Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sun Sui Wah - Review

Sun Sui WahDude Grade: C
4920 No. 3 Road, #102
Richmond, BC V6X3A5
Phone: (604) 273-8208

I’ve always heard that the Vancouver dim sum scene was much much better than the dim sum they served out in NYC, so I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was all about. I heard that a ton of Hong Kong chefs emigrated out to Vancouver which is why it's supposedly much better than NY. Sun Sui Wah was recommended by some friends that live out in the Richmond area (like Flushing but 3x the size). Although good, I definitely think Oriental Garden in NYC mops the floor with the place any day in terms of flavor and variety - I hear Alicia Keys beaming her NY anthem proudly right now :) However, I still believe there's definitely better places in the Richmond area - this place I believe is famous since it's one of the original dim sum joints in town.

Our Menu
Fung Zhao (chicken feet) **
Har Gao (shrimp dumpling) *
Gao Choy Bao (garlic chive dumpling) *
Cheung Fun (shrimp wrapped in rice noodles) *
Gee Lo Mai Fun (sticky rice with chicken) ***
Fried Noodles with Beef **

Beef Ball
Lau Bach Go (turnip cake)
Crispy Turnip/Taro Cake *

Standouts included the delicious lo mai fun - the rice was nice and moist with the flavor of chicken and shitake permeating through the dish. Also, the fried noodles with beef totally kicked ars. The texture of the noodles was spot on - nice crunch leading to a pleasing chewiness. The sauce was a bit sweet though, probably to please the non asian palates there.

Rating System
WTF - in a bad way (no stars - poor to average) * Good ** Great *** WTF – in a good way

Overall Restaurant Experience

  • Food (7.8/10) – Decent dim sum, but no where near mind blowing stuff. A lot of places in NYC/flushing are much better. My litmus test for dim sum is siu mai and the ones here were a little m'eh - not much pork flavor and not a great mouthfeel.
  • Service (7.0/10) – They follow the Hong Kong style of dim sum which means no push carts. I love the push carts, since you don't have to think about what else you have to order - it's pretty immediate response of yes or no. Also, I would think it's better for business since you should be able to turn tables much quicker. Caveat is the food does come out pretty quick here though.
  • Atmosphere (7.0/10) – Located in a strip mall (everything in Richmond is) - the place looks likes your standard dim sum joint with white table cloths. The only difference is this reminded me of Shanghai as you are situated in what looks like rooms in a house with three tables jammed in. The place was pretty packed, but we only waited 15 minutes at 12pm on a Monday. I would say the joint was probably 30% non Chinese, so still a good amount of Chinese people there.
  • Price (7.5) - About $15-20 a head which seems right about spot on.
Closing Comments
Again, decent dim sum, but there has to better in the area. Funny thing is I was expecting to be rawked by the dim sum here, but I realized I expected the same thing in Hong Kong as well and I definitely was not. My take on dim sum is NYC does a good job and although there maybe slightly better versions in other cities, no other cities' version will blow it away.

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