Sherman's Food Adventures: Grand Seasons

Grand Seasons

Good Cantonese food in the Burquitlam area is not really a thing.  Now if one was looking for Korean food, then North Road is the place to be.  Sure, there is Yan's Garden, but if you don't mind prototypical crappy Chinese restaurant service, be my guest.  The same could be said for North Garden as well.  So that means one would be out of options...  until Grand Seasons opened late last year.  I managed to visit it for da laang (or late night eats) and it was pretty darn good.  Also, the service didn't  turn me off either.  So we ended up returning twice for dinner not too long ago.

For our frist visit, the first of two courses of Peking Duck arrived first.  In a golden and deep red hue, the duck skin was crispy and fairly light.  The layer of fat was medium thickness where we had to remove it since it was fatty.  However, it was still good and the crepes had a nice elasticity to them while being soft.  Right after, we were served the 2nd course being the Duck Lettuce Wrap.  This was the beneficiary of enough wok heat where the veggies stayed crunchy while the dish was nicely caramelized.  There was a plethora of duck, but the dish was a bit salty.  We loved how the lettuce was trimmed properly and not dripping of water.

Since we had duck, why not have a half Crispy Chicken as well right?  I would say the meat wasn't exactly succulent, but hardly dry either.  It was somewhere in between while the skin was completely rendered and crispy.  The chicken was aggressively brined where the meat was on the saltier side.  Probably the best dish of the meal was the Peking Pork Chops where the smell of black vinegar ensured that there would be enough tartness.  That there was and it was completely balanced by a proper amount of sweetness.  As for the pork chops, they were large and generally succulent.  There were a few pieces which were more lean and hence were chewier.

As part of the deal, our last dish was the Lobster in cream sauce with noodles.  This was prepared properly featuring bouncy and sweet lobster.  The cream sauce was silky and well-seasoned without being salty nor too sweet.  Underneath, the noodles (for an extra $5.00) were a bit on the softer side, but well-portioned.  We returned a week later to have the exact same meal with the lobster, but added 2 different dishes.  The best of the bunch was the Sweet & Sour Pork.  It was bathed in a balanced sauce that was impactfully tangy and just sweet enough.  The pork nuggets were on the smaller side, but still relatively moist and tender.  I found the batter to be firmly crunchy and stayed as such even with all of the sauce.

Of our 2nd dish, we had the Deep Fried Fish with cream of corn sauce.  We got the sauce on the side since we like to keep the fish crispy.  That it was with a well-seasoned batter.  We found the ample amount of fish to be flaky and moist.  As for the sauce, it was pretty typical since it comes out of a can, but at the very least, it was not watered down and consisted of enough corn and egg for visuals and nice mouth feel.  We had 2 more items including the Gai Lan with Beef.  This was the beneficiary of good wok heat where there was barely any residual moisture on the plate.  The gai lan were vibrant and crunchy while the beef was on the meatier side (very little tenderizer) while still tender.  Some pieces were rather salty though.

Our last dish was the XO Seafood Vermicelli Hot Pot which was a large portion but ultimately featured much more vermicelli than seafood.  The noodles were on point though and there wasn't any liquid in the hot pot to soften the chewy texture.  There was a light spice due to the XO but I would've liked to see more of it.  As for the seafood, it was in little bits and was not impactful at all.   Now this dish was a bit of an anomaly because most of the food I've tried here (including late night) are quite good.  Add in the reasonable-pricing and the fact the service is actually acceptable, we have a winner.

The Good:
- Reasonably-priced
- Above-average eats
- Decent service

The Bad:
- The place is super busy and the servers are easily overwhelmed
- If you don't make a rez for dinner, good luck


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