In partnership with Gojoy Goji Berries, Pink Pearl hosted a media dim sum featuring popular dishes throughout the decades. Now if you ask any Asian who immigrated within the last 30-40 years, the mention of Pink Pearl gets you an “Ah! Pink Pearl.” and/or an affirmative nod. This is because Pink Pearl is part of the fabric that is Chinese culture here in Vancouver. Don’t quote me on this – but I believe that Pink Pearl was one of the first dim sum/Chinese restaurants outside of the Chinatown core.
To this very day, they honour the ritual of push carts – which you barely see nowadays at Chinese dim sum restaurants here in Vancouver. They also provide dim sum all day (yes, you read the right).
Pink Pearl is offering a menu that celebrates the 4 decades for $568 for a table of 10-12 people during May 1-August 31. Some of the proceeds will go towards the Food Bank Society. You can order this particular set menu but you must give the restaurant 48 hours advanced notice.
We’ve got 13 dishes to get through, so let’s get into it!
Steamed shrimp dumpling. Ha Gau is a staple dish in every single dim sum restaurant you’ll come across. The characteristics of a great ha gau as I’ve mentioned before is a good translucency to it’s skin and snap to it’s shrimp inside. Pink Pearl’s version is solid.
Duck-web wrap. This dish was apparently a highlight from the 1980s, and while it’s an interesting way to serve duck feet (by wrapping up the part that may offend some), practically speaking, it’s a bit of a mess to eat! The bean curd wrap absorbs a lot of the flavour of this dish, but you’ll definitely have to unwrap this to enjoy it.
Mini steamed pork bun. These char siu baos have a nice spongy texture to it’s bun and a small bit of bbq pork in them. These buns serve to be a taste of the normal sized buns and the texture and taste at Pink Pearl’s is just fine.
Steamed sticky rice roll. This next dish was a little puzzling to me, I can’t say I’ve ever seen this on a dim sum menu before (and if I had, it never registered to me that it would come out this way). This is savoury sticky rice served in a steam bun type of roll. While I can appreciate each on their own (the steam bun and the sticky rice), together is a bit of an odd combination. It needed some sort of brighter flavour to make the roll pop a little more.
Shrimp toast. This dish was a highlight from the 1980s and I wish it was featured more nowadays. Yes, I can get my fill of ha gau, steamed rice rolls with shrimp, etc etc..but this dish is a little more interesting. It’s a fusion type dim sum dish with a buttery, crispy toast on the bottom and that delicious shrimp dumpling you come to expect. This was probably my favourite dish of the meal.
Hand-made steamed shrimp rice rolls. These are good no matter where you go, it’s another dim sum staple. It’s best enjoyed dipping it in the soy sauce that it normally comes with.
Liver & pork dumplings. A dish that was popular in the 1980s: I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this dish, simply because I’m not a big fan of liver.
Pan-fried half moon dumplings. Another dish popular in the 80s, this fried dumpling is served with a consomme broth. The dumpling is crispy, savoury but light overall in taste. It tasted much better when dipped in the broth.
Wok-fried lotus root and fresh mushrooms. This dish is a nice, healthy alternative to the other dishes we had during our meal. I love crunchy lotus roots and the mushrooms had a nice, bouncy snap to them still. The goji berries were a good addition of flavour to round out the dish.
Hand-made steamed beef rice rolls. Again, another staple dish during dim sum. Rice rolls are always good. These ones are nice – tender and not overcooked.
Gojoy goji berries gelle. Goji berries have been used in Chinese cooking and herbal medicines for centuries and are still a big thing in Chinese restaurants. It’s nice to see goji berries incorporated into this gelatin dessert. Not too sweet and a good way to end the meal.
Black and white sweet sesame roll. One more dessert dish. One thing I love about Chinese desserts are the fact that they are not too sweet, they’re sweet enough to satisfy that need after a big meal.
Do go check out Pink Pearl, it’s one of the iconic Chinese restaurants in Vancouver that have stood the test of time!
For more info, check out their website here: http://www.pinkpearl.com