Going out for dim sum two days in a row is a lot for me. Before this weekend, I didn’t go to dimsum for probably a year. I am allergic to most seafood after all, and have a hard time picking out what I can eat as many dishes have pieces of shrimp in everything. After a quick shopping session for snowboard gear in Langley, my friends said they wanted dim sum and heard about a place really close by called Empire Garden. I was a bit hesitant because I just had dim sum, but I went anyway.
The place was fairly busy, we had to wait a little bit to get our party of 6 a table. Most of the ordering is done via pencil and paper, but they did have a few push carts around for desserts. After placing our orders, a push cart came strolling by and we immediately got some dessert. A nice coconut bun with sugar on top. It was really good. Starting a meal with dessert? Why not? Especially if it’s this good.
Dishes range from $2.95 for Small to $5.95 for Special dishes. We ordered deep fried squid, as well as deep fried squid with garlic and chiles, deep fried wontons, sticky fried rice with chinese sausage, rice flour rolls wrapped with Chinese donut, pan fried radish cakes, custard buns, hagow, siu mai, mini sticky rice wraps in lotus leaves, and finally xiao long baos.
The deep fried squids were both really good. Nice crisp batter, and good texture on the squid and perfectly seasoned. I prefer the one with chiles, which added just a tiny bit of spice and garlic. The deep fried wontons were good too, as they weren’t lacking in stuffing. The sticky rice was nice too, but I had to watch out for little pieces of shrimp, but I really liked the flavour. The rice rolls in Chinese donut were OK, the sauce was kind of lacking in flavour, but glad that they didn’t have dried shrimp in the rice roll. The xiao long baos were a disappointment though, the skin was very thick, and there was no soup to be found! It was served on top of lettuce in the steamer which unfortunately stuck to the bottom of the baos.
Overall though, I was pretty happy with the meal here. I definitely really like the squid, and the rice, and the coconut bun. After looking at the menu again, there are a bunch of other dishes I want to try. But the other question is, how often am I going to be in Langley for Chinese food?
#100 20378 88th. Ave.