Friday, March 9, 2012

A Taste of Ningbo - 宁波海鲜酒家-Ningbo Seafood Restaurant

March 7, 2012
宁波海鲜酒家 - Ningbo Seafood Restaurant, Richmond BC

This is a fairly new restaurant, tucked away in the corner of Parker Place. Even for the three months it had been in business though, there was barely anyone there on a Wednesday night. I guess they opted for a 'soft opening' and did not advertise much, but still, there should not be just four tables in a large restaurant filled.
Anyways, the food was exquisite. I guess there is something to be said about not many people eating so the chef can cook each dish carefully. Mom is also right in saying that in the beginning, a Chinese restaurant in Richmond (where there are just way too many Chinese restaurants) need to present superb quality dishes in order to draw the customers back. They did that alright.

We started out with the 宁式酱鸭. The sauce was a perfect blend of soy sauce and sugary sweetness. The duck was also cooked perfectly, tender and quite lean for a duck. Together, the dish was very delicious - the perfect appetizer. I can still taste that sweet soy sauce - YUM!

For our fill of veggies, we decided to try 宁波一品上素 as we wanted only Ningbo specialties. There is no point eating other cuisine at a Ningbo restaurant. I have to say, although this dish was not as flavourful, it was delightfully refreshing. A nice, mild veggie dish with the light flavouring throughout.

My least favourite dish of the evening was 烤杂鱼. I never liked just salty fish. The flavour did go through the baked fish though so I could tell it was cooked with care and very nicely done. I just never liked salted fish much. I prefer my lighter meat dishes with a sweeter flavour.

Finally, another one of my favourites, was the 风味炒陈村粉. These rice noodles were translucent, way prettier than the normal opaque kind and much more chewy. They had yellow chives and Asian celery in them as well, so a nice blend of Asian veggies with shrimp. The noodles were nicely cooked, the 'al dente' version of rice noodles.

They gave each of us a bowl of 陈皮绿豆沙 in the end. It is the first time I have tried such a common dessert but made with mung beans instead of your usual red beans. A nice change, I think, because the mung beans have a slightly different flavour in that they are more bitter and less likely to blend with the sweetness of the sugar. Overall, though, a great meal. Their lunch menu looked very promising with all the appetizers and specialties so we will definitely be back in the summer to try out those dishes!

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