New World Chinese Restaurant, London

This is London’s Chinatown. Well, a part of it, at least. It was still decked out for Chinese New Year, and was taken at the end of February.

Chinatown, London, England

Chinatown, London, England

We were assured that we could get authentic dim sum over at New World Chinese Restaurant, so we headed over there one rainy day.

New World Chinese Restaurant

New World Chinese Restaurant

We were greeted and quickly seated at a table upstairs. And unfortunately that was the extent of the good customer service that we received for the rest of the meal. The serving staff were rude, indifferent, and at times completely ignored us even when we waved our hands frantically in the air and called out in Cantonese and Mandarin. This is one of those places where you feel like you will get better service if you get up and fill your teapot with hot water yourself. Food is served on traditional metal push carts.

dim sum

dim sum

The dim sum available was pretty standard – spring rolls, duck, noodles, eggplant and shrimp, pan fried dumplings, xlb, etc. The food was fine but not particularly outstanding. In fact, I probably could get equal or better dim sum here at home. It definitely did not compare with anything that you can get from Vancouver.

more dim sum

more dim sum

There was one standout dish though – the curried squid. It was battered, deep fried and served as a dry dish, unlike most curried squid that is found at dim sum restaurants, which is generally not battered or fried and is covered in curry sauce. The batter was crisp and wasn’t greasy, and the curry taste was strong without being overpowering.

curried squid

curried squid

New World Chinese Restaurant
1 Gerrard Place, London

New World on Urbanspoon

Good Buddy Restaurant, Edmonton

I don’t write a lot about Chinese restaurants in Edmonton – not because I don’t go to them, but because they’re usually… well… average.

There are two Good Buddy restaurants in Edmonton; one in the north and one in the south. I have never been to the south location so I can’t comment on that one. I have a love/hate relationship with the north side location. I love that they’re convenient and that going there means I don’t have to drive all the way to Chinatown. I love that they have a decent selection of dishes, and that the food is tolerable.

I hate their customer service with a passion. Their servers are barely present, and once in a while downright surly. Even just trying to find someone to flag down for the bill can be a huge effort. I dislike their service so much that I have avoided going there if there was another viable option.

So why am I writing about them now? Well I was there recently for dim sum and, while most of the meal varied from okay to barely tolerable, there was one stand out dish that made me go wow. So much so that I ordered a second helping.

shrimp stuffed eggplant

shrimp stuffed eggplant

Shrimp stuffed eggplant is a common dish found at dim sum restaurants. This dish is often soggy and limp. This magical dish, however, was particularly notable because of the large piece of eggplant, large chunk of shrimp, and the high level of crispyness of the shrimp. It’s almost enough to make me want to go back to this restaurant more often. Almost.

Good Buddy Restaurant (north)
Northgate Centre Mall
9499 137 Avenue, Edmonton

Good Buddy (North - By Safeway) Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Golden Rice Bowl, Edmonton

While waiting for friends to show up, I  ordered a bunch of dim sum dishes at the Golden Rice Bowl, and then hurriedly took a picture before they arrived and polished off all the food.

Golden Rice Bowl dim sum

Golden Rice Bowl dim sum

They’ve done a good job of spiffing the place up – general renovations in the restaurant and bathrooms, new tablecloths and cutlery, and chair covers. They’re trying to be a little more creative with the food too. One dish I had (sorry, no photo) was a dumpling in chicken soup. It was a nice attempt, but the dumpling was rather ordinary and dense. I would have preferred a true boon tong gao to go along with the soup, which had a strong chicken flavour. Every other thing I had was good (not too greasy, not dry).

One thing did raise my eyebrows though – the bill. They must have jacked up the prices a bit more to pay for all the renos or something. This was one of the more expensive dim sum lunches I’ve had in a while.

With a little more creativity and new ownership, GRB could be one of the better dim sum places if not the best in the city. It will be interesting to see where this restaurant will go. They’re making a huge marketing effort too (commercials, a twitter account, a new website).

Golden Rice Bowl
5365 Gateway Boulevard
Edmonton, Alberta
www.goldenricebowl.ca

*Disclaimer: My parents know the manager of the restaurant, but he never remembers who I am and this review is based purely on my own opinon. I didn’t get any freebies or discounts.

Golden Rice Bowl on Urbanspoon

Regency Palace, Calgary

I was in Calgary for work reasons this weekend, and took advantage of it by having brunch with a good friend of mine. Since it was Mother’s Day and most places would be packed, we decided to head out for dim sum as seating is usually on a first come, first served basis.

She suggested Regency Palace, and as I’ve only eaten at a handful of places in town I readily agreed. We got there very early at 10 a.m., which was a good thing as the place started filling up quickly. The dim sum there is fairly standard with one exception; I fell in love with the curried baby squid. It comes served on a small bed of vermicelli noodles, which soaks up the curry sauce. The squid was probably some of the most tender tasting squid I’ve ever had. I would go back there just for this dish. Yum! Sorry, no pictures. I was too busy stuffing my face.

Another interesting part of the restaurant is the buffet where you can take your dim sum card and pick up some of the more traditional dim sum dishes like ha gow and sui mai, as well as dan tat (custard egg tarts) and coconut jello. At the side counter, you can get fried lo bhat gow (daikon radish cakes), wah teep (fried pork dumplings), and gai lan (chinese broccoli). The gai lan was the only really disappointing dish as they hadn’t cooked it quite long enough. Just a little bit longer and it would have been crispy but cooked through, rather than being slightly raw.

I’m still thinking about that squid. Mmmmm.

Regency Palace
3rd floor, Dragon City Mall
4th Ave SE and Centre Street South
Calgary, Alberta
www.regencypalacerestaurant.com

Regency Palace on Urbanspoon