For people who used to frequent the old XS Cargo on No. 3 Road in Richmond, they’ll probably also know that it moved to another location a few blocks down by Alderbridge and No. 3 a couple of years ago. What they may also know is that in the location where XS Cargo was originally located, a new restaurant opened up called Rainflower. Every time I drove past Rainflower, I noticed that they seemed quite busy as the parking lot was already full. Jenkins noted that it was probably because of this success that they did not even bother to change all the signage from the XS Cargo to Rainflower. What was the point of changing the signs when people were flocking there already?
My grandparents suggested that our family meet up here for dim sum one day and I was quite curious about checking this place out since I had driven past it several times. We arrived quite early, around 10:30, so the restaurant was only about half full.
Some of my relatives had arrived before me so they had started things off by checking a few things they wanted to order off the menu sheet. We decided to ask our server to start the dishes coming while we decided if we need to order more things. First up was one of my dim sum favourites, shredded chicken with pickled veggies, jellyfish, and cucumbers. The dish was served cold, as usual, and tossed in a light sesame dressing. This dish was done quite well and I enjoyed the crunch of the pickled veggies.
Next came a dish I had never tried before. Rice rolls were wrapped around a crispy layer of bean curd, which was stuffed with veggies, mushroom, and fish paste. It seemed to be a slight version on rice rolls wrapped around a Chinese doughnut and I felt that this dish was quite unique and tasty. The crispiness of the bean curd went very well with the rice roll and fish paste.
Next came the pan-fried pork buns. The version at Rainflower seemed to be a bit larger than what we were used to so we actually asked to cut the buns in half. The outside was crispy and not too oily while the inside pork filling was pretty standard tasting but good.
Alvin was on a vegetarian diet that day so we ordered some plain rice rolls for him with soy sauce. They tasted ok but were a bit plain compared to the other goodies we ordered so we left him most of this dish. I did note that the noodles themselves were cooked just right though and were not over-steamed.
The deep fried tofu was very crispy on the outside and gave way to a silky smooth texture on the inside. It was lightly tossed in some salt and spices and garnished with jalepeno peppers. Not much to say about this except that it was a well-executed classic.
The pan fried rice noodles with bean sprouts seemed to be quite a hit with everyone at my table. So much in fact that everyone had scarfed it down before I could even have a taste! Everyone enjoyed telling me that it was very tasty though so I’ll just need to take them on their word…plus the fact that this dish was basically inhaled by everyone.
The pineapple buns stuffed with char siu (BBQ pork) were pretty standard tasting. The “pineapple” crust was not too sweet and crumbled in your mouth.
I felt that the har gow at Rainflower were done quite well. They were chock full of crunchy shrimp and the skin was chewy yet thin. We enjoyed this so much that we actually put in two orders of har gow.
The Shanghai pork dumplings were a miss though. Whereas the har gow had a thin and perfectly steamed skin, the wrapping for the pork dumplings was too thick and doughy. Jenkins noted that we should have known better than to order Shanghai pork dumplings from a non-Shanghainese restaurant though.
We finally wrapped up the non-dessert portion of our meal with some siu mai. The siu mai were actually done quite well. The pork and mushroom filling had a bit of crunch or bite to it and the skin was again, cooked just right.
For dessert, my first choice was actually some mango pudding but for some reason, they did not offer this. So instead, we decided to share a couple of items. First up were some egg tarts. The puff pastry was very flaky and crispy while the egg custard was smooth and slightly sweet. Nothing really out of the ordinary but the egg tarts were made quite well.
Laureen also decided to order some tapioca balls stuffed with a sweet peanut paste. I’ve never made this before but I have a feeling it must be quite difficult to time the cooking part just right so that the tapioca balls are chewy and not overcooked. Rainflower’s take on this was done quite well. As mentioned, the outside was nice and chewy with a slight sweet flavour that went very well with the peanut filling.
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of food at Rainflower. I guess I didn’t have high hope originally because of their lack of effort in fixing up the exterior of the restaurant. However, most of our dishes were done very well and service was also quite prompt. I ended up coming back to Rainflower a week later to have their Alaska king crab special and that also turned out to be fantastic. I would definitely make this one of the regulars on my dim sum circuit.
3600 No. 3 Road, Richmond
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