Dai Tung

I hmm’d and haww’d about writing this review, even before I made my way to the very busy dim sum spot called Dai Tung on Kingsway. It’s because my husband’s uncle and aunt own this place and I have a rule of not doing reviews when I’m out with my husband’s family (out of respect) – which is kind of the along the same wavelength. What made me change my mind was basically the fact that I created Gastrofork to share spots that may not be as apparent as bigger and popular places and that I would write on places whether I had a good experience or bad experience.

There has been a lot of discussion whether it’s worth a blogger’s time to write a negative review, but I personally think it is worth their time because I value a negative review when I read about places before I go. Provided that there is some sort of reasoning behind the negativity, then I do appreciate it.

Anyway, without further ado, I give you, Dai Tung. From what people have told me, this place is PACKED on weekends with almost up to an hour wait for a table! Luckily, we were there on a Tuesday morning. It was still pretty busy, but we only had to wait maybe about 10-15 minutes.

The atmosphere is very clean, I’m sure they’ve renovated the place in recent years. I also admire Dai Tung for having the carts and people come by with dim sum items as opposed to checking it off on a check list. There’s something a little more authentic about it. Also, we were talking to my Uncle in law, and he was saying that since they have a market right next to them, their vegetables are always fresh. Sweet.

First off and a bit of their claim to fame – the chicken wings. Not overdone, crispy and crunchy outside and very tender chicken in the inside. It’s not very oily and is always served piping hot. Also, I want to know where the heck they get their chicken wings from cuz they’re ENORMOUS.

Next up are something a bit like gyozas. They have the meat inside but they’re also jam packed with spinach. Much tastier than your run of the mill gyozas.

We also ordered Siu Mai (a dim sum staple) – very fresh!

And of course, Ha Gau (another dim sum staple – steam prawn dumping) – the wrapping was not too sticky or large and stayed with the prawn inside. At some dim sum places they over steam the Ha Gau and the wrapper is too doughy and falls off once you bite into it – but not here.

We also ordered meatballs – decently sized, wish they served it with soy sauce like in other places.

Steamed sticky rice, I’m not a fan so I didn’t get to try this.

My dad is notorious for loving these small fish that are deep fried in batter with spicy pepper. He ordered two of these he loved them so much. This is considered a special dish so it was a little more.

Beef brisket. This is considered a special dish so it’s a little more expensive, I didn’t get to try it.

Deep Fried Tofu with Prawn on top. Nom. I love this dim sum dish and I keep forgetting how hot/fresh it is and I burnt the top of my mouth on it =\

This is Eggplant (Chinese) with Prawn on top, similar to the last dish. The eggplant was still a bit green inside, but otherwise fine.

Deep Fried Taro with barbecue pork inside. Crispy on the outside, soft (but not mushy) on the inside. Nom.

Another special dish, this is deep fried bean curd with enoki and chinese mushrooms served with gravy. Also freshly made so the bean curd was still crispy and the mushrooms were not overdone.

Rice Noodle with Prawn. Okay, I know, a lot of seafood/prawn. My parents kill for seafood! Of all the great dishes we ordered, this one was my “meh” dish. There was barely any prawn inside the rice noodle, but definitely fresher than most places I’ve been.

Food:
Busy dim sum places mean fresh food to keep up with the demand. But their dim sum and their speciality dishes were consistent and fresh.

Ambiance:
Surprisingly clean and looks like it’s been renovated in the past couple of years.

Value:
One of the more cheaper places for dim sum ($2.75), no wonder this place is packed! The specialty dishes were about $5-$6 which is normal for dim sum, but I personally think it’s a bit much for the amount of food.

Service:
The service was good, they were quick to seat us, bring tea and with the bill. My only gripe is that much like other dim sum places, they rarely keep on top of filling up your hot water /tea pot.

OVERALL: 
Dai Tung Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Dee

About Dee

Inspired by her father’s cooking savvy and impeccable taste and her love of trying out new places, Dee decided to pursue her love of food. Although she much prefers eating at a local restaurant, she has also taken up cooking as a novice who has lots to learn and many recipes to try. Join her quest to rise from cooking mediocrity and fine tune her palate at different restaurants!
  • http://604foodtography.com Kevin

    Dai Tung and Flamingo on Cambie are probably my earliest memories of dim sum in Vancouver with my family. That’s a long time, I’m 22..I still remember how Dai Tung looked before the reno too.

    Good honest review :)

    • admin

      I remember my family always used to go to Flamingo too when I was younger!! Thanks for the kudos, Kevin. It was also nice meeting you today =)

  • Jen

    I love this place, and the bean curd with mushrooms and gravy is my favourite dish. The service is often a bit off-putting, and perhaps the front may be clean, but their latest inspection reports (Jan. 2012) show they don’t meet cleanliness standards in the back. The food is fairly cheap. I went with a 10+crowd, everyone ate till they were stuffed, and when we split the bill, it was not much more than $10 each. I just wish they would keep the back cleaner.

    • Anonymous

      The bean curd with mushrooms is my favourite too! I completely agree with you about cleanliness, it completely puts me off whenever I eat somewhere too.

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