Had to drive the folks to the airport this morning, they were headed off to Hong Kong again. They had just gone during Christmas, but they were stuck in that snow delay. They waited on the plane for over 10 hours!!! Air Canada, knowing that they peeved a lot of customers off, decided to hand out discount vouchers. Therefore, my parents decided to take up Air Canada's offer and this time, thankfully there wasn't any snow. Since we were out anyways, we had arranged to have Dim Sum with Costanza at Prince.
Prince is fairly new, but the actual location has been many different restaurants in the past. Each one has failed somehow, not sure if this location is jinxed or something. However, Prince seems to be doing quite well and maybe it will be the restaurant that will break the hex. I've been to Prince before and the food quality is pretty good. The place is very busy during Dim Sum, you have to show up when it opens at 10:30 to avoid being in a long lineup. Arriving early also guarantees you a parking space. There are very few spaces available for Prince, most of the other spaces are reserved for Tom's Video and Bentei Sushi. However, there are some more spaces behind the restaurant as well.
There are no push carts at Prince, you use a checklist to order your Dim Sum. It's quite obvious why they don't, the restaurant is too small and tight for carts to get through. So we ordered a bunch of food off the list: Haw Gow (steamed shrimp dumpling), Sui Mai (pork and shrimp dumpling), Spareribs, Fried Eggplant with Shrimp, Shrimp Spring Rolls, Bible Tripe, Pea Shoots, BBQ Pork Buns, Taro Pudding, BBQ Pork Puff Pastry, Cheun Fun (rice noodle roll) , Dan Tat (egg tart) and BBQ Duck Noodles.
The Haw Gow were pretty good, I've had better, but for the price they were decent. I guess the shrimp inside were not large enough for my liking. The Sui Mai were good, the pork retained its texture (not overdoing it with the baking soda) and the shrimp were crunchy. The spareribs were very good, the meat still retaining its chewiness, yet still being tender. I liked the addition of peppers on top, it added to the overall flavour of the dish. The fried eggplant was outstanding. I've had this dish at many places before; but this is probably the best I've had. There were 4 large pieces of eggplant with a generous amount of shrimp stuffed into one end. It was fried perfectly with the eggplant being soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The black bean sauce was not overly salty either. The spring rolls were filled entirely of shrimp and were not oily at all. I liked them, but on a side note, what ever happened to the old school spring rolls? What I mean is the spring rolls filled with pork and/or vegetables? Not many places have regular spring rolls anymore...
The bible tripe was executed perfectly, it was soft and chewy at the same time. The Char Sui Bao (BBQ pork bun) was bursting with BBQ pork and the bun itself was fluffy. The steamed taro pudding tasted great with plenty of dried scallops, preserved Chinese sausage and meat on top. However, the pudding itself was a bit stiff. The stir fried pea shoots were fresh and cooked just enough, so that it retained its texture. There was also a large amount of large dried shrimp that gave the dish another flavour component. The BBQ pork pastries were large and full of BBQ pork while the pastry was light and flaky. The beef cheun fun was soft and it was stuffed with plenty of beef. There wasn't an overabundance of scallions; thus you could still taste the flavour of the beef. The egg tarts were flaky just like the BBQ pork pastries, and the egg filling was not too sweet.
Finally, the last dish was the BBQ duck noodles. It didn't arrive until 1.5 hours after we had ordered it. We were concerned that the kitchen had never received our order when we received all of our food and it still didn't show up. So I asked a manager to check on it... Another half hour passes. So I asked one of the servers to check up on it... Another half hour passes. Finally, we spoke to another manager and mercifully it comes out. To add insult to injury, we get it 1.5 hours late and we get the duck wing! The worst piece of duck to get is the wing, because it's usually lacking in meat and it's the driest portion of the BBQ duck. During all this time, we never received an apology of any kind. Again, some of you might just say, "Sherman, it's a Chinese restaurant, what did you expect?" Well, I'm sorry. I pay money to eat and if I get service like that, I don't care what type of food I'm eating. I think there needs to be a minimum level of service. I will admit that the food at Prince is pretty good, especially for the price. But if the service is lacking, then I cannot understand why I would want to pay for disappointment.
- Dim Sum is very good
- Dinner is good too
- Good value
- Service needs to improve
- Parking is limited
- Dining room is tight
Prince Chinese Seafood
2881 Grandview Hwy