Sherman's Food Adventures: September 2021

Sabà Cafe and Bistro

It isn't often I venture into Fort Langley, even though it is closer than some of my Abbotsford adventures as of late.  However, Ophilia urged me to head out there to try one of her favs in Sabà Cafe and Bistro adjacent to the actual Fort Langley site.  The place is a bakery/cafe in the daytime and then sectioned off at night to become a bistro.  To further increase capacity, they occupy the courtyard for outdoor seating.  We ended up sitting inside, but when the weather is nice, the courtyard sure seems inviting.

We began the meal with the Jumbo Tiger Shrimp pan-seared in lemon garlic butter with a side of fresh herb aioli.  These shrimp were indeed large (this is an oxymoron right?).  They were perfectly prepared being meaty with a buttery sweet snap.  They were completely seasoned and the acidity came through.  I was expecting the aioli to be heavy, but it ate more like a tzatziki being light and almost bright.

Trying to order one item from each section of the menu, we got the Grilled Caesar Salad featuring a whole romaine heart with house-Caesar dressing, fried capers, parm, crispy germolata and charred lemon.  On the surface, this didn't appear to be anything out-of-the-ordinary, but it was ultimately very good.  Despite the char, the romaine was still crisp.  The creamy dressing was balanced with saltiness and garlickiness. More acidity was provided by the lemon (in addition to the gremolata and capers).

For our pasta course, we chose the Wild Mushroom Gnocchi in a rich and creamy sauce.  First and foremost, the fresh gnocchi were delicate while retaining a chew.  That meant that beyond the almost pillowy softness, it wasn't mushy nor devoid of texture.  As for the sauce, it was a bit heavy, yet still very tasty due to the plethora of wild mushrooms added the classic umaminess.  Seasoning was on point where there was enough without going overboard.

Onto the mains, we had land and sea with the latter being the Halibut with coconut jasmine rice, asparagus, broccolini, lemon caper butter and charred lemon.  Although the plating was quite basic, the overall execution was on point.  I found the halibut to be seared nicely while still being flaky and moist inside.  It was properly seasoned while accented well by the salty acidity of the butter.  Asparagus and broccolini was charred and cooked just enough.

For the land portion, we had the 10oz Prime Striploin with garlic mash and asparagus.  Again, the plating was very rustic in appearance, yet the execution was good.  The steak was medium-rare and tender.  Good char on the outside and properly seasoned as well.  Mash was creamy and garlicky and the once again, the asparagus and broccolini were crisp and bright.  Overall, the meal was good with the proteins properly executed.  A bit of a surprise given that it was way out in Fort Langley.  But it just proves that delicious eats are limited to Vancouver.

The Good:
- Properly executed proteins
- Seasoning on point
- Quaint

The Bad:
- Basic plating  

Restaurant 62

Restaurant 62 has been on my radar for a very long time.  However, just like many places, it got lost in the shuffle and honestly, I'm not out in Abby very often.  Interestingly enough, I've been out there 3 times this past Summer.  We've hit up Brodeur's Bistro and recently Bow & Stern.  This time around, after the Chilliwack Corn Maze, we stopped by Restaurant 62 for lunch.

My daughter decided on trying out one of the daily features which was the Gnocchi with mushrooms cream sauce and arugula.  This was super rich where we could definitely taste the fresh cream.  It was completely accented by the ample amount of mushrooms.  Hence, there was plenty of umaminess.  As for the gnocchi, they were medium-sized with a soft texture but still retained a bite.

For my son, he actually wanted the gnocchi, but I "encouraged" him to order the Fraser Valley Chicken Orecchiette with rosemary, ricotta and mushrooms.  This one was a bit similar but not as creamy while the woodiness of the rosemary really came through.  It wasn't overpowering though and we could also get the mushroom.  This was well-seasoned without being salty.  The pasta itself was al dente and held the sauce well.

