New style dim sum with some traditional Chinese fare also
Our usual weekend dinner gang headed over to HV for some Cantonese soul food. The restaurant was uber-crowded, but it was nicely appointed and the whole place including w/c was clean. Service was excellent throughout the meal, which was a huge surprise. We had a variety of dishes including duck meat lettuce wrap, beef with satay sauce and rice noodles, deep fried spicy squid, eggplant with chillies, and Szechuan green beans. We also had some steamed rice. All were good, but the eggplant and beef dishes deserve special mention. They gave us complementary red bean soup at the end, but I would have preferred ice cream or some fresh fruit. As for value, it came to about 16 bucks each, including tax and tip.
We left full and happy.
Since my last review, I've been back at least 6 times for dim sum, casual and special occasion dinners. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for good real chinese food.
Like all restaurants, they are not perfect. Dim sum prices are a bit higher than usual - a table of about 10 of us had a meal (but not overstuffed) for about $15 each. We went there for Mother's Day dinner last year - again around 10 ppl and we ordered a very simple set menu. There wasn't very much seafood (a lobster hot pot, not whole lobster) and not much other expensive dishes, but the meal still cost over $250.
With that said, I have to say the key to a great meal here to order a la carte. You can eliminate the so-so dishes and just order what you want and pay for what you want. I last came here on New Years Day. My sister and I took our parents here and ordered 4 dishes: 1/2 crispy chicken, szechaun green beans, sauteed gai lan, and a chicken tofu salty fish pot. It was a delicious meal that filled us to the rim for less than $65 - and complimentary sweet soup!!
Happy Valley is more expensive than your average, but at least you can rely on a good meal. Hey, there's gotta be huge lineups all the time for a reason. Will definitely be back to try their peking duck!
We came here for Labour Day brunch and were surprised to see a line-up out the door at 1:30pm. Fortunately, the wait was only about 15 minutes and we even scored a 10-seater for the six of us.
Food: good selection of your usual dim sum items. The har gows were massive and filled with something I couldn't quite detect...tasted like floury shrimp paste. Although it was tasty, I don't enjoy mystery ingredients used as filler. The mini sticky rice wasn't mini at all - 3 large rice wraps filled with lots of rice and minced pork. Usually that would be appreciated but the taste factor fell flat. The rest of the selections were at par with other mid-line dim sum places. Steam pork buns, chicken rice, chow mein, cuttle fish...all tasted fine.
Service: quick tea service and the server ladies were quite friendly. Tea pots were refilled several times and the server returned with requested items like extra cups, chili sauce, etc. No issues/attitude when we paid by credit card.
Value: great value if you're into volume. Pricing wise, it was about $3.50 -$4.00 for the majority of large items. The specials were reasonably priced as well. $70 bill for 6 of us.
Ambiance: comfortable chairs and real white linen displayed. The restaurant looks recently updated with fresh paint, chandeliers, and decorative curios wedged in corners. There was a flat screen TV place above one of the serving stations for those who like to watch Chinese soaps while eating. Free and easy parking outside is a nice convenience.
Overall, it was an enjoyable dim sum but easily forgettable. Based on on the convenience factor, I may return.
Parking lot is shared with car dealership, so there isn't much of it. Had to park on a side street on the other side of the highway. Busy busy place on the weekends. The dumplings are gigantic and tasty. Taro balls, which I usually enjoy, were very bland. Green onion pancakes were not very good. Most of the dishes were pretty standard. Prices are reasonable, but not the cheapest out there.
Dropped in yesterday early afternoon for dim sum. Never gave a second glance especially with it's odd location but glad we came here.
It was still busy but not full house so we were seated quickly. Ran through the order menu and ended up getting 7 dishes, which we had to end up doggy bagging after being packed to the brim. Excellent quality with most dishes. The steamed dumplings are fresh, plump and full of shrimps with a nice outer rice skin with hardly any raw shrimpy flavour. Did I mention they were gargantuan? Likely the biggest I've ever had. The fried squid with spicy salt was tender with a light batter. The spring rolls were also packed with shrimp and light tasting. They used a lighter soy to top the rice roll which was another tasty effort. Only a couple dishes we didn't particularly like. The deep fried taro buns were cold and the green onion pancake was way too oily otherwise it would'be been very flaky. They did use dried scallops on the scallop and shrimp steamed dumplings. It didn't bother me but could surprise others who are use to getting a while piece of scallop on theirs. The pancake was expensive three something for 1 piece. At any rate, be prepared to scale down 1-3 items because portions are vastly generous.
