Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant 金殿皇朝海鮮料理

I had originally wanted to go to Milestones for Sunday Brunch with the fam, but it turns out the Lougheed Highway location has been closed down because of apartment construction nearby. Boo. We were stumped on a restaurant until my mom remembered her meal at Grand Dynasty a few months back. Eager to have some dim sum, we quickly drove over to the Grand Villa Casino and Hotel, where Grand Dynasty is located.

After a short wait, we were seated at a spacious round table. For some reason, we had to wait a really long time before someone came over to take our tea order (usually, the host brings you to the table and immediately asks you what kind of tea you’d like). Oh well, it was a little odd, but it wasn’t like we were incredibly thirsty.

We quickly checked off a few things on the order form, drank some tea (We ordered 2 different kinds, but they didn’t charge us for either! Coolio.), and waited for our food to come. First to arrive was the Pan-Fried Halibut with Soya Sauce. We were pretty impressed with this dish, as the fish (with bones) were flakey and not overcooked, and were not over-coated with batter. Despite the dark look (probably achieved by the use of dark soy), they weren’t too salty and were surprisingly not too oily either. The cilantro and green onions cooked with the fish were very fragrant and fresh (not limp). My grandma and dad both thought this was comparable to ones that they’ve had in Hong Kong, and we thought it was great because it was flavoured just right– my grandma can’t have things that are too oily or salty, so this was perfect for her.

Another thing we ordered for our grandma were the Steamed Beef Tendon with BBQ Sauce. My mom and grandma both like eating tendon a lot; me, not so much. The gelatinous quality of the tendons really doesn’t sit well with me, but I did give this dish a try. I found myself a tiny piece to eat, and I have to say that this was really well made, despite my biases toward beef tendon in general. They were soft and not too gummy, and had a lot of flavour, which didn’t actually taste like BBQ sauce. It tasted more… Asian. Haha. What we didn’t like about this dish was that it was on the oily side, so we actually had to swish it in a bowl of hot water for my grandma.

I usually love Pan-Fried Radish Cake with XO Sauce, but this dish really fell flat. The pieces were too firm, and it wasn’t spicy at all! I was hoping for a crispy exterior with a soft interior with easily discernable strips of radish. On a positive note, the cakes were large and I liked that they had bean sprouts piled on top of them, but other than that, this dish was a disappointment. I’ve definitely had better elsewhere (and for cheaper too!)

Of course, no Dim Sum meal is complete without ordering our next two dishes. The Ha Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) here were some of the best I’ve had– the skins were thin and had a slight chew, and weren’t gummy from over-steaming. The star of the dish, though, was the shrimp filling inside. These were filled with a mixture of whole shrimp and diced shrimp pieces, and garnished with a little green onion. The shrimp had a nice snap and texture, and tasted fresh, while the green onion added a little bit of crunch and fragrance to the dumpling. I’m not that big a fan of shrimp dumplings, but I found myself wanting another piece! Too bad there was exactly one piece for each of us.

No matter though, the Siu Mai (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings) were just as fantastic, and this time around, I got to eat two because my mom doesn’t like minced pork (She will have other kinds of pork, but I have no idea why she has an aversion to the minced kind. Weird.). The wrapper for these were also thin, and there was plenty of tender pork and fresh&snappy shrimp mixed together. A lot of the time, these get to be too heavy given the size and the amount of meat packed in there, and eating more than one becomes a bit of a chore; however, these ones were surprisingly light, and I really enjoyed eating them.

For our second-last dish, we had the Shredded Chicken with Sesame Sauce, which was abounding in gingery-sesame flavour. There was a good mix of both cooled dark and light meat pieces, and I liked that it came with jellyfish, julienned cucumbers and crunchy wonton wrapper bits, as it gave it some more texture. This plate was a hit with everyone at the table– it wasn’t too salty or oily, which can sometimes be the case, and even though it was a specialty dish, it wasn’t too expensive.

Our final dish was the Deep Fried Bitter Melon Dumpling with Sesame Paste. This is pretty much a “tong yuen”, or glutinous rice ball, that is usually served in Asian dessert soups, but has been deep fried instead. Bitter melon tends to be really overwhelming, so I liked that there was only a slight bitter taste to these otherwise sweet balls. Even though it was deep fried, it wasn’t very oily, and the sesame paste inside was piping hot– a great way to end our meal.

When we eat out at Chinese restaurants with my grandma, we usually need to get a bowl of hot water so that she can clear away some of the oil and starchy, “slimy” sauce before eating the food. The manager and waiters were very accommodating and attentive, coming over to change the bowl every once in a while without being asked (which is a rarity, believe me). They were also quite polite and cheerful, which was a nice change from the usually surly staff at Asian restaurants. The modern-looking dining room was a lot smaller than I had originally thought it would be, but we actually didn’t have to wait too long for a table, despite our arrival during peak lunchtime. While a few of the dishes weren’t too great, I thought that the experience more than made up for it.  I would gladly return to this restaurant, but not just because it’s one of the few Chinese places in that area.

Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant 金殿皇朝海鮮料理
4331 Dominion Street
Burnaby, BC

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