Sherman's Food Adventures: Floata

Floata

Oh lookie here, I've actually gotten a chance to do a re-visit at Floata after all these years.  It wasn't as if I was anxiously planning this because this has to be one of the lowest on the priority list.  Why is that you ask?  Well, let's just say my previous experiences have been atrocious.  From the rude service to the mediocre food, I often wonder how such an expansive restaurant can still be business.  However, Viv and I were in the area and it was darn early.  Try 8:30am early.  Yep, we went for super early Dim Sum at Floata (20% off yay!) where we got 1.5 hours of free parking.  At least that was a good start.

It was either due to the fact the place was empty (except for the usual Chinese seniors) or there must've been an attitude adjustment because the service was downright friendly.  But how about the food?  Well, the first 2 dishes were actually more than respectable.  The Sparerib Rice was not lacking in tender and bouncy pieces of meaty pork.  There was only one piece that was cartilage.  It was mildly seasoned with lots of garlic.  Underneath, the rice was a bit wet though, but hardly a problem.  Unlike the crappy XO Daikon Radish Cake we had at Ming Yan, this one was actually fluffy and soft.  However, it wasn't crispy enough on the outside.  I really enjoyed the big dollop of XO sauce on top which made the whole thing more flavourful and aromatic.  The crunchy and not-overcooked bean sprouts were a plus too.

For our usual Rice Noodle Roll, we got shrimp since it has been ingrained into us that we must order the seafood over beef and BBQ pork.  Yes, the Chinese way, get the item that is worth more at the same price!  It turned out to be pretty good with soft layers of rice noodle that retained an mild elasticity.  Nestled within the sheets of noodle, we found medium-sized shrimp that were buttery with a snap.  They were well-seasoned as well where we only needed a bit of sweetened soy.  One of the best items of the meal was the Steamed Honeycomb Tripe.  It ate as good as it looked with large pieces of tripe that were properly rinsed so that the gamy flavour was kept to a minimum.  Furthermore the texture was on point being buttery and appealingly chewy.  Lots of seasoning going on as well as a pronounced garlickiness.

Based on looks alone, I was a bit concerned with the Beef Meatballs.  There was far too much cilantro and often that amount just overpowers the entire dish.  That it did, but it wasn't as bad as it could've been.  Texturally, it was textbook with a moist bounce while still being meaty at the same time.  It wasn't over processed nor over tenderized.  This would've been nearly perfect if they eased up on the greens.  Another so-so item was the Steamed Chicken Buns.  There wasn't anything inherently wrong with the bun itself as it was fluffy and light.  However, the chicken filling was a bit chewy and completely blasted with ginger.  Don't get me wrong, we both love the taste of ginger, but there was no balance here.

Onto the make-it-or-break it dishes, the Ha Gau and Siu Mai were pretty solid.  As much as the dumpling skin on the ha gau was too wet, it did tighten up after a few minutes.  There was a nice chew to the relatively thin skin.  Inside, the whole medium-sized shrimp filling was just right.  There was a buttery moistness to it while the meaty snap was also apparent.  Seasoning was mild though and I would've liked to see more white pepper and sesame oil.  As for the siu mai, they were large and balanced.  There was just the right mix of tender bouncy pork with shrimp and shiitake.  Textures were on point while the seasoning could've been more aggressive. 

Our last dish was the Bean Curd Skin Roll which was "okay".  I though the bean curd skin was a bit too soft where the classic chewiness was missing.  Inside, the pork filling was good though being loose, yet still exhibiting the classic bounciness.  There wasn't the usual goopy watered-down and starch-thickened oyster sauce, so the dish was a bit underseasoned, but nothing a side of Worcestershire sauce couldn't solve.  So there you have it, a fairly surprising Dim Sum service at Floata.  Not only were we not yelled at, the food was more-than-acceptable.  Maybe this was a one-off?  Dunno, but that is why one should go back to some places once in awhile to see if things have changed.

The Good:
- Decent service, shocking
- Decent food, shocking
- Washrooms work now, shocking

The Bad:
- Needs some repairs and renos still, place is looking worn down

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