Ah good ol’ Kerrisdale. When I asked ChaSiewBen where he would want to go eat, he suggested a list of Golden-named restaurants. There were.. quite a few to choose from. There’s Golden Swan, Golden Harvest, Golden House… it’s almost like Asians really like gold or something (ha!)… But eventually we settled on the well-known Kerrisdale stalwart Golden Ocean.
Located upstairs from a Szechua/Hunan restaurant (New Chongqing), you have to trudge up some steps and heave open the massively heavy door in order to enter Golden Ocean. While the exterior is not much to look at, the interior was bright, clean and relatively modern.
Right away we noticed that Golden Ocean still uses carts to tote around their dim sum dishes. Always a plus in our books! But, something didn’t seem quite right.. It took a little while to notice that of all of the dishes being brought around, none of our usual favorites were included. For whatever reason, it turned out that only the “special” dishes were brought around, and that all of our usual dishes had to be ordered a la carte. Compounding this oddity, we didn’t have a menu or a order sheet to order from so we had to order blind to what was available or even the price. A strange setup, but perhaps this is the way they roll in Kerrisdale. If you have to ask the price…
Fried Radish Cake – light crisp, smooth filling 3/5
Despite the oddness, we’re not here for the menus, we’re here for the dim sum! We started things off with an order of the Egg Yolk Buns. These were gooey and had the right amount of sweetness to the filling — that is, if we had enough of it. You can see, the ratio of filling-to-bun was completely off, and as a result, there was barely any filling.
There was also a special “swan pastry” that came by that we decided to try. While impressive to look at, the filling was completely unmemorable, as evidenced by our complete lack of memory on what the filling as was! The exterior was flakey and had a good mouthfeel without being too buttery.
Next came Sesame Spring Rolls. These had a nice crunch and aroma due to the sesame crust, and the shrimp were well-seasoned and a snappy texture due to the addition of water chestnut.
The Shrimp Dumplings carried on this trend of snappy shrimp that was well-cooked. Overall, everything was decent with this dish. Skin was nicely translucent, filling was moist and well-seasoned. However, there also wasn’t anything particularly special about this dish that made it stand out more than normal.
The Pork Dumplings were also not particularly special, but unfortunately suffered from poorer execution. While average in taste and portion size, the dumplings were slightly overcooked, and had a bit of the inedible hard congealed fat that was definitely off-putting.
Next came the Phoenix Talons, or in other words, chicken feet! These were completely average in every regard. Flavour, texture, even portions were just “average.”
We finally ended the meal with an order of the Mango Dessert Rolls. These were sheets of many meat, wrapped around creme fraiche with mango filling. Overall a hit with the table, despite its simple premise.
In the end, despite the oddness in the ordering style, the standard dishes were completely average overall, with some interesting special dishes. Sadly, these specials also came with special pricing, which was disappointing seeing as how pricing was not visible at any time during our visit. I guess it’s true, if you have to ask how much it cost… you probably won’t like the answer.
Here are our ratings!
[table caption=”Standard Dishes” width=”500″ colwidth=”25|15″ colalign=”left|center”]
Dish Name,Score (out of 5)
Shrimp Dumpling, 3.4
Pork Dumpling, 2.8
Spare Ribs, 3.2
Fried Daikon Cake, 3.0
Prices for standard dim sum item ranged from MYSTERIOUS to WHO KNOWS? and our members felt that this gave us BELOW AVERAGE value for the quality of food.
[table caption=”Noteworthy Dishes” width=”500″ colwidth=”25|15″ colalign=”left|center”]
Sesame Spring Roll, 4/5
Mango Dessert Roll, 4/5
“Swan” Pastry, 3/5
All things considered, we thought that Golden Ocean had an overall rating of: 3 out of 5 (AVERAGE)