Service was quick and the waitresses are polite and acknowledge thank yous. One even told us not too rush out to leave while they were clearing our table.
Prices are a little higher than other places (many dishes in the $4.00 range) but the quality and size make up for it. At the moment I do not know if they have cheaper prices for the morning food service.
Decor is clean and well lit with natural light. Furnishings look refreshed and there is good space between tables. One of the more quiet dim sum restaurants around without other patrons and staff yelling.
Dim sum, recommend!
We go to Happy Valley roughly once a week for dim sum. It's always packed for lunch regardless of what day of the week it is. As we found out, this is because the dim sum items are HUGE.
Each hargow is the size of a small fist. Seriously. Their siu mai and spring rolls are very yummy as well. But be warned, order less dishes here than you would elsewhere, because everything that comes is gigantic.
Price is between $3-$4 per dish, more expensive than most dim sum restaurants. However considering the portion sizes, we don't have any complaints.
After a disappointing turn at a dim sum place in Victoria, my husband and I decided to go for dim sum on New Years' Eve to make up for it. We were going to go to a place downtown, but I decided to check dinehere to see if there was any place closer with a good rep. That's when I found this place. I had seen it before, and since there are always corwds, I figured it had to be good.
I was right! I was first impressed when I called to find out the di sum times. The lady who answered was friendly and helpful. The front staff greeted us right away when we got there. They even gave us a picture book to help up with the extensive menu and were willing to answer all questions.
The dumplings are MASSIVE. The food is fresh and made to order, which was a nice change from carts that roll around trying to get rid of stuff. The place was packed with people, which I think is a testament. On our way out, the staff gave us a take-out menu and a business card and told us they would be happy to do our next order as take-out if we wanted to avoid crowds.
We will be back!! I think I will go tomorrow!!
Everyone seemed to rave about the dim sum so i thought I would try dinner. Arrived at 5:45 on a Sunday eve. 3 tables occupied all eating. Ordered 2 dishes and white rice. People started to come in for dinner, no big parties, mostly twosomes and threesome. Imagine this, people that came after me were receiving their food. One table next to me with 3 people got 5 courses delivered while I waited. I called a waiter over and complained. He explained that steamed chicken takes longer. So after 30 min. my 1st dish arrives with the rice so we started to eat. After 15 min no more 1st dish and no more rice. 5 min later chicken dish arrives. This kind of service sucks. Waiter explained that the new steamer has not yet arrived and they are using the old inefficient steamer. I told him that was bs because I know it doesn't take 45 min to steam chicken. I left NO TIP and will not be back.
I have only been there for dim sum. I think the food is very good compaired to some dim sum restaurants in the same area.
The ambiance is a typical chinese restaurant, which is no surprise, when people are enjoying each others company and catching up with each other.
The price there is not cheap as some, but not considered expensive for good dim sum.
However, the service there sucked. I have been there several times. After awhile, I realized I should call ahead to make reservations. When I got there, I had to wait. I told the lady that I had reservations, she said "do you see the people out here, they all have reservations and they are all waiting". Then why do I have to make reservations. Another time, I called for a reservation, she asked me (the same lady) how many? I said four. She told me that I should just show up and take a number, with a very rude tone of voice. What kind of customer service is that?
I can wait, but does she have to be rude????
I have tried it a couple of times and I think I have given it enough tries. The customer service is absolutely unacceptable.
I think this is the sister restaurant to East Vancouver site:
This is the 2nd time we have been here and on both occasions it has been extremely busy. We had to wait outside for about 15 minutes before getting a table. However, we did expect this so it wasn't a big deal.
We were served drinks immediately on arriving at the table. We had Dim Sum and they were slow in taking our order and had to wave someone down. The food arrived quickly after that though.
All the food we had was very good quality. The portions were of the Dim Sum was medium in size compared to other restaurants, we wouldn't say they were huge. This suited me because it was too large it just puts me off eating it. We ordered Beef Ho Fun and that was very large, for us it was enough for a lunch and dinner for 2 people.
The restaurant was clean and looked nice. The washrooms were above average standard as well.
We would come back here if we were in the area without a doubt.
Upon a recommendation of a trusted colleague who is somewhat of a matriarchal expert of all things dim-sum, I gave this place a try on a snowy Saturday afternoon. Following the advice of fellow Dinehere reviewers, I arrived shortly after 2 pm, and was seated right away.
First impression was that the hostess was friendly and that the restaurant was clean and pleasant, warmed by the brown wood accents of the chairs and cabinets. Upon walking by a table, I noticed the absolute enormity that was the Pan fried eggplant with shrimp puree - I swore it looked more like an entree! 4 pieces of stuffed eggplant for the reasonable price of $3.85.
My shrimp dumplings were huge, and contained a nicely sized chunk of whole shrimp inside, lovely! The steamed beef rice roll was equally generous in portion and quite tasty, lots of tender beef barely contained by the thin rice roll, yum! And finally I was pleasantly surprised by the Steamed "Mini" Sticky Rice with Dried Scallops - they weren't, as you can probably correctly predict the Happy Valley trend here - anything but mini, but 3 huge rice wraps! It was a lighter version of the sticky rice, with less fatty pork and more dried shrimp, shitake mushrooms and dried scallops, fantastic!
Although the prices are heftier than say the early bird $2.50 special at Neptune, the quality, ambiance, quantity and variety of food you receive at Happy Valley is well worth it.
Most tables got take-out boxes for the left overs!
I asked the waitress for an extra copy of the check-off dim sum list, I'll have to study an drool over it at home. This place is worth driving Mom and Dad out for a weekend outing, and even for a special-occasion dinner ($48 dinner for four, with soup, crab, 3 dishes (taro hot pot, vegetable and some kind of fish fillet, and some kind of pork chop and dessert); $99 dinner for 6 which includes lobster . . . )
I've been here twice already, once two weeks ago and again yesterday for their "Grand opening" (a soft opening last time??!!) anyways I will definitely make this a regular stop. The food is fantastic with some new style dim sum like you find in Richmond and old favorites. They have a great system where as when you show up you grab a number from the charming hostess as well as a menu and pencil show you can browse and decide in advance, it really speeds things up. The dishes are generous and well prepared and run between 3-5 dollars. I've tried the cheaper dim sums but I find I never remember the savings but always the disappointment!! The egg tarts are probably the best I've tasted and the eggplant stuffed w/shrimp is divine!! ditto the sui mai, servers are fast and friendly and the place is very clean, just be prepared to wait awhile but it's worth it!
Been here numerous times to count for Dim sum on weekends. Place is packed. We usually go there when it first opens to avoid waiting. The food is fresh and portion is good sized. The atmosphere is clean and the washrooms are better than typical chinese restaurants. Inside of the restaurant is much nicer than what the outside of the restaurant portrays.
Very good price. About 4 of us costs under $40 each time and were completely stuffed at the end of the meal.
We went here twice for dinner. It is not one of the better places to be for dinner. One dish we ordered had a weird smell which we returned. The freshness is not there. Probably because they don't have enough customers to turn over food inventory hence the lack of freshness. We wouldn't be back for dinner, but definitely be back often for lunch (dimsum)
My husband and I decided to try out this restaurant on strong recommendation from family member. We went on Sunday morning before 10:30 and there was already a line up outside. We took a number and waited. My caucasion husband was not thrill about waiting. So while waiting to be call, I took the order form and check off the dishes we wanted. The wait wasn't long at all, we found out later that Happy Valley accepted reservation. Once we were seated, we handed in our order. The food came out shortly after. Their eggplant with shrimp stuffing was huge! Loved their presentation and it was so good. Their sui mai was almost double the size. Their stir fry sticky rice was the best I've ever tasted. Despite that it was Sunday and was super busy, we were amaze at the service. I have gone to many dim sum places around Vancouver area, this is one of the few restaurant where I do not have to wave at staff for services. Dishes were taken away once we were done eating, water refill for tea, service was prompt, all the staff were busy including the 2 managers. What great team work! We order 5 dishes and the bill was under $23. We was stuffed and took home leftovers. We were in and out of the restaurant in less than an hour! It was slightly pricey, but it was worth it and I would definitely come back again. Next time we'll bring friends so we can try out more dishes.
Perhaps we ordered the wrong stuff. We found the dishes here very bland. Everything needed more flavour. The portions are huge though and the staff friendly. Pricier than some of the other dim sum places but very clean and comfortable. This is one of those order from a sheet of paper type of place. I prefer places with carts so that I can see what it looks like before I order it.
We arrived on a Sunday evening around 6:15pm and placed an order for a set dinner for our table of 12 (including a baby and a toddler). The restaurant was about half full at this time. There was also a large birthday dinner of 4 tables. It continued to get busier and the restaurant filled up quite quickly. It was obvious that many were regulars as the manager would greet and chat with many that were coming in.
If you know Chinese dinners, dishes always arrive in a certain order. Well our dinner was completely messed. They also had no crab and offered lobster instead - this dish which was supposed to be 2 lobsters had 3 lobster heads.