Viv went for something more casual in the Cheesesteak with Fries.  This consisted of a toasted roll with sliced beef, peppers and onions.  Due to the nature of the dish, we found it the least appealing, not because it was bad but the others were just so much better.  With that being said, the beef was tender and the roll was soft.  Peppers could've been cooked down a bit more and the whole thing needed a bit more seasoning.  Fries were good.

For myself, I had the BC Halibut with Salt Spring Island mussels, manilla clams and fennel in a bouillabaisse.  This was really good where the broth was fragrant with a definite taste of the sea.  I noticed there was a coconut background finish which was pleasant.  Mussels and clams were cooked perfectly while the halibut was seared crispy.  Inside it was flaky and moist.  So this was a good introduction to one of the best restaurants in Abbotsford.  Still curious about the dinner menu and if I can get myself to head out there again, I will surely give that a go as well.

The Good:
- Well-prepared eats
- Nice dining space
- Overall good service

The Bad:

- On the pricier side especially out in Abby, but it is quality food
- Parking lot is large, but runs out of space fast

Bow & Stern

For the second time within a month and a half, we headed out to Castle Fun Park for some go-karting and mini-golf.  Meeting up with us was Bluebeard and Nikita as well as their kids.  It was fun times and honestly, the games were only delaying what I really wanted to do...  go eat!  So while in Abby, we had to seek out some family-friendly eats that also satisfied the adults while not breaking the bank.  Having gluten-free options was important too. Ultimately, we decided on Bow & Stern in Downtown Abbotsford.

Now I'm not a huge fan of salads, but something about the Seafood Salad intrigued me.  It was a stellar decision as the darn thing was absolutely huge.  There was an overload of flaked halibut, dungeness crab and tiger prawns atop mixed greens dressed in lemon, herb & garlic vinaigrette.  Served on the side was  Marie Antoinette dressing and pickled asparagus.  I kid you not, this would be difficult for one person to finish.  The amount of fluffy crab and halibut was enough for 3 salads honestly.  I would totally order this again.

I didn't only have a salad because I also ordered the Lobster Mac n' Cheese with house-made mornay sauce and fresh herbed focaccia.  On the thinner side, the cheese sauce was still fairly flavourful, yet could've been cheesier and saltier.  There was a decent amount of beautifully cooked lobster meat nestled inside.  The pasta was tender and almost al dente.  Focaccia was soft and was great for soaking up the sauce.

Now my son was deciding between the lobster mac and the Chicken Burger, so I proposed that he split it with me and I would give him some mac.  It was a done deal especially since I had to try it (if you don't know, check out @shermaneatschickensandwiches).  This was a fairly standard burger with a crispy fried chicken breast.  It was a little dry, but still tender.  I found the overall flavour to be a bit plain, but it still ate well with a soft bun.
My daughter went for the Baja Fish Tacos with a side of Boston Clam Chowder.  These tacos were filled to the brim with pico de gallo, guacamole, colesalw and jalapeno.  Great for those who love plenty of condiments, not so good for my daughter.  No harm no foul, she just removed some of it.  The fried piece of fish was crispy and light while flaky inside.  As for the clam chowder, it was rich and creamy with plenty of chunky ingredients.  It could've been brinier, but it wasn't bland either.
Viv ended up with the Fried Oyster Po-Boy with peppers, mixed greens, remoulade, tomato and onion.  Once again, there was probably a bit too many other things in the po'boy that it detracted from the beautifully fried large fresh oysters.  Again, no big deal as we just removed some of the onions and peppers.  This way, we got the full briny sweetness of the oysters as well as the remoulade.  The side of fries were very good being crispy and having all the good qualities of being fresh cut.
Bluebeard went for the Halibut and Chips with house-made tartar and lemon wedge.  This was pretty darn solid with flaky fresh halibut encased in a light crispy batter.  Tartar was bright and creamy while the fries were good as mentioned above.  In the end, we were all satisfied with our meals and probably more so.  Portions were large, food was good and service was up to the task.  Combined with reasonable prices, Bow & Stern is a solid choice for casual eats in Abby.

