Restaurant: Gingeri Chinese Cuisine 金如意
Cuisine: Chinese/Dim Sum/Seafood
Last visited: July 24, 2011
Location: Richmond, BC (Richmond Central)
Address: 323 – 5300 #3 Rd (Inside Lansdowne Mall)
Price Range: $10 or less dim sum, $20-30 dinner
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Traditional Cantonese
- Fine dining Chinese
- Private room available
- Live seafood tanks
- Set menus
- Banquet menus
- Dim Sum/Lunch/Dinner
- Free parking
Another banquet dinner, another 12 courses, at another Chinese restaurant. I feel kind of spoiled saying this, but I have these way too often. Whether it’s a wedding, one month celebration or Chinese New Year, it is usually the same menu with the few occasional switch ups. As much as Chinese banquet dinners can be the same old traditional courses, each restaurant has their own style, menu and of course chef.
Okay so what’s up with the eggs? Is it Chinese Easter? I thought this was a Chinese dinner, not a Ukrainian one. Or are you at the kid’s table? Well, actually it’s none of the above. It was my second cousin’s one month old celebration dinner. So due to the nature of the event, and out of respect that the owner of Gingeri is a relative, I’m not going to be “rating” or commenting on the food too much.
Traditionally in Chinese and some other Asian cultures, when a baby reaches its one month, its health and the mother’s recovery is to be celebrated. The celebration is a fancy banquet dinner, like this one, which is also called a “Reg Egg and Ginger Party”. I know, it sounds a bit questionable.
Anyways at this Red Egg and Ginger Party, or One Month Celebration dinner, red eggs are handed out to the guests by the parents in exchange for red packets and gifts. Nowadays the eggs are often prearranged on the table. The restaurant usually provides the eggs and the baby pickled ginger is served on the table as well. It’s tradition to eat the hard boiled egg as part of your appetizer, or you can bring it home too. The egg is red regardless of the gender of the baby and it symbolizes new life and happiness.
I’m all for eggs, so sometimes a Follow Me Foodie Easter Egg Hunt of collecting leftover ones may happen at the end of these dinners. This is not a tradition though, and this “Easter Egg Hunt” is completely organized by myself, I am the only one playing, so do not Follow Me Foodie in this scenario… unless no one is looking. Asian people hate wasting anyways… so don’t be shy either.
On the table:
- Complimentary, but some places will charge. Only fine dining Chinese restaurants will offer XO Chili Sauce. I can eat it plain even if it’s really spicy, and this one also wasn’t spicy.
- Clockwise from 12 o’clock: Jellyfish, deep fried crispy chicken knees, pork hock slices, honey garlic spare ribs and tofu wrapped mushrooms and vegetables.
- This is standard on a banquet menu and it’s the Chinese version of a charcuterie platter.
- The items on it will vary, but the jellyfish and tofu wraps are on there 100% of the time.
- It was different to see the chicken knees on the appetizer platter.
- The Tofu Wrapped Mushrooms and Vegetables are usually stuffed with all Shiitake mushrooms, so it was a different take to see them with carrots, celery and onions.
- If there’s no smoked salmon on the appetizer plate, this tofu wrap is usually my next favourite appetizer on the platter.
- The vegetables were sugar snap peas, some carrots, celery and black mushroom fungus clouds.
- I know “black mushroom fungus clouds” may not sound appetizing, but they’re almost like thin sheets of somewhat puffy cloud-like shapes. They’re slimy, jelly-like, and a bit crunchy with mushroom flavour.
- Green Wrasse is the name of the fish and it’s very similar to basa or rock cod and it has a very mild flavour.
- The vegetable is seasonal and it will usually be broccoli or Chinese broccoli (kai lan).
Braised Shark’s Fin in Supreme Thick Soup
- I didn’t take a photo of this, and I didn’t try it either.
- Chinese restaurants offer seafood with a variety of sauces and I think the “Cream Sauce” is the childhood favourite.
