DIM SUM POST ON LEE GARDEN SEAFOOD 利苑海鮮酒家 [HERE]
Lee Garden is the new replacement of the old run down Grand Buffet Restaurant. Furthermore, Lee Garden is also the newest Chinese restaurant to join Kingsway Street in South Burnaby. Coming for dinner on a Monday evening around 7:30pm, the restaurant was packed! The parking lot was full and we ended up parking in a residential area. Perhaps the restaurant was busy because we visited a day after Father's Day?
Walking in, I was amazed. Wow, the restaurant totally renovated. The atmosphere at Lee Garden is definitely similar to Kirin and is the nicest looking restaurant in South Burnaby, including New Startlet. After waiting fifteen minutes at the front along with a large crowd of people, the hostess showed up, seated everyone and mentioned we had a thirty minute wait. Honestly, it is really rare for me to wait at any restaurant, but because of the nice interior along with no other restaurants to visit in the area, I did not mind. Plus, Lee Garden had a full house and it would be great to gauge how the food and service is.
The waiting area has marble tiles, a nice chandelier and even a brass plated umbrella rack. Furthermore, there is a nice hallway from the entrance, cashier and seafood tank, to the dining room. In addition, the restaurant has a high ceiling and is definitely going for the higher end prestigious look.
As for the dining room, there are grey drapes with golden tassels, a golden phoenix cut out, more chandeliers, and spacious seating arrangements. Furthermore, the restaurant is huge. As for the table setting, there are double plates along with a brown napkin which is a typical set up for pricier restaurants.
However, in our case seating at 8:15pm, we only had a single plate with a white napkin. Usually most restaurants change their table setting to a simpler one on slow nights, or an hour before closing for next morning's dim sum. But, for a new restaurant during a busy period, I expected more. If everyone around us has double plates and a brown napkin, I except the same..
CREAM CORN SOUP WITH MINCED CHICKEN, SMALL ($8.80).
1LB STEAMED SPOT PRAWNS ($22.80/LB).
2 1/4LB SPICY SALT CHILLI CRAB, SALT & PEPPER ($15.80/LB).
When we asked if there was a larger crab than 2 1/4lb, the manager said no and felt the need to mention that Lee Garden does not overcharge their live seafood like many restaurants. In addition, he mentioned 2 1/4lb is usually charged as 2 1/2lb at many places. Well, despite being able to tell the difference and already knowing, it was good to know again. But, we just wanted a larger crab. As for the taste, the crab is nicely done and has a flavourful peppery salt seasoning along with fried garlic.
2 1/4LB CREAM AND BUTTER SAUCE LOBSTER ($18.80/LB).As we just started on the first crab leg, the lobster arrived and there was a strong milky aroma. The lobster is perfectly done and the meat tastes bouncy. Furthermore, the sauce tastes creamy as well as milky, and has a stronger evaporated milk flavour. The cream and butter sauce tastes rich as well as buttery, and smells so good.
SAUTEED SCALLOPS WITH BROCCOLI (19.80).The scallops have a clean and clear taste which to me, is important. Not some gooeyness from improper rinsing or a gritty taste. In addition, the scallops taste moist and just done, no complaints. As for the vegetables, the broccoli has a nice crunch and the dish overall, is not heavy on the oil.
COMPLIMENTARY RED BEAN SOUP.
A random waiter popped out of no where and dropped off these red bean soups. We were a bit disappointed since everyone seemed to have an option of goji berry jello or red bean soup, but we did not get a choice. Also, during the time, the restaurant was pretty slow since many tables had left. As for the taste, the dessert soup is served luke warm and the consistency is a bit watery. However, there is a fair amount of red bean along with a bit of tapioca, and the soup does not taste too sweet.
STEAMED RICE (1.50).TOTAL: $136.75 + TIP $23.25 = $160.00.
Overall our experience was great, food and service wise. Our waitress Sarah was friendly as well as professional, and the staff did not look overwhelmed considering the full house. As for the food, no complaints. Also, although the prices are slightly higher like in the Sun Sui Wah range, the prices are lower and the food is better compared to New Startlet and Victory Seafood, which are also located on Kingsway Street in South Burnaby! Plus, the staff is friendlier as well.
- Above average eats
- Friendly staff (at least Sarah is)
- Newly renovated and good looking restaurant
- Parking lot may get full fast
- Slightly overdone prawns
- Dim sum post on Lee Garden Seafood Restaurant 利苑海鮮酒家 [here]
- If anything, we would have preferred the same table setting as everyone else and having a choice of dessert
- Apparently the dim sum is not as good as dinner, but either way, we will revisit (perhaps also to try the dim sum!)