Sherman's Food Adventures: Dim Sum @ Floata

Dim Sum @ Floata

Why oh why do I punish myself over and over again??? I always say to myself I'll never eat at Floata again. I guess it was convenient for us today. We had just visited the Aquarium early in the morning and it was raining. In addition to the validated covered parking, Dim Sum was only $2.75 per dish if you order before 11:00am. Some of you might wonder why I never mention Floata in the same breath as Sun Sui Wah, Red Star, Victoria, Kirin, Spicy Court, Fortune House, Fisherman's Terrace, Sea Harbour and Imperial. There is a simple reason for this... Floata is a wannabe upscale Chinese restaurant. It looks the part, with its massive 100 table dining room and well dressed staff. However, the food and the service are absolutely sub-par for an upscale Chinese restaurant.

Time and time again, I'm always frustrated at the service, or lack of, at Floata. I can remember one time we had ordered a rice and we had waited 45 minutes for it. We complained to a manager and he mouths off to another manager that we were complaining about our rice. Uh... we're right here! We can HEAR you! What the #$(#(#$&??? Every time I keep thinking that it's an isolated incident. But, it's much of the same every time.

Anyways, today we met up with my father-in-law for Dim Sum and I feverishly ordered everything to take advantage of the $2.75 price (I arrived at 10:30am). We ordered the following: Beef Rice Roll, Beef Tripe, Black Bean Spareribs, Chicken Feet, Preserved Egg & Salted Pork Congee, Shrimp Dumpling, Sui Mai, Shrimp Spring Rolls and Chicken Rice. The rice roll was not that great. The noodle was a bit stiff and the filling was just as hard. Not the fluffy soft rice roll that other places serve. The tripe was downright terrible. My father-in-law hated it and he used to run a large Chinese restaurant in town before. So his opinion is backed by knowledge and experience. The tripe was terribly overcooked, it was mushy and practically had no texture left. The sauce was both too salty and too sweet at the same time. Mercifully, the spareribs were pretty good. They were meaty and had lots of flavour.

Unfortunately, the chicken feet were not good. They were overcooked, with the skin separating from the bone. It was also too salty. The congee was alright, but there was nothing in it! Yes, we did order the preserved egg and salted pork congee, but it looked more like plain congee with some fried donut on top. Okay, here's the litmus test, the Haw Gow or shrimp dumpling. If a restaurant messes up this dish, they'd better just give up altogether. Well, the haw gow wasn't bad; yet it wasn't good either. The skin was too thick and the shrimp was in too many small pieces. I know our Dim Sum was at a discounted rate; however, when you only give us 3 instead of 4, doesn't that defeat the purpose of a discount? It's like saying you get 25% off these set of tires. But you will only get 3 for that price. Thank goodness the Sui Mai was good. It was full of whole shrimp mixed with tender pork. But again, it was salty. The shrimp spring rolls were okay as well. They were crunchy, but there was not a whole lot of shrimp in them. Moreover, it was quite oily inside, despite not being oily on the outside. What I said about the haw gow applies to the chicken rice as well. We actually ordered ours after the 11:00am cutoff, so we got the "bigger" size. Again, what's the point of a discount when you get less? I can't seem to figure that out. Well, the "bigger" rice was definitely not better! The rice was very mushy, something in between how rice should be and congee. It was perfect for a baby; but I'm not a baby (well, Viv thinks otherwise...). At least there were big pieces of tender chicken.

So the food is mediocre, you would think the service would make up for it. Wrong, as I mentioned before, the service is not even close to being where it should be. Today, it was actually quite pleasant, we didn't get ridiculed, yelled at or given dirty looks. However, it is very hard to flag someone down. Everyone seems to be busy doing something other than helping you. Our empty Dim Sum steamers were stacked on the table and they remained there even as we left. I've had dinner here many times in the past and it's nothing special. Service is actually a bit better during dinner because you'll probably be one of the few tables that are there. One thing that lingered after we left wasn't the disappointment; rather it was the fact we were very thirsty. The Dim Sum was just too salty (MSG anyone?). At least that provided me with an excuse to get a refreshment (you can read about it later).

The Good:
- Validated covered parking
- Lots of tables (100), good for big parties or banquets
- Good selection of Dim Sum

The Bad:
- Food is mediocre
- Service is lacking
- Restaurant needs a cleaning

Floata Seafood Restaurant
#400 - 180 Keefer Street
Vancouver, B.C.

Business Hours:
7:30am - 10:00pm (7 days a week)

Floata Seafood on Urbanspoon


Mel @ said...

Yay fellow Vancouverite!
*sigh* Flota. I get dragged there by my friends because it's close to downtown (where they live). Do you know any options IN d/t that'd decent apart from Kirin? (Shanghai bistro or whatever is boo too). I look forward to following your blog!

Sherman said...

Hi Mel!

Thanks for reading! If you are thinking about Dim Sum in DT, then it's gotta be Imperial on Burrard near Hastings. Victoria is good too in Royal Centre. They're both a bit pricey though.

Jonnek said...

Hi Sherman, just to let you know your blog is the top blog read in Richmond today April 13th,

Sherman said...

Thanks Jonnek!

koji said...

hahahhaa.....service sucks at floata....once i asked the waiter to refill my teapot with hot water....i watched him take my pot, walk to the back, put on his jacket and leave his shift.....bye bye tea.

Sherman said...

Yes Koji,

That's exactly how it goes at Floata, they'll never learn...