Best Dim Sum in Richmond, BC
Savour these small bites with huge flavour.
If it’s variety you seek, look no further than dim sum. This Chinese tapas-style meal features small plates meant for sharing. It’s best to attend with friends, and a simple rule of thumb is to order two-to-three dishes per person. It’s easy to get carried away!
CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS
Top dim sum places fill up quickly (especially on weekends) and once diners sit down, they may spend hours eating and chatting over tea. Go early or make a reservation to ensure you get a table.
Since dim sum originated in the ancient teahouses along the Silk Road in Southern China, tea is important to the experience, with Jasmine tea being the common choice. Custom dictates you pour your neighbour’s tea and not your own, and that you keep the spout pointing away from anyone at the table. Need a refill? Flip the lid upside down and sit it on top of the pot.
Many restaurants have English-speaking staff and menus, or pictures on Chinese menus at the very least, but if you find yourself struggling, just ask a server.
Dim Sum Restaurants
Looking for a good place to try dim sum? Here are a few suggestions:
Continental Seafood Restaurant—Diners order from carts at this large, family-friendly restaurant specializing in authentic Cantonese cuisine and featuring extensive dim sum and dinner menus, along with private rooms for parties.
Fisherman’s Terrace—With a large dining room featuring crystal chandeliers, this popular and celebrated Cantonese restaurant is famous for their shrimp dumplings, sticky rice, and egg tarts.
Shanghai River—Reservations are recommended here. Diners can see the chefs in action from the dining room, which itself offers nice ambiance to go with great food, particularly Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) and chive dumplings.
Empire Seafood Restaurant—One of Richmond’s longest-tenured restaurants, this refined and elegant Cantonese spot serves both traditional dim sum fare along with uncommon dishes, like pork knuckle and geoduck (only available for dinner).
Jade Seafood Restaurant—Jade offers a contemporary take on Chinese cuisine, with traditional dishes and Western-inspired fusion items. Try the handmade dim sum or live seafood (only available for dinner).
What to Eat
Dim sum menus vary from restaurant to restaurant. Here are a few popular dim sum dishes to try:
Har Gow (Shrimp Dumpling)—Steamed shrimp in translucent, slightly chewy wrappers. Goes great with soy sauce or sriracha (or both).
Siu Mai (Pork and Shrimp Dumpling)— Cantonese open-faced dumplings, jam-packed with pork and shrimp, garnished with roe or diced carrot.
Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Roll)—This popular Cantonese snack features flat rice noodles with BBQ pork, shrimp, Chinese doughnut, or chicken inside.
Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli)—This healthy and delicious leafy green vegetable is often served as thick stalks roasted in garlic sauce.
Lo Bak Gou (Pan-Fried Chinese Turnip Cake)—Another Cantonese specialty, these seasoned squares of pan-fried radish or turnip are similar to potato pancakes.
Lo Mai Gai (Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaves)—This Southern Chinese favourite features fillings inside a ball of sticky rice that’s wrapped, steamed, and served in lotus leaves.
Dan Tat (Egg Tarts)—This baked pastry features egg custard surrounded by a flaky, savoury crust. Be sure to eat it while it’s still hot!
Xiao Long Bao (XLB/Soup Dumpling)—These thinly-wrapped pork dumplings are filled with hot soup and are only available at Shanghainese dim sum restaurants.
Lai Wong Bao (Salted Egg Yolk Custard Bun)—These leavened dough buns contain some liquid gold in the form of a runny, salty, sweet egg yolk. Even the most discerning egg yolk critics love this dish.
Spring Rolls—Crispy on the outside and filled with veggie goodness on the inside, spring rolls make for great finger food. Note that some restaurants add some pork or shrimp to their rolls.