- It’s an ultra rich, indulgent and buttery cream sauce and the best part is having it sit on a bed of E-Fu Noodles to soak it all up.
- It seemed to have more sauce than usual, which is nothing to complain about, and the flavour was almost extra rich and buttery.
- If the E-Fu noodles show up in the lobster dish, then it will likely not show up at the end when it is usually served with the rice.
- The cream sauce was a bit of a surprise because it’s usually “Supreme Stock” sauce, which is made from a lobster crustacean broth and onions.
- These were jumbo dried Shiitake mushrooms over top baby bok choy in a thinner soy based sauce.
- The sauce is made from the natural juices released in the cooking process of the mushrooms and vegetables.
- This is the traditional Cantonese version of sweet and sour sauce, and it’s different than the neon orange American-Chinese version.
- It’s comparing apples to oranges, but this one is just more suitable for my tastes.
- The traditional version has less ketchup, vinegar and no pineapple juice, so it’s almost less sharp, and less artificial looking and tasting.
- The sauce is still bold, and perhaps thicker and richer, and it’s a bit more soy sauce based.
- It’s more like a gravy compared to the Western style sweet and sour sauce.
- It’s served over a bed of sweet and semi-crunchy onions and the sauce is still sweet and sour, but not as sweet and sour as the American-Chinese one.
- The fillets of beef are very tender, soft, and incredibly well marinated and they really just melted in my mouth.
- I’d order this a la carte, and if you like the Filet Beef Luc Lac at Phnom Penh, there’s a good chance you would appreciate this. The flavour is different, but the beef is just as tender.
- The free range chicken marinates in a brine before it is deep fried and cooked.
- The skin is very crispy and you can eat it with the Worcestershire sauce or salt served along side.
- Popularly known as Honeymoon Fried Rice, or Ying Yang fried rice, this is my favourite rice to be served at a Chinese banquet dinner.
- Usually it will be plain fried rice, so this is a bonus.
- It’s pretty much comfort food, very kid friendly, and also very “Western palate” friendly.
- The sauces are served on a bed of fried rice, and any rice covered with so much sauce, is a winner for me.
- Almost everyone prefers the cream side, but I like the tomato side better and I like to mix the two sauces. It’s not “weird” just think of adding cream to a tomato sauce for a creamy tomato sauce.
- The cream side had fresh prawns and sliced asparagus and it’s not rich like a bechamel sauce, although some versions of it can be. This one had perhaps less cream and butter and some places will use those ingredients as well as cheese, but the cheese is rare.
- The flavour of the cream sauce is supposed to have a slight seafood flavour too.
- The tomato side had lots of sliced chicken, stewed tomatoes and onions. It’s more tangy than sweet, but there is a slight sweetness to it. It’s not like sweet and sour sauce, but more like a tomato sauce.
- This is an unusual dessert to come at the end of a banquet, but it was a great change from the expected red bean soup, which I really dislike anyways.
- I’m actually not a fan of Chinese desserts in general, but anything nutty I don’t mind. So hot Chinese almond soup or walnut soup I actually am okay with.
- It’s not very sweet, like most Asian desserts, and it’s made of walnut paste so the texture is smooth, but still somewhat gritty from the walnut paste/powder.
- It’s not very rich, but it is creamy and quite aromatic in walnut flavour.
- Popularly known as “Dainty Two’s” this is a traditional Chinese dessert that comes after every banquet style menu.
- Coconut Almond Cookies
- The cookies were coconut almond cookies instead of just almond cookies and they were topped with whole almonds and a bit of jam which was different.
- It’s a dry crumbly nutty cookie made with ground almonds and dried coconut.
- Laughing Sesame Ball Cookies
- They’re essentially deep fried balls of dough rolled in sesame seeds.
- They’re not bready or like donuts at all.
- They’re nutty, dry, crumbly, crunchy on the outside and still somewhat hard on the inside.
- They’re very mildly sweet and the crack in them is supposed to resemble a smile or laugh, hence the name.