One hour had gone by and we had only eaten 3 dishes of 10. Two hours went by and we STILL had 3 more dishes to go. We had to ask for water to be filled, plates to be cleared. We complained multiple times to the manager and other staff members but no one did anything to rectify the situation.
It looked to us like we ordered the same menu as the birthday dinner because our dishes would come out of the kitchen at the same time, but it was completely unacceptable that they tried to save their time by cooking our dishes all together. Many tables around us sat down after us and left already. We spent a total of 3.5 hours and both the baby and toddler were tired and cranky.
Will not be returning.
As in previous reviews, dim sum is plentiful and very good. Service was good too. We arrived at 1030 and the place was full. A short wait to get in. As this was our first time to Happy Valley, we tried the basic dim sum dishes of Har Gau, Siu Mai, sticky rice in lotus leaf, stir fried sticky rice, and spring roll with shrimp. All were very good. Servings were huge. Would go there again and try something different.
Happy Valley restaurant is one of the WORST places to eat in Vancouver!!! If you are not a regular there, you will not get any service!
My family and I ordered a regular set dinner and it took over three and a half hours to get our entire meal! This will be the first and only time they will ever get our business.
What happened to cause such an upset? Many things added up to cause this:
We made reservations for 12 people at 6pm. We got there at 6pm and they had not even set up the table for 12. We had to stand there and wait at least 10 minutes for them to get the table set up! Not a good start to our dining experience!
We did not order a banquet style meal, we ordered a regular set meal, which consisted of 10 dishes plus dessert. They served the first and second dish which seemed to arrive within the normal time frame. Then we waited about 45 minutes and nothing! We had to ask them each time before the rest of our meal arrived! That is absolutely ridiculous!
While this is happening, the restaurant is filling up and we can see other people get seated and order their meals. I am slow to anger, but when these people who arrived after we did finish their meal and leave before we even get the rest of our meal made my family and I very angry!
We have a baby, a toddler and a small child dining with us. We were expecting a 2 hour or less regular meal that would finish no later than 8pm. We didn't finish our meal until after 9:30pm!!!! Not good when you have small children!
We talked to the manager about the slow service during the meal and all he did was say he would check on it for us. While we were waiting to dine, there was no reason or apology given as to why specifically our meal took so long.
The staff here have a very indifferent manner for service. We asked the lady manager about our meal and all we got was an uncaring I don't know. After 9pm, their "rush of people" died down and we seemed to have gotten a bit more attention from the staff. However, by then we were ignored for so long we were very angry.
The service was so poor, we even contemplated walking out of the restaurant part way through our dining experience! By 9pm, the kids were all acting up as they were tired and it was past their bed time.
It was one of the WORST dining experiences EVER! The service was one of the poorest that we have ever experienced, we chose to leave them a $2 tip to show our discontent with their horrible service.
The kicker: the lady that collected the money for the bill came back looking for a bigger tip. By now, I am furious! Poor service, no apology or reason given for a lengthy meal that should take under 2 hours and she wants a tip?!? I outright told her about the poor service and all she did was acknowledge that she heard me!
As she was useless to talk to, I went to the lady manager and voiced our discontent. She apologized and did not give us a reason for the slow service. The guy manager who knew about how long our meal was taking and whom we were asking about when our next dish would arrive throughout our meal just ignored us! So we concluded that if you are not a regular there, do not bother to go there for dinner as you will not get any service at all!
They have gained some very unhappy customers who will let everyone they know how horrible Happy Valley restaurant is.
Went there by myself on a weekday around 11am and was surprised to see it jamed and lined out the door when I left.
The portions were large and the food mostly good. The issue here is price point. At $3.75 a dish and up it's certainly more expensive than many dim sum restaurants I've been to. However, there's nothing in that area that really compares. So you're a bit stuck unless you want to travel.
The ambience was great with all the hustle and bussel and that's a lot of the fun.
The service was very good - quick and attentive when you caught their eye.
All in all a good experience. I will return.
Had dim sum yesterday morning here after picking up someone from the airport. Had dim sum many times before and also couple times for dinner. Dim sum here is pretty good compared to other restuarants in the area which is not many. Ordered the usual items like haw gah, rice rolls, sticky rice, spare ribs, deep fried squid, rice noodle wrapped chinese doughnut, egg tarts (baked fresh and very good). Only complaint is that it took awhile for the food to arrive but it was worth the wait b/c every item tasted like it was prepared fresh. Its a bit more on the pricy side compared to east no. 1 on renfrew and about the same price as prince but i would choose this place over the others. Service was decent, no complaints.