As if dining at Mayflower for Dim Sum wasn't enough for one day, we returned for dinner only a mere 5 hours later. I think my uncle likes the place... it's just a hunch... I guess we should've just pitched a tent outside so we didn't have to leave. Um... No, not really, it was too hot anyways. The real reason behind returning was that it would be central to all of the people making it out for dinner. I guess my family does love me as they all showed up! Maybe a trip to Bay Area every 1.8 years isn't enough!
Anyways, we ended up with an interesting array of dishes beginning with the Appetizer Platter consisting of mini-octopus, BBQ pork, jellyfish and sliced beef shank. The octopus was sweet with a light snap while the jellyfish was overly sweet, yet exhibited a nice crunch. Also sweet, the BBQ pork was lean and tender. As for the beef shank, it was soft with a herbal liquorice taste (probably from the star anise and five spice). Served in a whole wintermelon, the Wintermelon Soup consisted of crab, BBQ duck, shiitake, Virginia ham and gai lan stalks. The broth was sweet with an Earthy shiitake essence. The star of the show was the large whole leg pieces of fluffy crab.
Moving on, we had the Stir-Fried Snap Peas with clams and scallops. As evidenced by the glossy sheen, this was a bit greasy albeit the beneficiary of a scorching wok toss. Although the clams were sweet and tender with a slight chew, the scallops were completely overdone. The sweetness of the crunchy snap peas was balanced off by the spicy and savory black bean sauce. Up next was an interesting dish being the Wasabi Beef with silken tofu. I gotta admit this was a weird concoction where the hit of wasabi was definitely discernible. Although the beef was tender, the wasabi and the red onion didn't do it for me.
Trying to fulfill the main meat groups, we continued on with the Crispy Chicken with fried garlic. With a rich golden hue, the skin was nicely rendered and crispy. The fried garlic was aromatic while not bitter. However, all these positives were outweighed by the completely dry, overcooked meat (including the dark meat). Next, we had the Steamed Whole Fish, which could've been perch. I say this because no one told me what it was! Anyways, it was steamed just right being flaky and buttery soft. There was just enough ginger and onion for the aroma without overwhelming the fish.
I've had salted egg yolk crusted crab before where I was only mildly impressed. But the Golden Lobster coated with the aforementioned salted egg yolk was executed nicely. There was just enough that we knew it was there without overwhelming the sweet lobster meat (which was a little overdone though). Best of all, the fried pumpkin underneath was coated with the same egg yolk and it was addictively good. Finally with a veggie dish, we had the Gai Lan with bean curd sheets and wolfberries. The gai lan was vibrantly green and crunchy which was a nice contrast to the soft and chewy bean curd sheets. Despite the abundance of liquid on the plate, there was sufficient seasoning.
We ended off the meal with Fried Rice with dried scallops, gai lan stalks and egg whites before moving onto dessert. I found the rice to be a bit too moist where it didn't have that trademark nuttiness. Furthermore, it needed more oil and seasoning as it was pretty bland. For our first round of desserts, we were presented with the Sweet Red Bean Soup, Cookies and Steamed Tapioca Red Bean Cakes. Since I deteste red bean soup, I didn't have any, but I did try the other 2 and I liked the red bean cakes as they were soft and only semi-sweet. I didn't like the cookies though as they were crumbly and dry. Lastly, we had the Baked Tapioca Pudding Dessert filled with sweet lotus paste. This was pretty average as it wasn't served all-that-hot temperature-wise. It was on the sweeter side where it wasn't moist enough. As you can probably guess, the food was okay with only a few highlights. Nothing to write home about, but did the job more-or-less.
- Okay service, better than Dim Sum
- Good portion size
- "Okay" eats
- Some execution issues