This is yet another Chinese restaurant that I’ve previously been to — Da Fu Seafood Cuisine (“da fu” in Chinese means “big fortune”). My family and I ate here recently for dinner during the holidays for my uncle’s birthday. It’s located at Steeles and McCowan Road and really close to Milliken Park (where I planted my first tree last year! :D). In the past, I’ve been here countless times in the morning for dim sum; their selection is pretty good and they also serve some small dishes like sweet and sour pork, boiled vegetables, salt and pepper shrimp, etc. for 4 or 5 dollars. I can’t confirm that they presently still have these choices since I haven’t been there for dim sum in a while, but you almost always have to wait for a table if you don’t arrive early enough on the weekends.
I’ve also dined here for dinner — I remember I didn’t like the way they prepared their lobster very much because the soy sauce that they use is more sweet instead of salty that I usually prefer. On this night, our party of 7 ordered the $198 combo that included crab, lobster, eel, chicken, duck feet, pork spareribs, and vegetables. It was a pretty good combo since it covered such a wide variety of food and we were left very, very full with leftovers to take home.
One thing about Chinese restaurants in general, and which is certainly no different about this one, is that the service is never very good. You just can’t compare “service” here to that of a Western restaurant. The servers will almost never come back to check on you and ask you how your meal is going. They will simply come over when you wave them down, take your order, deliver your dishes, and expect the standard tip which is shared among all the servers in the restaurant. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is how most Chinese restaurants do it. The reason I mention this is that on this night, we had a particularly long wait for our food and some interesting service.
The first dish of chicken arrived relatively quickly since it was the cold kind and they really didn’t need to heat it up. After this, it took some time for the rest of the dishes to arrive. They actually made a mistake too — we knew that there was a crab dish in our dinner combo, so when a plate of crab arrived, we dug in. It was really good and tasted great! This might be the best fried crab I’ve ever had in a restaurant — I usually am hesitant about eating crab at a restaurant because the meat is just not so easy to get into when you compare it to that of a lobster. It turns out that this was the wrong dish of crab! Our crab dish was supposed to be a cold and steamed version. When we realized this, we notified the server immediately. We weren’t billed for this incorrect dish naturally… it would have been ridiculous if they did. What actually was ridiculous was that it turns out that the reason why the rest of our dishes was taking such a long time to arrive was that the kitchen had completely marked our orders with the incorrect table number. All of our dishes were going to the table next to us! Unfortunately… *shakes fist at some people* when that table received our food, they just ate what was served to them and didn’t notify the servers… Can you believe it? Of course they weren’t going to be billed on this mistake, but the nerve of some people to just completely eat someone else’s food and not tell the restaurant about it knowing that the food would be theirs for free…
Anyway, the rest of our food soon arrived. The fried lobster was very delicious and I actually liked how it tasted sweet — see above where I previously didn’t like how this restaurant served their lobster in a sweet-tasting soy sauce (also, the way they presented it reminded me of the “lobster mountain” that they serve at Fishman Lobster Clubhouse) and I liked the plentiful tiny fried fish that were scattered around the plate. I’m not sure why I liked the sweeter taste this time and why I didn’t like it in my previous visits here. I also liked how the lobster meat was easily removable from its shell. This is a plus when you’re trying to get through the lobster pieces quickly in order to eat more. 😀
The cold crab that we finally received was so-so. Since we had started off with the fried crab that was deep fried and flavoured well, this plain steamed dish paled in comparison in terms of its tastiness.
The eel was also fried and tasted really flavourful and perfectly seasoned, the bok choy vegetables were plentiful on the plate, the oxtail pieces were rich and smooth in the hot stew, the duck feet weren’t good (they gave us mostly chopped-up pieces instead of whole feet), the pork spareribs were fairly yummy (although when I got to them, I was so full that I could only fit one in my belly to see how it tasted).
Lastly, we finished off with some red bean soup (not pictured) and osmanthus jelly. This Chinese dessert is a block of jelly that is made with dried osmanthus flowers and wolfberries inside. It was tasted really good here. I was very full by the end and I really admired the lobster and crab that I had. When we left, we also witnessed a fairly loud argument between one of the guests and the servers. It turns out that the guest refused to pay tip on a $200 bill. I’m not sure what the reasons were that the guest didn’t want to pay the tip, but the server was complaining that it was unacceptable before the guest finally put down something unwillingly on the table and left. Maybe it’s also the area that we were in, but the guests around us that night really showed their colours… if you know what I mean….