Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant – Push Cart Dim Sum

Restaurant: Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant
Cuisine: Chinese/Dim Sum/Seafood
Last visited: August 7, 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC (Kerrisdale)
Address: 2046 W 41st Ave
Price Range: $10 or less for dim sum / $10-20 for dinner

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3
Service: 3
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 3
Additional comments:

  • Dim sum/lunch/dinner
  • Some traditional & some not so traditional dim sum
  • Average dim sum
  • Push cart dim sum
  • Fresh seafood, in house tanks
  • Lots of variety
  • Good selection
  • Casual, unpretentious
  • Pretty cheap to reasonable prices
  • Busy/line-ups
  • Popular to Chinese and Westerners
  • Metre parking

**Recommendations: Steamed sticky rice wrap, baked BBQ pork buns, lychee and gogi berry jello

Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant is located on the second floor and the signage and exterior is pretty ghetto so my expectations weren’t set high. Actually, I should start off by saying I’m not a fan of dim sum in Vancouver. There is a general consensus among most Chinese locals (including myself) that Richmond is the best place for traditional Cantonese dim sum. I haven’t tried all the dim sum restaurants in Vancouver, but I am almost always impressed with dim sum in Richmond. My usual spots in Richmond are Top Gun, Rainflower, and Empire Chinese Cuisine. Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that great either. I don’t really understand the hype and I would rather cross the bridge and go for some good quality dim sum, for the same prices, in a better atmosphere.


The inside is nicer than the outside and the place is constantly packed for dim sum so it does attract lots of Chinese locals as well as Westerners living in the neighbourhood.

A major factor on why I think it does so well and that people like it is because it is one of the few remaining push cart dim sum places still available in Vancouver and Richmond. This is how traditional dim sum is served, and although it is fun I actually prefer ordering from a sheet so that my food comes hot, fresh and made upon order (or at least close to it). I do give Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant kudos for offering a wide selection of dim sum dishes though. There was a great balance of savoury and sweet dishes and anything you wanted was sure to come out before you even really needed to ask for it. Of course if it didn’t, you could easily catch the attention of a server and order it directly from the kitchen rather than waiting around for the cart to roll around. Overall the food is very mediocre, and there’s no attention to detail, but it is still good. There’s nothing to complain or praise, but when you’re used to a standard of dim sum, anything less isn’t very impressive. If you don’t care, need to see the food before you order it, and just want to get fed with average dim sum… then yes, come here.

On the table:


Steamed Prawn Dumplings/Har Gow – 3.5/6

  • The key dish that is supposed to represent the overall quality of the dim sum restaurant.
  • Yes, they’re good, but were they the best I’ve had? No. The prawns were juicy with some juicy pork fat flavour and the skin was actually pretty thin, but it was also quite dry and sticky.

Eggplant with Deep Fried Shrimp1.5/6

  • This was the most disappointing dish. They went around with a plate of eggplant and a side of sauce and threw the sauce on last minute upon ordering it.
  • The sauce was very gluey black bean sauce, with no black beans that was served luke warm. The eggplants were overcooked with dry and wrinkly skins and the prawns were heavily battered and also room temperature. The dish just tasted sloppy and old overall and I usually like this dish.
  • Click here to see almost the same dish, but a better version of it from Red Star Seafood restaurant in Richmond. There’s also a location in Vancouver. Yay!


**Steamed Prawns and Peashoot Dumplings4/6

  • I actually really liked these! They’re juicy prawns mixed with chives and peashoots wrapped in the same har gow prawn dumpling skin.

  • They were very juicy and flavorful with lots of ingredients. I loved the crunchiness of the prawns with the crunchy vegetables and then the chewy skin it was wrapped up in.


Steamed Pork Dumplings with Roe or Shiu Mai3/6

  • Nice and juicy pork mixed with a little shrimp and mushrooms. They tasted pretty good, but they were made so lazily so not every piece had a mushroom or shrimp. You can see that the fish roe wasn’t even dispersed evenly.


