Rainflower Restaurant 粵之醉

January 11, 2012
I bought a VIP card for Rainflower last year, but I haven't used it since then. Luckily the card doesn't expire. Rainflower is one of the larger dim sum restaurants in Richmond, or it seems that way because it's one big open space with no partitions. The foyer right at the entrance is probably supposed to serve as a waiting area, but I only saw a couple of small benches there. Seems like a waste of useful space.

The meal started off with a satisfying bowl of vegetarian congee (養生素菜粥) ($5.80). It was quite small and I started thinking maybe we should have ordered the pot instead. A pot would cost $11.80, but from what I saw on the table beside ours, it was 4 times the size of our bowl. Then again we were here for dim sum, so stuffing ourselves with congee was not such a great idea. I liked the lightness of the congee though, with the shredded leaves and kernels of corn.

The steamed BBQ pork and preserved vegetable rice roll (梅菜皇叉燒腸粉) ($5.20) was quite unique. It's not often that I find preserved vegetable (梅菜) in rice rolls, but I thought its strong flavour was a great contrast to the bland rice roll.

I ordered the durian rolls (金枕榴蓮酥) ($5.20) because I noticed they had won some sort of food award. I was slightly wary at first, but I had a bit more faith in durian dim sum after having tried the durian mochi at Kirin (City Square). These baked pastries turned out to be just as good as the durian mochi (or even better). They were served warm, and even the filling inside was warm and gooey. The pastry shell was soft, flaky and fluffy with a nice buttery flavour. The sweet durian filling was a lot milder than I had expected. Instead of real durian meat, it was a light custard with just a bit of durian flavour that wasn't overwhelming at all.

The celery and yan bean minced pork dumpling (荷芹沙葛蒸粉果) ($5.20), also known as fun guo, was a pretty good savoury item. The filling was a lot more flavourful and tasty than some of the other ones I've tried. Don't ask me what yan bean is... I just copied it off the dim sum sheet and I'm sure it's just a case of bad translation. Actually I think it should be yam bean, a root vegetable commonly used in Chinese cooking.

My favourite dim sum (apart from the durian rolls) was the steamed BBQ pork rolls (燒汁火腩卷) ($4.60). I haven't seen this dish anywhere else in Richmond, and it was so good despite being very fat and potentially unhealthy. It was basically a fatty piece of marinated pork wrapped in a soft and fluffy white bun. The pork was really good quality with 5 layers of alternating fat and meat. Even though there was quite a bit of fat, I didn't find it very greasy or oily. I loved this and I'll definitely order it again.

Another dessert we tried was the mango and taro rice ball (香芒芋蓉糍) ($3.80). Although it tasted ok, it was not comparable to the durian roll. I enjoyed the taro paste filling, but found the mango flavour very artificial. I think they added mango powder/syrup to the glutinous rice dough. I should have guessed though... Did I really think they would have fresh mangoes in the middle of winter?

I was very happy with the meal overall. I loved the durian roll and the steamed BBQ pork roll, and the rest of the dim sum were not bad either. Prices were a bit high, so good thing I got a 20% discount and no tea charge with my VIP card. The card costs $20, but it's a one-time fee and it has no expiration date (as long as the restaurant is still around).

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