Experience Vibrant and Varied
Dynasty Century Palace
Dim Sum #206, 9700 – 105 Avenue (2nd floor)
Dim Sum is as much the experience as the food, especially at Dynasty Century Palace. The numerous large, round tables with big lazy Susans were filled with lively groups of people. The chatter was loud as the plates and bowls were quickly changed around the room. Food trollies buzzed about, offering patrons a wide range of tasty foods as well as the obligatory pots of tea. Of course, we were there at noon on Saturday, apparently a popular time for dim sum.
It’s best to do dim sum in a group – the larger the better – so each person gets a chance to try a little bit of everything. I went with a family with three kids, most of whom tried things and even liked some! We stuck to the more usual fare: dumplings, buns, pastries, rolls, and rice. Since many dishes were rather similar, nothing in particular stood out. Rather, everything was as just as described – pieces of meat and/or vegetable inside some kind of encasement. The shrimp and scallop dumplings were particularly tasty, the steamed rice paper outside complementing the inside. The pastry crusts flaked right off, but the meat inside lacked some definition. The steamed buns balanced the bread with a rather mild pork stuffing. The green onion cake disappointed, being quite bland and limp. The beef balls had the texture of meatloaf as well as some of the associated spices. The sticky fried rice was wonderfully infused with the taste of lotus leaves. It was so sticky my six-year-old dining companion could eat it with one chopstick!
We did learn by observation that one should order the food one or two servings at a time. We were excited and got many dishes off the first trolley. At first, the food was piping hot, but quickly became lukewarm, then tepid, then essentially cold as we got to the end of our ten dishes. Had we taken one or two things from each trolly that passed, we would have enjoyed the food even more.
As we discussed the “best dish,” we learned that each had a different favourite, another pleasant result of sharing around the table. Most dishes are between $3-$4, so our total bill (without taking advantage of the bar service) was about $50 for the six of us.
Dynasty Century Palace, visibly a community hotspot, plays a prominent role in our Chinatown. Take-away is also possible, but one would miss out on the vibrant ambience of this well-loved place.
John lives in Boyle Street.