[05/31/2015] A few weekends back, J, Angie, Tray and I had our belated celebration for the completion of our AP exams! (Yeah I’m really behind with my posts.. blame the exams. :P) Tray and J’s families go to Parklane for dimsum a lot, and both suggested we go there for a Sunday brunch.
Parklane, among all the popular dimsum restaurants, is located in Richmond. This one is on the upper level in a plaza, neighbouring to London Drugs, Empire Seafood Restaurant and Charcoal.
The atmosphere was totally unexpected! It was pretty fancy for a dimsum place, with instrumental music in the background. However, we were kinda left hanging upon arriving. No one greeted us whatsoever and we were just pointed to a random table.. we even made a reservation but there was no staff who assisted us. At that time, there wasn’t a lot of people at all.. and the service just got worse as the flow of customers began rushing in.
A major problem we had was when we placed in our order. We handed our dimsum sheet to a hostess, but it was somehow misplaced. The thing is, they didn’t even apologize and it wasn’t even until we were wondering why our food took so long and asked when they told us that lost our sheet. Imagine how much longer we would’ve had to wait! The second time around, we noticed our dimsum sheet was just left on the counter, and once again, we had to actually tell them to put in our order. The service was pretty disappointing..
Parklane offers a 20% off early bird discount for their dimsum from the 9am opening to 11am. Of course, in China, I’m accustomed to “yumcha” at 7 in the morning, so this really isn’t early at all. 😛 Anyways, like most places for dimsum, you get a handout of dishes that you can write on to order. I wish their menu was categorized, there had a huge selection so it was quite overwhelming.
It’s weird because the desserts all came before the savoury things, even though they all came at around the same time. (Yay because I can take a decent of the spread before half the food is eaten. xD) First was the a classic, Baked Egg Custard Tarts (酥皮鸡蛋挞, $4.45). Texture wise, these were on point! The crust was super flaky while the inside had a perfect custard consistency. However, we found the custard filling a tad bit too sweet and not eggy enough. (3.5/5)
The Double Boiled Milk & Custard with Ginger (经典蜂巢糕, $4.45) is a specialty here, according to J. I wasn’t a fan of this because it was super sweet, and had almost a caramel-like essence with a hint of ginger. I don’t like neither caramel nor ginger so this was too strong for me, but if you do, you’ll enjoy it like the rest of my crew, especially Tray, did! Texture wise, at first glance, we all thought it would resemble golden cakes (黄金糕), with the similar stringy, porous appearance. To our surprise, they were actually soft, and more cake-like. (3/5)
Next up I tried the Steamed Egg Yolk Buns (黄金流沙包, $4.45). I would say I’m a pretty picky eater and I’m usually not a fan of buns because I just find them plain.. but this particular variety is one of my favourites now because the bun just melts in your mouth with the oozy filling inside, mm. Parklane’s version is not bad, but it could’ve used more custard since in ratio, the bun was a bit too thick and doughy. (3.5/5)
They also had a few things on special for orders taken before 11am. We decided to go with the Century Egg and Pork Congee (皮蛋瘦肉粥, on special for $3.95) for something a little heartier. This was alright, considering it was discounted. The congee was nicely flavoured, but they could’ve definitely added more pork and century egg. Additionally, a sprinkle of scallion on top like most congee is served with would be great too. (3/5)
Since Parklane is a Chiuchow-styled restaurant, we wanted to make sure we get to try at least one of their Chiuchow specialty. We picked the Steamed Pork and “Reddish” Dumplings w/ Peanut (潮州粉粿, $4.95), haha obviously a typo. 😛 Besides the ingredients in the name, there’s also chives and bits of water chestnut in the filling, so it really was a party of textures! (3.5/5)
Tray recommended us to try the Steamed Glutinous Rice Roll (潮州葱油糯米卷, $4.45), since it’s one of her favourites. This is essentially sticky rice with scallion oil, wrapped in a layer of bun. At first, I didn’t think I would like this because carb on carb sounded too heavy, but it actually turned out quite delicious! The bun is slightly sweet, so the balance of sweet and savoury layers and the contrast between the chewy sticky rice to the soft bun made it a very interesting piece. (4/5)Our only concern was the hidden paper at the bottom.. usually, it would be large and visible, and you would easily spot it and peel it off. This one was literally smaller than the bun though, and it stuck on so firmly! J accidentally ate his bun without knowing… so just be careful.
The Steamed Crispy Fish Paste Rice Roll (脆竹鱼蓉肠粉, $5.45) was the last thing to arrive, and by then, we were all already quite full. On the side came some soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sesame paste. I despise soy sauce and hoisin sauce (I know.. how could I!?) but the sesame sauce was a good accompaniment! The rice rolls themselves were nicely done too. The layer of rice roll was thin and delicate, over the al dente chunks of fish cake. The fish cakes are probably deep fried so they have a golden, crispy exterior. Although the rice rolls were not flavoured- that’s why sauces are served with the dish- the fish cakes were slightly seasoned. (4/5)
The prices for the dimsum here are on the higher end, so I think we definitely got a good deal with the early bird discount! The food is decent and same goes for the atmosphere (until the weekend rush hit :P), but again, we were not satisfied with the poor service we received.
1: Terrible | 2: Poor | 3: Average | 4: Good | 5: Excellent
Cheers to completion of all the exams and a wonderful summer ahead! Sorry for my lonnnnng absence from blogging, I just needed some time to focus for the last couple of things in school. Tomorrow I’ll be heading off to Salt Spring Island for a weekend getaway, so stay tuned for another Travel series! And no, I haven’t forgotten about my China series.. you’ll definitely be seeing more of it soon. 😛 Hope you’re all having a fabulous break. (: