Sherman's Food Adventures: Prince Seafood Restaurant

Prince Seafood Restaurant

I know that I've blogged about Prince many times in the past, but just like everything in this world, things change.  As such, it is nice to update every now and then.  In this case, the last time I had Dim Sum here was pre-pandemic.  So it has been seemingly years ago I've been here.  Wait, it has been years ago!  We gathered everyone together for this visit including the Mother-in-Law.  Fortunately, Prince is usually pretty busy and the ambient noise tends to drown her out.  

I'm not sure who ordered the Egg Tarts but as expected, they came out first.  Everyone knows that you order it afterwards since the kitchen will send out things that are ready first...  Anyways, dessert before the savoury items, why not?  Well, not a bad start as they sported a flaky shell that was buttery (more like lardy) and nutty.  The egg filling was silky and light.  It was purposefully sweet with an aromatic finish.

Keeping the kiddos happy, the Deep Fried Prawn Spring Rolls arrived next.  The trend is to cut them diagonally these days and these were no exception.  It revealed that there were whole pieces of shrimp that were buttery with a light snap texture.  The addition of processed cheese created a certain amount of saltiness.  I wasn't sold on this combination, but the kids didn't mind.  As for the wrapper, it was crunchy and mildly greasy.

We moved onto the Ha Gau (Steamed Shrimp Dumplings) and they were medium-sized.  Although the dumpling skin was a touch thick, it wasn't tough nor too chewy.  There was good elasticity.  Inside, the whole shrimp filling was a bit loose, but that was because there was no shrimp mousse nor small pieces to keep bind it.  Texturally, it was on point with a moist snap where the natural sweetness came through with a touch of sesame oil.

I thought the Siu Mai (Steamed Pork & Shrimp Dumpling) to be quite good.  It was a 75/25 ratio of shrimp to pork.  Again, the whole shrimp had the same qualities of the aforementioned dishes with shrimp.  Hence, the texture of the dumpling was full of snap and it wasn't dense at all.  For the small amount of pork, it was meaty with a nice rebound.  My only wish would be a little less pork fat as it was chewy and I had to spit it out.  Dumpling was well-seasoned without being salty.

We hadn't ordered the Stir-Fried Radish Cake in Spicy XO Sauce for some time, so when we saw it on the menu, it was a no-brainer.  This version was only "okay" in my opinion.  The large cubes were not crispy at all and the overall density of the pudding was on the firmer side.  I found that the stir-fry was a bit greasy (I understand XO is oil-based, but this was greasier than usual).  There was decent XO brininess with some spice, yet it could've been more impactful.

Onto some Rice Noodle Rolls, we had both the shrimp and the BBQ pork.  Just slightly on the thicker side, the rice noodles were definitely soft with a bit of density.  I would've liked to see more elasticity though.  In terms of filling, the shrimp were large (oxymoron I know...) with the desired meaty snap texture.   The BBQ pork was a good mix of lean and fattier pieces, but I'm not sure why they added so much cilantro.  It definitely took over the flavour profile and that is all that I tasted.

So normally I would order only one type of tripe, but someone else marked off the Sliced Beef Tripe with XO Sauce (Bible Tripe) while I marked down the Beef Stomach & Tendon with Chu Hou Sauce (Honeycomb Tripe).  Hey, I ain't complaining about that!   I really enjoyed the tripe as it was soft while retaining some bite.  It had completely soaked up the sweet garlicky braising liquid.  Underneath, there was some soft taro that also benefited from the sauce.  Equally as good, the bible tripe had a rebound texture that was initially chewy, but gave way to softness.  It was also completely seasoned with the spicy XO sauce.

So the MIL loves Steamed Chicken Feet with Hoisin Sauce and of course we got that too (no, that didn't prevent her from being her loud obnoxious self...  I wish...)  Anyways, this featured larger-than-usual chicken feet that were quite plump.  Except for one of them (which was completely destroyed), they were mostly intact.  The skin was tender, yet still retaining a chew.  Underneath, the fat and cartilage was tender but not melted away.  This was plenty garlicky and well-seasoned.

