Chef Tony For Your Heart’s Delight
One of Richmond B.C.’s top dim sum spots
By guest author Linda Stewart
I can’t remember the first time I had dim sum. Growing up in Portland, Oregon, and vacationing in neighboring California and British Columbia, Canada, I know my first experience must have been on the West Coast. It soon became a favorite fare, so when my daughter recently moved to Vancouver, B.C. I was excited to have more opportunities to savor dim sum. Dim sum literally translates from Chinese to “dot (or small amount of) heart.” With poetic license, the term has evolved to “heart’s delight,” sweet or savory small plates or baskets of steamed, baked, or fried dumplings, noodles, rolls, pastry, seafood, and meats, served with tea in the morning or early afternoon.
Based on several recommendations for dim sum, my daughter took me to Chef Tony, which is located in Richmond, B.C., just minutes from the Vancouver International Airport. After navigating a challenging parking lot, we entered the elaborately decorated restaurant, and were rewarded with some of the best dim sum we have ever had.
We didn’t have reservations, which I would make in the future, but we went in the morning so our wait time was only twenty minutes. This is an order-off-the-menu type of dim sum. I’ve noticed lately that more dim sum restaurants are getting away from servers pushing carts of dim sum around the restaurant. The reason given is that the food arrives fresher and hotter when it’s prepared from an order off the menu. I must admit though, I do miss being able to choose my dim sum from the carts whirling around the room.
We began our meal with one of our favorite dumplings, siu mai, listed on the menu as “Black truffle, pork and shrimp dumplings.” The truffle was an interesting addition that we loved. Traditionally, siu mai is topped with roe. The truffle added an exotic umami flavor to the dumpling. Umami is considered the earthy, savory fifth taste now recognized along with the conventional four tastes of sweet, sour, bitter and salt. Another favorite, har gow, a translucent shrimp dumpling, was listed on the menu as “Shrimp and matsutake dumplings.” We again experienced the marvelous umami flavor with the addition of matsutake mushrooms. Both dumplings contained high-quality meat and seafood, and the filling was delicious and substantial.
The service was timely and the staff had countless smiles for my 18-month-old grandson. He loved the “Shrimp and yellow chives rice noodles,” and he thought eating with chopsticks, albeit with some help from his mother, was loads of fun. We taught our children when they were young to eat Chinese food with chopsticks, and I think it adds an authenticity and special enjoyment to the meal. I was happy to see Chef Tony offered baked barbeque pork buns along with the steamed, as I prefer the baked buns. And, of course, no dim sum is complete without egg custard tarts for dessert. These tasty tarts had the familiar buttery, flaky crust, but the Chef Tony twist on this dim sum dessert is that the custard is made with only the whites of the eggs, giving the custard a translucent, alabaster appearance.
Visit Chef Tony’s website to check out your favorite dim sum selections. I highly recommend making reservations, and suggest you go in the morning, as it is less crowded then. You will also need to exercise your best parking skillset to maneuver the parking lot, but I promise it will be worth it.
01-4600 No.3 Road