Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Poco Ocean Restaurant 海富小館

Having tried Kam Ding in Coquitlam which was mediocre, we decided to try another Chinese restaurant in the area; Poco Ocean. When we walked in, the two of us stood by the entrance for a good ten minutes and the owner's wife as well as a waitress stared at us, but never spoke a word or acknowledged us. After feeling a bit awkward just standing there, I decided to wait outside because the restaurant was fairly hot and the waiting area is quite small. As another ten minutes passed, BF came out and I asked him how long the wait would be. Surprisingly his answer was, "I said 'excuse me' twice to the owner's wife but she ignored me." LOL at the time it was a bit hard to believe, so I decided to walk in myself and ask.

When I walked up to the waitress at the front counter, I asked how the long wait would be for two people and she walked away. Usually at this point or honestly even standing there earlier for ten minutes without even being acknowledged, any normal person would leave. However, I was curious to see how a family operated business could treat their customers like this. Is the food really that good or something? When the waitress came back and I was still standing by the counter, she looked at me like why are you standing here? So, I asked in Chinese how long the wait would be for two and after she kept waving "no" while cleaning up a table, her response was "I don't know." Okay… after telling her we will wait outside, she walked away without saying anything.

Shortly after five minutes of waiting, we went back to the car and was thinking it is not normal to put up with service like this. But at the same time, we really wanted to find out how good a restaurant must be to treat their customers so rudely. On the way back to the car and about to leave, we noticed some people leaving the restaurant and decided to walk back in.

After settling down, we waited around ten minutes for tea which is not a big deal since neither of us drink tea and only use it to clean the table setting if needed. Poco Ocean has an outdated Chinese menu written on a whiteboard at the back of the restaurant and an English menu is available if requested. If comparing the two, every item on the Chinese menu is offered in the English version, except the prices have not been updated. 

While we were waiting for the food, a couple came in and asked how long the wait would be. Usually I would be surprised at this response but considering our experience so far, it seemed normal. The waitress said, "it's very busy today, maybe thirty minutes but even if you wait, we might have to close the restaurant." Wow, imagine waiting thirty minutes and having to leave because the restaurant is closing. This is certainly a first, it is basically like saying there is enough business for the day and the restaurant is busy enough.

Rating: 1/5
Poco Ocean offers one type of soup, a summer spring soup that "puts fire out." The soup has a very light pork broth along with a seaweed flavour, and is heavy on the MSG (which I am not against). There is not much flavour and the soup tastes bland. Furthermore, the soup is served luke warm.

Rating: 1/5
The pork hock is boiled rather than braised, and the meat tastes chewy as well as dry. The meaning of braise is to slow cook, not boil the whole thing. In addition, the meat should taste very juicy, tender and fall off the bone.

However, the skin tastes fatty as usual and it is hard to mess up that portion. As for the sauce, there is a nice consistency along with a sweet soy flavour. The sauce is very light which I personally prefer. However to some, the sauce may be considered bland.

Rating: 3.5/5
The chives are well cooked, fresh and have a slight crunch. In addition, the slices of pork taste tender, have a slight crunch as well, and there is a nice light soy flavour. However, in a way, the dish is sort of pricey for chives and less than ten slices of meat.

Rating: 4/5
The wings taste juicy and have a sweet honey flavour, along with a crisp exterior. Furthermore, the honey and garlic flavours are well balanced, and the wings are properly made. These taste similar to what mommy taught me!

Rating: 1.5/5
The dish is served on a sizzling hot plate and the sauce has a light sweet soy flavour. The tofu tastes juicy and although the exterior is slightly soggy rather than having a slight crisp, it is fine.

As for the frozen baby scallops, they taste very fishy. The cook did not rinse the scallops through water long enough and the taste is very unpleasant. Also, the dish can be considered expensive because the scallops are very small and are the same as what Japanese restaurants use for chopped scallop sushi. Is it hard to offer a few slices of medium sized scallops? Asides from the fishy flavour, the scallops taste dry and stiff (which may be expected considering the small size and if overcooked).

Rating: 1.5/5
Every table ordered the soy sauce fried sole fish and we decided to try it out. The fish has a rubbery flavour and for the price, we were surprised. Why offer a cheap fish for a high price? However, the fish is not overcooked and tastes moist. If anything, the rubbery and fishy flavour is not very pleasant. Also, a good version of this can be found almost anywhere.

Some Chinese restaurants may be known to rush diners and slam the bill on the table but at Poco Ocean, customers are welcomed to stay and read magazines, newspapers or be on electronic devices. Having said that, the restaurant is fairly small with only less than twelve tables and reservations are definitely recommended. 

TOTAL: $88.65 + TIP $2.35 = $90.00.

As for the service, well… I think I said enough. This is the lowest tip we have ever left at a restaurant and to be fair, consider the two of us leaving 10% if we ordered a typical amount of food for a couple. Why should we tip if the staff walked away more than once when we were speaking and there was no service? As for the food, the pork hock is a disappointment and the only above average items are the wings along with the chives and pork.

- Disposable tablecloths are sanitary
- Some dishes are better than others

- Horrible service and worse than what one would expect at a Chinese restaurant
- Some dishes are a fail
- Cheap ingredients and quality for a high price

- Most of the items we ordered have the same seasoning, a light soy and brown sauce flavour
- This type of restaurant is a dime a dozen, why take customers for granted?

Food: 2/5
Service: -5/5

Poco Ocean Restaurant 海富小館 on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...