Golden Swan offers good quality Dim Sum during lunch and delectable multi course family style meals and an extensive a la carte menu for dinner.
Came here with my family on Sunday night for my birthday dinner. We ordered tilapia fish, but got rock cod. When we mentioned this to the manager, he got really defensive and started arguing with us! He accused us of lying! Then he started complaining about us to the folks at the table next to us, repeatedly, every time he returned to their table! We begrudgingly paid the bill. The tilapia we ordered (just one fish) came to $47. One of the waitresses tried to wish us a happy holiday, after which the manager yelled at her to get back to work. It was surreal. We are never coming back.
Recently, Golden Swan had gone through some renovations and was closed for some time. Now that they have re-opened, my friends and I decided to go there for dim-sum last week. Many dim-sum places that I've gone to, charge between $2-3 per plate no matter what size, and quality isn't jeopardized either. Thinking Golden Swan couldn't be a lot more than that, we didn't even question the price. Our bad. First of all, the food was much better before. I've had their "calamari" before and this time, it was cold. Not warm, cold. And I bite into a piece that wasn't fully cooked. The rest of the items were not horrible, but I remembered the quality much better. The plate of pan-fried rice rolls were really greasy near the bottom of the plate. When the bill came, the total was $40. We estimated each plate costed $4 since we had 10 (small) plates. Who really charges $1 per sui mai?!? The medium sized plate of rice rolls totaled $6 because it was a "kitchen" item. That dish wasn't hot either. Don't think I'll be going back soon.
I have memories of extended family banquets here with uncles, aunts, and cousins - the last being a half-dozen years ago or maybe more. So I thought it would be a treat for my brother and his family who live in Ontario and missed all these historical big dinner events.
We ordered the "Dinner for 10 People (B)"; check their website for the list. Here's my take on the dishes:
Hot and Cold starter platter was OK (missing jelly fish - a small thing perhaps, but is was listed on the regular menu as a component of this platter and I wanted to challenge my visitors a bit).
Shrimp Paste Stuffed Crab Claws was remarkably bland and the crab meat inside overcooked and nearly tasteless.
The Fish Maw and Crab Meat soup was watery, bland and quite poor.
Scallops Prawns w/Vegetable was actually pretty good.
Lobster with Ginger and Onion was OK, but overcooked.
Braised Whole Abalone was pretty awful with a unpleasant taste and texture nobody much liked.
Steamed Whole Fish - back to the nearly tasteless regime.
Steamed Chicken with Garlic was extremely bony with not a lot of meat. Almost tasty, but hardly worth the effort getting around all the bone fragments.
E-Fu noodles were OK, but nothing special.
Dessert was mango pudding and the highlight of the evening!
Dishes arrived irregularly and we were we on the verge of abandoning dessert because it took so long to turn up.
Perhaps I should have ordered individual dishes instead of the set menu, but is it too much to expect everything to be done at least tolerably well no matter how it was ordered?
I was ashamed to have such a dinner served to my out-of-town guests. It wasn't cheap either at about $40 per person.
We were here for dim sum on Sunday. It was all very good! We arrived at 10am and the place was already super busy! We enjoyed shrimp dumplings, calamari, spareribs, taro root pastry things...but I think the highlight of our experience was the durian pastry. I don't normally enjoy durian but this pastry was awesome! Subtle in flavour, flaky and just plain yummy! They don't always have it, I guess you just have to come on the right day. The service was great! The servers were smiley, friendly and non-pushy! We had plenty of hot tea and we left with super full bellies! Looking forward to returning soon!
Came here for dinner twice. Place was fairly empty. Now I know why. Food is not the best and they are charging a good bit for their food. Definitely not worth what you pay.
They have changed owners several times, with each time not much of a difference.
Personally the quality isn't there and the price is not the best. I would pass on this.
Having come here before and after renovations, personally I couldn't seek out the differences, although maybe decor was an oversight whenever I came here.
Prices must've gone up as there is about a $10 difference now and we order the same dishes over.
Har Gows are still plump and have a generous amount of shrimp meat and I still continue to look forward to the tripe and chicken feet. The Deep Fried Pork Dumplings remain mostly dough and little filling and I still find their Fried Squid lacking in flavour, but cooked to a nice golden yellow and tender.
Service is good, about as good as it has been and seems to continue the trend.
There is little parking in their lot so expect to park at least a couple of blocks down the street during dim sum service. It's good after meal exercise I suppose.
I don't mind coming here but it's almost guaranteed that you're going to have to wait if you drop in. I don't see this place as an option a lot of the times, as the prices aren't as competitive anymore, although their dishes are good it's a notch (or two) below their price point.
