My parents good friends hosted a dinner at Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant for a party of 9. I wouldn’t have expected a Chinese restaurant way out in Kerrisdale but this nondescript mall seemed to have a couple in it. We parked in the London Drugs parking lot in back of the building and walked through an alley to the front of the restaurant and up the elevator.
Upon entering the restaurant, it reminded me of a lot of Chinese restaurants in SF Chinatown – run down and dated. The place was pretty empty when we got there. I was told that the place is usually packed with long waits but it might have been because we were there on a Wednesday evening.
My parents told me that they advertise a special menu where all items are $10.99.
We ended up ordering all dishes from this menu save for two items – snake soup and my mum asked for a stir-fry bean sprouts, preserved vegetables, and shredded pork dish that didn’t seem to be on the menu.
The tofu dish came out first which seemed to be odd since we ordered soup. But it worked out because my 2 year old daughter could start chowing down on some tofu, mushrooms and veggies.
This dish was pretty standard. The only thing I noticed was the sauce was a bit thick meaning too much corn starch. Next came the snake soup which the waiter portioned out from the large soup tureen into individual bowls. I was told that there were 5 kinds of snake in it. I asked our family friends, what type of snakes? And they said, better not ask! They actually thought that there wasn’t a lot of snake in the soup but other fillers (fungus, mushrooms, bean sprouts were a few of the things I thought I saw). I ended up having two bowls. We had two orders of the soup at $19 each. We probably didn’t need the second tureen but it was appreciated.
Here were the condiments that you could sprinkle on top of the soup if so desired. I think the green pieces was some type of mint? Underneath was shredded lettuce and to the left was some deep fried “chips”.
Next up was the bean sprouts with preserved vegetables and shredded pork. Everyone liked this this and said that it had good wok hay. Hopefully I used the term correctly but it means that the dish was stir-fried well.
The chili and salt pork chop was done pretty well but nothing exceptional.
The Buddest Delight was ok. Again, a little too much corn starch when making the sauce.
The Shrimp with Vermicelli hot pot was good. I really liked the shrimp and the overall taste of the dish. The only issue the table had was that the vermicelli (fun see) was a Taiwanese brand meaning it was mushy when cooked. Everyone thought the dish would be better with a Chinese brand fun see which is a little firmer when cooked. This was also the only dish (other than the soup) which wasn’t $10.99 but $13.
The Braised Duck with Spinach was good. Meat was nice and tender and tasted pretty good.
Finally the Fish Sauce Chicken came out. The skin was crisp and the meat pretty tender and juicy (including breast meat!). I couldn’t really taste the fish sauce but no matter, I liked this dish.
To end the meal was a complimentary dessert which I’ve never had before. The baked tapioca had a layer of red bean paste in the middle. I was told that Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant does a much better version of this dish. The top should be more “burnt” and there should be much more red bean paste filling inside. This dish was only ok for me but I have a feeling I would like the Sun Sui Wah version.
Overall, I thought the meal was pretty satisfying. Is it high-end Chinese food? No. But it kicks the ass of a lot of Chinese restaurants in San Francisco even with all the cooking flaws. Compared to other good Vancouver Chinese restaurants it’s probably only ok. But I think it’s pretty good value if you order off the $10.99 menu. The service was very good as well except for the glitch of getting the soup second.
Will definitely be back in the future.
Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant
2046 W 41st Ave