I want to go out for dinner but no one is available. Do I stay home or do I say to hell with it and go out anyway? Some days I definitely would have just stayed home but earlier in the day I started to crave XLB or Xia Long Bao as it is properly called. There is no way for me to have XLB at home so I have to go out. Now the next decision is do I go where I have already been before or do I try something new? Well today I’ve decided it’s time to try something old and new. I’m going to visit Dinesty Dumpling House in Richmond. I’ve been to their Robson Street location but I hear the original No 3 Road restaurant makes the best XLB and that is what I want, no that is what I am craving. It’s back to Richmond I go.
It is rare for me to go out for dinner on my own outside of a comfortable 15 min walk from my home but tonight’s adventure to Dinesty Dumpling House is no trouble at all. In fact thanks to the Canada Line I can get to Dinesty Dumpling House at 8111 Ackroyd Road, Richmond quicker than if I walked to their location at Robson and Denman. There are 4 Dinesty locations to choose from. Three are in Richmond and of course the one I mentioned on Robson Street.
When I arrived at Dinesty Dumpling House two things were apparent when I walked in the front door. First off I was going to have to wait in line, secondly I was the only Caucasian in the entire restaurant. Now some people may not take this as a good sign but I think it speaks well of the food I will soon be enjoying. If there were no Chinese people at a Chinese restaurant chances are the food isn’t very authentic or good. Nothing to worry about at Dinesty Dumpling House, it’s packed.
Since I’m just by myself tonight I won’t be able to try as many dishes as I would have like to but I promised myself I would order at least four dishes. Of course the first one I order is the XLB or Xia Long Bao aka Steamed Pork Soup Dumplings. Prior to this visit my favourite place for XLB was Lin Chinese Cuisine. This Dinesty Dumpling House location is on par with Lin for sure. A delicate wrapper covering flavourful soup and pork filling, they are some of the best XLB I’ve had.
If you’ve never had XLB before here is how you eat them so the steaming hot soup filling doesn’t burn your mouth:
- Step 1 you pick up the dumpling with your chopsticks by the little knot that has formed at the top of the dumpling.
- Step 2 you dip the dumpling in the sauce that accompanies it and then you place the dumpling in your spoon.
- Step 3 with the dumpling in the spoon you cause a small tear near the top of the dumpling to allow some of the steam to escape.
- Step 4 when you are confident it is cool enough not to burn your mouth you place the spoon with the dumpling in your mouth and eat it. Explosion = awesome.
The next two dishes to arrive are both new dishes for me to try. First there is the Simmering Chicken and then there is the Noodles with Minced Pork and Mushroom in Spicy Sauce. The Simmering Chicken is amazing. The Chicken is fall off the bone tender and sits is a lightly sweet and tangy almost BBQ sauce with large pieces of ginger. While I prefer my Chicken boneless I totally appreciate the extra flavour they add to the dish. This is one I will definitely have again. As for the noodles the spicy sauce reminds me of the flavour of Hot & Sour Soup. I love Hot & Sour Soup so for me it’s a winner. In fact next time I dine here alone this portion is probably more than enough to satisfy my hunger, and at only $7.50 it makes for a cheap meal.
The last dish to arrive is called Scallop & Pork Shaomai. Delicate pork dumplings with a shrimp on top of the dumpling. only one word describes these… yummy. They are like little purses filled with pork & scallop goodness. Eat them quickly though because the longer they sit the tougher the shrimp gets as they continue to cook thanks from the steam and heat coming from the filling.
Normally eating alone can be quite boring unless you have a book or the newspaper to read. Not so at Dinesty Dumpling House. Throughout my meal and while I was waiting for my dishes to arrive I was mesmerized by watching the kitchen staff prepare the food that was being served. The entire kitchen is on view to the restaurant. Artists at work in my opinion.
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