Steamed Ribs at New Town

Steamed Ribs at the New Town Bakery and Restaurant in Vancouver

I visited the New Town Bakery and Restaurant at its main branch on Pender Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown. The bakery is out front and the restaurant in the rear portion of the building has a terrific menu with many Dim Sum selections. Their Steamed Ribs were terrific and prepared with a novel and very interesting twist.

The presentation of the Steamed Ribs at New Town wasn’t the prettiest, to be sure, but aside from that trifling issue, the dish was excellent. The ribs themselves had been tossed with cornstarch, before steaming which helped keep them succulent and also thickened the juices thrown off to form a nice sauce. The meat was steamed just to the point that it was tender, but not falling apart, and the natural flavor came through beautifully.

There was minced garlic stirred in, which is pretty standard, and a little Chinese salted black bean as well. Sometimes, these beans are added a little too liberally, or as a pre-prepared sauce, and this often overwhelms the dish. Here, though, there were just a few scattered here and there and the effect was subtle but appreciable.

The addition that really made this dish were a few slices of Chinese Sausage scattered in an under the ribs. I have not seen this before, or since, and I though their presence was a terrific twist on the usual interpretations of this Dim Sum classic. The sausage gave the dish a wonderful umami boost and added just the perfect amount of sweetness. Overall, I count this as one of the better examples of the dish I have come across.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!