Dim Sum At Sea Harbour Restaurant Is Not A Gamble

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Where do you go for good Dim Sum? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked that question over the years. Prior to this culinary adventure exploring Chinese restaurants my answer was the same, Floata or the Pink Pearl. Ask me that question today and my answer would vary depending on what part of the Lower Mainland you were in. Obviously Richmond is home to an abundance of great Dim Sum restaurants but so far I’ve just scratched the surface. I think it’s time to head back to Richmond to try Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant and see if it lives up to its 2014 Best Dim Sum award from the Chinese Restaurant Awards. The adventures continue…

Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant in Richmond

Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant in Richmond

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Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant is located at 8888 River, Road Richmond. Once again the Canada Line evaporates city boundaries, as Sea Harbour is only 25 minutes from Downtown Vancouver. Taking the Canada Line I got off at the Bridgeport Station at the River Rock Casino, walked to the street level and boom there was Sea Harbour Restaurant. It really couldn’t be any easier to get to if was located around the corner from my condo.

Sea Harbour Restaurant at the base of the Canada Line Bridgeport Station

Sea Harbour Restaurant at the base of the Canada Line Bridgeport Station

Joining me for lunch today is a well respected man in the culinary world, chef, restaurateur, author and one of the founding critics of the Chinese Restaurant Awards, Stephen Wong. I’m completely in his hands and will pretty much try anything he suggests. After all you don’t tell a Chef how to prepare your meal and I certainly wouldn’t presume to tell a master critic what to choose for lunch.

Stephen Wong and Marc Smith dining at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant

Stephen Wong and Marc Smith dining at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant

It’s my first time at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant and I’m impressed. It’s a beautiful restaurant, open like I expect from a Chinese restaurant but it also has a touch of glitz and glamour with Crystal Chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and an impressive glass wall of wine at the entrance to the restaurant.

Glass wine rack allows you to see into the restaurant from the reception area

Glass wine rack allows you to see into the restaurant from the reception area

Sea Harbour Restaurant offers up a little glamour with massive crystal chandeliers

Sea Harbour Restaurant offers up a little glamour with massive crystal chandeliers

Stephen and I are seated at the back of the restaurant which at first bothers me as I wanted to be in the bigger room but I soon changed my mind as I realized the tanks filled with crab and lobster weren’t for decorations, they were where lunch was kept fresh until needed!

Scooping up fresh crab for lunch at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurnat

Scooping up fresh crab for lunch at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant

It’s time to get serious about lunch now though because I’m hungry. Ordering at Sea Harbour is pretty easy. You are given a menu with pictures of every dish and what it is written out in Chinese and English. Each dish is also given a number. Besides the menu you are also given a single sheet of paper with a list of all the dishes mentioned on the menu. Each item has its corresponding number from the menu and a check box where you write in how many of each dish you’d like to order. When you are ready you hand in your paper and your meal will be prepared.

Sea Harbour Menu and ordering paper

Sea Harbour Menu and ordering paper

As I said I’ve left all the ordering to Stephen but he did give me a few options to choose from so I’m pretty excited to start trying some new dishes. The first to arrive is probably not one I would have ordered on my own, Baked Diced Abalone and Chicken Pastry. WOW I’m glad I’m open to trying new things. I would never have guessed that Abalone was in this pastry and speaking of pastry it is as light and flaky as I’ve ever had. Bite sized morsels that are full of flavour and very delicate. A sure winner.

Baked diced Abalone and Chicken Pastry from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Baked Diced Abalone and Chicken Pastry from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Our second of six dishes is the Pan Fried Chicken Wings stuffed with Sticky Rice. Hands down this was the rock star dish of the day. What’s not to like? Fried Chicken Wing and Sticky Rice are both great on their own but put together they are magic. Careful though when they first arrive at your table, they are hot. I recommend 1 order per person.

pan fried Chicken wings stuffed with Sticky Rice

Pan Fried Chicken Wings stuffed with Sticky Rice

pan fried Chicken wings stuffed with Sticky Rice cut open from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Pan Fried Chicken Wings stuffed with Sticky Rice cut open from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Our third dish is a little out of place from a western dining perspective as it’s sweet and should have been ordered at the end as a “dessert”. Steamed Sweet Creamy Egg Yolk Dumplings are different that anything I’ve had before. They are very delicate with their Tapioca flour outer wrapper and a dot of cilantro in each one. I’m sitting on the fence with this dish as I neither liked nor disliked it. I think I’d have to try it again as I wasn’t prepared for it to be sweet. Texture wise it was sticky and chewy with a slight gelatine like feel.

Steamed sweet creamy egg yolk dumplings from Sea Harbour restaurant

Steamed Sweet Creamy Egg Yolk Dumplings from Sea Harbour restaurant

The next three dishes all arrive right after each other and now I’m back in familiar territory. Har Gow or as they named them Crystal Shrimp DumplingsPan Fried Radish Cake with XO sauce, and Steamed Cilantro and Ground Beef Rice Noodle. All three were delicious but they were what I expected so I’m pretty happy. A neat surprise was the hand made bowl the radish cakes were served in and as always those rice noodles were slippery and required some skill to get into my mouth. A nice round of dishes to finish off our meal at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant.

Har Gow aka Crystal Shrimp dumplings from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Har Gow aka Crystal Shrimp dumplings from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Pan Fried Radish Cake with XO sauce from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Pan Fried Radish Cake with XO sauce from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Steamed Cilantro and Ground Beef Rice Noodle from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Steamed Cilantro and Ground Beef Rice Noodle from Sea Harbour Restaurant

Delicate and slippery rice noodles require skill and luck to make them inot your mouth

Delicate and slippery rice noodles require skill and luck to make them into your mouth

Six dishes for two people and the cost was $40 plus tip. Not bad say I. I think I will definitely be putting Sea Harbour on the list of where to have great Dim Sum when I’m asked from now on. Best of all it is so easy to get to thanks to the Canada Line. If you go, get seated at the back of the restaurant you also get a show with your meal. 1 part restaurant 1 part Aquarium.

Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant 海港大酒楼 on Urbanspoon

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Marc Smith is a single, 45-year-old, gay urbanite, living in high-rise heaven in Vancouver’s chic Yaletown neighbourhood. After a ten-year career as one of Vancouver’s pre-eminent event planners, he decided it was time for a change and posted on his Facebook page “I am ready for a change. What shall I do with my life?” 30 Day Adventures was born from that status update.

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