The Good:
- Large portions
- Generally good food
- Attentive service

The Bad:
- Some things might have been a bit too busy, a few less ingredients would've been better

Kam Tou Seafood Restaurant

After a year and a half of not dining in for Dim Sum, I've been on somewhat of a tear lately.  I guess making up for lost time is not only a cliché, it is really a mantra that many people are living by these days.  What else could explain all the bars in and around Kits fully packed on a Monday night?  We've been needing to wait for table after softball on a Monday night!  Anyways, the latest Dim Sum spot we hit was Kam Tou Seafood Restaurant, located in the Continental Shopping Centre in Richmond.  For those who feel this location is familiar, it is the former spot of Dragon View Chinese.  We ended up making a reservation and thank goodness we did, the place was packed for lunch...  on a Tuesday!

We got the XO Daikon Cake to start and it was exactly how we like it.  Each cube of daikon pudding cake was just the right size where it was fried crispy and golden brown without losing its soft texture while also not being too big (which makes it floppy and soft).  It was tossed in a good amount of XO sauce that added both spice, umaminess and seasoning.  Even though we ignored the dish after some others arrived, it remained crispy.

My daughter really wanted the Seafood Congee and well, she usually gets what she wants...  Not a bad choice really as it was filled with enough fish, squid, scallops and prawns for it to be hearty.  They were all cooked beautifully so that their optimum texture was achieved (ie. crunchy prawns, flaky fish, tender squid and buttery scallops).  The congee was quite silky and had an appealing viscosity but we felt they were a bit heavy-handed with the MSG.

Loved how they numbered their dumplings by 5's rather than 4's so it felt like we were getting more.  In reality, they were smaller, so probably the same amount of ingredients as 4 dumplings.  So the Ha Gau (Shrimp Dumplings) were decent with a medium-thick skin that had some elasticity.  Inside, the shrimp were buttery and had some snap.  I found the seasoning on the sweeter side with hints of natural shrimp sweetness and bamboo shoots.

As for the Truffle Siu Mai, I thought these were also strangely on the sweeter side, but at the same time, they were still good.  Texturally, I got the bounciness of the pork as well as the snap from the shrimp.  We were still able to pick out the pork and shrimp flavours, so that dumpling wasn't overseasoned despite being sweet.  The amount of truffle was balanced where it added woodsiness while not overwhelming.

Numbering 3 and being quite large, the Beef Meatballs had the classic bounce texture from the processed meat.  It was slightly on the denser side, but didn't eat heavy due to the bounciness.  Loved how they didn't overdo it with the cilantro/green onion as some places really load up and we can't really taste the meat anymore.  Despite the processed beef, we could taste the natural flavours.  Underneath, I was delighted to find bean curd skin as it is one of my favourite things to eat.

For me, I had to order the usual offal in the Steamed Tripe and Tendon.  I thought this dish was excellent with large slices of tripe that had been braised long enough for it to be tender, yet retaining a chew as well.  There was actually more tripe than tendon, however, for the pieces underneath, they were soft and maybe just a bit overdone.  However, they didn't melt away, so there was some texture left.  Again, this was rather sweet.

Another solid dish was the Steamed Bean Curd Skin Rolls stuffed with pork and shrimp.  As mentioned, I love the texture of fried bean curd skin. Anyways, I found the soft chewiness of the bean curd skin to be on point where it held everything together and was also soft to chew at the same time.  The filling was juicy and had the requisite bounce texture.  Yes, once again, it was slightly on the sweeter side, but it still tasted great.

One of the least successful dishes was the Phoenix Talons (Chicken Feet) because it was overcooked.  Most, if not all, of the skin on the chicken feet was detached at the base.  Furthermore, the cartilage and tendon underneath was mostly melted away.  Now with that being said, the skin was still tender and well-seasoned by the sauce (which was yes, sweet). So it wasn't all bad, but could've been better with plumpness rather than what we got.

