Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Vivacity – Richmond, Vancouver

Posted on: Friday 23 December 2011

Yum cha (飲茶) is a symbolic meal for me. In Cantonese the literal translation is ‘drink tea’. Families and friends gather at round tables for a casual lunch, sharing pots of tea, and selecting bamboo steamers and plates of dim sum (點心) from carts. An old couple read the newspaper in silence. Children eat barbecue pork buns (叉燒包) with their hands. Extended families spin the Lazy Susan laden with dishes. It is a tradition cherished in Chinese culture.

First on our Dim-sum-couver schedule was Vivacity (名都). Located in Richmond, a neighbourhood of Vancouver with the highest immigrant population in Canada and the majority is of Chinese heritage.

We were seated in a separate room where we were the only patrons. The menu doubled as a ordering form as Vivacity did not have carts. There were more than a hundred items on the menu! After some deliberation we marked our morning tea with a pencil.

First was deep fried pork dumplings (鹹水角). Golden and oval shaped, the slightly sweet and mochi like dumpling encased a savoury pork and vegetables filling.

Steamed rice rolls with Chinese doughnuts (炸兩) topped with pork floss (肉鬆) were a textural contrast. Light and crunchy Chinese doughnut (油炸鬼) were wrapped in slippery noodles and served with soy sauce, peanut sauce and hoisin sauce.

Pan fried radish cakes (蘿蔔糕) are one of my favourite dim sum comfort food. Squares of shredded radish were studded with Chinese sausage (臘腸), glutinous morsels with a seared edge.

Three globes of steamed beef balls (牛肉球) were on a curious mix of corn kernels and peas. The usual garnish of tofu skins was absent. Scissored in half, the tenderised meat was dipped in tangy Worcestershire sauce (喼汁) to accentuate the beef flavour.

Fried crispy milk custards (炸脆奶) were nuggets of delight. The batter crumbled with each bite and melded into the silky custard.

Last was steamed buns with egg custard (流沙包). Deceptively plain in appearance, the bland dough was the vessel for creamy saffron coloured custard.

I can count how many times I’ve been to yum cha this year and I’ve really missed it.

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7 Responses to "Vivacity – Richmond, Vancouver"

[…] delicious yum cha (飲茶) lunch at Vivacity (名都) whetted our Dim-sum-couver (點心哥華) appetite. On the next block was Kam Do Bakery […]

[…] Dim-sum-couver (點心哥華) was perfectly timed for House of Dosas‘ Wednesday special of South Indian hoppers. […]

[…] Dim-sum-couver (點心哥華) continued onto Peaceful (和平飯店) in Yaletown. The smiling chef attached to the sign was a contrast to Peace Hotel, a violent Spaghetti Western film starring Chow Yun Fat (周潤發) of the same Chinese name as Peaceful Restaurant. […]

[…] Malaysian fare. I was delighted that Banana Leaf was the penultimate restaurant on the Dim-sum-couver (點心哥華) […]

[…] final restaurant on the December Dim-sum-couver (點心哥華) schedule was Sha Lin Noodle House […]

[…] Cantonese lunch of dim sum (點心). I was adamant that Seattleites have to travel north to Richmond in Vancouver for variety and quality until Shirley introduced me to Jade Garden […]

[…] mai, an open dumpling that is a staple dim sum (點心) at yum cha (飲茶), were a dexterous challenge. Traditionally made with twelve pleats, I maxed out at […]

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