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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Crab Feast at Harbour Spirit Restaurant (王朝粤川海鲜酒楼)

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Rich and I recently had dinner with his sister and her boyfriend for the first time. I remembered that I still had a voucher for a crab dinner for 3-4 people at Harbour Spirit Restaurant that was expiring within a week. Oh these vouchers! Harbour Spirit is located along busy No. 3 Road in Richmond, right beside Cactus Club by Lansdowne, taking over the old Sammy J Pepper building. It’s actually pretty unusual for a Chinese restaurant in Richmond to have its independent building, but the plus side was that it had plenty of parking! <3
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I guess Harbour Spirit tries to market itself as a “high-class” Chinese restaurant, especially with its multiple crystal chandeliers, fancy wallpaper and decorative tableware. It seems like they have invested quite a bit into the ambience, yet somehow it just doesn’t really match…I don’t know how to describe it. It just seemed like they didn’t really pay attention to detail enough to really be fine dining – e.g. the gold trim on the bowl was really faded, the tablecloth was quite wrinkly, etc.
The voucher I got included soup, crab, a meat dish, a veggie dish, rice and dessert! All that for just $39.99! I thought it was a pretty good deal when I snatched it. :)
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_MG_8556 copy The first thing that arrived was the seafood soup, which arrived as a pretty big bowl. It had plenty of fish, mussels, shrimp as well as egg drop and tofu. The soup wasn’t seasoned heavily to bring out the fresh seafood taste, which I appreciated. I didn’t really like how there was so much starch in it that it looked pretty mucous-y though. It was served with a plate of red vinegar, which can be added to enhance the flavour. Overall it was pretty satisfying and nice on a cold day.
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Next came the veggie dish, which was Chinese Cabbage in broth (上汤白菜). Not too much to say about it, but the broth was flavourful and there was plenty on the dish. hehe~ We all needed some veggies to balance out this meat-dominant meal, so it was a good dish to have.
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We also got the meat dish, Peking-Style Salad Spareribs (京都沙拉骨) at around the same time. These spareribs were lightly fried, coated generously with a sweet and sour sauce, and sprinkled with sesame seeds. It was also served with a small dish of mayonnaise – i.e. the salad dressing. I preferred eating it without the mayo though. I liked how it wasn’t overfried, with the meat still remaining tender.
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Our final dish from the voucher was the star of the meal: the crab! It was supposed to be a three pounder… not that I have any clue how how big that is, but it was plenty for us! Rich commented that they had a big tank of live crab swimming around in the back. We were given six choices for how we wanted the crab to be prepared: in broth (上汤), “typhoon shelter” (避风塘), salt and pepper (椒盐), soy-sauce? (头抽), green onion and ginger (葱姜), and steamed (清蒸). Rich said that “Typhoon Shelter” is a famous Hong Kong way to prepare seafood, and besides it sounded the most interesting… so that’s what I picked. The crab meat was juicy and fresh, though I must say I made a mess of eating it… The topping was really flavourful, with plenty of garlic, pepper, ginger, and green onion. The garlic was fried to the point where it’s slightly browned and crispy. Pretty decent crab.
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_MG_8583 copy The rice arrived as a heaping plateful, quite unusual as it’s usually served in a bowl or a bucket at Chinese restaurants. Nothing special about the rice, but Rich really liked mixing the toppings of the crab with the rice and claimed it was really yummy!
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_MG_8589 copy At this point, it seemed like the boys were still hungry, so we went ahead and ordered a curry seafood fried rice. Its price tag on the menu was $13.80, but when they charged us, it was only $10.80. I wasn’t about to complain! The curry was typical Cantonese flavoured, and there was actually quite a bit of seafood mixed in the rice. It came as such a large portion that we ended up taking more than half of it home as someone’s lunch for the next day! :)
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Dessert arrived as two different dishes, which surprised me. The first was a sago pudding that tasted pretty good, with a pretty thick consistency and plenty of chewy sago. The other was two different kinds of jelly. The yellow one was actually made in a mickey mouse mold – and I believe it was chrysanthemum wolfberry, but Rich said it had a hint of lychee as well. I asked the waiter what was in it, but he was unable to tell me. :( The other one was a mixture of red bean paste and some sorta creamy condensed milk-like mixture. They were both pretty enjoyable.

The Yummies:
  • Fairly attentive service
  • Overall the dishes were enjoyable
  • The voucher was good value – and it seemed like half the tables that night were using it
  • Enjoyable dining ambiance
  • Plenty of parking that were easily accessible
The Yuckies:
  • Flipping through the menu, it became apparent that their regular dishes are quite pricey (with the seafood soup alone costing >$16)
  • It seems like they didn’t really pay much attention to detail – especially when it came to selecting good quality décor


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Harbour Spirit Restaurant 王朝粵川海鮮酒樓 on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

ceci* said...

That dessert with the mickey mouse shape is one of my favourites, its an osmanthus goji berry jelly. :)

Ying Yao said...

oh thanks ceci! at least now I know what it is! Where else have you had it?

胡花花 said...

Harbour Spirit Restaurant 王朝粵川海鮮酒樓就是个土匪窝,2012年6月3号晚上我与几位朋友到这个土匪窝用餐,当时我进了包房后,我将一副限量版价值US$900多的Chanel太阳眼镜放在餐桌上。我们一伙人吃到晚上的十点多才离去,当时离去的时候全餐馆早就空无其他的客人。当我回到家后我发现我放在桌上的太阳眼镜忘记拿了。所以第二天一早就到了餐馆询问有关眼镜的事情。可是那位土匪婆爱理不理的踢皮球的打发我走。到了下午三点多我再次的去到这个土匪窝。当我要求查看土匪窝内的监控录像,土匪婆就偷偷摸摸的跑到了屋外打了通电话,回到屋子里后跟我说眼镜可能是裹在餐桌布里送洗了。说什么要晚上要问整理餐桌的服务员后给我电话。我在家左等右等的等到晚上八点多一直都没回我个消息,我只有再次的到土匪窝去询问,当我再次要求看录像的时候,土匪婆说录像机早在半年前就坏掉了,聪明的人都知道,如果真的坏掉了,那为何下午我去的时候不说坏掉了呢? 后来土匪婆又拿起电话打了通电话后告诉我说,帮他们清洗餐桌布的洗衣厂下班了,联系不到人问不了。我真觉得奇怪了,我从一早就去询问眼镜的事情,那时土匪婆干啥去了,一整天不打电话去问,到了晚上才想到去问吗? 再说了,那么大的一副眼镜整理餐桌的时候会看不到吗? 这家黑店里的土匪眼睛都是有问题的。各位如果想要去用餐,请您们要想清楚了,他们的眼睛有问题,难保他们做的菜里会有些不应该存在的东西在里头,而且他们的菜真的很难吃,在Richmond那么有那么多的餐馆,老实说随便哪一家都比他们的好吃。他们这样土匪的行径,我会在网络上帮他们的大肆的宣传一直到他们还我的眼镜为止。

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