I used to go to Grand Lake Chinese Cuisine & Banquet for dim sum with our family friends all the time as a child. Somehow along the way, we stopped dining there and I hadn’t stepped foot in that restaurant for over 15 years at least.
When we were reminiscing about old school dim sum dishes recently, like the steamed rice with spare ribs in a tin container or a dish of savory pig’s blood, I thought of Grand Lake Chinese Cuisine again.
It was a Sunday and we called the restaurant ahead of time to reserve a table just in case they were going to be busy.
We arrived at the restaurant at 10:30 a.m. and the restaurant was moderately full. Even if we hadn’t called to make a reservation, we would have been able to get a table.
I like how Grand Lake Chinese Cuisine still operates in a somehow old school Chinese dim sum fashion. They still have that piece of grided paper where the food servers will stamp or circle every time you order a small size, medium, large, or chef’s special. However, they don’t have push carts anymore. Thus, you’ll pick the dishes you want to eat from the order sheet and when the dishes arrive, the server will mark them accordingly on the paper. At the time we were there, there was also a roving cart with pig’s blood, pig trotter in vinegar, and salty chicken feet. Mmm!
We ordered a good amount of food both from the roving cart and the dim sum order sheet to share for the three of us. I was so impressed with the large portions and flavours of the dishes. Everything was so good!
The large portion of savory pig’s blood was everything I wanted to eat and it was perfectly cooked to how I liked it. The pig’s blood were in large chunks and so smooth. The sauce was so umani too. ^_^
The pig’s trotter in sweet vinegar 豬腳薑醋 was also a large size. It came with two eggs and lots of pig’s feet, sweetened vinegar, and ginger. The sweetened vinegar was tasty to drink and the ginger was so sweet (not spicy as they tend to be) either!
The fried salt and pepper fish 椒鹽竹簽魚 was the best surprise dish we ordered! There were at least six of these perfectly fried fish on the plate. Each one was so lightly battered with salt and pepper and so tender on the inside. I was so impressed and could have finished the entire plate of these!! ^_^
The tofu rice noodle 玉子豆腐豆苖腸 and chicken feet 醬汁蒸鳳爪 were both standard and good.
The steamed salmon head with black bean sauce 豉汁蒸三文魚頭 was so good! It was so smooth and fatty too in just the right parts. :9
The pork dumplings (siu mai) 魚子燒賣皇 had black roe on top of it. It was pretty good as well but as prone to most other siu mai eaten at other Chinese restaurants, it tends to have a lot of fatty pork deposits. I always split these out when I’m chewing.
I didn’t try the steamed rice with meat patty 馬蹄牛肉餅飯 until the next day (we had leftovers), and the meat patty was so soft and tasty. Grand Lake Chinese Cuisine doesn’t have the traditional rice in a tin can that we were looking for.
We ordered a dessert which was black glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaves 豆沙竹葉果 . This was a bigger portion than I expected. It was chewy and sweet.
I enjoyed my visit to Grand Lake Chinese Cuisine & Banquet so much. It was smaller than I remembered (isn’t it always the case when we revist places from our childhood?) despite the renovations that had been done to refreshen up the place.
There were no lineups at this restaurant as everyone who showed up got a table right away. The patrons seemed to be locals who are in the area and appeared mostly the middle aged or elderly population.
I would definitely return for the fried fish and savory pig’s blood dishes again. :9