Decent place for a weekend Dim Sum lunch. The location is ok but in comparison to other fav dim sum joints, Golden Swan is reasonable. I assume their Shrimp balls are cheaper than other Chinese Restaurants in Downtown or Granville Street because of its location. Busy joint and yes its quite loud. Food is quite good especially for value for the buck. Ambiance is what it is for its location. Washrooms on the other hand...mmm well its not very clean. Service is pretty good with alot of non english speaking staff but they smile and are courteous and quick. Havent been there for dinner yet but I'll stick to this joint for its cheap Dim Sum !
I guess we were placed in the smoking side of the restaurant as the little small MJ area had people smoking in it.
I came here with the whole family as a post wedding meal and noticed that the food wasn't the only thing that smelled like smoke. I looked over to the side that was covered with "cubical walls" and notice smoke rising from it. Each time the smoke risen, it smell denfinately like cigarette smoke. I notice this to the manager and he pretty much ignored me.
Back to this review: The food was okay...it wasn;t anything special. I guess the smell of cigarette smoke makes food taste horrible.
The service was pretty fast as the food came out before we could finish our other dishes.
The ambiance was really hard on the eyes.
It was loud and quite bright in the building.
I wouldn't come back here....bleh!
We arrived at high noon for Sunday brunch and waited for about 20 minutes before being seated. It's been awhile since my last visit and the dining area looks nicely updated with modern looking chandeliers and muted beige-y wall colours. The chairs and carpet appear to be new looking too. Now onto food.
Very happy to see that push carts are still used. We ordered hargow, scallop dumplings, chicken feet, beef tripe, sui mai, and few other dim sum items. Hargow was large and perfectly flavoured as were the scallop dumplings that boasted thick scallop slices. The chicken feet were tasty but I wish they didn't cut them in half. Sui Mai had good texture, not slimy like how some restaurants serve them and contained good balance between port and shrimp. Tripe was flavourless. Menu selection was a bit limited but offered your usual dim sum favourites.
Value was good despite the higher pricing. $3.75 for medium and $4.35 for large plates. Service was adequate, tea pots were refilled several times, empties were taking away, and the cart ladies came around enough for our selection. Although seating was a tight squeeze in some areas, I think it offered enough comfort for a nice Sunday dim sum with the folks.
Recommended (for dim sum)
I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who wants to enjoy a good, traditional, Chinese dinner.
The food is portioned well, very tasty, and reasonably priced.
I have a feeling that the restaurant was recently re-done within the last year (as some of the previous posters said they didn't enjoy the ambiance).
The service is relatively typical of what you'd expect in a Chinese restaurant (therefore: don't expect 5 star service).
Overall, this is a good restaurant..I've been here quite a few times (dim sum, lunch, dinner)..and found them to be consistent with their food and service.
Had CNY dinner here with relatives. Always very tasty without the MSG to perfection. Started with the delightful Peking Duck skins and pancakes, then Lettuce wrap with the duck and then the duck soup. The whole dish (3) was superb. Crab was also on our menu. It was flavoured perfectly. On to the delicate and tasty snap peas with fish filet. Awesome. Crispy skinned chicken, Champagne pork, Buddah's feast, Spinich/Tofu, Fried Rice and a few others made the dinner plentyful and filling with the Mango pudding at the end
We go to this restaurant once or twice a year as it does accomodate larger groups and have never been disappointed with quality or quantity. Always recommended. Nice to see no smokers INSIDE the premised this time.
There were 8 of us for dinner last night. I do not know what the prices are like because someone else picked up the tab for dinner.
What we had was well prepared. They served a complimentary watercress soup with dinner. The dishes were all pre-ordered by our host and included crab, crispy skin chicken, prawns and scallops with pea pods, beef with green beans, a hot pot dish, honey garlic spareribs and chow mein. We thoroughly enjoyed all the dishes except for the hot pot dish which we thought was a bit bland. It was sort of a hot pot soup and I think most of the people were disappointed with it as it was the only dish that was just sampled.
We finished off with mango pudding. This was definitely a dish I would stay away from as it had not flavour whatsoever.
Service was very good. They were continually bringing us clean dishes and they would occasionally put some of the food onto smaller plates so that we had more room on the table.
I would probably return and try again. I would like to see what their dim sum is like. Vancouver magazine rates it #5 in the latest best restaurant issue. Any comments from other dine here contributors.
