Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Emperor's Palace Edmonton - no go for dim sum or dinner!

     Seeing that it was Chinese New Year's recently (where celebrations continue for the entire month of February) I'm thinking that some people in Edmonton will want to check out some dim sum places. There is a new restaurant that opened recently in Edmonton's Chinatown called Emperor's Palace. Formerly occupied by Shun Fat grocery store before a fire in the butcher shop closed the entire space, the renovated area is an expansive place. With its impressive decorations, a huge and colourful photo album menu, and rumours of dim sum chefs imported from Vancouver, Emperor's Palace, for all accounts and purposes, looks like a great place to have dinner or dim sum. Sadly, this is not the case.
      We visited Emperor's Palace twice now, our first time was for dinner and the second visit was for New Year's Day Dim sum. I think the biggest sign that this was not a place to dine at was when we first walked in for dinner. There were a number of large tables of 10+ that were seated that evening, but no one was eating anything. I'm certain, it wasn't because everyone had just sat down. Plus, the restaurant was eerily quiet-which is extremely unusual for any good Chinese restaurant. Patrons were talking to one another, but since there was nothing to eat, no conversations revolved around the food. Instead, all you could hear was sighing, patrons asking waiters when their food was ready, and silence as patrons sat...waiting. One large table had sat down, waited twenty to thirty minutes before any waiting staff attended them and then left because the staff took so long to give them their drinks and tea. The food we had that night was decent, but for the mere fact that the first dish (a simple cold cut dish) took such a long time to arrive we weren't certain we would try it again.
standard dish for start of meal - this took over 1 hour to arrive!
Enoki mushrooms and veggie: not exceptionally amazing.
A bit on the salty side. 
fried rice with XO sauce - there was none to be found!
     However, we did eat there again on New Year's Day as Urban China was packed! We headed to Emperor's Palace where there was a fair number of seats available. Again, this was probably the sign we should have heeded. Once again service was slow, there were only a few dim sum carts with few of the signature dim sum dishes, and portions were incredibly small. The other rather annoying fact was that waiters constantly tried to sell you the same dishes within a very short period of time!
One of the dishes they tried to sell us again and again: bbq pork
Siu mai: a bit on the small side & slightly salty
Ha gaw - This had a particularly thick skin
and shrimp inside had an interesting taste
Their one redeeming point: They didn't have a variety of
dim sum dishes (it was only 12pm), so they agreed
to make this steamed bean curd wrap for us.
     All in all, if you're hoping to eat some good solid dim sum in Edmonton I would highly suggest another restaurant other than Emperor's Palace. You may be impressed with its size and grandeur, but you'll be rather disappointed with their quality of food service. After dining here more than three times, I'm thinking you'll definitely be better off waiting and eating at Urban China. Perhaps in the future, they will improve, only time will tell.


Emperor's Palace
10638 100 St
Edmonton, AB
(780) 757-2288

Emperor's Palace Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

  1. we just went there for dim sum this past weekend because my in-laws from Vancouver wanted to try it. i warned them that i've been trying to avoid this place because i have heard bad things about it. they wanted to try anyways. let's just say, we will never go back!

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  2. @lequan: Definitely NOT a good place to dine at. Better to bring our money somewhere else where there's actual variety in food, has good solid quality and quantity!

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  3. Good to know, Lillian! We're always on the look-out for new dim sum places, so now we know what to avoid :S

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  4. My wife and I have been to several dim sum restaramts and frequent one in particular . We find that this one has gone backwards since it first opened. Inconsistent quality of food, and service. It's too bad.

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