Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
108-777 W Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4JZ
It’s been about 4 years since I was last in Vancouver, the area with the best Cantonese food this side of the Pacific Ocean. So, of course, I was excited to go back for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Since I still have a lot of fantastic dim sum restaurants left to go, I decided to eat at some place new to me, rather than go to some place tried and true. One of those places new to me was Dynasty Seafood Restaurant near Vancouver City Hall, which has consistently been on many lists of best places for dim sum in Vancouver.
A friend of mine joined me for this dim sum adventure. As he lives around Vancouver, he made a dim sum reservation for the both of us. We ended up pushing the reservation by 15-30 minutes but were able to be seated immediately at a table for 2 near the center of the restaurant. The restaurant was fairly typical for a standard upscale, but not luxury, seafood and dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong and Vancouver – elegant minimalist decor with plush seats, separate serving and eating chopsticks, and modern chandeliers. We did find it odd, however, that water was served in generic IKEA glasses.
We then dug into the food, ordering a mix of both classic and more new/innovative dishes:
- Baked Whole Abalone Pie 原隻鮑魚酥– The abalone was good (and it was the first time my friend had abalone!) with a nice sweet sauce to accompany it. However, both of us did find the tart a little too buttery and shortbread-like, which slightly overpowered the seafood and was not the best in contrasts. Not bad, but would have definitely preferred the abalone on its own or in something more neutral and softer.
- Steamed Shrimp Dumpling 皇朝水晶蝦餃皇 – The classic har gow had great, fish shrimp flavor with just a touch of salt and pepper to bring out the natural flavor. Even though they held well, the skins were a little too thick. So all in all pretty decent, but could have used better technique.
- Steamed Pork Dumpling 傳統鮮蝦切肉燒賣 – These were smaller than usual, which I actually appreciated, though my friend did find them a little too compact and chewy. Could have used a little more mushroom or shrimp for textural balance but I liked them.
- Steamed BBQ Pork Bun 蠔皇蜜叉燒包 – These cha siu bao were steamed very well. The bao bread was nice and fluffy and the bbq pork was perfectly sweet, savory, and tender.
- Baked Beef Pie w/ Turnip 和牛蘿蔔絲酥– This was one of the more innovative items that I ordered. The puff pastry was pretty good and the soft daikon was a nice contrast with the tender beef meat. It could have used a little more herbs or some veggies for a little filling crunch but I liked them.
- Pan Fried Shrimp & Chive Dumpling 香煎韭菜粿– This was probably my favorite dish of the meal. I loved the loads of chives that paired really well with the shrimp. The dumpling skins were just perfectly fan fried too, giving a nice bit of crispy on both sides while still being stretchy and intact with the filling.
- Mango and Grapefruit Pudding 楊枝金露凍布甸 – We decided to get dessert by doing a twist on one of my favorite classics. Both of us weren’t the biggest grapefruit fans and agreed the tiny bit of grapefruit was still a little too bitter for the mango pudding. However, the actual mango pudding itself was delightful.
The service was pretty good as well, as flagging anyone was relatively quick for what I needed. One downside, however, was when I asked for chili oil in Cantonese, they decided to give me XO sauce, which was fine, but not the same.
All in all, I can see why Dynasty is highly rated – it does tend to stick with classic Cantonese technique of bringing out the natural flavor of the food rather than being more overpowering with sauces, seasonings, or additional filling. The seafood we got was certainly fresh and flavorful. Was it the best dim sum in the Vancouver area? No. However, given that Kirin’s City Hall location closed, this is probably the best dim sum around the City Hall area and therefore the best dim sum with relatively easy access to much of Vancouver city proper. It was definitely worth the stop, but Richmond, BC continues to be where the best North American dim sum is located.