Monday, 13 April 2015

Grand Palace 富豪酒家: Age discrimination is REAL

I remember coming here a lot when they first opened, but after a few rude services, we avoided this place. However, it’s an easily accessible location and nearby, so we decided to give it one more chance.

Grand Palace Restaurant 富豪酒家 on UrbanspoonRestaurantGrand Palace Restaurant 富豪酒家 (visit their website here)
Location: 2001- 1163 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam (Henderson Place, 2nd floor)
Cuisine: Chinese, Dim Sum
Price range: $10-15 per person

Date of visit: April 13, 2015
Atmosphere: 3/5
Staff/service: 2/5 (I'm averaging out how they treated my brother and us)
Food variety: 4/5
Food quality: 3.5/5
Buck worthy? 3/5

I came here with my family and the service was great! We even got complimentary egg tarts and XO sauce from the manager. The egg tarts were wonderful (there were four), the shell was flakey and melted in my mouth. Egg wasn’t too sweet or diluted, it made for a creamy mixture. However, one was a bit underdone; it was still watery in the middle.

Next, we got the Baked BBQ Pork Buns ($4.50). These were lightly sugared on top, which made for a bit of added sweetness and crisp to the bun. The bread itself was moist and chewy, and the BBQ pork inside was... average. It made for an overall good bun though.

It’s less common dish, but they had Steamed Shrimp & Peatips Dumpling ($5.50) here, so of course I ordered it. They came piping hot and delicious. The shrimp had nice crunch and there was a good mixture of peatips with the shrimp. The wrapping was nice and chewy too.

Their Sticky Rice with Dried Scallop Wrapped with Lotus Leaf ($5.50) came with three wrapped bundles. It was flavorful and the sticky rice cooked perfectly chewy. They mixed thin strands of dried scallop within the rice, which enhanced the flavors. There was a quarter of a salted egg yolk, pork, and sauce inside. It meets the norm.

For their larger dishes, we ordered a 2 Kinds of Rice Noodle with Dried Scallop & Enoki Mushrooms ($10.95). It was pretty big, the noodles were both cooked al dente and the flavors of the sauce soaked into the glass and rice vermicelli. There were enoki mushroom strands scattered around with some bean sprouts, carrots, and shiitake mushroom strands. It was nice and light, I quite enjoyed it.

Super fresh from the kitchen came our Deep Fried Tofu Stuffed with Shrimp ($5.50) from their monthly special menu (it’s not on the regular checksheet menu they give you to order dim sum). It looked... rather dainty on the dish but it was good quality. Crispy and golden exterior enveloped moist (and super hot) tofu and shrimp puree. There was good spring to the shrimp puree and the tofu was smooth. The sauce was something like a sweet/sour and mild spicy sauce you might find at a Thai restaurant. Definitely helped cut the fatty feel of fried foods and made it more appetizing.

I’ve always been a sucker for Deep Fried Minced Pork & Taro Dumpling ($4.95), and seeing one on the table next to us, we ordered one too. They were a bit disappointing. The exterior was flakey, but as it got close to the middle it was too dense for my liking. I could definitely taste the taro though. The minced pork inside was boring, too thick of a sauce surrounding the pork. It was also not that hot. *sadface*

Finally we had Steamed Black Cod with Chili Peppers ($4.95), and boy was this HOT. And by that I mean spicy. They sure weren’t kidding about the chili peppers! However, this was a good amount of fish, with some beancurd lining the bottom. The fish was steamed perfectly, smooth and buttery. Next time I’ll remember to skip the chili =P

Overall their food is acceptable, and the service was not bad (we’ve known the manager there for many years). I noticed their great organization and teamwork, making their service efficient and flow well. However, what steered us away previously was the owner prompting us to leave by slapping the bill down on our table prematurely whenever it was busy. It wasn’t busy today, so I can’t gauge if this practice has improved or not. Elephant found out though. They still do it. He went with some friends a couple days later and after ordering about $120 of food (quite a lot actually...) for 7 people, they had the bill slapped on their table and the owner holding a card machine at their table asking them who’s paying first—prematurely. They had only been there for 45 minutes, and were at least another good 45 minutes away from the restaurant’s closing time... so that was a really rude thing to do when clearly, dim sum is meant to be a sit down and chat kinda thing. I feel establishments like these who discriminate and deliver varying service depending on how much you order (we get pressured to order more if we don’t eat enough) and your age is unprofessional and has a lot of room for improvement. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s easily accessible for my grandma and her love for dim sum, I would definitely never be back. End rant.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, they are the best quality in the tri-cities area so we go frequently if we don't want to drive to Richmond or Metro town. I find the Wu Gok (Deep Fried Minced Pork & Taro Dumpling) inconsistent. Last time it was cooked perfectly and the filling was super tasty.

    As for Service I would think 3.5 is my experience. Food usually comes out fast and I've never had cold food and I am always having to flag them down to get the bill.