Sherman's Food Adventures: Neptune Palace (The Amazing Brentwood)

Neptune Palace (The Amazing Brentwood)

It seems like there is some form of Neptune restaurant almost every mall in the Lower Mainland.  Whether it be Neptune Wonton, Neptune Seafood Restaurant or the higher-end Neptune Palace, this is the largest chain of Chinese restaurants locally.  So I've been to practically all of them and of course when they opened up a Neptune Palace at The Amazing Brentwood, I was there with bells on...  (because I live near there).  Finally!  A nicer Cantonese restaurant in the neighbourhood.

So the place isn't all that big, so I could imagine Dim Sum being overly packed.  We came for dinner first during their soft opening.  Hence, their menu was rather basic, but we made due.  We began with the Fish Maw & Crab Meat Soup which has to be one of the best we've had in quite some time.  First of all, the fish maw was good quality and prepared properly where it was silky and soft while not completely melted away.  Secondly, there was so much crab leg meat, it seemed like there was a whole crab in the soup.  It was good crab meat too being springy and fluffy.  As for the soup base, it was flavourful with depth and the viscosity was bang on.

Although it is generally thought of as a basic dish, we absolutely love Sweet & Sour Pork.  In fact, we like to judge restaurants on their execution as we feel it is something they should nail.  This they did with large chunks of pork belly which had a nice rebound and fattiness.  Hence, the meat was juicy and tender.  The sauce was a bit on the sweeter side, but the tanginess was definitely evident.  Moreover, there was just enough of it.

Off to some seafood, we got the Wok Fried Scallops and Prawns with snap peas and celery.  As illustrated in the picture, you can see the beautifully plump scallops and butterflied prawns.  They were prepared perfectly where the scallops were slightly rare while the prawns had a sweet snap.  Seasoning was a bit mild, but that was fine for this dish.  The veggies were crunchy and vibrant.

Since the choices were so limited, we went for a ol' standby being the Crispy Fried Chicken complete with classic shrimp chips.  This was also prepared nicely with crispy well-rendered skin.  The chicken itself was brined, so that the meat was juicy while completely seasoned.  Hence, the breast meat was not dry all and subsequently, the dark meat was super juicy and flavourful.

We went big with a meaty 3lb Crab prepared with cream sauce and on a bed of wonton noodles.  This live crab was really good as it was meaty with lots of bouncy and briny sweet leg and body meat.  The cream sauce was thickened just enough and had the rich taste of butter.  We opted for 2 bundles of wonton noodles and it was perfect for the amount of sauce.  Furthermore, it was cooked just enough that it was still al dente.

Lastly, we got the Yeung Chow Fried Rice with the usual BBQ pork, egg and suprisingly large shrimp rather than the smaller ones.  This had enough wok heat where the rice was nutty and dry.  The dish was properly seasoned and there was more than enough ingredients.  Overall, the meal was quite good and much better than any other Neptune I've been too.  Pricing is on the higher end though.  I think Neptune Palace is a good addition o the North Burnaby and they do not have much immediate competition nearby except for Grand Dynasty on the other side of the highway.

The Good:
- Above-average eats
- Excellent service
- Decent portion size

The Bad:
- Dining room is rather small
- Pricing is on the higher end


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