10638 100 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 4L4
Me and my family has probably been to Emperor’s palace a dozen or more times. It’s located right in Chinatown and very convenient for us to go to, since my mom often has errands to run in the area whenever she comes to visit. My brother really likes Dim Sum, and there is no real Dim Sum restaurant in Red Deer. There are a couple places that offer it a la cart, and steam things to order (Red Star), or Phoenix Buffet, which has some offerings as well, but it’s still very scarce, so we often go when my family comes to visit.
Parking is limited to the street parking that’s around, which is only free on Sunday, and can be difficult to find since the sheer size of the restaurant and number of patrons on a Sunday. We used to really like to go to Urban China, but found the quality had dropped the last few times we had gone, so went back to Emperor’s Palace. Myself, I like Jumbo for Dim Sum, if I ever find myself on the west side of Edmonton on an early weekend day.
Dim Sum is a style of Chinese cuisine, where you’re served bite-sized portions of food, which is typically steamed. It’s often considered Cantonese, and the word for Dim Sum in Cantonese, is Yum Cha, which means “Drink Tea”.
As with most Asian places, I find that service can be a bit spotty. We have always had pretty decent service whenever we went, so I can’t comment much on it. I do find that during busy times, and the carts are circling more frequently, the food is much better.
My family always orders the same things, which is one of the reason why I like going for Dim Sum with different groups of people, because everyone often has a different favourite dish, and it forces you to try different things.
One dish that we always get, is the Siu Mai. This is like a pork and prawn dumpling, with a thin wrapper, and often topped with crab roe. These were plump and delicious! One of my favourite dishes to get, and often an easy dish to get for first timers who may be skittish about the dishes.
Another staple for my family is the Har Gow. This is a shrimp dumpling with a a translucent skin. This is one of the more difficult skins to make, as it has to be thin enough to be translucent, but also strong enough to hold its own weight. Tender and delicious. Another easy dish for first timers.
Spare Ribs and chicken feet are two dishes that my family often likes to get as well. Chicken feet (sorry I did not take an individual photo), is one of the dishes that people either hate or love it. The idea of it is challenging for people to get over, and then the texture and amount of bones is the second. I personally enjoy it, and find it tasty, but I can see how some might not like it. The spare ribs often come with black beans, or kobocha squash, which is a table favourite as well for my family.
My family likes seafood and often gets the rice rolls with shrimp. There are often rice rolls with BBQ pork, chinese donut, and plain, but we usually always get the shrimp. The shrimp is tender, the rolls are soft, and overall enjoyable. The pan fried shrimp is one that my family often gets, but personally, I don’t often enjoy these types of dishes. They are fried and are wheeled around, but since they are crispy/pan fried, they are often room temperature, where I would prefer it to be hot, so I tend to like the steamed dishes.
Tripe is one that my mom really enjoys, so we often get this too. There are often two types of tripes, the one pictured here, and a honey comb tripe. A cow has four stomachs and it’s just a manner of which of the two linings is served. I find that the honey comb tripe has a stronger flavour and is more tender, where as the other tripe has more of a rubbery texture. Also something I find is an acquired taste.
Lastly, we got the dessert tofu, which is soft tofu served in a sweet ginger sauce. My family doesn’t usually get dessert, but on this occasion, we decided to. It’s relatively cheap and the order is big enough to serve several people, especially near the end of the meal when most people are full.
Overall, I had an enjoyable experience at Emperor’s palace. I find that most Dim Sum places are similar ish in quality, and it really depends on when you go. I think that the quality can be hit and miss, and that’s the same with all of the restaurants, so for me, location plays a big factor. I still have yet to go to Chef Tony’s in Edmonton, but I have gone to the Richmond location, and I only found it so so. If you’re looking for Dim Sum in Edmonton, I recommend checking out whatever is closest to you! They often also have a la carte dishes, which my family doesn’t often venture towards, but they always seem like a hit at other tables.