Emperor's Palace 皇城

April 30, 2013
I asked a Chinese coworker for dim sum recommendations and he said although none of the restaurants here could compare with the ones in Vancouver, he thinks Emperor's Palace comes closest in terms of ambiance and quality. Indeed the place is quite large with nice decor and is probably a good choice for banquets.

Each table is given a small box of tissue instead of napkins. I wasn't too happy about that though, since I prefer big thick napkins over super thin one-ply tissues.

The first item to come around in the carts was durian pastry. The strangely bright yellow puffs didn't look nearly as good as the ones from Rainflower, but I decided to give them a try anyway. The pastry was very oily, but the filling was quite good despite being a bit weak in flavour.

The steamed chicken feet and shrimp dumplings were standard with decent portions.

The lobster congee special ($10.88) was a really good deal. I thought they would skimp on the meat, but there were several large chunks of lobster in the fluffy congee.

I was so surprised to see tofu pudding come around in a wooden barrel. I haven't seen this served at a dim sum restaurant for the longest time. This dish is a childhood memory for me, so I enjoyed it even with the weak syrup that was hardly sweet. I wish they had ginger syrup instead.

The texture of the tofu was the strangest I've come across. When I tried to scoop it up with my spoon, the tofu didn't break! It just wrapped around my spoon like a stretchy piece of dough.

Since I was still craving something sweet after the bland tofu pudding, I ordered cocktail buns for dessert. I still find it strange that this type of bun is found in almost every dim sum restaurant in Edmonton. Usually it's just sold in Chinese bakeries, but it seems like a popular dish here.

I should've expected a dim sum restaurant to fall short in the bun-making category. The bread was dry and coarse, while the filling was chunky and grainy.

One good thing about Emperor's Palace is the variety of food that comes around regularly. This place offers the most comprehensive roundup of dim sum that I've seen and there's plenty of seating. Prices are also very competitive at $3.25/dish (applies to small, medium, large dim sum).

Emperor's Palace Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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