Yan’s Garden Chinese Restaurant is located in a plaza off Lougheed Highway in Burnaby. They still use old school push style carts, while kitchen specials on plates are carried around by servers that try to hawk them at unsuspecting diners. They’ve also won an award in the dessert category for the Chinese Restaurant Awards.
Yan’s has gone through a massive renovation and new identity. Once known for cheap, tasty, mini dishes for take out after 5pm, Yan’s now offers all day dim sum and banquet style dinners in a updated atmosphere. Gold and red accents adorn the spacious dining room with white linens and red chopsticks.
(Top to bottom: 1. Beef Balls. 2. Deep fried pork dumplings.)
Tre and I picked six dishes: sweet deep fried dumplings with minced pork, spareribs, beef balls, xiao long bao (soup dumplings), sui mai and egg tarts. First, sweet deep fried dumplings with minced pork — the dumplings had a nice bite, and weren’t oily. The spareribs were large, boney pieces that were difficult to eat and lacked flavour. The sui mai and beef balls were decent, but nothing particularly special.
We made the mistake of ordering xiao long bao, knowing that it was likley going to be to be disappointing. The dish looked just like it tasted — disgusting. I could barely swallow, and for the most part didn’t. The pork filling tasted like it had potential, but was completely dry (no soup) and overshadowed by the thick, dried up skin.
The egg tarts helped salvage our taste buds: light and flaky tarts with perfectly sweetened warm egg custard. We’ve previously had the opportunity to try Yan’s award winning dish– sweet pumpkin with walnuts. It was interesting.
(Top to bottom: 1. Spare ribs in black bean sauce. 2. A dish masquerading as Xiao Long Bao.)
Our bill including taxes and tips came to $24 even. The staff are friendly, although they often forcibly push dishes onto you, even though you don’t want it. Just stand your ground. They could use some help with the cleanliness as we had to change out our dishes and the chopsticks were sticky. Our host did acknowledge this and apologized — which was nice. The quality of food is a mixed bag at Yan’s. We won’t go out of our way just to dine at Yan’s, but in a pinch, it’ll do just fine as a backup plan.
Perfect for: Dim Sum in the suburbs.