Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Meal in Brief: VR Dim Sum (國慶點心)

We came here because fellow tweep Mira had called the dim sum "one of the best I've had!"

VR Dim Sum seems to be same business as VR Baker's Restaurant, with Vietnamese cuisine.

The menu was full of coloured pictures but nothing else - no descriptions, no prices. I tried asking what the black ticks on some items meant, but didn't understand the answer. Maybe they show which items cost more, or maybe a previous diner had simply marked the dishes they wanted?

Full colour pictorial menu.
The setting was unusual: ornate wooden chairs encircled covered tables in the dining part of the restaurant, while the other half of the room was a simple bakery, complete with fridges of soft drinks. It felt like we were in a different country; a ceiling fan would not have gone amiss.

Dining on one side, bakery on the other.

The service was everything we expected. Customers were greeted in Mandarin, then Cantonese, then English, until it was clear which language they preferred. Our teapot was topped up with hot water without prompting. When our dim sum was brought out, we were told that we could help ourselves to the condiments at a side table. The lady asked if we wanted our taro dumplings cut before halving them with a pair of scissors.

What we ate included:
  • taro dumplings - this came out quickly and tasted fine, but was sadly only lukewarm, as is frequently the case with fried dumplings. The net-like crispy taro coating was more pronounced than usual, adding height and volume.
Taro dumplings.
  • congee - this had a high ratio of meat to rice and was served with fried strips rather the dough sticks we are used to.
Congee and fried bits.
  • shrimp dumpings and rice sheet rolls - the shrimp rice roll was delicious: hot and soft and fresh, served with a sweetened soy sauce. The har gow, despite also being made with shrimps and a wrapper, did not taste quite how we expected. The spinach version of the dumpling was enjoyable.
Shrimp dumplings and rice sheet rolls.
  • siu mai - these were again hot and fresh, but not quite the flavour we are used to at Cantonese dim sum places.
Siu mai.

The egg tarts were not yet available when we ordered, and by the time they were ready, we were too full to sample them. They looked paler in colour than usual, which might be because other places use food colouring.

Overall, this meal was good value, with everything coming to just over $24. The food did not have exactly the same flavours we have come to expect from dim sum, but perhaps it corresponds faithfully to the Vietnamese versions of the dishes. We would come back to try the bánh mì next time, of which there were nearly 30 filling options.

Restaurant Details

VR Dim Sum (國慶點心)
15 Rangitoto Road, Papatoetoe, Auckland
(09) 2770003


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