Restaurant: Floata Seafood Restaurant
Cuisine: Chinese/Dim Sum/Seafood
Last visited: October 2010
Location: Vancouver, BC
Address: 180 Keefer St
Price Range: $20-30
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 1.1 (I did still eat it)
- Located in Chinatown
- Largest Chinese restaurant in Canada
- Started in Hong Kong
- Seats 1000+
- Formal Chinese dining
- Dim sum/lunch/dinner
- Popular for banquets
- Private rooms
- Karaoke available
- Catering available
- Free parking (Validation required)
- Floata – Review 2/Revisited
Floata is located in Chinatown and it’s the largest Chinese restaurant in Canada seating over 1000 people. It has old roots stemming from Hong Kong and a famous name, but when it comes to quality you can forget about it. Honestly, forget about it… don’t come here. That’s the first time I’ve ever written that and it’s a teeny bit influence by this experience. they used to have a second location in Richmond and it closed down a few years ago… thank goodness.
Floata. Seriously this restaurant has been around for ages and it’s iconic in Vancouver for poor Chinese food. Fine, maybe I’m generalizing a bit, but no Chinese person I know would come here unless it was for a banquet, wedding, or some special event that required more than 400 seats. I would never chose to come here willingly.
I’ve probably been to Floata at least 15 times and it’s always been for a special occasion. However this time was one of my worst experiences. It could be my worst experience in eating history… besides that time when I was in the Philippines swatting off the flies trying to share my chicken skewers.
Anyways on this occasion I tried their Golden Dragon Wedding Menu – the most gourmet menu they offer. Since this was a very large banquet I cannot fairly “rate” the food since it’s basically being mass produced. However I’ve had “mass produced” banquet style Chinese food a lot so I have an idea of what it should and shouldn’t be like. Also, when a restaurant ruins almost every single dish, it’s hard to give the benefit of the doubt that they can do better.
Additional note: If this gets the attention of health inspectors I will update this post and say the “issue” has been addressed.
On the table:
- Barbeque pork, pork hock, jellyfish, beef slices, roasted suckling pig (centre)
- I’m a bit surprised this was their most gourmet platter… mediocre.
- The jellyfish was pretty salty and the quality wasn’t great.
- The suckling pork was pretty salty and at least the skin was crispy. This is traditional and a must have for any Chinese celebration.
- I’ve had much better and juicier barbequed pork.
- Yes it was a banquet so they were pre-prepared and sitting around waiting to be served… so they were completely shriveled. You can see the wrinkly batter. They weren’t oily though because the grease had enough time to absorb back into the batter…
- The taste of the shrimp paste was not bad but there wasn’t much crab, and the little crab there was, well it was dry.
- Most Chinese restaurants will offer this version as well as the less gourmet version (without the crab).
- They’re much better at Empire Seafood or Shun Feng Seafood. (Follow links to see both versions)
- There was maybe 5 snap peas and a ton of celery underneath.
- The clams were alright… a bit chewy and the quality wasn’t great.
- Stale bird’s nest.
- I don’t eat shark’s fin… which means I could have eaten this soup because there was barely any in this “SHARK’S FIN SOUP” anyways.
- It’s one of the crappiest looking shark’s fin soup and I hope they charged half the price it normally costs.
- Oh and added note! My friend had a plastic zip tie in his bowl. Yup… a PLASTIC ZIP TIE.
- The lobster was good, but the sauce was a bit gummier than usual.
- Canned abalone.
- I barely touched this… why you ask?? Because the table next to me called me over to show me THIS…
BARF ALL OVER YOUR SCREEN! WHAT THE F?!?!!? Wash your vegetables Floata!!! This is a LAYERED dish… how could you miss that?!?! That’s a f@#$-ing HUGE a$$ caterpillar to miss! On the bright side… it wasn’t furry…ew. SICK. Ew. EW! I try not to “ew” food, but I think it’s justified here.
So… tell the server and send it back… let them bring another one… and oh what do we have here?!?
(Yes, I know I have eaten bugs before, but that was willingly and we ordered it at a restaurant in Hong Kong that specializes in it… don’t ask… just see the post and watch the video here.)
- Also known as pigeons. No they’re not those dirty ones you see eating garbage. These are delicious, but they’re better at Sun Sui Wah Seafood Restaurant.
- They’re not the best here, but after passing on the soup and the mushrooms I just wanted to eat something that was okay.
- They were a bit salty, but the skin was crispy and the meat wasn’t dry. It almost tastes like duck, but leaner.
- It wasn’t fishy tasting, but I can’t “rate” this because at this point I pretty much stopped eating.
- These were alright, but the noodles were very short and bitty. They had a few mushrooms in there and some green onions.
- I love this dish and this one was crap. I was so mad because I look forward to this. It’s supposed to look like a yin yang, but the presentation was awful. Does that looks like HALF cream sauce and HALF tomato sauce to you?! It’s just the laziest presentation. I’m surprised there wasn’t saucy finger prints on the handles of this dish.
- The cream side was pretty crappy with canned mushrooms, but at least the prawns were good and tender.
- The tomato side was alright with some slices chicken, onions, and tomatoes. Overall it was a very crappy version of this dish. Sun Sui Wah has a version see here, but that’s not even the best one, although it was very good.
- Lotus Seed Roll/Square – 1/6
- I’ve never seen or even tried the squares in the middle before. That’s actually a very uncommon “dainty two” to be served. It was a definite 1/6, not one person finished the whole thing. I rarely spit food out… I spat this out.
- It was lotus seed paste rolled in almonds and nuts AND THE RED HOISIN SAUCE THEY USE FOR BBQ PORK BUNS! I thought I was eating dessert meat! The only person that would like these is Joey from Friends, who likes meat and jam in a trifle. They were savoury and not in a good way and there was no meat, but the filling started to taste like mashed up meat because they used Hoisin sauce… blah! They looked so good too, but they were so deceiving!
- Almond Cookies – 5/6
- Yay! At least theses were good! They were crispy and tender with almonds and coconut and very flavourful. They could have used an almond garnish like most restaurants would… but whatever, my standards are low for Floata.
- At this point the only thing that would throw me off is if I saw a human finger as a garnish to my cookie. I wouldn’t even be surprise if the garnish was a fingernail.
- I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again… red bean dessert is not my thing.