Steamed Beef Balls – n/a

  • I didn’t try any of these, but there were no complaints nor were there any surprises coming from them. They’re usually mixed with some chives and dried orange peel and served with Worcestershire sauce. It’s a very popular dish that is liked by many, but I’m just not a fan.


**Deep Fried Dumpling with Minced Pork5/6

  • I used to order these as a kid a lot and haven’t had them in a while. They were just like how I remembered them. I’ll admit, these were actually done very well here.

  • It’s a deep fried dumpling that was generously filled with a saucy mixture of ground pork and mushrooms. It’s almost like a minced meat mixture wrapped in a chewy and soft dimpling skin made from rice flour. It’s very sticky and almost like mochi skins.
  • I love the combination of the soft chewy skin, a crispy exterior followed by juicy savoury pork in it’s own gravy. These guys are filling though, so it’s something you want to share.


**Baked BBQ Pork Buns – 3.5/6

  • These are the new and improved version of the traditional steamed BBQ pork buns. These are just so much better and it’s my favourite dim sum dish. It’s not always on the menu either, so I was very happy to see it here.
  • This is my favourite kind of topping for the bun too. It’s called a Mexican bun topping and it’s a crumbly sweet crispy crust is made from sugar and butter. They do it like this at Top Gun as well, but Empire Chinese Cuisine will make it with the Pineapple Bun topping.

  • The flavour was there, but there was so much red dye in the BBQ pork that it was really unappetizing. It was almost neon orange, but despite the colour it  was sweet savoury and the pieces of pork were not bad, although a tad dry at times. It comes noticed though because there so much sauce to hide it.


Steamed Spare Ribs1.5/6

  • Where is the meat? The quality of the pork was awful and it was extremely fatty and greasy. The sauce was so oily and there was almost no other ingredients used except for oil, fat, salt and maybe some MSG. I saw specs of chili flakes and onions, but they were barely apparent in flavour.


Chicken Feet – n/a

  • I can’t eat these. I’m sorry. I know – as a self-proclaimed “foodie” I should be open to trying almost anything… but I have something seriously against feet and I just can’t do it.
  • I’ll try raw cow’s intestine, live octopus (still moving) and I’ll even try bugs (my bug post and video) – but I can’t do this. Mind you, I’m A LOT more adventurous when I’m traveling.
  • However locally, I have tried beef heart and snake soup. But feet. FEET?! ahhhhh… no.
  • There were no complaints from the people eating them, but I’ve seen this dish before and these didn’t even look as good as other ones… but they also never look good to me. It reminds me of that guy from Scary Movie 2 with the “strong hand” – see photo here.


Beef Tripen/a

  • And the series continues with more stuff I don’t eat… I know… totally NOT exotic for Asian, Portuguese, or Italian people, but I still don’t eat beef trip.
  • This one had a hint of curry in the beef sauce but it was extra oily, however it is normally quite an oily dish anyways.
  • No complaints from the people eating it, but no praise for it either.


Steamed Shrimp Balls in Winter Melon – 2/6

  • This was the lightest dish we ordered. It was quite bland in flavour, but it’s also a very simple and healthy dish.
  • The Winter melon has a very neutral flavour and the taste is almost a cross of zucchini meets squash.
  • The shrimp balls are pureed into a paste, formed into a ball and poached on top of the winter melon. There were some reminisce of egg whites but it was poorly constructed so I’m not even sure if they meant to put them on there. It should be used for this dish though so I it should be intentional.
  • Overall the dish was poorly executed and the melons and prawns were overcooked so the melon was falling apart and mushy, while the prawns were dry and a bit bland. Of course not everyone had egg white in their piece as well.


Deep Fried Bean Curd Rolls with Shrimp3/6

  • This is another common dim sum dish, but I don’t always order it. I like it better at other dim sum places. This one was just prepared quickly so some peices were crispier or fried longer than others.