One dish we normally do not order is the Deep Fried Fish Skin with Salted Egg Yolk.  Not because we don't love this, but not many restaurants offer it.  So consider this a freshly-made version of the infamous Irvin's fried fish skin.  These were uniformly crunchy while coated with a decent amount of salted egg yolk.  As such, there was the nutty salty aromatics that makes this delicious.  These were a bit greasy though due to the salted egg yolk slurry on the fish skin.

Another item we are seeing less and less of on Dim Sum menus is the Deep Fried Squid Tentacles in Spicy Salt.  These are found more often at the Richmond Night Market and Taiwanese restaurants.  Interestingly, this was more akin to the Taiwanese version as it was all tentacles (rather than just squid) and lightly dusted with 5-spice powder.  I found the tentacles slightly on the chewier side, but it wasn't too bad.  They were crispy and well-seasoned if not a touch greasy.

As if we didn't have enough offal in the meal already, I spotted the Beef Brisket & Tendon with Thick Rice Noodles (these were actually thick mung bean noodles).  Both the tendon and brisket were tender completely soaking up the braising liquid.  However, the liquid was far too runny to actually flavour the noodles in any fashion.  Hence they were bland.  Texturally, the noodles were chewy and springy in a firm manner.  Just the way they ought to be.

This was not the end of the bigger items as we also got the large size of the Seafood Congee.  Now you can't really see it, but there was a considerable amount of fish, scallops and prawns hidden within the thick congee.  They were all prepared properly maintaining their desired cooked textures.  The congee itself was a little on the milder side, but we added white pepper to it.  We liked the addition of dried scallop on top, it added some aroma.

One dish I would've never considered ordering, but am glad that someone did, was the Silky Tofu Stuffed with Shrimp Paste.  This was a rather large portion that really should only be ordered if you have enough people.  We found the silky tofu to be as such, but with a delicately crisp exterior.  The generous amount of shrimp paste on top was bouncy and sweet.  we could've done without the sweet chili sauce on top, but it wasn't offensive.

Interestingly, their version of Deep Fried Minced Pork & Shrimp Glutinous Dumplings arrived in yellow and green.  They didn't eat much differently than the usual version (which is light golden brown).  I found the exterior glutinous rice to be just a tad too thick.  Hence, the dumplings weren't as crunchy as it could've been.  It also made them denser.  Inside, the filling was moist with little nuggets of pork and shrimp.

Onto a Dim Sum staple: Steamed Angus Beef Meatballs.  Well, the Angus beef part of it isn't typical though.  Not sure if it mattered since the meat typically gets aerated through a food processor or stand-up mixer.  This was prepared right as the meat was super light and airy with an appealing spongy texture.  Seasoning was mild, but we could taste the meat as well as some of the green onions.

Since we are on Dim Sum staples, let's do one more in the Steamed Spareribs in Garlic Sauce.  I really enjoyed this dish as its preparation was almost flawless.  First of all, the rib pieces were meaty and on the bone.  Not much in the way of cartilage and fat here.  Texturally, the meat had a good rebound while being tender at the same time.  Loved there wasn't a pool of oil at the bottom either.  Seasoning was on point with garlic and just enough salt.

Not that we didn't have enough carbs already, yet the kids always enjoy the Lo Mei Gai (Sticky Wild Rice Wrap).  The addition of wild rice added a really nice bite to a usually soft and mushy product.  Not to say that the sticky rice was mushy though.  It was soft with a glutinous chewiness.  Inside, the dried scallop and pork filling was plentiful and well-seasoned.  It was in good proportion to the rice where every bite was balanced.

Lastly, we had both the Steamed BBQ Pork Buns and the Steamed Egg Yolk Buns.  Sorry, not sexy shots of the insides of the buns this time...  The texture of the bun was light and fluffy while still retaining a chew.  Inside the BBQ pork was fairly lean and glazed in a sweet sauce.  As for the salted egg yolk filling, this was less runny than most and that was fine by us as it was easier to eat.  It was sweet and aromatic.  So overall, the Dim Sum at Prince was pretty solid across the board, considering the variety that we ordered.  Pricing is on par with most places in the same class.  We found the service to be decent but a bit sparse (hard to find servers these days, so we aren't pinning that on them).

The Good:
- Solid Dim Sum
- We got our reservation on time
- Service was okay with all things considered

The Bad:
- Even though we are giving them pass on the service, it did take long to get items we requested
- Parking lot is a disaster



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