Red Star Seafood Restaurant

July 28th, 2008 · 3 Comments

smackdown banner 10: Red Star Seafood Restaurant
Address: 8298 Granville Street (at 67th)
Phone: (604) 261-8389

Dim Sum Menu: Page 1; Page 2; Page 3

Dim Sum prices: $3.25-$5.25 for the usual items, specials higher, order from menu – no cart service

Visit date: July 6th, 2008
Visit time: 11:15 AM


Jason’s ratings –

Steamed dumplings: 95% or 33.25 of 35 possible points
Steamed other: 90% or 13.5/15
Fried & deep fried: 85% or 12.75/15
Baked & sweet: N/A
Rice-noodle-veg: 80% or 8/10
Other factors (service, atmosphere, etc): 70% or 7/10

Jason’s total: 74.5/85 or 87.6%

Des’ ratings –

Steamed dumplings: 90% or 31.5 of 35 possible points
Steamed other: 85% or 12.75/15
Fried & deep fried: 80% or 12/15
Baked & sweet: N/A
Rice-noodle-veg: 80% or 8/10
Other factors (service, atmosphere, etc): 75% or 7.5/10

Des’ total: 71.75/85 or 84.4%

Total Score (averaged across both raters, all variables) = 73.125/85 or 86%

Total Score (averaged across both raters, all variables) = 75.125/100 or 75.125%

Notes from Des:

For the tenth and final Dim Sum Sunday outing, our party returned to Vancouver with great expectations. We’d heard good things about Red Star – a member of our group had recently been and raved about it, not least because they served amazing “footballs”! – and we wanted to complete our epic dim sum journey on a high. Moreover, it would have been a shame to miss the Wimbledon men’s final for something mediocre.

Top Gun J & C RestaurantAnd we were not disappointed for we had a veritable feast. The classic pair of steamed dumplings were both excellent. The har gau shrimp dumplings were so big I thought that each contained twin shrimps. They were deliciously fresh to the bite in their thinly rolled wrap. I loved the bulging siu mai pork dumplings too, bursting with the juicy flavours of pork, shrimp, mushroom sprinkled with roe. The Steamed Mushrooms with Fish Tofu Puffs was a tasty balance of delicate flavours, soaked up by the soft tofu and knots of noodle. Steamed Spare Ribs usually work better with a stronger-tasting sauce, but Red Star’s version with taro was nice enough, if a little soft. Red Star’s Rice Flour Rolls (cheung fun) are finely made too. We enjoyed those filled with Three Kinds of Mushroom and Chinese Donut.

Our football fan’s excitement was rightly exuded, for the Deep Fried Meat Dumplings Country Style were delicious and came on a plate of four. (It’s the first time I’ve heard ham shui gok called ‘country style’. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad thing if Fried Footballs did catch on as its official English name…) The Deep Fried Prawn Spring Rolls were nicely done though not exceptional. I also felt that the Radish Cake with Minced Shrimp was a bit bland – I hardly tasted any radish (daikon).

Top Gun J & C RestaurantAs it was our last official dim sum outing, we treated ourselves to some special dishes. The Spicy Marinated Jellyfish was well dressed in a blend of chilli and sesame oils, although that made it lose its chewy crunch. The Red Star Specialty Stir Fried (xiao chao) was a wonderful surprise. The sweetness of the crisp peas was complemented by the salty flavours of the dried shrimp, slivers of tiny fish, and peanuts. I also ordered the Chef’s Specialty Stuffed Tofu (pipa doufu) because it’s one of my favourite dishes that remind me of home. It’s a fun challenge to vary its ingredients, adding different meats and vegetables to the smooth tofu inside their crispy pockets. Red Star’s version was adequate, if a touch overfried, but the tofu within lacked taste – the onions came through but I wasn’t sure what else was in it.

We also went for a noodle dish: our leader selected the Pan Fried Vermicelli with Pork Toro Slices, Bitter Melon and Pickled Veggie. When it came to the table, I immediately noticed that there were no noodles in it, though it did appear to be a dish of pork and bitter melons. As I pointed out the lack, the slightly dopey waiter hastily returned the dish to the kitchen. Naturally, I wondered whether they’d just quickly cook up some vermicelli and then toss the rest back on top. I couldn’t be sure, but the underfried noodles did hint at the possibility. I know that a main task of noodles, especially in saucey dishes, is to provide a mean base platform for the rest, but I prefer vermicilli to be fried until they’re slightly crispy and these certainly weren’t. Still, the pork was tender (although I’m not always confident at discerning the qualities of cheeks from other cuts of pork) and the bitter melon was soft, cooked just right, and it’s bitter edge sweetened up by the sauce, all of it soaked up by the noodles.

As in other cultures where people have ten fingers, for Chinese the number ten signifies completeness and perfection. I’m not sure if there is such an insuperable standard for dim sum, but this tenth Dim Sum Sunday was a grand finale to remember. Although I sign off this last (hopefully only for the moment) dim sum report with a heavy heart, Red Star’s dim sum certainly ‘touched the heart’ of this muncher.

Red Star Seafood on Urbanspoon

Tags: Chinese · Dim Sum

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Karen // Aug 19, 2008 at 8:12 am

    Haven’t gone to Red Star for dim sum, but now I’ll have to check it out. Did go there for my birthday dinner last year. Their Peking duck is fantastic!

  • 2 Desmond // Aug 24, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Thanks, Karen. Now I’ll have to go again to check out their Peking duck!

  • 3 Ted Monit // Aug 27, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks for the review on Red Star in Vancouver. My job involves traveling a lot. Tired and hungry from my travels I love a good meal at the end of my journey. It’s hard sometimes to find a place that serves a good meal, in a relaxing environment. I found a site called It’s got an expanding list of restaurants all over the country with reviews from people who have experienced eating out there. Anyone can post their reviews on this site. Registration is free. You can comment on your eating experiences at any of the restaurants already listed or add a new one. And between now and August 31, 2008 there are some prizes you will be eligible to win. So keep eating and reviewing restaurants on this site! Your reviews certainly help people like me!

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