As for the BBQ Pork Buns, it was expected to be sweet, so I am going to say it was on point.  The glaze had rich sweetness while balanced off by a complimentary amount of saltiness.  It also had the proper viscosity.  I found the sliced BBQ Pork to be meaty and lean, but not dry.  The actual steamed bun itself was fairly fluffy and had a good ratio to the amount of meat.

To change this up a bit, we decided on the Crispy Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll over the usual ones we normally have.  It was a great decision as this was excellent.  First of all, the rice noodle was delicate with medium thickness.  It was soft while still exhibiting elasticity.  Inside, the crispy coating was light and consistent.  The ample amount of shrimp was buttery with a sweet snap.  There was a good textural contrast between the 3 ingredients.

Staying with shrimp and fried, we had the Shrimp Spring Rolls with a layer of nori inside.  This was also very good.  It was served hot and crunchy without being greasy.  Inside, the sheet of nori was not chewy at all, which can happen sometimes.  The shrimp filling was as good as the previous dish being well-seasoned and buttery with a snap.

For dessert, we didn't do anything special, but did go with the classic Baked Egg Tarts.  Okay, this was far too sweet.  They could've done with half the amount of sugar.  As for the custard texture, it was good being silky and light.  I found the tart shell to be not as flaky as I expected it to be, but it wasn't bad still.  So this dessert did highlight the main issue with the food - the overuse of sugar.  Now, that didn't mean it wasn't good, but if you prefer things more savoury or have diabetes, you might want to be careful.  With that being said, we enjoyed the Dim Sum and would come back.

The Good:
- Generally well-prepared food
- Service was decent

The Bad:
- Things were on the sweeter side

Harbour Oyster Bar

By virtue of its location, Vancouver is not only known for being the hub of Asian Cuisine (specifically Chinese), but for a great place for seafood.  Fresh seafood can be found on most menus and there are restaurants featuring seafood (Blue Water, Coast, Joe Fortes).  However, most of them are rather expensive and high-end dining.  What if I told you there is a place on the Drive that features seafood but is much more casual and reasonably-priced?  Harbour Oyster Bar is exactly that and they offer happy hour oysters @ $1.50 each from 11:00am - 5:00pm everyday!  We checked them out a few times after Sunday morning hockey at Brit nearby.

So about those Oysters...  They have been featuring Chef's Creek the last while for $1.50/shuck during their happy hour (which is almost all the time except for dinner).  All the condiments are included such as horseradish, mignonette, cocktail sauce, lemon wedge and an array of Tabasco.  Don't let the price fool you because these oysters were creamy and slightly briny with a clean finish.  One of the better deals in town considering the extended HH.

Also on their HH menu is the Steamed Clams in butter, garlic and white wine served with garlic bread for $12.00.  These were prepared perfectly with every clam being open and buttery soft while retaining a bite.  They were briny and sweet while fully flavoured with the broth underneath.  The side of charred garlic bread was the perfect vessel to soak up all of the buttery clam juices. 

Another HH option is the Garlic Prawns in Cajun lemon butter sauce for $12.00.  These were also quite good with buttery prawns that had a sweet snap.  These were tasty on their own, but the ample and sinful butter sauce was flavourful with the acidity of the lemon and accompanying lemon wedge.  Our only suggestion would be a side of the same garlic bread as the clams to soak up the butter.

Out last HH item was the Lobster Poutine, also for $12.00, with jalapeño, corn, cheesy béchamel and cheese.  This was only average as there wasn't a whole lot of lobster to be found.  Fries were crispy and held up well to the sauce and the addition of corn provided pops of sweetness.  Didn't notice the jalapeño much.  I found the sauce to be creamy and mildly flavoured with sweetness.  Could've used more spice.