When I first walked into the restaurant it was bright and seemed very lively. I celebrated Father's Day with my family there the other day and the food was amazing. The manager was actually very nice and he had quite a bright smile, not sure if he's the same on though. The tables were well spaced, I wouldn't say terrific spacing. I loved the noodles! The meat wasn't overcooked, just right, noodles had a great texture. I enjoyed the desert there too. The baked tapioca pudding there are very delicious, I really enjoy the top of the pudding. Overall, I had a great celebration there that night with everyone.
Very good/solid chinese food - both dim sum and dinner.
This east Vancouver establishment is more often than not extremely busy, especially during dim sum hours. The food quality is good and consistent and the portioning and pricing are very fair.
Service is above what is offered at comparable chinese restaurants.
Went out last Sunday for early morning dim sum. The place was quite big and tables were spaced out compare to other chinese restaurant. It's a nice place to go with a group of family and friends. It had a variety of dim sum with large portions but the quality of food wasn't on par with the relatively high prices. What stood out to me was the array of desserts they had (about 7); I especially liked the tofu dessert served in the tiny bucket. It reminded me of the ones in HK. Although there was a 10% lunch discount, I rather they improve on the quality of food instead.
However, what made me not want to go back is the service from the manager. Maybe it's just me but first impressions, especially services, are everything to me. I asked him if the restaurant served longjing tea and his reply was something along these lines, "Longjing tea is $xxx/lb and all other tea is $x/lb, so do you still think we have longjing here??" Then he walked away and asked someone to serve us tea instead. I know that only a handful of chinese restaurants serve this kind of tea, but he could have just said no. The rest of the staff was great but I probably wouldn't return.
Its quite telling of a restaurant's food quality when a diner can only comment on the decor - which is a vast improvement from the Golden Swan Seafood restaurant my family used to go to. Back then, the food was delicious but the decor was a little run down, so naturally, we opted for newer restaurants with better ambience and even more delicious food.
However, last night, it seems that a reno has of the space has replaced the quality of their dishes. The food presented haphazardly with little to no attention to detail. A fact that could of been easily overlooked had the dishes been tasty - sadly they were not. The flavour was about as colourful as the food - which was pretty bland to begin with. There was no aroma of garlic and ginger or any other aromatic, the Chinese are famous for - rather just bland, boring, poorly seasoned food.
Approximately 70% of the food was left on the plate, and not because the food came in colossal quantities, but simply unappetizing. One of the major faux-pas' I noticed was with amuse bouche of Peking Duck with raw, flour laden wrappers and skin with (at times) a quarter inch layer of fat still on it. The shrimp was not cleaned, the fish was overcooked, and simple oversights like that make me wonder where else they're cutting corners.,
Although the restaurant was pretty full, I can't say I'll be returning. I would rather see them raise the price a little, provide smaller portions of delicious, well made cuisine rather than fancy names for a mediocre (at best) representation of Cantonese fare.
Dimsum - Sunday morning... the food quality is very good - for a $2/plate dimsum I think the plates average about $4... Atmosphere was terrible, very weird lighting, but we had some very nice servers. Not a huge wait, but I think I'll tough it out at Dai Tung next time...
As the title stated. This restaurant is okay but for the price you pay for dim sum, you should be expecting more. They charge you top dollars but give you less than what you should get in terms of flavour and size. Also the waitresses are all from mainland China so if you speak English, good luck in getting anything you want. For dim sum, it's an average restaurant in terms of taste. I've had worst and I've had better so this place is in the middle. As for price, it's above average for sure. So if you are tired of going to your regular dim sum joint, you can try this place once or twice in your lifetime.
I had heard from my family that this place had finally shaped up and served good food, so I decided to go there and try it out. It took an awful long time to be seated (taking into consideration it was a Sunday) and that constant blaring on the sound speaker is just the beginning. When you actually enter the dining area and take a seat, the noise there is really horribly loud and gives you a nic headache after a while. The food there was average nothing out of the ordinary, however when I was there the amount dim sum that was deep fried just kept coming and coming, while having to wait for something steamed. Prices are leaning on the more expensive side as 3.20 for small dish is a bit high for the food served.
I love Dim Sum and go quite often and have heard great things about Golden Swan, so needless to say, I was highly disappointed. The Haw Gao (shrimp dumplings) were quite large and not bad in taste. The Sui Mai were quite large too, but they were mediocre. The little football shaped fried dumplings w/pork filling was quite fishy and I'm not sure why. The deep fried squid was the worst I've ever had. The coating was sweet (not sure why as this isn't a dessert) and very doughy. The spring roll filling was mushy and again very fishy. There was 4 of us (and we all love Dim Sum) and it was unanimous that we would definitely not be returning. The service was pretty good though, it's just unfortunate the food didn't live up to it's reputation.