Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A New Dim Sum Source - August 5, 2007

Update: The restaurant closed down and has since changed to Emperor's Dining Lounge.

It all began the previous night... 

After work, I had some little things that I snacked on. But I got hungry before I went to bed. I started craving food. I thought: "pizza, no Chinese, no pizza..." I asked my brothers if they wanted anything if I ordered some delivery and their response, "of course!" They suggested Chinese, so I started looking for one of their flyers that we keep around the house. I couldn't find one, so I turned to the internet. I eventually lost my focus and started reading stuff about the best Chinese restaurants in Ottawa. Listed among the restaurants was Beijing Tianrun. Thinking that some Asian actually said that this Tianrun place was better than Yangtze really piqued my interest, not that Yangtze is the best Chinese restaurant in Ottawa or anything. The only places we go for dim sum in Ottawa are Yangtze, Chu Shing and Jadeland. Actually, we rarely go to Chu Shing and Jadeland for dim sum. 

I ended up just snacking on something again before going to bed after I tired myself out by reading and searching. That night, I'm not joking, I actually dreamed of having dim sum. I know it's kind of sad.

The next morning I woke up craving dim sum, like REALLY craving it, and it so happened that my parents were in a good mood. So I ask my parents "want to go to eat dim sum?" Then to increase my chances, I add on, "it’s my treat!" with a grin.

So while my parents were making their minds up, I went downstairs and searched for the address of the new dim sum place on the internet. I finally found it. Wondering where I wanted to go, I told Dad that I wanted to try a new place, Beijing Tianrun. Actually, I didn't really mind going to Yangtze instead of Beijing Tianrun, because I just wanted some dim sum. But Dad said he knew somewhat where it was - which really meant that we were going to the new dim sum place.

We drove and drove (for about 20 minutes) and finally saw the sign of the Beijing Tianrun Restaurant. You can easily pass this place. It definitely doesn't stand out. 

Waiting to pull into their parking spaces, I immediately spotted elderly Chinese people going into and leaving the restaurant. That, right there, is a sign that this was a decent Chinese restaurant. 

They didn't have a very large parking lot, but we managed to find a place. We got out and walked into the fully packed restaurant to get a table while Dad parked the van. We were told that there was a table for us and that they were just cleaning it up. While waiting in their small lobby, I took in the smell of the restaurant and the sounds. They were similar to Yangtze, another good sign. Standing there at the lobby you can see the first seating area that was in front of the lobby, a small area that seated probably 30 people, and you could also partially see the other seating area to the left. We were eventually led by the hostess to our table that was past the main seating area and into a room that could become a private room that can seated around 20 people. I found it amusing that we were in the back room because it felt like we were VIPs.

Finally seated at the table with our tea, carts start appearing in the room: siu mai, chicken feet, stuffed rice rolls, fried rice, dumplings, and so many other awesome choices. We started off with the deep fried shrimp balls. The outer layer was crispy and the insides were hot, very fresh and juicy. It was somewhat different from Yangtze, as this place had their shrimp in bigger chunks rather than the mostly minced shrimp at Yangtze. This was an awesome dish to start the meal.

We then got some pork and shrimp siu mai. Again, the shrimp siu mai has larger chunks than the mostly minced ones you get at Yangtze. (I just can't help but compare the two.) After that, we got some shrimp stuffed rice rolls and ordered some pork ones with the lady (because they ran out). The pork ones had some water chestnuts in them - bleh, but not as much as you get in the Toronto ones, so I wasn't that sad. A cart containing steamed chicken feet came and we grabbed one. The flavour was a bit different from the other places that I've been to, not saying it was bad or anything. No no, ours was nice and hot. The chicken feet had absorbed the flavour very well and wasn't even close to being bland. In the background of the picture, you can see Lucy tearing apart a shrimp har gow.

One thing missing at that restaurant, in my opinion, was a good soy sauce. Some people will argue that if the dishes are made properly, you wouldn't need soy sauce, but some things just taste better with soy sauce. I just can't help but dredge the deep fried shrimp balls, siu mai, and any other dumplings in a mixture of hot sauce and their soy sauce. I'm not saying that the food here lacked flavour or anything. Overall, I recommend this place for dim sum. We have yet gone there for dinner, so I can't say anything about that.

~ * ~


Beijing Tianrun Restaurant
1947 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 521-3868

1 comment:

  1. I thought you had a lot more pictures of the dim sum!


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