Dim Sum Garden
Address: 277 Rupert Ave.
The hustle and bustle of servers. The clatter of metal trolleys. The aromas of ginger, garlic, seafood and meat. This vibrant sensory experience is all part of Dim Sum Garden’s charm.
A staple on Winnipeg’s dim sum scene for more than 20 years, large groups of diners from the tightly knit Asian community to young families to business power lunchers gather here from all corners of the city for authentic Chinese and Hong Kong dining. That authenticity comes from the kitchen’s masterful dim sum creations and vast dinner menu. To fully appreciate Dim Sum Garden’s versatility and breadth of Chinese and Hong Kong cuisine, diners should experience the frenzied dim sum lunch and impressive dinner feast.
The restaurant is renowned for its speedy lunches and mid-afternoon happy hour when all dim sum delights are offered half price. Inside this Chinatown restaurant’s distinct pink and red building, the 80-seat front and 130-seat back dining rooms are modestly decorated with Asian artwork and red banners adorned with lucky knots.
At lunch, a constant stream of servers push trolleys stacked high with steaming bamboo baskets and small plates of food. You can’t go wrong with any of the dim sum varieties from delicate shrimp pancakes to fluffy sweet dessert buns to steamed shark fin dumplings. However, there are a few options that stand out from the pack. Scout out fried eggplant stuffed with plump butterfly shrimp. A healthy dose of black bean garlic sauce heightens the vegetable’s sticky, crispy skin. The popular crunchy pork spring rolls are loaded with tender morsels of meat and fresh greens; for extra tang ask the server to add a dash of gip-jap (Worcestershire sauce).
Evenings are a more relaxed affair when carts are tucked away and servers take your order at the table. The menu is packed with almost 200 items. For a culinary adventure check out the chef’s specials section for noteworthy mixed seafood with pea pods. Tossed in basic white garlic and ginger sauce, a heap of pea pods are cooked to crunchy perfection and mixed with juicy shrimps, scallops and squid.
Half barbequed duck also deserves star billing. Served on an oval platter, the duck’s crispy glistening skin gives to way moist, fatty pieces of white and dark meat that have a gentle hint of sweetness.
Another emblem of Chinese cuisine is hot pot. Traditionally thin slices of meat and veggies are boiled in flavoured broth (flavours vary by region) at the table. At Dim Sum Garden, the kitchen does the hard work for guests. The bean curd and assorted meat version comes served ready to eat in a piping hot metal bowl. Be prepared to fight over perfectly prepared barbeque pork, shiitake mushroom caps and large cubes of tofu in strong garlic broth.
Moo-shu pancakes with chicken, bean sprouts, chopped vegetables and mushrooms are a crowd favourite. Paper-thin flour pancakes the size of a small saucer are used to wrap the addictive glazed stir-fry. A dab of hoisin sauce adds complementary tang and sweetness to the crunchy filling.