. So many thrills, and all in one Sunday.
My friend Steph joined me for an early afternoon dim sum feast, and we tried a place that hadn’t entered my Richmond radar until yesterday: Golden Paramount Seafood Restaurant. It’s relatively small, and located in the same quiet mall as Happy Date and Torarenbo Japanese. It was very busy, and since it has really high ratings on urbanspoon, I get the feeling Golden Paramount is a hidden gem whose regulars would prefer to keep it that way. So…..sorry about this post.
We showed up without a reservation, but only had to wait about twenty minutes. I appreciated that in addition to the huge tables with a dozen or more people packed around them, Golden Paramount also had smaller tables, including two tops, so you can dim sum as a pair.
We tried a few classic, and a few new things. We started with steamed dumplings with crab, pork, and vegetables, which I liked. The flavours were quite mild but fresh, and the crab was a welcome addition – in both taste and texture – to the more common pork filling.
The steamed BBQ pork buns were great, with just the right amount of sweet pork and fluffy white dough.
Next up was that pomelo I was talking about! Our server was a little thrown when he saw we’d ordered this, and carefully informed us it “is very traditional” and would be “quite bitter.” We said yes and yes, we would still like it, please. The dish consisted of steamed and sautéed Chinese mushrooms covered in a big chunk of braised pomelo skin.
The rind was a muted yellow, very soft, and looked like a sea creature. Interestingly enough, neither of us found the dish to be bitter at all, and I’m quite sensitive to bitter flavours. The combo of mushrooms and pomelo did taste funky, however – kind of earthy. The flavours weren’t really to my liking, but I’m sure some people love this dish. It’s sort of like describing a cheese as “barnyard-y”; for some people, that means they’ll adore it, while others wish to run in the opposite direction. Together, the pomelo and mushrooms were certainly a remarkable mix of textures and flavour.
Since we’re on the subject of texture, let’s talk about duck feet! I’ve had chicken feet a number of times, but never those of ducks. Steph is wonderfully adventurous, and was totally willing to try them. In fact, it was her first time eating feet, so I shall call this photo:
The feet were braised in a rich, sweet sauce, with wonderfully soft pumpkin at the bottom of the dish. Upon picking one up, I was visually reminded of the main difference between chicken feet and duck feet: duck feet are webbed.
If the thought of eating webbing freaks you out a little, trust me, it freaked me out, too. It makes duck feet that much more ‘squishy’ than chicken feet, which can already be a little unsettling for people.
So how were they? Well, I really liked the sauce, but it’s no secret by now that I find soft chicken or duck skin undesirable. Steph discovered she doesn’t like it much either, but said she’d love to try deep-fried chicken or duck feet with crispy skin. Now there’s something I could get behind! Anyone know of a restaurant in Richmond that prepares feet this way? We’ll try it if you do!
The steamed turnip with meat was one of the homeliest dim sum dishes I’ve ever seen, but if the bowl of it could’ve talked, it would say “I may be ugly, but I’m delicious. Quit judging me, moron.”
The dish had a wonderfully rich flavour, with salty bits of pork throughout and a texture that was soft but not mushy. The surprise hit of the day.
We chose the sautéed sticky rice solely because we saw it on another table and thought it looked moreish. I LOVE the pearly texture of sticky rice grains, which in this case had been sautéed with tiny bits of super salty, highly-addictive pork. The rice on its own was quite plain, so this pork made the dish.
The most disappointing thing we ate was the stir fried rice noodles with beef in black pepper sauce; they looked so promising, but completely fell flat. The beef was tender and peppery, but the noodles themselves (which made up the majority of the dish) were utterly bland. They had no flavour, which was disappointing since they looked so umami-rich! Reheated at home with a good douse of soy sauce, however, and they’ll be tasty.
Our last two dishes were dessert – steamed tapioca cakes and almond ‘tea.’ Steph is a huge fan of tapioca, and we both really liked the steamed cakes, which were bright yellow, smelled like buttery custard, and jiggly like jello. They had a filling of sweet red bean paste, and while I didn’t like them as much as the baked tapioca from Empire, these were good.
If you like sweet almond, then the almond tea is a must order at Golden Paramount. It’s less like tea and more like dessert soup, but it was smooth, creamy, and fragrant – a lovely way to finish.
I’d highly recommend Golden Paramount for dim sum – it’s small, much less hectic than the huge seafood restaurants, and for the most part, the food is really good. Plus, it’s just a short walk from Happy Date, where you can go get a second dessert afterwards!
So many people have suggested I try their pineapple buns, and we finally did! We got a warm pineapple bun fresh out of the oven, a pineapple coconut bun, and a coconut bun. You know, just to cover all our bases. The buns were golden yellow, soft, and the coconut filling was phenomenal.
We’d left Golden Paramount feeling full but comfortable, and after Happy Date we were mighty full and uncomfortable. But of course, pineapple buns are always more important than keeping the top button of your jeans done up.
What a lovely Sunday of eating! Thanks for the date, Steph. A Happy Date indeed.
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available