Mention Vancouver to anyone who’s been there and one of the first things they’ll mention is how good the food is there, specifically the chinese food. On my last trip to Seattle, I ventured south to Portland, but this time around, I decided to venture north, to our neighbors in Canada. I’ve been to eastern canada umpteenth times, but never had I been to british columbia. Man, when I got there, all the streets where I needed to be were closed for a chinese new year parade. It was freezing cold and rainy but they were still having the parade. Apparently, vancouver is nuts about their parades. So after driving around for what seemed to be an hour, I was finally able to get somewhat close to my destination – chinatown.
I wanted to have dim sum, so I went to the biggest most famous of them all – Floata. The place is huge, like you’d see in the movies. If there was a huge ass chinese wedding banquet, and you invited all your closest 500 friends. There’s no menu. And this place is run like a tightly-run factory. They seat you, your table gets a number, you get tea, and then little carts come around with food, and you decide what to eat. Like these shrimp and chive dumplings. These little suckers were delicious, filled with fresh shrimp and chives in a light rice based wrapper. They come around squawking in chinese, and I had no idea what they were saying. So then you ask and they open up the little steamer baskets and show you. Next I got these little seafood filled things. Don’t ask me what they were called. I think the wrappers were tofu based and there was imitation crab, scallops, and shrimp inside them. It was ok, but definitely not amongst my favorites. Now my favorite were the shrimp and pumpkin dumplings. They were similar to the regular shrimp and chive ones, but had little slivers of slightly crunchy pumpkin in them, and the wrappers were a little different. I’m not sure what the wrappers included, but they had a little something in them. In theory, it sounds weird to have pumpkin in a dumpling along with shrimp, but it was an unusual yet delicious complement. It doesn’t seem like tons of food, but after these three, I was stuffed. What was service like? Eh, I’ve had much better. It took me two tries to get some water, and they didn’t bring me any kind of dipping sauce for any of the dumplings until I asked. But whatever, it’s dim sum, I wasn’t expecting anything fancy. The point here is turnover, turnover, turnover, so they try to get you in and they try to get you out. It’d been a long time since I’d had dim sum, I mean years and years and years, and It was a lot of fun.