Don’t Wake Me Up Before you Go-Go
Because Dim Sum is Available All Day at
Little Bird Dim Sum
Being Asian means never being sorry to say that I’ve had dim sum about 888,888 times in my life. I could have stopped at 444,444 but that would have been bad luck as the number 4 symbolizes death in Chinese. I never believed in all this Chinese mumbo jumbo until I got married on the January 24th (double death) and was divorced 9 months later – true story I’m afraid. So as a child my parents would drag us out of bed at the ungodly hour of 9 am on Sunday mornings for dim sum. Luckily, as my father knew everyone due to the fact that he was the Godfather of Gambling (he owned a stable of thoroughbred race horses), we never had to wait long for a table at the infamous Silver Dragon in Calgary who incidentally invented ginger beef. Now, as an adult, dim sum doesn’t tempt me to get up at 9 am on the weekend to fight for a table (I’m not as notorious as my parents), so thank God Jonathan Lee, who hails from the family who owns Flamingo House restaurants, had the insight to open Little Bird Dim Sum which allows night owls to enjoy their dim sum any damn time we like. So needless to say when Cassandra Anderson of Good Life Vancouver asked me if I wanted to join her for a media preview at Little Bird Dim Sum, I had my chopsticks in hand faster than you could say “Isn’t Jackie Chan getting too old to be doing his own stunts?”
Little Bird Dim sum is unlike other typical restaurants offering dim sum as it’s a small intimate space with small tables and it’s menu is more eclectic as owner Johnathan Lee states that he wanted to create a space where friends could socialize over dim sum regardless of their food allergies. So vegans, celiacs, vegans and vegetarians will jump up and down in joy in their hemp pants as the Garden section on the menu offering seven items such as Beyond Meat Sui Mai, Baked Tofu BBQ Bun, and Vegetarian Spring Roll which will keep these people quiet while us carnivores chow down on our meaty delights. Also I should mention that the only menu item that people with dairy issues can’t have is the Almond Jello as it has evaporated milk.
At Little Bird Dim Sum, you will find the usual Sticky Rice, Steamed Pork Bun and Chicken Feet but it’s the Garden selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items that sets this place apart from others. Also everything is made to order so it comes to your table fresh. Prices for all this fresh goodness start at $3 and averages $5 a plate, which price is on par with other establishments. As an added bonus, you are not limited to just drinking Chinese tea as Little Bird Dim Sum offers wine and craft beer. It’s not a big selection but with choices such as Nicol Pinot Gris or Unoaked Charonnay Joie and Hoyne Dark Matter beer, you won’t have any complaints from wine or beer drinkers. Beer starts at $5.50 and wine at $7 while bottles of wine start at $39.
We opted to try items that aren’t usually found in other dim sum establishments, so salivate on… .
Who wants to be a matcha man? Here a pool of green liquid matcha goodness in the GREEN TEA SESAME BALLS which is a nice departure from the usual red bean paste.
You’ve heard of Beyond Meat burgers, but have you ever heard of Beyond Meat dim sum? It’s VEGAN SUI MAI (Beyond Meat. water chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, black truffle). I can’t really give my opinion about this item as the traditional pork version is one of my favourite dim sum items and being a meat eater, I’m biased, but all I can say it tastes close to the pork version but is a little denser.
Another one of my favourite dim sum items is CHIVE & SHRIMP DUMPLING as the onion/garlic flavour really complements the subtle flavour of the shrimp. Do I really have to share this?
SCALLOP TARO PUFF (taro, scallop, shiitake mushroom, minced pork, mild curry). I prefer taro to potato as it has a denser texture and a nutty earthy flavour which gives it more depth of flavour than potatoes. I love the crispiness of the outer layer and it’s not greasy like other taro puffs I’ve had at other restaurants.
SWEET RICE PUFF (pork, shiitake mushroom, dried shrimp). There’s a layer of sweet rice which gives this menu item a delectable combination of sweet and savoury flavours.
SPRING ROLL (pork, shiitake & black mushroom, dried shrimp, bamboo shoots). All kinds of wonderful meaty goodness as the bamboo shoots here don’t overwhelm the pork as they do in egg rolls which are a North American version that focuses on profit rather than flavour as meat is only 20% of the flavour.
STUFFED EGGPLANT (eggplant, shrimp pâté) on all dim sum menus and Iovers of eggplant will love it as the eggplant is not soggy as what happens when you overcook eggplant.
BAKED TOFU BBQ BUN (pressed tofu, BBQ sauce), as the BBQ sauce is the flavour takes the limelight.
You’ll make a pig out of yourself over the SUI MAI (pork, shrimp, water chestnuts) as this has a nice firm consistency and the wrapper holds up well under the ingredients. Best to order two plates.
So the next time your amigos try to drag you out of bed early on the weekend, just say, “Don’t wake me up before you go-go as Little Bird Dim Sum serves dim sum all day long”.
Little Bird Dim Sum
2958 W 4th Ave
Vancouver, BC V6K 1R4