Onto some bigger items, I tried the Oyster Po'Boy on my initial visit.  This consisted of 3 mini-brioche buns with one fried oyster each dressed in remoulade, slaw, corn and tomatoes.  This was so delicious as the oysters were creamy and briny while sporting a crispy spiced batter.  Brioche was soft and toasted and each one just ate so well.  On the side, the made-to-order Boston Chowda had to be one of the best I've had in town.  Lightly creamy, well-spiced and full of fresh clams and mussels, this featured natural briny and sweet flavours.

Milhouse has been one of most trusted eating companions since the start of this blog and I thought I should actually mention him by name as he ordered the Blackened Cod Sandwich with asian slaw and sambal mayo.  Although the piece of fish was a bit small, it was moist and flaky with a noticeable spice crust on the outside.  The slaw was crunchy while the mayo was only mildly spicy.  Brioche was toasted and held everything together being airy and soft. 

On my other visit, I split my Lobster Prawn Rolls with Tonya (not her real name) so I could get half of her sandwich (more on that later).  These featured the same soft brioche buns as the po'boy.  Inside, there was a good amount of both lobster and prawn which were texturally on point and also dressed just enough.  The side of fries, much like in the other dishes, were crunchy and stayed as such until the end.

Okay, the item I shared with Tonya was the Lobster Grilled Cheese on grilled sourdough.  This was really good with plenty of melted cheese and an equal amount of tender and moist lobster.  The sourdough was buttery and evenly crunchy that offered up the right texture contrasting the cheese and lobster.   So this is pretty clear, but I'll reiterate - the food at Harbour is solid and reasonably priced.  A good place to get your seafood fix in a casual spot with great service to boot.

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Reasonable pricing
- Good service

The Bad:

- Seating is somewhat tight

Fighter Chicken

For what seems like forever, the biggest and only players in the fast food fried chicken scene were Church's and KFC.  Sure, we had a dusting of Brownie's, Lee's and even Juicy Chicken at one point, but nothing compared to the big 2.  The landscape has changed considerably over the last decade where we have seen the addition of Hi-Five and Win-Win.  Yes, there are more single location spots, but I'm not going to name them all right here (because I've blogged about them already).  This post is to concentrate on one of the newest, which is Fighter Chicken, with its 2 locations in Vancouver.  We got some takeout from the Renfrew spot to see what they were all about.

We ended up getting a little of everything including naturally, the Fried Chicken.  Even though you are merely looking at pictures and reading these words, it is pretty obvious the chicken had a crunchy batter.  Just look at it, the flakes of batter that are emanating from the skin.  Beyond that the skin was well-rendered and the meat was both juicy and well-seasoned.  The only thing I can say as a counterpoint is that if you like a little less batter, this chicken isn't for you.

Now for something different, but really much of the same, we had the Fried Chicken Wings.  Same crunchy batter and maybe a little less rendering of the skin on the wings.  Possibly because they needed less cooking time and since the batter was relatively thick, there was less chance it would render completely.  However, the meat was juicy and seasoned just like the big pieces of chicken.

So if one did not want to deal with bones, I can tell you the Crispy Chicken Fillets sported the same batter.  It didn't seem as thick possibly due to the smooth texture of the chicken tenders and lack of skin.  Hence, it didn't eat as crunchy. Despite being white meat, it was still tender and moist. Obviously, not as juicy as the dark meat, but it was still good.

So another option, for those who want bite-sized pieces, the Popcorn Chicken was, as you guessed it, coated with the same flour batter as everything else.  Similar to the fillets, the batter wasn't as thick, so each piece was rather meaty.  Being white meat, these were actually the least moist of the bunch.  Also, they didn't seem as crunchy either.  However, one would dip these into something anyways, so no big deal.

