Monday, August 14, 2006

Fisherman's Terrace Seafood Restaurant

Here's just a quick post about Fisherman's Terrace (in the Aberdeen Centre Mall, 4151 Hazelbridge Way at Cambie Road, Richmond, 604.303.9739). I'm somewhat undecided about the place. The food was fine on this visit back in May, with some highlights, but service at the front was a bit cold and odd at the front, with us having to wait in the crowded foyer area for a table when arriving on time for our (birthday dinner) reservation, despite nearly half the restaurant being empty. The space is massive, and it looks like the servers really have to run around to cover the big space. Since I'm so ambivalent, this post is not really meant to be a recommendation or a warning. Anyhow, I thought you might just like to see what we ate.

I'm feeling guilty about Shark Fin Soup these days. I've mentioned this to my family, but it doesn't deter them. Think of the poor sharks thrown back in the water without their fin, trying to swim. The soup we had was supposed to be made with some sort of extra special shark fin. The stuff still doesn't actually taste like anything in particular! It's all about texture, but I say, if you can save a shark, and use a noodle instead, then just go ahead. We could make those noodles extra expensive to allow people to feel just as elitist about your meal as your heart desires, if need be.

Shark Fin Soup

The soup was part of a set meal meant for five people (and we had four that evening). If you had five really hungry people, I'm not sure this meal would do it, but I can't remember if we ordered any plain rice to go with it, so a bucket of that should help. This set meal was quite nice because the food wasn't too oily and included a couple of braised dishes, instead of fried ones. In many Chinese restaurants (as many of you will know), often times they will have set menu's printed up in only Chinese, and any set menu's written out in English are suspect. Those tend to be what the restaurant will think white people will want to eat, or are familiar with, like sweet and sour pork or spring rolls). I've never done this myself, but if I were going to a Chinese restaurant with a group, and no one at the table could read the Chinese, I would say that pointing at the menu meant for the appropriate number of people would be a good way to go, especially if everyone was in the mood for a fancier dinner. Have the server explain the dishes maybe.

Fresh whole abalone, with bok choy, and braised duck feet

This abalone dish was quite tasty. The server doled out all the individual portions for us, as they should when at a Chinese fine dining restaurant. I'm pretty comfortable with eating the feet of fowl, but I grew up with it. Plus, I don't mind the weird bits of animals in general because I feel that if you're going to kill an animal for food, you shouldn't waste any bit of it. But in this case, I didn't really enjoy the texture of these feet. The braising makes it very, very tender. Almost mushy. I would prefer if the webbing retained some of its chew. This is just personal preference though, because I believe they are going for that super soft effect. I did enjoy the abalone. The other braised dish, that I somehow managed to miss photographing, was really good, and was probably my favourite of the evening. It was a vegetarian Buddhist's feast sort of dish, with lots of gingko nuts. There's just something I love about gingko nuts - the texture, the smooth rugby ball shape, and probably just the fact that I don't get to eat them all that often.

Crab with a chili sauce

I really enjoyed this crab dish, with it's sweet chili sauce. Reminds me a bit of my trip to Singapore, and it's not one of the usual sauces my family would get on crab. We tend to go with the ginger, green onion one or the cream sauce, so this was a nice change.

Almond cookies and sweet coconut rice rolls dessert

Some nice desserts to finish it all off. I really like the soft, chewy rice roll dessert, covered in shredded coconut. I'm not a huge fan of the hot red bean sweet soup, but it's fairly traditional and this one was nice enough.

Red Bean Sweet Dessert Soup

No comments: