Location: 3105-8650 112 Ave NW (Royal Oak Park)
It’s rare that I do a review on a Chinese restaurant and there is only one reason why: translation barriers. Well at least that is the biggest reason why I don’t do reviews for Chinese restaurants, but the other reason is that food doesn’t come out all at once and taking pictures would annoy my family who was trying to eat. Well I’ll give it a try and see how this goes
This was our second time coming to this restaurant. The first time I was not impressed, but I’m not the one with the car or money and my mom wanted Chinese food, so here we were. This time we ordered five dishes. The first was a Sichuan Beef dish. It was okay. A little salty and for a Sichuan dish, not spicy at all. Next is a staple with out family: chicken. Chicken is hard to mess up, so it was good. We had a crispy skinned chicken with soy sauce. It was nice and moist as chicken ought to be and the skin was perfect! Our primary choice of vegetables were pea shoots (dou mew) but they said that they were old, therefore dry and hard to eat so we went with tong choi (Latin name: Ipomoea aquatica, I have no idea what it’s called in English). I used to love tong choi until I had to clean the vegetables at home once…and I was ambushed by a bug. From then on these vegetables have been my sworn enemy. Well, okay, no. I like to exaggerate. These vegetable’s leaves are my favourite part even if they look a little like mush. The stalks are a bit hard, but edible and a great source of fiber. Wan yu (I think google is telling me this is called a Grass Carp) was our fourth dish. This is a river fish therefore has a bit of an earthy taste, but it’s not nearly as bad as some other types of fish (like the fish that live at the bottom of the river). The fish came with the usual ginger, onion and soy sauce, but this one had pork and some sort of pickled/salted Chinese vegetables on top as well. I felt that that was a weird combination, but everyone else appeared to have enjoyed it. The last dish was a seafood and tofu hot pot. There were lots of shiitake mushrooms and a fair assortment of seafood, which was nice. However, the ratio of sauce to seafood was a bit off (read: too much sauce). It was nice to put the sauce on the rice, but really, it’s just seasoning, water and corn starch…so…
This is one of the few restaurants I’ve been to that charges for rice. Normally that and soup are complementary. I mean it’s not a huge deal, but if you say you want three portions of rice…that’s really all they give you and there isn’t much to eat. Not only that, I was a bit disappointed by the service. They were very slow at resetting the table with chopsticks and another place setting, getting plates and bowls and whatever. Like the plates didn’t come until after we got our first dish which is like okay if you take that long to get out our food, you could have at least given us the plates in that time. The first time we went there was only one other table occupied. Today there were eight or so. Even so, the staff were standing around talking instead of tending to the client’s needs as they should have been. The waitress who helped us looked unkempt and when we asked her about an menu item she just laughed and said she wasn’t sure, repeating after my dad who asked so you’re not sure? The guy who first seated us came after the fifth plate came out and asked if it was okay as he was passing by, not even bothering to stop to listen. Maybe he heard, but usually it’s more polite to stop and ask rather than asking on the go.
There was a rather large party that came in and they sent back a drink. I kinda wonder what was wrong with it. Perhaps it was dirty or something. Anyways, same table a guy came up to me as I was heading off to get some dessert from the buffet table where the bathroom was. I was like what the hell, I don’t work here. Let me clarify. His words were: Were is your bathroom? I responded with their bathroom is over there. That annoyed me a little. Also, buffet was not open. Why wouldn’t you open it?! Maybe because you have no customers because your service and food aren’t that good?
I was not happy with this restaurant and I really don’t want to come back. It’s almost as bad as Urban Rice in Kensington (another place I refuse to return to). I would give this place a 2/5.