Friday, April 2, 2010


I had my dim sum moments of doing the rounds within Metro Vancouver and then went into hiatus. Starting all over again in 2010, it's time to revisit Golden Phoenix Chinese Seafood Restaurant.

Golden Phoenix Chinese Seafood Restaurant
2425 Nanaimo St
Vancouver, BC V5N 5E5
Telephone: 604.253.9717 / 604.253.6183
Hours: Fri-Sat - 9am-1am; Mon-Thurs - TBD 


Food: 7/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Pricing: $$ (under $20 per head)

Pros: Comfy hole-in-the-wall size; Great service; Good dim sum pricing
Cons: Come early or be prepared to wait during prime dim sum hours; Will get pretty cramped; Pseudo-dim sum cart service (there really is no space to move around there)

Overall Rating: 7/10

Notes: Accepts VISA/Mastercard/Debit

Golden Phoenix Chinese Seafood on Urbanspoon

Parking can get pretty tough to find as there are a handful of restaurants within the block.  If people arriving going here to Golden Phoenix, then they're probably heading next door to Bon's Off Broadway. Or if you're lucky, you may be able to find an available spot at the back entrance where they have a private lot. The only problem is the alley road is dilapidated it's practically a moon crater.

Here's the rear parking lot with parked cars on the right side. There is another set similar to this on the left side. You find a big enough room for all the cars to maneuver out of their own space.

The rear entrance which doesn't look inviting to go thru, but will lead you into the hallway and onto the dining area. If you go this route and then is a line, then you'll have to make your way into the main entrance to place yourself on que.

It's always a challenge to experience dim sum dining when you're not with a group. You'd want to order most of the items that come your way and the best always seem to come out last just when you're stuffed.

The first item that came our way was a deep fried breaded shrimp dish with a side of sweet and sour dipping sauce. It was lightly breaded and chewy inside with shrimp and pork portions similar to shumai.

Speaking of shumai, they serve it in four large pieces. Being the most popular and staple dish of dim sum diners, it can get very tired. But their particular variety I enjoyed not necessarily because it was large (okay, maybe because it was large...kidding), but the size accommodated bigger mushroom pieces that gave a very pronounced taste.

Even if you find yourself holding back into ordering something more adventurous, how can you resist not ordering the Har Gow (shrimp dumplings). I like it when the skin is paper thin and not sticky outside that it manages to latch into anything around your plate. These were pretty decent especially for the size and price.

I know, I know...normal dim sum items. I promise, I'm not that boring, but I did mention that it was hard to hold back for more adventurous selections when you're tummy is grumbling and everything that comes out of the kitchen is now tasty.

I like their salt and pepper tofu. Just close your eyes and imagine it's salt and pepper Dungeness crabs. Poof! Back to reality. The tofu is mildly spiced despite the visual alarming presence of chili. There are also garlic bits which is a welcome addition when paired to the crunchy outer tofu texture. Not for the people who are easily sqeamish with a good amount of oil soaked in the food. Tsk, tsk.

Looking for fusion food? Look no further. More shrimps, please. This time deep fried Spring rolls wrapped with shrimps that are wasabi-laced. I did like the dish. It wasn't as oily as the tofu.

No matter what I order, I always find myself going for Cha Siu Bao (BBQ pork filled steamed buns).  I was disappointed because it was over-steamed that the buns were too moist and were practically falling apart. Unlike the above dishes so far, this looked like it came from another dim sum place. The filling was sparse versus the amount of dough which is apparent on the photo.

Ah, yes. One of the reasons why I come back here is for their variety of sesame balls. I always choose the black sesame variety which is differentiated from the outside with the abundant black sesame seed coating the sticky rice shaped ball. While inside you'll find the black sesame paste that I find sweet and milky in taste. Definitely a good cap for a dim sum meal.

Pricing for Golden Phoenix as follows - $2.95, $3.25, $3.50, $3.95, $4.25, and $4.95. I've never tried to determine where each dim sum dish falls under. It's not like you wouldn't order a dish that looked visually pleasing anyway. In any case it was interesting trying to guess where they would mark the dish.

Oh and like any dim sum place, there is an automatic $0.60 per person charge for serving tea.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there:

    I was looking to organizing a dim sum session in this restaurant. I was wondering if you could help with a couple of questions for me?
    1. Are they push carts?
    2. Do you think they will be big enough to host 20-30 people on a weekend morning?