With one of the largest Chinatown areas in North America, Vancouver has an abundance of beautiful gardens, vibrant festivals and exotic food.
Experience a piece of traditional Chinese culture with dim sum, a style of cuisine that is served in a variety of small dishes. These bite-sized tastes easily can be shared among friends and family, and it’s a great alternative to brunch. Here are a few must-try dishes on your dim sum tasting tour.
DISH: Pork and shrimp dumplings
WHAT TO KNOW: Also known as siu mai, these dumplings are a traditional dim sum dish, often filled with ground pork, chopped shrimp, green onions and ginger, then topped with fish eggs. While perusing the dim sum cart, you’ll notice that many of the options are in dumpling form, ranging from steamed shrimp dumplings to pan-fried potstickers, but siu mai is one staple you won’t want to go without.
WHERE TO TRY IT: Imperial Chinese Seafood Restaurant
DISH: Turnip cake
WHAT TO KNOW: Dim sum often includes one or more cake-like dishes, such as water chestnut cake and green onion cake, but one of the most well known is turnip cake. Made with shredded daikon radish, turnip cake is pan-fried and has a thin, crispy layer on the outside and a soft inside. They are more savory than sweet and often come with some kind of sauce, such as hoisin or oyster sauce.
WHERE TO TRY IT: Szechuan Chongqing Seafood Restaurant
DISH: Barbeque Pork Buns
WHAT TO KNOW: Bau, or buns, are a must-try dim sum variety. Imagine fluffy steamed buns, stuffed with an assortment of fillings, from vegetables to bean paste. The most popular is the barbecue pork buns, which are filled with sweet and savory Cantonese barbecued pork.
WHERE TO TRY IT: Sun Sui Wah Restaurant
DISH: Lotus Leaf Rice
WHAT TO KNOW: This delicious rice dish is a mixture of sticky rice and various ingredients, typically chicken, pork, egg and water chestnut, all wrapped in a bamboo or lotus leaf and steamed.
WHERE TO TRY IT: Kirin Seafood Restaurant
DISH: Egg tart
WHAT TO KNOW: At the end of a dim sum feast, make sure to finish on a sweet note. Although traditional Chinese sweets include everything from mango pudding to deep-fried sesame balls, you won’t want to miss the egg tart. These miniature pie-like desserts tout a flaky pastry crust, filled with sweet, creamy egg custard.
WHERE TO TRY IT: The Flying Tiger