Kam Wai is a dim sum restaurant situated in the heart of Vancouver Chinatown.
My gf and I made the most of a long weekend by getting some late afternoon dim sum. Few dim sum places are left in Chinatown and really this was the only one we saw open without driving around so we bit the bullet. Immediately upon entering we were broadsided by the oatmeal bland interior with bench seating, square tables, dim lighting and a rather somber mood.
We ordered a half a dozen dishes all usuals. The skin on the dumplings are a little chewy though the chicken feet were fairly spot on. Fried dishes faired less favourably. The ends of the spring rolls were burnt while the bbq pork pastry was stingy on filling. The green onion pancake was something else though. An alien donut construct filled with green onions was not what you'd expect and it also wasn't very good to boot. The price for a shadow of what could have been? $17 and change tax included is pretty inexpensive these days. Another plus is the acceptance of debit and credit cards. Another plus still? It's available until 5pm.
They took another page to cater to westerners with the entire staff greeting and speaking in english UNLESS you spoke first. Service is brisk though kitchen speed slows things down. One strange thing is that they do not ask your tea preference, you're getting Jasmine tea. I'm not sure if you could request another variety.
It satisfied the need for dim sum, but barely. Good for a late day venture.
No service at all. Go to the counter and order dim sum. They put it on a paper plate give you a fork wrapped in a napkin then you go find a seat. They sell frozen dim sum which is what you are getting. When they run out of a certain item someone from the kitchen comes out to the freezers and heats it up then brings it out front where they have a steam warming box. I spent $20.00 on stuff including takeout and when I asked for soya sauce I was given the evil eye. Value is outstanding. The cooked price is probably the same as the frozen takeout price. It's a cheap eat but the service at a food court is even better than this. This is more like roughing it out dim sum. Some people might not mind it and some will hate it but I can't see anyone liking it.
My adult son and I were looking for "breakfast" after the Trout Lake Farmers' Market. Either congee or dim sum/ yum cha was the consensus, and I had heard of this new(er) place in Chinatown. "Back in the day", the only place you COULD get dim sum was Chinatown, but things have slowed down there since Richmond became "Golden Village". We decided to check out this place.
It is a "check-list" joint, no carts and no servers calling out the dishes - but places with carts are few and far between these days. Not a big place, not fancy, but clean and fluorescent-light bright. Washrooms were clean as well....
Har Gow, Sui Mai, soy sauce chow mein were all basic but fresh and good. Sticky rice was not on the check-list, but on a table card. It was listed as "mini", but it was a reasonable size. Shrimp-paste and eggplant had a bell pepper sauce instead of black bean, but the paste had chunks of shrimp and it was tasty. Cha Siu Bao (BBQ pork in steamed bun) was standard. Egg tarts were rich and tender, wolfberry gelatin was lightly sweet. Perhaps it could have used a few more wolfberries, but it was refreshing.
One quibble, and it is a minor one, BUT.... I really, REALLY wish that places that cater to (mainly) Chinese customers would not just automatically assume that all non-Asians prefer jasmine tea! I asked for "bo lay" at the beginning, but got jasmine. TWICE.... sigh. They even brought back a "refreshed" pot with jasmine, not the bo lay we had been drinking (maybe that was the first pot we sent back - twice). That and - if you are not Asian - prepare to be stared at and talked about. Some of us have a bit of the language, y'know.
Service was standard, ambiance was typical, food was basic-good, value was GREAT.
We were initially going to go to a Hong kong style coffee shop in Chinatown but spotted this place after parking the car on Pender St. From the outside it looks like a basic no frills restaurant, but after having a looking inside they were quite busy for a Tuesday at 2:00 pm, so we thought we should give it a try. We were promptly seated at the last booth. The reastaurant itself is basic but very clean, Mrs. Fayloh even approved of the place and commmented on the clean restrooms for this Chinatown restaurant.
The dim sum was very good however it did a bit of flavour on some of the dishes. The service is very good and they were very helpful while we bananas (you know yellow on the outside & white on the inside) were ordering from the check sheets. They have specials items not on their check sheets and these must be ordered verbally. All in all this place is worth a visit if your're in Chinatown.