  • Most of the bean curd sheets were nice and crispy, but they were also very oily and greasy. It’s a very flaky crust and then you bite into the juicy shrimp and crunchy vegetables.
  • It was stuffed with a good amount of prawns and Chinese vegetables and the flavour was quite mild. Despite it being deep fried, it’s rather light and simple and best enjoyed earlier as an appetizer.


**Steamed Sticky Rice Wrap with Lotus Leaf5/6

  • A very common Cantonese dim sum dish. I’m usually not a fan of this, but I was very pleasantly surprised with these ones.

 

  • As usual, the execution was totally lazy, but it work very well in this case! Usually the minced meat mixture is supposed to be wrapped inside the sticky rice, but in this case it was almost mixed together with the rice and rolled up. This method can be seen as a “cop-out” because the saucy pork mixture on the outside would prevent the rice from ever being dry from the steaming… so in a way it’s not authentic, but it was very good!
  • It was very saucy, and the mixture tastes the same as the mixture in the deep fried dumplings with minced pork (above). the ingredients were plentiful and they had the little bit of salted egg yolk in the middle, which I wasn’t expecting since they aren’t so detailed with the recipes here.

Dessert

I am actually very impressed with the wide selection of dessert they offered here. The portions for the dessert are quite big though, so it’s hard to decide what to get for the whole group. They even offered mochi stuffed with fresh mango, but i was the only one that wanted it so I just passed. I saw tons of dessert go by steamed sponge cakes, sweet buns, to baked tapioca pudding. They offered way more desserts than most Chinese dim sum restaurants will have.


Egg Tarts 1.5/6

  • They have 2 kinds of egg tarts. We made the mistake of ordering the crispy egg tart shells and should have ordered the flaky ones. I’m actually surprised they offered 2 kinds, it’s the only place I know that offers 2 kinds of egg tarts for dim sum. Saint Germain’s Bakery also offers 2 kinds, but that’s a bakery so that’s more expected.
  • They were overbaked and the egg custard was very eggy and almost like jello in texture.
  • The crust was a shortbread crust and it was quite bland in flavour. Apparently the flaky ones are much better.


**Lychee and Gogi Berry Jello – 5/6

  • Usually this is supposed to be called Chrysanthemum Jelly and it’s supposed to have Chrysanthemum flowers and leave in it. This one was a slightly Westernized version and it didn’t have any flower in it at all. It was still excellent though.
  • It was very naturally sweetened with a strong lychee flavour in the jello, it also had lots of juicy lychee bits and slightly sweet and tart gogi berries throughout. The gogi berries were dried, but rehydrated so they actually became quite soft. The jello is stiffer than an American jello so it is made with a bit more gelatin in the mixture.
  • This can’t be found at all dim sum restaurants, so I would have to come back for this.


Steamed Ginger Milk2/6

  • This is another traditional Chinese dessert that isn’t available at all Chinese restaurants. It’s very common to see in Hong Kong, but it’s not as common to see at restaurants. It’s very simple and more of a street food, or common for casual Hong Kong cafes. Click here to see it in Hong Kong.
  • i did love the way it was served though – very old school and rare to see.

  • It’s hot dessert that’s made from scratch in house. It’s a pretty big portion and would easily fill 4 small bowls. It’s served with a simple sugar syrup on the side so otherwise the dessert is unsweetened.

  • The tastes is a bit acquired and it’s a traditional dessert that older Chinese people really like. It’s because it’s not too sweet, rich, or heavy – it’s not my kind of dessert, not does it sound like a dessert to me. I can tolerate it, but I wouldn’t order it.
  • The texture is silky smooth and it’s almost like a custard, but instead of sweet the taste is gingery. It’s not spicy, but it’s obvious that the milk is infused with ginger and there’s a little heat from the ginger at the end. The texture is more like tofu and it’s very soft. There’s really nothing wrong with the execution of this dessert here, but it’s just not for me.

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