Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Park Here Seafood Restaurant 百喜海鮮酒家


Park Here Seafood is a Chinese-Vietnamese restaurant that offers a few Vietnamese influenced Chinese dishes. Also, the restaurant replaced the former Kam Wah Loong but most of the items on the menu along with the interior are the same. However, the owners are a lot friendlier and more welcoming!

The restaurant does not look too cramped and there are comfortable seating arrangements, although I am a bit surprised that they chose not to touch up the interior. After ordering, the owner asked if we wanted to move to a larger table because the amount of food we ordered was too much for a table for two. This is very appreciated because honestly, I hate juggling dishes around and eating uncomfortably at a restaurant. Or even worse, the awkwardness of a dish hanging half off the table! If it falls, who is at fault?


HOT AND SOUR SOUP, SMALL ($7.80).
The soup is packed with ingredients which includes baby shrimp, fungus, carrot, egg and pickled vegetables. As for the flavours, the soup is very light and neither hot nor sour. There is barely a hint of tanginess and the soup tastes weak. However, the consistency is not too runny or syrupy.

2 1/4LB CREAM AND BUTTER SAUCE LOBSTER ($14.99/LB).
The lobster is overcooked by a couple of minutes and the meat is hard to pull out of the shell. However, the meat does not taste rubbery or too chewy, and tastes slightly tender as well as bouncy. As for the sauce, there is a good amount and a great consistency, which is neither too thick or watery. Furthermore, the sauce has a rich creamy as well as buttery flavour along with a slight sweetness from the onions, and is one of the better ones I have had.

2 1/2LB SPICY SALT AND CHILLI CRAB ($11.99/LB).
We wanted to try the "Fortune Garden Big Crab" which is a house special and includes a salted egg yolk seasoning, but I do not think the restaurant specializes in it yet because the owner mentioned it was not ready. So, we went for the usual spicy salt and chilli. 

The crab has a noticeably larger amount of chilli bean spiral sauce and plenty of onion rather than garlic. There is no rich peppery salty seasoning, the crab is more "wet" than crispy, and tastes bland. This variation seems to be a Vietnamese style rather than Chinese, and we wanted the former. In addition, it is very rare for a restaurant to serve a better cream and butter sauce than a spicy salt and chilli! Usually it is the other way around where the cream and butter sauce is meh, and the spicy salt and chilli tastes great. Asides from the seasoning and slight wetness, the crab is not overcooked and has flaky meat.

BRAISED BEAN CURD ROLLS WITH ENOKI MUSHROOM AND DRIED SCALLOPS ($14.80).
The bean curd sheets are nicely fried with a crisp exterior and tastes moist as well as juicy. As for the sauce, there is a light pork broth flavour along with a soy sauce base, but no hint of dried scallop. This is a very homestyle dish where the dried scallops are first soaked hence the lack of flavour, despite seeing actual dried scallops. As for the vegetables, the baby bok choy is nicely cooked and have a soft crunch. So far, Shining Garden still makes the best and most flavourful dried scallop dish.

2 1/4LB STEAMED TILAPIA ($8.99/LB).
As the waitress started deboning the fish, she noticed it was still raw and the owner's wife came by to see what was going on. When she told the her, the owner's wife apologized and the both of them took back the fish. At the time I was thinking hopefully it will not be a Golden Eats experience, where the fish came back overcooked.

Fortunately, that was not the case! The tilapia is perfectly done and the meat tastes moist. In addition, there is that nice smooth slickness from the hot oil. However, there is more oil than soy sauce and the fish tastes vey oily, while also lacking like that nice slightly sweet flavour.

COMPLIMENTARY WHITE FUNGUS AND PUMPKIN SOUP, MANGO AND COCONUT PUDDING.
The dessert soup is served hot and has a slight sweetness. As for the ingredients, there are white fungus and pumpkin. Continuing along, the mango pudding has a slight mango flavour along with a hint of sweetness, and does not taste too watery. Last up, the coconut pudding tastes more flavourful than the mango, and has a rich coconut flavour. Overall, for the restaurant to offer three types of dessert is a big deal to me. I am big on dessert at a Chinese restaurant and if the dinner was only average, dessert is one thing that will lure me back asides from good service.

TOTAL: $114.50 + TIP $19.50 = $134.00.

STEAMED RICE ($1.00).
Park Here serves decent food and the highlight is definitely the cream and butter sauce. Having said that, we only ordered mostly live seafood and perhaps other dishes may be better. Also, every table seemed to order off the set menu which seems like a great deal (soup and rice are included). As for the service, the owners are friendly as well as welcoming, and the waitress provided a plate change when requested.

POSITIVES
- Reasonable prices
- Friendly staff and humble owners
- One of the better cream and butter sauces (4/5)
- Honest regarding the weight of live seafood
- Cheaper prices for live seafood compared to many restaurants

NEGATIVES
- Food is average
- Spicy salt and chilli crab was very meh…

LITTLE THINGS
- I find the food average and maybe not the kind of average that I would revisit for, but I would come back to try the dim sum because the owners were friendly. Or, revisit and order off the set menu if someone was interested in trying out the restaurant. Although I kind of wish the mango pudding was better though (like Pelican's) because I would probably make more of an effort to revisit LOL

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 3/5

Park Here Seafood Restaurant 百喜海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

  1. I love how asian restaurants have the most hilarious names. It's really sad to hear that almost all the dishes were slightly off! Especially with such a high approval rating on Urbanspoon! Your photos make the food look delicious! Those braised bean curd rolls look so nicely glazed with sauce....man I'm really craving those now.

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    1. Lol in Chinese, the restaurant is called "Hundreds of Happiness Seafood". Perhaps "Park Here" to enjoy the food? Yeah, the food is average and not bad, I am just picky and rather go to somewhere better especially when better is not far away hehe.

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