Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Big Eight-Five

South West Seafood
8012 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
It was my Grandma's 85th birthday a couple of weeks ago and all family headed to Vancouver for a huge party! We ordered the classic fancy set dinner which features a large variety of communal dishes. First up was the cold platter which features jellyfish in sesame oil, soy and chili sauce; marinated baby octopus; thinly sliced pieces of beef shank and smoked pig feet and a bean curd wrap. The cold platter is probably one of my favorite Asian dishes of all time. I thoroughly enjoy stuffing my face with the various tasty appetizer things. So good. Unfortunately, I always over stuff myself and never have enough room for the remaining dishes.

The next to arrive was the deep fried crab claw. Battered shrimp paste is wrapped around a crab claw and deep fried to a golden crispy state.

A flavourful consommé with shredded chicken, bean sprouts and some fin of a large marine creature arrived once the previous plates were cleared. It was pretty flavourful despite some members of the family requesting extra ground pepper.

A bunch of boring dishes arrived followed by a whole abalone. The slow braised mollusk was served with two large stalks of broccoli and a mushroom. It was a feeble attempt at fancy dish presentation. The abalone was a bit too chewy. Perhaps a bit overdone? Or is it undercooked? I’m not sure. I’ve had better.

Next up was the roasted squab (young domestic pigeon). The unfledged bird was roasted until the skin is super crispy. It is then chopped at the waist and served straight up with no sauces. If given a choice, take the bottom half. The meat is generally more tender. That and there's not a whole lot of meat on the little wing.

The next photo I took was the fook kin fried rice. It's the one with the sauce (Do not confuse it with the yuan yang fried rice which is the one with the cream and tomato sauce in the shape of a yin-yang, which I'm sure was invented by white people). It's basically a regular fried rice smothered in a delicious thick broth with various meat, seafood, chopped up veggies.

To finish off the meal, we had some tasty longevity buns. Made to look like peaches, it is stuffed with a sweet, sweet lotus paste. So soft, so squishy, sooooooo good. Om nom nom nom. My mom said they were a little dry. So there you have it.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 10. It was clean. Nothing special about it.
Food: 7 out of 10. Fancy ingredients. Average execution.
Presentation: 6 out of 10. Effort was made to make it look nice. Especially the pieces that you couldn't eat.
Price: N/A. I have no idea how much it cost. Probably two arms and a leg.
Service: 7 out of 10. Good service. Plates were cleared in a timely manner.
Overall: 6 out of 10. Decent overall. My grandma had a good time and that's all that matters.

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