Come Along Seafood Restaurant

February 23rd, 2008 · 2 Comments

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Target 3: Come Along Seafood Restaurant

come.along.seafood.exteriorAddress: 2550 Kingsway (map)
Phone: 604-439-1318
Dim Sum Menu: Page 1; Page 2

Small – $2.95
Medium – $3.50
Large – $3.95
Kitchen – $4.95-5.95

Visit date: February 16th, 2008
Visit time: 11:00 AM


Jason’s ratings –

Steamed dumplings: 80% or 28 of 35 possible points
Steamed other: 90% or 13.5/15
Fried & deep fried: 70% or 10.5/15
Baked & sweet: N/A
Rice-noodle-veg: 80% or 8/10
Other factors (service, atmosphere, etc): 85% or 8.5/10

Jason’s total: 68.5/85 or 80.59%

Des’ ratings –

Steamed dumplings: 80% or 28/35
Steamed other: 75% or 11.25/15
Fried & deep fried: 80% or 12/15
Baked & sweet: N/A
Rice-noodle-veg: 85% or 8.5/10
Other factors (service, atmosphere, etc): 85% or 8.5/10

Des’ total: 68.25/85 or 80.29%

Total Score (averaged across both raters, all variables) = 68.375/85 or 80.44%

Notes from Des:

When Jason organised this dim sum outing, I was simply curious about the name of the place. Chinese restaurants aren’t known for inspired names, though this one took the biscuit of curiosity. Only when I arrived did I realise that its English name was an approximation of the sound of its Cantonese name ‘Kam Lung Shueen’ (Md: Jin long chuan) which translates as ‘Golden Dragon Boat’.

come.along.seafood.siu.mai.actionThe first thing to note about Come Along is that one has to order dim sum from the menu. This might deter diners who don’t know Chinese. Although the menu is bilingual, the English names of dishes are not standardized so one can never be sure. Part of the fun of eating dim sum is, of course, to assail (or be approached by) the dim sum cart ladies, picking out whatever catches one’s eye. At some restaurants, however, one has to order from the menu. The main reasons for this seem to be that it is more up-market not to have carts (though much less fun), and some restaurants simply don’t have room for meals on wheels. Both were true at Come Along, with its gilded décor and closely placed tables. But there was good reason for squeezing in the tables: it was pretty much full by 11am so I’m glad we had made a reservation.

So if dim sum is order-by-menu, one should choose a few classics and favourites, and also opt for some less common dishes. Our party of five took this approach, though perhaps edging towards the adventurous, captivated somewhat by the ‘Kitchen Specialty’ section. For the classics, the siu mai were irresistible: steamed pork dumplings bursting with the juicy flavour of shrimp and mushrooms. By contrast, the har gau (xia jiao) were somewhat disappointing for the shrimp’s expected fresh crunch was masked by unnecessary nondescript filler.

come.along.seafood.deep.fried.pork.dumplingsFor other favourites: the Deep fried pork dumplings –(ham shui gok; Md: xian shui jiao – note: this British reviewer was initially stumped by his friend asking for ‘pork-filled footballs’, imagining spherical ‘soccer’ snacks) were nicely fried without too much grease, and a tasty pork filling; the steamed ribs with pumpkin were a sweetly welcome variant of the black-bean classic; the char siu bao pork buns were fluffy and flavourful; and the Stir Fried Radish Cake with XO Sauce (XO jiang chao luobo gao) was a nicely done version of this favourite (lor bak ko) that is all too often too much flour and too little radish (daikon) or dried pork. The Pan Fried Rice Flour Rice with Soy Sauce (fried cheung fun; dou you huang jian chang fen) was perfectly fried with just the right amount of soy sauce and complemented by peanut sauce on the side.
We also ordered the Pan fried patty with green onion (bai bu cong you bing), believing it would be the onion pancake we were familiar with. It turned out to be more of a stodgy Chinese vol-au-vent, stuffed with morsels of shrimp. I would have preferred the simple street snack from which it had arrogated its name.

Ordering from the menu brought us to select several ‘Kitchen specialty’ dishes that are more unusual. In fact, the two Steamed Rice Flour Roll (cheung fun; chang fen) dishes we ordered had interesting fillings: Rice Flour Rolls with Three Kinds of Mushroom (san xian gu chang fen) and Rice Flour Rolls with Bitter Gourd and Fish (liang gua yu pian chang). Both were fresh and fragrant, though the editor pointed out that the bitter gourd overpowered the delicate flavour of the fish. Also, it was nice to have the soy sauce presented separately in a bowl. As for the special themselves, we perhaps got a little overexcited in the ordering. The Deep fried tofu with garlic (Jin sha doufu) came as eight tofu-pockets fried golden and crisply topped with shred of garlic. The Hot and spicy eggplant (Bifeng tang qiezi) was not too oily – a common problem with fried eggplant – but it was also lacking in spiciness. The Braised Abalone Mushroom with Bean Leaves (baoyu gu pa doumiao), especially the bed of greens, were a welcome addition to the dim sum, although I felt that the succulent mushrooms were somewhat spoilt by the less than exciting brown sauce that pops up all too often in Cantonese cuisine. The other vegetable dish we ordered was Sauteed lotus root with fresh lily bulb (xian baihe chao oupian), a crunchy – if unremarkable – contrast to its fellow plates.

Overall, the quality of the dim sum at Come Along was high, with an interesting range of less common dishes that I would like further to explore. A lesson we also learned from that meal was that the rule of 3-4 dim sum per head does not always apply, especially when ordering beyond the small-medium-large section. Thus we all departed bearing doggy bags, which is no bad thing, but something to remember the next time we go along.

Tags: Chinese · Dim Sum

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 youdontneedtoknow // Jun 12, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    i love this place for dimsum -^_^-

  • 2 // Jun 25, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Definately a place to try next time we are in Vancouver. We live on Dim Sum here in SF.

    Great photos and writing.

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