Oh, man, I love this city.
So, yes, I am a pretty Anglo kinda girl. My people come from the UK primarily, and a little from Germany and Russia. But I love all cultures’ food, and in Vancouver, that’s not a problem. Whatever you’re into, we’ve got it.
Food is a universal language, and just like every culture has its own version of chicken soup and it’s own version of dumplings, so does every culture have its own version of brunch.
If you’re Asian, it’s Dim Sum. I love going for Dim Sum. There are always kids running around, families dipping into communal bowls with chopsticks, pots of tea being drunk, and kids fighting over who gets the last bite of donut. It’s universal and it’s delicious.
Michelle and I were recently invited to Dim Sum at Fisherman’s Terrace in Richmond with a bunch of other travel writer types by my pal Henry. Doing Dim Sum with a group is always a good idea, because you can order tons of stuff to sample, and it’s super cheap. It cost us less than $20 each, and we were stuffed.
For me, any dim sum experience has to start with dumplings, and my fave are har gow (shrimp). Plump and steaming, they burst with juicy shrimp, and come with a couple of different dipping sauces; a salty, soy-based one and a mustard-based one. They also did a pretty fine shu mai as well.
There were lots of different types of steamed buns; mostly filled with pork, some with beans, fluffy and light as clouds when you bite into them.
One of my favorite things to eat at dim sum are rice noodle rolls. Steamed sheets of rice noodles are rolled up with tiny dried shrimp and sliced chives, and then served with a dark soy sauce. There is also a beef version.
While eggs aren’t something you usually see on a dim sum menu, you will find egg tarts here. These individual tarts have a sweet filling made of egg yolk, served still warm, with an incredibly flaky and light pastry. I wish I could make pastry that amazing.
Desserts don’t stop there. We also tried the green sesame balls. The wonderful hue comes from a dough that included green melon, and they are wrapped around a sweet black sesame centre. They were the star of the show for me.
I also got introduced to something I’ve never had before: Chinese Donuts. Now, I love donuts, and I have eaten them all over the world, but these are a little different. It’s a yeasted donut, but it gets fried in sticks, similar to a thicker version of a churro. It’s then wrapped in a sheet of rice noodles, and served hot.
If you’ve never done Dim Sum, then do yourself a favor and try something new. I think a lot of people are afraid because they may not recognize dishes, or find them really “out there,” like chicken feet (which is a popular dim sum dish). But it pays to brunch out of your comfort zone!
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