Boss Lady wanted L to experience push cart dim sum at Continental Seafood. I don’t like the cart system because the food sits around for who knows how long. Jacuzzi looked around the restaurant and proclaimed Continental not authentic enough. He likes dirty carpets, a dark and dingy atmosphere, and the room so crowded you have to put your elbows out to exit or enter, like the old Miramar in Kerrisdale.
Boss Lady asked our server why there were no spoons on any of the tables. He said for dim sum, spoons have to be requested. This was the first omen of the ensuing drama that would unfold.
Ludwig mentioned that I never post pictures of the menu on my blog and suggested that I start. I told him pictures of menus are boring and I hate it when people tell me what to write. Having said that, I’m glad I did take pictures to appease Ludwig otherwise I would not have been able to itemize each dish.
We started with Chinese tea ($9.45). Boss Lady complained that we were never asked what type of tea we wanted. He just brought out a teapot, without the customary hot water pot. For this post, let’s listen to “Dear Mama” by 2Pac.
Boss Lady approved of her favourite dish – Beef Chow Fun ($17.80). She said the portion size was generous. L could taste the smoky wok hei in the noodles. I found the noodles oily. I forgot to take a picture of the chow fun, so I stole this photo off Google. Patrick Smith (2018) takes worse pictures than I do!
Jen and Jacuzzi are vegan now, so they ordered Steamed Veggie Dumpling ($6.25). I was tempted to try a dumpling, but L said to leave it for the vegans and my father.
Boss Lady ordered her childhood dish – Steamed Pork and Peanut Dumpling in Chou Zhou Style ($6.25). The wrapper was soggy and broke when I picked the dumpling up with my chopsticks. Boss Lady said the chef put too much water in the dough. I felt the pork and peanut mixture itself was overly moist. She disagreed and said it was the wrapper that made the whole dumpling too wet.
Boss Lady told us the Steamed Scallop Pea Tip Rice Roll ($7.75) was for Jen. I took a bite and warned Jen there was scallop inside it. Jen thanked me. Boss Lady tells little lies. Poor Ludwig has been traumatized so many times. No wonder he’s hesitant to eat anything new.
I enjoyed the Shrimp Stuffed Tofu and Eggplant ($7.75). I thought this one of Continental’s better dishes. The tofu was crispy and the eggplant meaty and flavourful. The sauce tied all the ingredients together.
The Steamed Rice Roll with Chinese Doughnut ($7.75) was delicious. I like the crunch of the still warm, airy doughnut against the soft slippery noodle. The soy sauce gave this dish umami.
I enjoyed the Pea Tips ($22.80). The bright green pea tips were fresh and fragrant from garlic. I ate most of this plate, and the portion was huge.
Jacuzzi and L thought the Soy Sauce Rice Rolls ($7.25) were yummy. I liked the caramelization of the soy sauce but the noodles were too oily.
I didn’t try the Sui Mai ($7.25) but it looked better than Fisherman’s Terrace version. The tobiko was still bright orange and crunchy, and the meat filling looked juicy.
The Har Gow ($6.25) was good. The shrimp was sweet and crunchy. The wrapper was firm and not wet. My niece Har Gow Girl ate about five shrimp dumplings but wouldn’t eat the skin. Funny because her dad would only eat the skin and not the shrimp when he was her age. Narc, my older brother, would only eat the shrimp. I would eat both the wrapper and shrimp, but separately.
Boss Lady tried several times to get a few things – like more tea, hot water, and hot sauce. There was one server – an older male – that would blatantly ignore my mother, make a face, or say he would come back but disappear. It was obvious he was avoiding our table. Boss Lady was agitated and began complaining about the service and how rude he was to her. She mentioned again that the server didn’t even ask us what tea we wanted, which is a basic thing to do. Jacuzzi loves egging my mother on when she gets going. He started encouraging her by repeating everything she said.
Boss Lady said at least there wasn’t a ridiculous amount of tea leaves in the pot. She can’t stand it when there are so many tea leaves and the tea is too strong. She started talking about quality control and suddenly turned around to Jacuzzi and said, “Is there an echo in here? Why are you repeating everything I’m saying? I feel like I’m being recorded.” I looked over at my father, who sat with quiet resignation. L agreed with my mother and said the service was beyond rude. I wanted to leave. I don’t know if it was the MSG or what, but I was getting flashbacks of unhappier days.
Boss Lady asked for the bill. The female hostess told her to ask the young male server. When my mother told the young male server what the female hostess said, he shook his head and said that was her job.
Jacuzzi tried to pay for the bill but L was determined to win this battle. Boss Lady slipped the young server that helped her a cash tip, and told us to not give a generous tip. I was so annoyed by the whole experience that I told L to not tip. I have never not tipped but there’s a first time for everything.
When we left, I told my parents we were never coming to Continental again. They said in past experiences at dinner, the service was much better. I don’t care. I am not coming here again. Hitting the Sauce gives this joint two fat thumbs down.