This is how I would sum this place up. It is not that it is totally unjustifiably expensive. It is just that we did not expect a small restaurant like this would serve high end Cantonese food.
I mean … just look at the size of the restaurants. From the outside you would even think that this is a hole-in-the-wall. Moreover, it is not located in the section of town where there are high-end restaurants.
Located in the strip mall just across the street from the Richmond Public Market, the Hoitong Chinese Seafood Restaurant had apparently been operating here for the past two years. It is located at the far corner of the mall and rather inconspicuous.
We had walked past this restaurant many times before and each time we peek into it, we noticed that it a bit posher than one would expect. I suppose the dead giveaway should have been the word “Seafood” to their name.
It is a really small restaurant. They only have 2 big family sized tables and 5 medium sized one. The chairs are comfortable. Why, they even have a chandelier on the ceiling, although a small one.
The word “seafood” on their name and the setting should have given us the clue that it could be expensive eating here. For a place this size, it is manned by a captain and a waitress — both looked very professional just like the senior managers in more established restaurants. They are even in suit and tie.
It was kind of unreal actually. Everything is like what you would expect in big posh restaurants like Jade Garden or Shiang Garden except that this is a hole-in-the-wall sized ones. You don’t normally see such Cantonese seafood restaurants this small. They are mostly big operations. So unreal.
They have proper table cloth and cloth napkins with communal chopsticks already set on the table.
And when I saw the menu … oh wow … they do serious Cantonese cuisine dishes here. I did not take pictures of their menu but I can tell you that the cheaper average dishes ranges from $16-$20. Even the Yong Chow Fried Rice is $16 where you could get this for $8 in some HK Style Cafe.
They also have a section on their menu for sharkfin at $60 a person. Their most expensive dish is the Stir Fry Sharkfin with Crab Meat and Scrambled Egg which is $76. Oh … we would have ordered that if not for the fact our boys hate scrambled eggs for dinner. LOL! Just kidding … but $76 for scrambled eggs?
Yeah, they also have a wine menu.
Here is one more thing … when we ordered the dishes, we asked for four bowls of rice. The server told us that she will only take the order of rice AFTER the dishes were served. That’s how it is in expensive restaurants, isn’t it? Rich people who dine in these sort of restaurants shun rice … and even if they order rice, they will take a couple of mouthful. Sigh … we are not at that level of sophistication yet … WE WANT RICE … NOW!
The Captain recommended Crab Meat and Fish Maw Potage. The menu said that it is $20. Considering that the sharkfin soup is $60 PER PERSON, I really had to ask if the $20 is PER PERSON or a serving big enough for the family. It was … $20 and came in a big bowl.
I felt cheap asking that question but I was not about to pay $80 for four bowls of soup for the family.
I must say that the captain is very professional and gave us impeccable good service. They were very quick to fill the bowl for us for seconds the very moment that the bowl is empty.
Excellent soup. I like the fish maw. Maw is the bladder of the fish, isn’t it? I think the Chinese call it fish stomach.
The soup was delicate in taste and rather thick with lots of crab meat and fish maw. Surprisingly Arkensen asked for seconds because he usually doesn’t like Asian soup. Not like his dad.
We were not sure about this dish. When we asked for a recommendation, the captain told us that their Sweet and Sour Pork with Pineapple is favourite dish of their customers.
I don’t know … sweet and sour pork is one dish I would automatically not consider because the perception is that it is too westernized and not a dish I would order in a place like this. We went through a few other options on the menu with the captain and he was rather convincing that we should get it. “You won’t regret it”, he said.
Nanzaro actually blurted out that “sweet and sour pork is not Chinese”. That is the perception I guess but it is an authentic Chinese dish, is it not? I mean, this is not like chop suey or ginger beef or fortune cookies kind of Chinese food. Anyone care to comment?
The dish is visually pleasing with a very nice tone of colors of green and red peppers along with the yellow pineapples.
Well executed. The meat is not in a cube form but more flat pieces. The outside is crispy as expected and the sauce is sweet and tangy.
We like it. But with every bite we keep asking … is sweet and sour pork an authentic Chinese dish? If all westerners love sweet and sour pork, it can’t be … LOL!
We actually ordered the Bean Curd Roulade, Lohan Style but there seemed to be miscommunication and we ended up with the Steamed Scallop on Tofu with Black Bean Sauce.
Oh well, that’s fine. We like this and decided to just have this.
We like the sauce which has a tangerine peel flavour. The scallop is flavourful and compliments so well with the silky smooth tofu. I think this dish is $17.
The free dessert was better than the normal red bean soup. They served us Tapioca with Taro in Coconut Milk.
Traditional hand written receipt. The bill came to $75 with tax and tips.
This is a fine Cantonese restaurant and serves good food. It is small and that is what makes it rather unique.
Joyce of VanFoodies.com has a review of the same restaurant here. I like you to take a look at what she ordered … shark fin, abalone, goose feet, sea cucumber, squab, and crab claws. If I paid $75 for our simpler dishes, I can’t imagine how much her meal costs.