Saturday, July 16, 2011

Golden Paramount 金百樂


I seem to be having dim sum quite often these days, but I have yet to find a place with excellent food and reasonable prices. I was curious as to how many dim sum restaurants I've visited in Richmond, so I browsed the list on Urbanspoon and was surprised to find that I've pretty much exhausted the list. Golden Paramount was one of the few I had not visited with a rather high rating of 89%, and so it was decided that I would give it a try. The moment we stepped in, we knew the service would be disappointing judging from the cold emotionless faces of the staff. Indeed we were left to ourselves for the duration of the meal and were met with reluctant glares every time we requested something. But you don't go to a Chinese restaurant for its service, so we looked past it and focussed on the food. I noticed there was preserved egg pastry (七彩皮蛋酥) ($4.28) on the menu. I quickly checked it off on the dim sum sheet as it's not commonly available in most restaurants. Shortly after we placed our orders, a waitress came around with a tray of these pastries and asked if we wanted to try them. We told her we had already ordered and she gave us a plate, so this semi-dessert became our first dish. Apparently preserved egg had just topped the list of most disgusting foods in the world, but I don't see how it could be more offensive than fried insects and tarantulas. It's a pretty common Chinese food used in appetizers, congee and many other dishes, so I'm used to seeing it around.


The crust was thin and nicely layered. The filling consisted of sweet lotus paste, thin slices of pickled ginger and a rather large chunk of preserved egg. It was one of the best preserved egg pastries I've had. The crust and the filling blended together perfectly, and the ingredients were of the perfect ratio.


The steamed dumpling with crab meat and meat (娥姐蒸粉果) ($4.28) was also one of the best I've had. The skin was thin and translucent and the filling was very finely diced. There were bits of meat, mushroom, vegetables and crab meat.


Next we had the steamed barbecued pork bun (蜜汁叉燒包) ($3.98), also known as cha siu bao.


The bun was a bit starchy, but the filling was nice since it wasn't overflowing with sauce.


The salted pork with vegetable congee (咸瘦肉菜乾粥) ($5.95/bowl) was the least impressive item of the day. The congee was rather watery with very little rice, and there wasn't much flavour to it.


The meal concluded with another semi-dessert: pan fried sticky rice with bean pastry (香煎糯米綠豆) ($3.98).


I had expected something a bit more fancy, but it turned out to be just mashed green bean paste sandwiched between 2 layers of glutinous rice. I have no idea why it's called a pastry since it's not baked and does not contain flour, sugar, eggs, milk or butter. The "pastry" was slightly salty but didn't have any special flavour apart from that.


I've read a review in which this place is compared to the more prestigious dim sum restaurants such as Kirin and The Jade. While the food here might be able to measure up, the ambiance and service don't even come close. The prices here aren't that much cheaper, especially since other restaurants have ongoing promotions of discounts and exemption of tea charges. I don't think I'll be returning often, but I might come back for the preserved egg pastry.

Golden Paramount on Urbanspoon
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