Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
A couple of months ago a new, up-scale Chinese restaurant opened its doors in Burnaby. Grand Dynasty Seafood Restaurant is located in the Grand Villa Casino complex. With a mix of high-quality Dim Sum and top-notch plates, it seems to be the go-to place for well-heeled locals.
Upon arrival, we asked for a table for six. There were a few tables available but we were seated at the biggest one, a ten-top. When I asked why we were given a table so big, the service captain said, jokingly, “So you order more food!”. I knew he was kidding, but in the end, he was spot on.
The service here, it must be noted, is well above average. There’s a small army of suited waiters looking out for their customers. While waiting for the other half of our party to arrive, I realized I hadn’t plugged the parking meter. On my way a server actually followed me outside to offer suggestions on where to park for free. As I was parked just outside, and it was a dollar an hour, I just paid the meter. You’ve got to appreciate that level of attention.
Seeing as how we are a group of five and a half Caucasians, there was a small amount of trepidation. Three of us were adorned in our finest work clothes, the other three nattily attired in office gear. But, as Kim says, “I’m only here for the food!”.
We started with an array of dim sum. The price points are a tad higher than most. Small $4.50, medium $4.95, large $5.25, special $5.50 and Chef’s Special $6.50.
These are some exceptional Wu Gok (Deep-fried taro balls). The addition of pine nuts gave these an added dimension. Not a necessary addition but a little more crunch nevertheless. The downside was that the pine nuts prevented a fellow diner from enjoying a great snack. Sorry bout that, Dino.
Another round of these were definitely in order. The second time round they were kind enough bring out the scissors and cut them in half.
Some very well-crafted Fun Gao (steamed pork dumplings). An ultra-thin skin encasing a load of ground pork, cilantro, water chestnut, a bit of garlic and a big dose of ginger. The high-quality wrap held it all together nicely.
The Har Cheong Fun (Steamed Rice Rolls with Shrimp), although rather unwieldy, were filled with the freshest chunks of prawn. The big hunks made grasping the rolls with chopsticks futile. Best to take the plate and slide a piece off. That way you’re sure to get a whole portion!
To round out our selection of dim sum, we got a couple of baskets of Har Gow (shrimp dumpling). As Sherman described them in his post, they’re full of snap and still have their natural sweetness.
As we finished off the appetizer round a server came by and suggested the Cheun Gyun (Spring Roll). “They are very popular.”, he said. Nice to see them up-selling the middle-range fare, not just the higher priced items.
Although a bit firm shrimp-wise, these heavily garlic-infused rolls are sensational. No filler…just garlic and seafood in a barely oiled wrap. Really, not even the need for the dip.
The Yang Chow Fried Rice was extraordinarily light. Nowhere near the greasy versions we’ve become accustomed to. Diced Chinese sausage, scallions, egg and, again, very fresh, whole prawn, stir-fried clean. No excess oil…just light, fluffy and very flavorful.
Next up in this parade of goodness is Diced Spicy Beef Salad. Nicely marbled cubes of beef tossed in sweet soy are carbonized beautifully…some great char. The heavily mayonized cabbage works quite well here. I’d of preferred them side by side. That way the beef stays hot and the slaw cold…not both diving towards room temp. Still, damn tasty. Well priced at eight bucks.
Our next plate was unintentional.
We were trying to give the Spicy Chicken Balls a go. Instead, our order got transcribed into the dish above. Not sure of its name. All I can say is it was incredible…possibly the fieriest dish we had. I’ll just go with Pepper Chicken, for lack of a better handle. A good portion…without too much excess filler. Simple, loaded with wok hay and very, very peppery. Again, good value at eight dollars.
A nice, cool beer wasn’t an option today. Very soon though, word has it!
When Dino suggested we go for the Wild Mushroom with Seasonal Vegetable, there was an audible gasp…from me. Vegetables? Mushrooms? WTF!
Gotta say…one heckuva choice, sir! The mushrooms and the broccoli were absolutely bursting with flavour. Crisp, tender, juicy and perfectly seasoned. Good call.
Diced Chicken Kung-Po Style. Good and garlicky…fresh, quality ingredient…although several notches too low on the Scoville scale..
The only thing missing from this fine feast are some noodles.
The Pan-Fried Shanghai Noodles nailed it. Thick, chewy and smoky noodles lathered in dark soy and rice wine with a generous helping of julienned beef. Considering the Kung-Po and Beef Salad were priced at $8, this was a tad over-valued at $12.
Although at the upper end, price-wise, the attentive service and attention to detail make Grand Dynasty worth many, many more visits. The food here alone was well worth a $22 Friday lunch.