A group of my co-workers were trying to figure out where to go for lunch during a team building event. We wanted to have lunch in Richmond and since I haven’t been very on top of the Richmond dining scene, I wasn’t sure where to go. Winnie suggested trying to go for Shanghainese food at Northern Dynasty and since I’m always up for some xiao long baos, I readily agreed.
We ordered a double order of xiao long bao because I knew it would be quite popular with our dining companions. Many of them had never had Shanghainese food before so we tried to order a nice representation of food that would give people a good idea of what Shanghainese food was all about. The xiao long bao arrived steaming hot and although the skin was not the thinnest I’ve had, they were quite tasty. There was also a nice amount of soup inside and I have to admit that it took me by surprise and I ended up spilling some of the soup.
The pan-fried pork buns were a little greasy on the inside but had a nice crunch to the bottom. There was also some sesame seeds sprinkled on the outside which gave it a hint of something unique. Inside, the filling was pretty regular but overall, I quite enjoyed these pork buns.
The shredded chicken salad with noodles and sesame dressing is another one of my Shanghainese favourites. The chicken was a bit dry but the sesame dressing was able to mask this a bit and the cucumber provided a nice crunch. Overall, nothing really stood out but it was well-made.
The spicy Shanghai fried noodles was spicier than some of us expected but I liked how it was not too greasy. Flavour-wise, I could mostly taste the spice but not much else.
The crispy rice with ham, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms is always a hit and this time was no different. The deep fried rice quickly wilted under the steaming sauce and although I think it could have been saltier, the combination of the sprouts, ham, and mushrooms was quite nice.
We were intrigued by the picture of the pan fried buns with pork but when they finally arrived at our table, we all agreed that it looked better in the picture. I found these to be a bit bland and also felt that they could have been pan-fried a little longer in order to make a crispier exterior.
I expected the marinated garlic cucumbers to be spicy, similar to what I’ve had at other places. However, this version was of the non-spicy variety. I found the garlic a little overpowering for my taste and for some reason, it was very salty.
The spicy wontons were very spicy but it did not hit you until a little after you’ve started chewing. These were pork wontons, as is usually the case with this dish, and there was a nice combo of spiciness and garlicky goodness.
Overall, I felt that Northern Dynasty had some good hits but there were a few dishes that definitely could have been better. Since we ordered so many dishes, we were able to get a pretty good idea of what we liked so if we come back, we’ll definitely be prepared. I have to note that service was quite slow and it took quite a while before our dishes started arriving. The restaurant was full and there were only 2 servers so it took quite a bit of effort to get their attention. We were there for lunch so I’m not sure if service at dinnertime is any better.
8391 Alexandra Rd, Richmond