*Restaurant is now Golden Lake*
Alright, why do the kids have to wake up so freakin' early on a Sunday? In my half daze while lying in bed; I heard the door open and instantly I knew that it was time to get up. Who needs alarm clocks when you got kids? They don't make snooze buttons on kids. Still trying to recover from an early morning as a result of hockey and eating on Saturday, the last thing I wanted to do was give up my warm cozy bed. Since we were up anyways, I figured it would be a good idea to go for Dim Sum. At 9:00am, there are usually plenty of parking spaces and no lineups. I'm not even sure when was the last time I had Dim Sum that early! Not feeling quite that chipper, we decided to go to a nearby place. Sometimes, these small Chinese restaurants serve some pretty solid Dim Sum on the cheap. Of course, one of the main differences between these places and the big guys is decor, service, ingredient quality and care put into the preparation of the food. If you can overlook some of the compromises, Dim Sum can be an inexpensive meal.
We hadn't been to Fortune Court for about 2 years and I suppose it was about time we checked it out again. Since we were there so early, we snagged a parking spot right in front and got a table right away. Apparently, they don't feel the need to have much staff present this early. At one point, there were only 2 servers for the whole restaurant. Don't you love smaller Asian restaurants? As long as there is at least one person, that can be considered "service". You get what you pay for... Believe it or not, Fortune Court still employs the classic Dim Sum push cart. It's both a treat and frustrating at the same time. On one hand, you can take a look at the food before you order it. On the other, it always seems like by the time the cart gets to you, all the Haw Gow are gone! Oh, on that note, look at the picture! The Haw Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) are massive. The dumpling skin was a bit thick and chewy for my liking; however, the delicately seasoned shrimp had good colour and were crunchy. The same could be said about the Scallop and Shrimp Dumpling; but the scallop was a bit on the fishy side. Obviously they were frozen scallops and the fishiness overwhelmed the rest of the dumpling.
We ended up getting both Shrimp and Beef Rice Noodle Rolls. The kiddies love this stuff and predictably, they ate quite a lot of it. The rice noodle itself was a bit on the thick side; but it was not chewy. There was plenty of shrimp and beef in their respective rolls. The Dim Sum cart lady talked us into trying the Fish Sui Mai and it was a mistake. Rather than the usual seasoned pork and shrimp, the Sui Mai was consisted of pureed dace. Texture-wise, it resembled fish mousse and flavour-wise, it was fishy. Not something I would necessarily order again. We got a "safe" dish to counteract it in the form of Black Bean Spareribs. There was a good amount of tender meat on the bones; but it resided on a big pool of oil. Not the most appetizing visual. I can only imagine how much fat the pieces of pumpkin soaked up underneath the spare ribs.
For curiosity sake, I decided to give the Soup Dumpling a go, even though I fully expected it to suck. Why? Well, usually the smaller Chinese restaurants don't put really good ingredients into the dumpling; thus it ends up to be ground pork in chicken broth. However, to my surprise, the dumpling was mostly comprised of shrimp and dried scallops. Moreover, there were 2 large shrimp and 2 scallops hiding in the broth. The broth itself was quite light and not salty at all. I gotta admit it was pretty decent. Only thing that I didn't like was once again the scallops. They were fishy. The final dish of the meal was the Shrimp Spring Rolls. Yes, usually this should be the first dish; but I guess they didn't fry them up until the restaurant got a little busier. These looked and tasted pretty good. They were crispy, not too oily and full of shrimp. Funny thing, my son only eats the crispy roll wrapper and my daughter prefers the shrimp. I guess it all worked out in the end.
For a smaller Chinese restaurant, I must admit the Dim Sum is pretty decent. They did not skimp on the ingredients or the portion sizes. Except for the fish sui mai, most of the dishes were more than acceptable. Of course, good service is not something one would expect at this type of restaurant; but they were doing their best under the circumstances. They weren't rude or anything. Table arrangements are a bit tight, due to the odd shape of the restaurant. But, for the price, compromises must be made.
- Dim Sum is decent
- Good portions
- Not enough servers
- Tight seating
- Tight parking lot