Sherman's Food Adventures: Neptune Wonton Noodle

Neptune Wonton Noodle

If you haven't noticed, Neptune Wonton Noodle has been expanding like there is no tomorrow in the past few years.  From it's single location in Richmond along #3 Road, they now have spots at Central City in Surrey, McArthur Glen, the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam and now at Station Square in Burnaby.  For me personally, there are better choices for Dim Sum, Cantonese cuisine and wonton noodles (& congee), but I'm not really all that sure why they get hammered online.  The food is more than serviceable and there has been a reasonable level of consistency across the chain.

We decided to check out their newest location at Station Square for Dim Sum (even though it is their wonton noodle outlet, usually it is only served at Neptune Seafood Restaurant).  Despite ordering a several dishes from their limited Dim Sum menu, we went ahead and got their specialty - BBQ Pork & Duck Noodles and Wonton Soup.  Unfortunately, they gave us the wing for the BBQ Duck (quite a common occurrence), so the meat was rather dry.  The skin was crispy with an appealing hue.  We found the BBQ pork rather lean, but flavourful nonetheless.  The noodles were fairly al dente, but the soup was too mild.  As for the wontons, they were medium-sized and full of shrimp and pork mousse.  They were bouncy and sweet with a nice background hit of sesame oil and white pepper.  However, the wonton skin was a bit too thick.

Onto the Dim Sum items, we had the usual with the Ha Gau (Shrimp Dumplings) and Siu Mai (Pork & Shrimp Dumplings).  Thick and somewhat floury, the dumpling skin appeared to be over-steam for the ha gau.  On the other hand, the filling was on point with large chunks of sweet and buttery shrimp that had a firm snap.  These were binded with a shrimp and pork fat mousse that was light and airy.  Similar to the wontons, there was a nice sesame oil and white pepper hit.  I actually found the siu mai better as they were the perfect texture with some meatiness from the chunks of pork, but the entire dumpling was bouncy thanks to the processed pork binding mousse.  There was also a good amount of shiitake mushrooms and chunks of shrimp.

Normally, when we order Lo Mei Gai (Sticky Rice wrapped in lotus leaves), we get either a really large one or 3 minis.  However, these were like supersized minis where 2 could be considered the size of a large.  Inside, there was a decent ratio of ground pork, cured sausage and salted egg yolk to gluntinous rice.  I found the rice to be a touch on the harder side, but that didn't make or break the dish.  On the same note, usually we would find 3 BBQ Pork Buns to an order.  But they gave us 4 in the bamboo steamer.  A good value in my books.  However, the bun was a bit too dense for our liking.  Fortunately, there was enough lean pork filling to balance it out.  It was rather sweet though and needed more savoury elements.

Looking rather pale, the Steamed Black Bean Pork Spareribs were on point texturally.  They were meaty with a chewy rebound, but still tender to eat.  There was a lack of seasoning though as I could really taste the porkiness.  Usually that is not a bad thing (natural flavours), yet it was a bit too strong.  Most ribs were meaty, with only one or 2 cartilage and fatty pieces.  In a bright shade of reddish-brown, the Phoenix Talons (Chicken Feet) were quite good.  They were plump and tender with softened cartilage and fat underneath.  There was still a bite though as nothing was melted and/or melting.  There was plenty of garlickiness and seasoning to boot.

Depending on your personal tastes, the Beef Meatballs were either great or too soft.  I'm on the fence about them because I like a firmer and denser meatball.  These were super processed where they were airy and buttery with only a light rebound.  My mom liked the texture while Viv hated it.  Whatever the case, they were not bad and had a balanced amount of green onion.  Next up was a kiddie favourite in the Shrimp Spring Rolls.  One bite and it was apparent that they put more than a few cloves of garlic into these.  That was a good thing as there was plenty of impact in addition to the on point texture of the shrimp.  The outside wrapper was a bit dense though, yet ultimately crispy.

For dessert, we ordered the Steamed Sponge Cake which was a little too dense compared to the regular square-cut version.  However, it wasn't too sweet, which was welcomed in our books since it was a good way to finish the meal.  On average, the food was not bad with some highlights.  Of course there was some minor issues, but considering its location (with plenty of parking in and around), Neptune Wonton Noodle does the job for a quick meal, Dim Sum and late night.

The Good:
- Decent eats
- Open late
- Varied menu

The Bad:
- Can get pricey
- Some minor issues

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