I’ve written before of my deanery, and the priests (clericus) that I work with. Except for July and August, the clericus tries to get together every month. These meetings are chances to find out what is happening in our lives. What is happening in our parishes. What is happening in the broader communities that we are a part of. I’ve found this to be a helpful and supportive practice as I’m still getting used to parish life.
Generally we meet in one of the parishes. Once a while, though, we head out to a restaurant. This month our meeting was a little later than most. This made scheduling it for a parish hard. Instead we decided to meet for Dim Sum at Victoria Seafood restaurant on St. Mary’s Road.
Ambience wise Victoria Seafood doesn’t have a lot going for it. It looks like every other Chinese restaurant that existed in the 70’s and 80′. One thing it does have going for it is that it is a fairly spacious room. That means there are plenty of seating choices which give a degree of privacy even in an open room.
In the end there were four of us, but only three went for the Dim Sum. We tried nine different items between us. One reason for going with the Dim Sum is it’s also great value. Our whole order including a pot of green tea, came to under $32.00 including tax. It was definitely a protein heavy lunch, as there were only a few items on the Dim Sum list that contained more than desultory amounts of vegetables.
We tried three different Shrimp dumplings. The first was the plain Shrimp dumpling, along with a Shrimp and Mushroom dumpling and a Shrimp with Pea Pod Tips dumpling. I found the last of the three to be the most interesting. The fresh pea pod flavour providing a nice counterpoint to the shrimp. Although none of the shrimp were large, they were all well cooked, tender and juicy.
On our first order we had the Spring Roll, which we thought might contain some vegetables in with the other ingredients. Instead the filling was almost entirely pork. It was nicely seasoned and there was plenty of stuffing. The Pan Fried Meat Dumpling was more on the just okay side, as far as quality and flavour were concerned. The Vegetables in Bean Curd were a bit of a mixed bag. The vegetables were kind of chewy, but the bean curd wrapper was real crispy with a bit of sweetness in the flavour.
If I were to pick out star dishes for the day, the three that would stand out were: The Victoria Pork Dumpling. This one had flavour just bursting out of it. It also had the most visual appeal of the dishes we were served. Next would be the Steamed Beef Balls. These in fact were more like mini meatloaf pieces. If you like your meatloaf on the moist side, try the Steamed Beef Balls here. Finally, I really like the Fried & Steam Rice Noodles. These were tubular rolls of rice pastry, surround by rice noodles. The two forms gave a reverse take on the old “crispy on the outside, soft on the inside” approach to cooking.
Dim Summing Up:
This is the second time I’ve been to Victoria Seafood. The first time was over the supper hour and I order from the conventional menu. On the whole it was too bad, but I think if I was planning a return visit, I’d make sure that I went when the Dim Sum was available. The quality and creativity of the Dim Sum menu elevates it above the more conventional Chinese restaurant menu.