For those who don't want to each chicken altogether (but why did you come to a fried chicken joint???), there is the option of the Crispy Fish Fillet.  If you wondering why everything looks the same, they once again used the same batter.  Not that it was a bad thing though as the fish was crispy and flaky inside.  I quite liked these.  On the other hand, it gets really monotonous with the same batter, same flavour and same visuals.  We couldn't even tell the difference between the chicken fillets and fish fillets until we bit into them. 

So for something different, I predictably also had their Spicy Chicken Burger (because I'm searching for the best chicken sammie in town: @shermaneatschickensandwiches).  I also ordered the regular sandwich, but they forgot it in my order.  Now for the spicy, it had good heat and it was huuuuuge.  Look at the 2 fried chicken thighs!  Very crunchy and still juicy in the middle.  This was good and a great value.  In fact, most of the stuff from Fighter Chicken is more than acceptable and priced well considering the portion size.  But my biggest issue, if it hasn't been obvious by now, is that they need to vary the batter.  Maybe for the fish, use panko?  I know this is not unique to Fighter Chicken only as many fried chicken spots use the same batter.  However, by virtue of the variety offered, they might want to at least consider one or two other options.

The Good:
- Crunchy, moist chicken
- Large portions
- That chicken sandwich

The Bad:
- Everything uses the same batter


Chef's Choice Chinese Cuisine (Dim Sum)

Believe it or not, I actually had the Dim Sum at Chef's Choice way before I went for dinner (2 times).  The reason I did not post on it was simple, my pictures were terrible.  Yes, I'm quite picky about that and even these pictures for this post are so-so.  Whatever the case, this visit for Dim Sum is the 4th time I've eaten at Chef's Choice within a month.  I'm pretty confident that I have a good grasp on the place.  Without further ado, let's get to the food!

To start, we had the Seafood Congee where exactly 3 slices of fish, 2 scallops and 2 prawns hid within the broth.  All were of a good size, fresh and cooked just right.  The fish was flaky and soft, scallops were delicate and the prawns had a sweet snap.  As for the congee itself, it was cooked down enough that it was silky with only tiny morsels of the remnants of rice.  I thought it was seasoned enough that it didn't taste plain without being salty.

Not many places serve the classic Shrimp Toast anymore and we had this the first time, so we weren't going to pass it up this time around.  Unlike other versions, the toast on the bottom was not soaked all the way through with oil. Rather it was not overly greasy while being uniformly crunchy.  The shrimp paste topping was well-portioned and had the requisite bounce texture.  It was well-seasoned and still had natural shrimp flavour.

We normally do not order Sweet & Sour Pork during Dim Sum, but we decided to do it this time around.  It consisted of fried pork belly which was juicy and tender.  There was good mouth feel due to its bouncy texture.  There was enough batter to provide crunch (even with the sauce) while not being too heavy.  I found the sauce to be good, but it needed more tanginess in my opinion.  Also, there seemed to be more sauce than the previous time, which made it a bit too saucy.

One of the bigger dishes we ordered was the Spareribs on Rice Noodles Hot Pot.  Last time, I got the tripe version, but didn't see it on the menu this time.  For something that seems rather defaultish due to the generic nature of rice noodle rolls (the ones with no filling), this was prepared really well.  The noodle rolls were pan-seared and really soft while having good elasticity.  There was a bit too much sauce for my liking but that only added to the softness of the noodles.  Plenty of spareribs on top, but they were marinated too much being soft with not enough chew.

One of the more interesting dishes was the Fried Donut filled with shrimp paste.  The donut itself was crispy and light without being greasy.  It tasted great on its own with enough salt.  However, the shrimp paste filling added not only texture, but some sweetness.  The ample amount of shrimp paste was like the shrimp toast (probably the same stuff) being bouncy and well-seasoned.  My only wish is that this came with some sort of dip because it ate a bit dry.

