Sherman's Food Adventures: Royal Seafood Restaurant

Royal Seafood Restaurant

As hard as I have tried, I haven't visited all of the restaurants that serve Dim Sum in Richmond.  Naturally, it is extra difficult when some of them change hands over and over again.  That would've been the case with my recent visit to Sea Fortune.  That location never seems to hold a restaurant for very long.  Well with Sea Fortune out-of-the-way, it appears I'm getting closer in trying every Dim Sum joint out in Richmond.  There is another that is tucked away on the second floor in a plaza on the corner of Blundell an Garden City Way.  Yes, we made our way to Royal Seafood Restaurant to further my mission (is it impossible?).

So, not only was there a 20% off discount if you dine before 11:00am, but the Sparerib & Chicken Feet Rice was only $6.95.  At times, the rice can be mushy and lacking in nuttiness, but this one was quite good.  Chewy and aromatic, the rice was on point while soaking up the garlicky juices of the spareribs.  About those ribs, they were meaty with a tender chew.  Lots of flavour including some spice.  Normally, we do not order a plate of noodles for Dim Sum, but with Cee Cee in attendance, we had to get the Singapore Fried Noodles (her fav).  This was prepared pretty well with chewy noodles that were not clumpy nor too dry.  There was enough curry and seasoning for impact and while it wasn't apparent in the picture, there was a good amount of buttery shrimp and BBQ pork.

Of course we got the usual suspects in the Ha Gau (Shrimp Dumplings) and Siu Mai (Pork and Shrimp Dumplings).  Medium-sized with medium-thick dumpling skin, the ha gau were pretty good.  Let's start with the positives first.  I found the skin to have a good elasticity and it wasn't overly sticky.  The filling was moist being a mix of whole pieces of crunchy shrimp and bouncy mousse.  However, the one caveat was that the flavour was a touch fishy.  As for the siu mai, they were rather pale and consisted mostly of pork.  Texturally, the pork was mousse-like being bouncy yet lacking in natural meatiness.  I would've liked to see some shiitake mushrooms for some variance in taste because the dumplings were pretty one-note.

Rather then going with shrimp, we decided on the Beef Rice Noodle Roll.  By visuals alone, I appreciated the uniform and careful construction of the rolls.  I also liked how they put enough beef in the middle.  Therefore, the rolls were hearty and balanced in terms of ratio between noodle and filling.  I found the noodle to have a good elasticity while the beef was tender with a firm bounce.  It wasn't particularly flavourful, but the sweet soy did the job.  On a similar theme, we were served the Beef Meatballs next.  They were on the firmer side, but were still tender and had the classic rebound.  Again, they weren't aggressively seasoned.  There was a balanced amount of green onion.

For myself, I got the requisite Beef Tripe and Tendon.  When it hit the table, it didn't look like much and in fact, after digging around, there wasn't much at all.  In terms of execution, it was acceptable.  I found the tripe to be slightly gamy and a bit too soft.  The tendon was outright too soft in my opinion.  Tastewise, I thought the dish was too sweet and lacked the usual garlickiness.  This was a miss for me.  Looking a little over-fried, the Shrimp Spring Rolls were indeed a tad overcooked.  However, the outside was still crunchy and not overly greasy.  The shrimp filling was a touch rubbery, but not entirely without snap.  It was well-seasoned and tasted better than the shrimp in the ha gau.

Rather than going for the usual steamed version, we went for the Baked BBQ Pork Buns this time around.  This was a good call as these were on point.  Light and airy with a crispy exterior, the buns were very easy to eat.  The sweet glaze on the outside was sticky and went well with the savoury BBQ pork filling.  I liked how the meat was mostly lean pieces.  Our last dish was the XO Daikon Pudding Cake.  Pieces ranged from crispy to soggy, yet the overall texture was silky and soft.  I found the flavours to be rather mild and not spicy enough.  There was the usual brininess from the dried shrimp though.  I liked how the dish wasn't soaked with grease.  Compared to other Dim Sum spots in Richmond, Royal lags a bit behind since the competition and expectations are high.  It wasn't as if the Dim Sum wasn't any good, there is just too many other places to dine at nearby.

The Good:
- Decent service
- Nice dining space
- Dim sum was actually okay

The Bad:
- Okay Dim Sum actually doesn't cut it in Richmond


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