We asked around where the most traditional dim sum was as Vancouver is noted for it's Chinatown. We headed to GARDEN VILLA SEAFOOD in Chinatown (127 E. Pender) and I strongly suggest you avoid dining here at all costs.
We though we were in for a great treat as there were tons of Asian folks and many large family/special event parties when we arrived, all made up of mostly elderly Chinese speaking their native tongue. Boy, were we wrong.
There are no longer dim sum carts from which you can choose, so it's all off the menu. Samuel loves spring rolls and dumplings so asked for these, the latter made with pork.
We noticed the sad decaying dining room, filthy (guano-encrusted) windows and the layers of multiple plastic white tablecloths (they must remove one as each party finishes) and our spirits began to sink.
Will and I tried to be adventurous and that amounted to trying the PAN FRIED TURNIP and Chinese SAUSAGE (as opposed to the Chicken Feet!). It was a decent dish (but Will hated it) that was a gelatinous fried turnip paste with some tiny pieces of sausage. Will managed to find a huge hair in his piece.
The GOLDEN DUMPLINGS of crab, corn and shrimp were heavy and pasty and Samuel's spring rolls were as greasy as you can imagine. I loved the way the woman who served the dim sum used a pair of scissors to cut each piece in half. When she brought the dumplings she said "shu mai" and I said, "no, pork dumplings," to which she responded, "this it." Samuel cur open the dumpling as specifically indicated he wanted pork, not pork and shrimp, which is "shu mai." we had to return them for pork potstickers, which he loved, but they were a bit greasy too.
The one hit dish was the garlicky GREEN BEANS with minced PORK.
The place is a bit dirty and the rest rooms are almost scary....so, avoid Chinatown in Vancouver in the future if you are looking for dim sum, but do be sure to head across the street to the NEW WORLD BAKERY for some fine APPLE DUMPLINGS or a divine ALMOND lattice stick stuffed with cream and coated with chocolate!