Friday, December 26, 2014

Fisherman's Terrace Seafood Restaurant 釣魚台海鮮酒家


On a rainy afternoon, our original lunch date was supposed to be at Bacchus but the valet man was nowhere to be seen. You see, I really hate the rain. I love snow more than the rain and am surprised that many people are the opposite. I mean, I may be fine with the rain if I am wearing wellington boots along with a trench coat and carrying a huge umbrella. But if it is the last minute kind of rain and I am already dressed, I hate the idea of changing just because of the rain! So after waiting a few minutes, we decided to head to Aberdeen Centre because of their underground parking lot and also to try Fisherman's Terrace. Going to Floata would have been more practical, but I figured Fisherman's Terrace may be better.

Fisherman's Terrace is considered a "fine dining" Chinese restaurant because of the higher prices, cleanliness, supposedly above average service and atmosphere. The restaurant is somewhat long and narrow and the seating arrangements look fairly tight. We did not arrive on a full house too.

SMALL $3.85 || MEDIUM $4.95 || LARGE $5.55 || SPECIAL $5.95 || TEA $1.00


PEATIP WITH BEAN CURD SKIN AND GINKGO NUT ($7.95).
Rating: 0/5.
Starting the dim sum off healthy, the tofu skin tastes soft like usual and the pea tips are not too chewy. The ginkgo nuts however are undercooked, hard and very bitter, rather than tasting soft and tender. Moreover, what is supposed to be a light chicken broth is nothing but a pool of water. But hey, at least one sliced Chinese mushroom is tossed in?

STEAMED CHICKEN FEET WITH GLUTTEN ($4.95).
Rating: 3/5.
The order of chicken feet comes with four pieces, but the photo looks like there are only three. The chicken feet tastes tender, fairly tasty, and there is a heavier soy flavour compared to other restaurants'.

BAKED DURIAN PASTRIES ($5.55).
Rating: 3/5.
The flaky durian pastries are served warm and include a fair amount of fruit. The durian tastes slightly sweet along with creamy, and the smell overall is not overwhelming. The pastries are a touch too soft and delicate however, where picking a piece would almost crumble apart.

STEAMED SPARERIBS AND PUMPKIN WITH BLACK BEAN SAUCE ($4.95).
Rating: 3/5.
Majority of the spareribs are chopped in small pieces, allowing more flavour to be absorbed and the meat tastes tender. As for the sauce, it is light tasting while also flavourful at the same time. There is a rich and garlicky flavour without being heavy on the oil or salt. However, I still prefer Chef Tony's more because of the stronger preserved plum flavour.

STEAMED BUNS WITH CUSTARD FILLING ($3.85).
Rating: 0/5.

Asides from the vegetable dish earlier on, the steamed buns are another failed item. The buns lack that usual soft pillowy texture and are over steamed, which resulted in one splitting. In addition, the custard is half assed.

The buns are called Liu Sha Bao in Chinese which means flowing sand, resembling how the custard flows out of the buns similar to flowing sand. However, there is no rich yolk custard and the restaurant makes these the "cheating" way, similar to T&T Supermarket's. The custard filling is grainy, dry, slightly sweet and bland. Although to be fair, some people like the Nai Huang Bao variation more which does not ooze. But regardless, the custard tastes dry, flavourless and has too much flour.

BAKED EGG TARTS ($3.85).
Rating: 2.5/5.
Most of the time, dessert arrives in the beginning of dim sum because it is already prepared. So when the dessert arrives during the middle or at the end of dim sum, usually it means it is fresh. But this is not the case. The cold egg tarts exhibit flaky and buttery layers, along with a light sweet custard. The custard is not as soft as I would prefer, but it may be because the tarts were not warm.

STEAMED SHRIMP DUMPLINGS WITH DRIED SCALLOP AND SPINACH ($5.95).
Rating: 3.5/5.
The best item from dim sum are the shrimp dumplings with dried scallop and spinach. The dumplings consist of bouncy and sweet prawns while the spinach provides that extra flavour and moisture.

In addition, the dumplings with a thin skin are packed with ingredients and there are no limp dumplings here. However, there is no flavour from the dried scallops.

DRIED PORK AND CHINESE DONUT IN RICE NOODLE WRAP ($5.55).
Rating: 2.5/5.
The rice roll is very thick and does not taste as fresh or soft compared to other dim sum restaurants'. Moreover, the Chinese donut tastes soft (but not soggy) and lacks a crisp exterior. We never received any soy sauce for the dish too and despite literally raising my hand for a while and waving, the staff seemed to think I was stretching and ignored me.

SHRIMP DUMPLINGS WITH SHARK FIN IN SOUP ($5.95).
Rating: 1/5.
The soup includes two deflated dumplings which consist of diced ham, a bit of dried scallop and imitation crab meat. The dumplings are rather pathetic and would have been better if they were combined into one. As for the shark's fin which is included in one of the dumplings, it is well cooked and tastes tender. The broth on the other hand, tastes very light and MSG laden (I am not against MSG but the taste is very heavy in this case).

TOTAL: $53.10 + TIP $8.90 = $62.00.

Some of the dim sum items are above average while others are mediocre, then there are those that totally failed. The failed dishes are disappointing too because Fisherman's Terrance is supposedly a "fine dining" Chinese restaurant. With regards to the service, what service? We arrived during the later dim sum services and there were plenty of window seats available, but we were seated facing a wall at a small table around the corner. Due to the small table, we also had to juggle our dishes around ourselves and how is it possible that no one bothered to remove empty plates and steamers? There were three managers directly in front of us throughout dim sum too and none of them bothered clearing the table. I would have given bonus points too if the hostess who watched me taking a photo of the interior said goodbye, but she just kept staring.

POSITIVES
- Some dishes are above average
- Shrimp dumplings with dried scallop and spinach are recommended

NEGATIVES
- No service
- Why does no one clear the table?
- Some average and failed items

LITTLE THINGS
- There are worse dim sum restaurants in Richmond such as Red Star

Food: 2.5/5
Service: 2/5

Fisherman's Terrace Seafood Restaurant 釣魚台海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

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