The Transformation of Kam Wai Dim Sum

By Tana Kosiyabong

Kam Wai Dim Sum Shrimp & Scallop Dumplings and Black Bean Spare Ribs on Rice

It had been few months since I last visited Kam Wai Dim Sum. My taste buds were dying to savor some of these Chinese delicacies. So I stopped by the restaurant a few days ago for a quick fix. To my surprise, Kam Wai has drastically transformed into a dim sum take-out (with a small dine-in section) on one side; a frozen dim sum shop on the other.

It was such a bitter sweet discovery. There were fewer dim sum selections and my favourite beef and veggie Ho Fun was no longer available. However, I was excited to see all the new menu items were priced at three dollars or less. Because I’m a big sucker for cheap eats, I couldn’t stop myself from ordering a couple of dishes: the black bean spare rib on rice ($3 HST included) and the shrimp and scallop dumplings (3pcs for $2 HST included). A few minutes later, the pre-cooked dishes were ready.

New Kam Wai Dim Sum Menu

While I was snapping food pictures, an old Chinese man gave me a funny look from the nearby table. He then turned to his friend and talked in Chinese. A few second later, they both started to laugh. Even though I didn’t understand the language, I believed he said something along the line of “Hey Look, that nutjob is taking photos of the dumplings and the ribs.”

Shrimp and Scallop Dumplings at Kam Wai Dim Sum

Black Bean Spare Ribs on Rice at Kam Wai Dim Sum

Once finished the photo session, it was time for the taste test. The shrimp and scallop dumplings were quite nice and good value. But, if memory served me right, they didn’t taste as good as the Kam Wai Hargow I ate several months ago. The black bean pork rib on rice was delicious. The meat was soft and tender. The dry chili flakes added some kicks to each bite. The cartilages were soft enough I could easily chew through. And surprisingly, the rice was perfectly cooked. Considering that the dish was pre-cooked and kept in the warmer oven for hours, it was a small miracle.

I was very happy with this new find. For five dollars (12% HST included) I can have a lovely meal with a side order of dim sum. Before I left, I also ordered a take-out of the century egg with salted pork congee ($2) and the steamed beef balls (3pcs for $2). Later that evening I had a wonderful dinner for just four dollars.

Century Egg and Salted Pork Congee at Kam Wai Dim Sum
Steamed Beef Balls at Kam Wai Dim Sum

As for the taste test, The congee was delicious and perfectly seasoned. For what it’s worth, the dish contained just the right amount of chopped century eggs and shredded salted pork. The steamed beef balls were soft, smooth and well-flavored with soy sauce, sesame oil and chinese rice wine. The 1.5-inch meat balls were great compliments to the congee. However, they were quite fatty.

For those of you who wouldn’t mind steaming, Kam Wai frozen dim sum are even more affordable. You can get 20 pieces of frozen dim sum varieties for around $6 to $7.

NOTE: After the meal, I walked to the Kam Wai 882 Bakery & Dim Sum where the original take-out/frozen dim sum were sold. The store was closed. And there were no signage directing customer to the new location just around the block.

The original store Kam Wai 882

Kam Wai Shrimp & Scallop Dumplings ©©© 1/4

Kam Wai Black Bean Spare Ribs on Rice ©©© 1/2

Kam Wai Century Egg and Salted Pork Congee ©©© 3/4

Kam Wai Steamed Beef Ball ©©© 1/2

Kam Wai Dim Sum is located at 249 East Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (T) 604.568.6692

©2011 Tana Kosiyabong and™. All rights reserved.

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11 thoughts on “The Transformation of Kam Wai Dim Sum

  1. Hey Tana, Happy New Year! Your post is very timely for me. I’m thinking of doing a survey of all the holes in the wall in Chinatown and Kam Wai is on my list. I never got to try it in the short time it was open as a “regular” dim sum place.

    Also wondered if you’d tried Sunny Spot at Main near 10th. They have some tasty breakfast there. I like the Bigger Breakfast for 6.50 with eggs, bacon, sausages, hashbrowns and pancakes, but there is the 2 2 2 as well, with 2 eggs, 2 sausages, 2 bacon and hashbrowns for a Cheap Appetite worthy $3.95! They also have some healthier choices and even fresh squeezed grapefruit juice but this is definitely a greasy spoon.

    1. Hello Greyelf, sorry for the late reply. Kam Wai regular dim sum was short lived. I wish I visit it more often. I haven’t been to the Sunny Spot yet. But that sound like a Cheap Appetite worthy for sure.

  2. Hey that’s awesome! My mom works there and has been for a long time, probably about 10 years now. It’s nice to see how it has changed over the years from it’s beginning and now. Wished I had pictures of the place back then.

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