Monday, December 9, 2013

Always Seafood 常來海鮮酒家

Being around Main Street, the only options for a late night dinner at a Chinese restaurant is Kwong Chow Congee (na, never again), Congee Noodle House (I prefer Congee Noodle King, the restaurant is more clean) and Always Seafood. Always Seafood has never been my first choice and is a restaurant I was stubborn on not revisiting, since the first visit was not so great. On the first visit, the food tasted average and overly greasy, and the bill was miscalculated by $20.00. Not only was the bill miscalculated but the manager kept insisting it was correct. Sometimes when you deal with an arrogant person, the best argument is to be arrogant as well and say, "if it is right, of course I will pay but double check again". The arrogantness seemed to work, got him to double check and he apologized.

The interior of the restaurant is spacious, has comfortable seating and looks more nice than what I remembered. The restaurant has a good amount of tables to accommodate larger parties of eight to ten, as well as tables for two to six. When we walked in, the waitress was finishing up dinner and promptly seated us. The owner was also at the restaurant which I think greatly affected the service and food quality on this visit.


TWO 2LB CRABS IN SUPREME BROTH ($11.00/EACH). The supreme broth has a house broth taste which is usually cooked from chicken bones (a customer's deboned chicken order), pork bones, and beef bones, as well as vegetables. The broth tastes flavourful with a hint of ginger and does not taste salty at all. The crabs are very lightly coated, served extremely hot and tastes perfectly cooked. Always Seafood currently has a promotion for 2lb crabs at $11.00 each. I used to be stubborn and only eat crabs over 3 1/2lb (until this year), but who can pass on such a good deal? Plus, they did not have larger sized crabs.

DEEP FRIED PRAWNS WITH PEPPERY SALT ($6.75). The prawns taste extremely lightly battered and perfectly deep fried, with a flavourful peppery salt and chilli taste. The dish also has a few deep fried garlic flakes. This is one of the best peppery salt dishes I had in quite a long time and I like that the restaurant uses tiger prawns.

DEEP FRIED TOFU WITH PEPPERY SALT ($6.75). When I saw the tofu, I prejudged and thought some pieces would taste soggy. Every piece of deep fried tofu tastes perfectly crisp as well as juicy and has the proper peppery salt seasoning taste with a good spiciness. 

SAUTEED GAI LAN WITH DRIED FISH ($6.75). The gai lan has a nice sheen and despite the appearance, does not taste overly oily. The vegetable tastes fresh, crunchy and tasty. I do not taste much of the dried fish which is fine since I do not care for them, but I do taste the garlic.

STEAMED 1 3/4LB ROCK COD ($25.00/LB). The rock cod tastes slightly overcooked and the texture is a bit powdery, not pleasant. I never had powdery tasting rock cod and wonder if it is because it was overcooked plus the smaller size? The soy sauce also tasted a bit lighter than usual, quite bland and kind of watered down as if they added a bit of soup.

PLAIN CONGEE ($3.00). The congee has the white clear bland congee taste and a thick as well as creamy consistency, I love it.

- Above average eats
- One of the better late night Chinese restaurants
- Tasty peppery and salt dishes
- Friendly waitress and owner

- Not sure if the food quality is better only because the owner was here
- May be inconsistent
- Overcooked rock cod which is always a disappointment since it is a pricier fish

- Meter parking $0.25/15 minutes
- Dishes taste better than Kwong Chow Congee and Congee Noodle House on Main Street

Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5

Always Seafood 常來海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

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