5365 Gateway Boulevard NW
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
phone: (780) 435-3388
Lau passed by our table to deliver fortune cookies to two children sitting adjacent from us, then returned to pack away our leftovers in microwave clear plastic containers that she pointed out are reusable. Golden Rice Bowl selections range up to $4.50 per dish, so dim sum is no longer the bargain it once was in town. But Lau makes no apology for that, saying prices hadn’t increased in several years and she’s plugging the money back into the restaurant. And that should be a good thing for dim sum lovers.
VUE Weekly (Edmonton)
Winner -- Golden Fork Awards 2007 "Best Dim Sum"
KT SCOTT / firstname.lastname@example.org
The first cart was filled with mostly pork items. Pork and chive cakes ($3.50) and pan fried pork dumplings ($3.50) were the first items we grabbed. The cakes and dumplings had similar fillings, but the dumplings had thick, chewy deep fried wonton covers making them very satisfying in an “Alberta winter carb-loading” kind of way.
The delectable, translucent fragile-looking shrimp dumplings (har gao) ($4) and the sticky rice with pork sausage ($4.25) all arrived within a couple of minutes of each other. The dumplings were as delicious as they were beautiful. The rice was standard fare.
I recommend a few strategies to approach dim sum for maximum dining pleasure.
Strategy #1: To maximize your sampling variety, it is great to take as big a party as you can. With four adults and a child, we were able to sample a wide variety of items.
Strategy #2: Pacing is also important in dim sum: don’t go too fast! This is a serious temptation. When things look so good, you could try to take one of everything. Sometimes the carts with all of the items you truly desire roll by at exactly the same time and you have no choice but to take all your favourites at once. This is also where the large party comes in handy—the goodies can be dispersed around the table and you will still have room for the next round.
My dining companions were fans of the baked goods so they chose some baked BBQ pork cakes ($3.50) topped with sesame seeds. The pastry on the pork cakes was light and flaky, with red bean sauce and pork inside, rendering them extra tasty. They also grabbed some custard tarts ($3.50) and deep fried sesame balls ($3.50)—which are both actually desserts, but at such a feast one shouldn’t get hung up on the order of food consumption.
The tarts were obviously fresh out of the oven, the custard was still deliciously light, not too eggy and not remotely rubbery. In other words, they were excellent. I love sesame balls, those glutinous masses of rice flour with a red-bean paste centre, rolled in sesame seeds. The two-year old announced that the red-bean filling of the sesame balls tasted like honey, and I agreed with her assessment.
Strategy #3: It is probably wise not to invite anyone on a carb-reducing diet (or any kind of diet) as many dim sum items are derived from starchy white rice and many of the yummiest are deep-fried. Some things are even served with a side of mayonnaise. In other words, many are very deliciously full of fat.
Strategy #4: Be aggressive. Dim sum is no shrinking violet’s game. I remember when I used to think it was impolite to wave a cart over to my table, or gawk at the items with undisguised food lust. There is no room for indecision. Remember, if you grab too many items, you can always take them home.
The good stuff finally started rolling by. In my opinion, “good stuff” is anything containing shrimp. We snagged deep fried shrimp wonton dumplings ($4) and shrimp roll with bean curd wrap ($4). The deep fried dumplings did not disappoint—they were chewy on the outside, with lots of shrimp inside and served with mayonnaise. The shrimp rolls were also good, the wrinkly bean curd covers making them lighter than the doughy dumplings.
Next came the minced pork and shrimp dumplings ($4.25) with a smattering of red fish eggs on top. This pork dumpling was lighter than the others, probably as a result of its light bean curd wrapper. Another of my favourites, the delicious sticky rice meat and mushroom wrap, came wrapped in a banana leaf ($3.50).
For a final act of gustation, we pulled some coconut buns ($3.50) to our table. They had obviously just come straight out of the oven. They were fluffy, amazingly light and piping hot manifestations of white dough with a coconut filling.
All in all, the Golden Rice Bowl’s food was good. Apparently the masses agree, as by 11 am there was a line-up of over 30 people to get in. Dim sum is a very family-oriented meal, so it’s an ideal meal to bring young and old. The Golden Rice Bowl has done some renovations since the last time I visited, which has freshened up the entire room and greatly enhanced the dining experience there. For four adults (and one toddler) the total came to $49.77, including GST, for all our items and tea.
So if you are suffering from the end of winter’s brand of harshness, treat yourself to the dim sum at the Golden Rice Bowl. It will not only touch your heart, but it won’t be too hard on your wallet either. V
Every day to 11 pm
Golden Rice Bowl Restaurant
5365 Gateway Boulevard
Source: VUE Weekly: Edmonton's 100% Independent News & Entertainment Weekly (http://www.vueweekly.com/articles/default.aspx?i=5968)