Dynasty’s dim sum isn’t bad, but the main selling point is the low, low cost.
If you've never had dim sum at a large-scale Chinese restaurant before, you're in for an experience. It's Good Buddy times five. Dearly-deceased Noodle Noodle times ten.
Carts trundle past with speed and determination. Your tea, then water, then chili sauce is set down minutes apart, without ceremony or question. Chopsticks fly, noise assaults your ears, and you become mildly disconcerted because you have no idea what's going on, who you're talking to, and what's in that basket you just ordered.
It's great fun. Dynasty used to have a competitor in Mirama, a similar noisy, gigantic hall of Chinese breakfast delicacies. They had line-ups out of the door at 11am on a Saturday morning, and Dynasty is very much the same. Lucky for Dynasty, though, Mirama is dead and gone.
Dynasty is located on the second floor of Chinatown's Pacific Rim Mall and there are enough tables inside to feed the whole population of Bandar Seri Begawan. If you visit the restaurant at peak times (weekends, 10am-noon), the dim sum service is out in full force. Carts will fly by your table. Cross your fingers that the siu mai hasn't run out before it reaches your corner of the room.
The service, while abrupt, is efficient. Ask for what you need and you'll almost always get it. Like the chili sauce? They might just bring you a half-bowl, if you ask nicely enough.
The dim sum isn't bad. It can be quite oily, which is the main downfall. The siu mai is tasty, but glistens in the fluorescent lighting. The deep fried shrimp dumplings are a consistently good staple of the dim sum experience; they're served with mayo, but don't let that deter you noobs out there. They're extremely tasty.
The har gow, my co-favourite item along with the siu mai, are well-made and petite - little balls of shrimp covered in an almost-transparent, papery dough. Dynasty's can be a bit sticky, but they're still very good.
I'm not a fan of the spare ribs and chicken feet, but the rest of the table attested to their tastiness. My English father and Italian boyfriend devoured them, while myself and my Chinese mother chose to play it safe.
The sticky rice is alright, although I've had much better. It's fine if you lather it in a ton of chili sauce, but is otherwise quite tasteless.
The best part about the meal, in this case, was the fact that it cost less than $60 for five people, which is a huge bargain for decent dim sum. It might not be the best and might be a little too oily to consume on a regular basis, but it's cheap and cheerful. And sometimes it's nice to have brunch amidst a rowdy, discombobulated mess of people, just to spice things up a little bit.
Dynasty Century Palace
200-9700 105 Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5H 4J1
Mon to Fri: 10am to 3pm; 5pm to 10pm
Sat and Sun: 9:30am to 3:30pm; 5pm to 10pm