This week, I was invited to the ChineseBites Signature Dishes Tour at Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant. ChineseBites is a local website that compiles information, pictures, and reviews for Chinese restaurants in Metro Vancouver. They have recently been putting together dinners for food bloggers to come and try out Chinese restaurants and this was my first experience doing the tour.
Golden Ocean Seafood Restaurant is located in Kerrisdale on West 41st ave. The restaurant is located on the second level of the building and it is easy to miss. The inside is large and has tons of seating available for large parties. They specialize in dim sum and Cantonese style dishes.
We started off the dinner with dessert (which I am totally okay with). The egg pastry with dried shredded coconut was an interesting dish. The texture of these reminded me of puffed rice cakes. They were coated in a sticky sweet honey sauce and dried coconut. These were very sweet and there was a bit too much honey on these for most of us.
The breaded shrimp with deep fried tofu balls were coated in a light crispy breading. The top half of the ball was filled with a shrimp mixture similar to what you would find in any shrimp dumpling, and the bottom half had a lump of tofu. A savoury sauce also came alongside these to drizzle on them.
The shrimp mousse with deep fried eggplant was a dim sum item that I’ve never had before. Sometimes I find that eggplant has a displeasing mushy texture, but I enjoyed these because they still had some firmness. The airy sweet shrimp mouse was a nice contrast to the thick texture and earthy flavour of the eggplant.
The mini egg tarts were warm and the custard was thick and creamy. The tart shell was more dense and not as flakey as others I’ve had, nevertheless, I still enjoyed these.
One of the most impressive dishes of the night was the crab with special house sauce and noodles. The crab legs were large and they had lots of meat on them. The legs were hard to eat though because they were coated in so much thick sauce so cracking them open and fishing out the meat was a messy experience.
I loved the sauce that coated the crab because it had a good balance of sweet and tangy flavour. The noodles underneath were perfect for soaking up all of the delicious sauce.
The steamed shrimp dumplings were pretty comparable to most other steamed shrimp dumplings. The dumpling skin wasn’t too thick or sticky, but mine did fall apart on me. The inside shrimp filling had a bouncy texture.
The deep fried green tea sticky rice balls with black sesame paste were another item I really enjoyed. The black sesame filling had a very subtle hint of sweet flavour, but you also got hints of sesame. I liked the crisp texture of the rice balls, however, I didn’t notice any green tea taste.
The steamed tofu and egg white with diced seafood and meat wasn’t my favourite dish. I prefer tofu that has a firmer texture, so I didn’t like the almost liquidy texture of this tofu and egg whites, but that is just a personal preference. The mixture on top of it was good though and it has a nice variety of meats and veggies.
The stir fried beef with steamed buns was a good dish and something that everyone will probably enjoy. The slices of beef were very tender and they were mixed up with chunks of peppers and onions that had a nice smokey flavour from the wok. Everything was tossed in a light soy based sauce. I wasn’t able to try one of the buns but other people at the table enjoyed them.
The deep fried sole fillet came with large chunks of fish coated in batter and tossed in a spicy salt. The batter was thick, but still crispy. The pieces were tasty, but very salty and heavy on your stomach.
The one veggie dish of the night was the dried garlic and enoki mushrooms with pea tips. I don’t normally rave about vegetables, but I was impressed by this dish.
At first glance I thought this was spinach, but after eating the first bite I tasted the distinct flavour of peas. The pea tips had a nice crunch to them and a surprising amount of flavour for a leafy green. The leaves soaked up all the moisture from the broth they were in and they were some of the tastiest vegetables I’ve had in a while.
The deep fried duck wrapped in taro was an interesting dish. I was confused as to how the duck came into play until I realized that the end piece I took didn’t have any duck in it. I didn’t get to try a piece with the duck, but the outside was covered in a flakey pastry and the inside taro filling had a thick pasty texture.
The honey garlic spare ribs had a decent amount of meat on them. I’ve had spare ribs before where they are practically all bone so these were nice. They were covered in a yummy sticky and sweet honey garlic sauce. The plate was surrounded with deep fried shrimp balls that had a light airy texture.
A cold tofu pudding came out as one of the desserts. The tofu pudding had a thick bouncy texture, but it didn’t have much flavour. It came with a sweet sugary sauce that you poured over it that had a strong taste of ginger. This would be a good dessert for someone who doesn’t like overly sweet desserts.
The baked tapioca pudding was my favourite dessert of the night. I’ve never had it before, but I love anything with tapioca so I really enjoyed this. The pudding had a thick custard like texture and taste and it was filled with small chewy tapioca pearls. The middle of the pudding also had a thin layer of red bean paste.
I had a great evening at my first ChineseBites dinner eating with my fellow food bloggers. Some of the items at the dinner were better than others, but the meal as a whole was solid and I left completely satisfied. All of the portions were large and if I lived in the neighbourhood I would return here.
Disclosure: I did not pay for my meal.
Yes, for Chinese food in Kerrisdale.