|29-1, Sect. 3, South Renmin Rd.|
|028 8545 4336|
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Mark Hiew (more chengdu)|
Dim Sum, Yum Cha, Xiao Chi…call it what you wish, but it’s natural to bemoan the city’s lack of those perfectly proportioned nibblies when you’re this far from Guangdong or Hong Kong. But, having tried out a number of mediocre dim sum restaurants around town, Great Palace’s classy, workmanlike performance came as a welcome, if rather pricey, return to first-class Cantonese eating.
Dim Sum, which literally means, “touch the heart,” in Cantonese, is known more commonly in these parts as, “dian xin,” but refers to the same, quintessentially Chinese dining experience. Little ladies in red costumes pushing trolleys stacked with wooden steamers containing all manner of wondrous pork and shrimp delicacies. Upon entering Great Palace via elevator—the restaurant is attached to a posh hotel—we were immediately greeted by the fragrant scent and sight of zipping trolley carts. The restaurant is spacious and tasteful, with fine views down onto Renmin Nan Road. Its polished look and atmosphere befitting of the professional, well-heeled clientele it serves.
Of all the dishes we ordered, perhaps ironically, the most popular dish was the “kou rou” (36 RMB). It was a slow-steamed pork and pickled vegetable exercise that was elegantly presented and even better after it was presented to our tongues.
All the dim sum classics were taken care of with care, both in presentation and flavor. The shrimp dumplings texture was glutinous without being too sticky, the shaolong dumplings were tender and warm and nowhere near overdone. The only complaint we might offer is that the char siu dumplings were very small, especially given that the dim sum servings go for a hefty 20-25 RMB per steamer. We particularly took to the glutinous rice, which was sweet and inviting. There’s little for vegetarians, but the cool vegetable dishes (8-15 RMB) were reasonable enough. Though there’s no English menu, the beauty of dim sum is that you simply point and choose, and the staff was obedient and responsive. Expect to pay about 40-60 RMB per person.