Emperor’s Palace isn’t a dim sum place like any other in the city. At the entrance, you’ll notice a large golden throne and a glass-walled wine cellar. They give Emperor’s Palace a feeling that it might carry itself to a higher standard, and our judges agreed that its carts of Chinese delicacies are the best in town. I judge dim sum by the taro dumpling, my personal favourite. Here, the crunchy outer exterior is flaky and light, while the taro isn’t gummy and the pork filling is rich. Of course, the two shining stars of dim sum, the har gow (steamed shrimp dumpling) and the siu mai (pork dumplings) are also on display. My family – my in-laws came to Canada from China – were enthusiastic about them when we ate there. The fried shrimp wontons are large and not greasy. The steamed pork buns are less sweet than I’ve come to expect, but that’s not a bad thing. But the big test comes when the sweets tray comes by. There’s a steamed cake that’s a bit like a sponge, but the real treat is the don tot – egg custard tarts. I have to say, it’s hard to go wrong with the filling, but the pastry is surprisingly flaky and fresh. -Steven Sandor
10638 100 St., 780-757-2288, website N/A
Runner-Up: GOLDEN RICE BOWL
Countless carts pass by our table in the space of just a few minutes. It’s before noon at the Golden Rice Bowl and the place is packed for dim sum. Dumplings, spring rolls, rice rolls, squid, pork buns, eggplant with shrimp and skewers of chicken roll are the items that don’t make it past our table without our nods of approval. There are enough servers that, provided you’ve made a reservation, you won’t have to wait long for anything. The pork buns are so soft they melt in our mouths, while the eggplant is firm and not greasy, with the right amount of crunch, giving it freshness not always found in dim sum. -Caroline Barlott 5365 Gateway Blvd., 780-435-3388, goldenricebowl.ca
Honourable Mention: DYNASTY CENTURY PALACE
Dynasty takes up the second floor of Chinatown’s Pacific Rim Mall. And even though the restaurant is cavernous, you might get claustrophobic if you go on a Saturday. It’s that busy; finding a parking spot in the lot behind the mall is a tough task. Expect a communal dining experience; but the dumplings, rice noodles and pork buns are meant to be shared between large tables of friends. This is to dining what Motrhead is to music; loud and busy. As a journalist, you can’t mention this restaurant without noting that owner Chi Lik Wong was murdered in front of his home in 2012. But, he has a legacy. His restaurant’s still the first place most people think of when they want dim sum in Edmonton. -S.S 9700 105 Ave., 780-428-3388, website N/A
If you can get vaccinated before the end of summer, will you consider going on vacation?