I normally visit my parents on the weekend for dinner but they happened to be out of town one weekend. I wasn’t in the mood to cook for Jenkins and myself and I suspected that Grick and Snoopy were in the same boat so I called them up to see if they wanted to join us for dinner someplace. Lucky for me, I was right and we agreed to meet up at Dinesty for dinner that evening. Dinesty had actually been around for a while but it was one of the few restaurants I never tried out when I was still living in Richmond.
Everyone left most of the ordering up to me so I was able to pick some of my favourite dishes. First up was some cold cucumbers in garlic sauce. The cucumbers had a good amount of spiciness from some chillis to them. The garlic and sesame oil flavour permeated through the crunchy cucumbers and this was a great appetizer for us.
Next came the xiao long baos (steamed pork dumplings). It took me a couple of shots before I could capture the picture below because they were so hot and steamy, my camera kept on fogging up. The skin on these baos were quite thin, although not as much as the ones at Shanghai River. However, they had a ton of soup in them and there was a burst of flavour when I popped them in my mouth.
The pork in the shredded pork in hoisin sauce with pancakes was amply sauced and slightly sweet and salty at the same time. It came with a few pancakes to wrap them in (similar to the one used for Peking duck) but not enough to accommodate this mountain of pork. We ended up ordering another plate of pancakes to finish off the pork and also ate it with rice, which was really tasty.
Marinated beef with soy sauce wrapped in pancake is one of my favourite Taiwanese dishes. I wasn’t too impressed with the version here though. The beef did not have a very strong flavour to it and the green onion pancake was also slightly greasy. I would have liked the pancake to be crispier.
We all agreed that our winner dish of the evening was one of Grick’s choices, the wok-fried spare ribs with salt and hot peppers. The ribs were crispy with very little batter and spiced with jalapenos, Thai chilis, and garlic. They also had a hint of sweetness which really rounded out the flavours. We ate the spareribs with rice as well and I could have eaten bowls and bowls of these.
Snoopy suggested that we also add a tofu dish so we decided to go with an old standby, the Mapo Tofu. There was more tofu than pork in this dish but we really didn’t mind. There was a slight hint of spiciness in this dish as well but it was more garlicky than anything else. As you can imagine, this was another dish that went really well with rice.
The four of us walked away feeling super full but also very satisfied. If I had known how great the food at Dinesty was, I definitely would have come a lot sooner! Their mix of Taiwanese and Shanghainese food seems to work for them and that can be evidenced by the steady stream of people walking in all evening. Service can be a bit sparse but once all your dishes arrive, you don’t need to interact too much with the servers anyway.
8111 Ackroyd Road, Richmond