As always, we got the kids favourite dish in the Shrimp Spring Rolls with nori and cheese.  Well, normally, we don't find cheese in shrimp spring rolls, but rest assured, this was fine.  There was only a small amount of cheese, so it was barely noticeable.  Instead, we could taste more of the nori and of course the shrimp instead of the cheese.  The shrimp was bouncy and well-seasoned while the roll itself was crunchy.

Of course I got my usual offal in the Tripe and Tendon.  Although this isn't an overly complicated dish it is difficult to nail the right texture.  It can be underdone where it is chewy or overdone where it is practically melting.   This dish was bang on with tripe that was in large pieces that were buttery tender but still retaining a bite.  The tendon was soft and gelatin like while not melting away.  Seasoning was on point too being sweet, salty and garlicky with some spice.

So at first glance, it was a bit distressing to see the Phoenix Talons with parts of the skin missing at the end of the chicken feet.  That is usually an indication that it was overdone or overhandled.  Fortunately, it ate a whole lot better than it appeared.  They were large in size and extremely plump.  So that meant the cartilage and fat underneath was in fact, not melted away.  Seasoning was good with it leaning towards sweet with plenty of garlic and a touch of spice.

You won't find gigantic Ha Gau (Shrimp Dumplings) at this place, but you will find carefully crafted ones instead.  The dumpling skin was delicate with elasticity.  Inside, the tender shrimp filling had a buttery snap with only enough seasoning for effect without being overwhelming. Often, we concentrate on the size of the dumplings but really, some of those gigantic ones are not good, consisting of mostly shrimp mousse.  Quality over quantity here folks.

Same could be said about the Siu Mai (Pork & Shrimp Dumplings) as these were also very modest in size.  However, the ingredients spoke for themselves as there was a good ratio of shrimp to pork.  Furthermore, the pork was fatty enough (without being all fat) to have the perfect complimentary texture to the sweet snap of the shrimp.  Hence, the dumpling ate with plenty of bounce and it wasn't dense.  There was a modest amount of seasoning where we could taste the ingredients.

Unlike many places, they do not serve beef meatballs for Dim Sum.  Rather, they do a version of it that resembles a Beef Siu Mai.  Due to the natural texture of beef, these did not eat like siu mai though.  Rather, think of a similar texture to the beef meatballs (processed beef that becomes bouncy) but a bit denser.  I would've preferred them to be a bit more airy, but they weren't overly dense either.  In terms of seasoning, these were very mild and needed the Worcestershire.

Probably the one thing to get here is the large Seafood Soup Dumpling since they do it the traditional way where it is served in its own steamer rather than a bowl.  Hidden inside the massive dumpling was the usual gelatin (that dissolves into soup when steamed), cilantro, pork and seafood.  Unlike the first time we visited the place, they now serve these in individual portions rather than in 2's.  This way, you can get the exact amount you want for the table.  I thought this dumpling was quite good with a thin tender wrapper (that didn't puncture).  Inside, the gelatin was not all melted, but for the portion that was soup, it was sweet and light.  

For our choices for dessert, we didn't stray far from the regular starting with the Baked Egg Tarts.  These were textbook and then some.  The tart shell was flaky, light and buttery (or lardy...).  There was nice colour to it without being overbaked.  In the centre, the egg custard was light, silky and only sweet enough.  I often say that, but the overly sweet ones from Kam Tou reinforced the belief that not all egg tarts are created equal.

We couldn't forget about their fantastic Steamed Brown Sugar Sponge Cake (as we've had it 2 times before).  I love the size of this as it is easily shared by 8 people.  It was fluffy and airy while the sweet rich caramel flavour of the brown sugar emanated through smell and taste.  Overall, the dim sum here at Chef's Choice is solid complete with great service.  I've had it a few times and it has been consistent.  Pricing is on the higher end, but worth it in my opinion.

The Good:
- Quality dim sum
- Great service
- Clean upscale dining space

The Bad:
- A bit more expensive than mainstream dim sum joints
- Parking is free, but since it is extremely tight, don't drive a LX570 into it


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