Shun Feng serves up perfect birthday dinner

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Chinese restaurants often the best source

Stephanie Yuen

Shun Feng Sea-food Restaurant general manager Wallace Yuen with some of the featured dishes. Shown are steamed live B.C. prawns, served with soy sauce, braised beef ribs with chef’s special sauce, deep fried dumplings filled with shrimps and gooseliver, and baked buns with almond filling. Photograph by : Ian Smith, Vancouver Sun


1425 – 4380 No. 3 Road, Parker Place, Richmond.


Opens daily for lunch and dinner

Major credit cards

Price: $

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When my family decides to go out for a seafood dinner, we often choose a Chinese restaurant. And no, it has little to do with the fact that we are Chinese, but a lot to do with live seafood; the many varieties we can enjoy in one meal and most importantly, our budget.

We recently celebrated a birthday at Shun Feng Seafood Restaurant located inside Parker Place Mall in Richmond. The 10-course dinner included B.C. seafood such as geoduck, sea-cucumber, spot prawns, two whole Dungeness crabs and ling cod; plus other meat and vegetables dishes; and dessert; came to around $40 each. To us, that is an affordable price tag.

Chinese restaurants have long shifted away from the boring traditional red and gold dragon décor but are using brighter and warmer colour schemes and contemporary features. Shun Feng’s open style dining room and clean design is a good example of that. What also impressed us was the attentive but not overwhelming service. The only complaint we had was the untimely delivery of the food to our table, the kitchen must be operating in a high speed mode that evening.

Chinese call geoduck “The elephant trunk clam;” a name that perfectly describes this funny looking sea animal. We consume the whole clam but the shell; the “head” we throw in to the stock pot; the trunk, or body, we either eat raw with wasabi and soy like sashimi or we stir-fry it.

The meat of sea-cucumber is the body part which looks spongy and has gelatinous fluffy rice like texture when cooked. The muscle is soft and crunchy and is actually the wall linings inside of the sea-cucumber body. Both the geoduck and the sea- cucumber muscles can be rubbery if not done right.

Shun Feng chose juliennes of geoduck and sea-cucumber muscle stir-fried with Chinese chives and bean sprouts as the hot appetizer. The chef did a wonderful job here by not overcooking the meat. “I stir-fry the vegetables first, then put some oil in the wok and heat it up till its red hot. The meat must be stir-fried quickly to keep them tender and juicy. Then I return the vegetables to the wok,” executive chef Kit Poon explained.

The Dungeness crabs were wok- fried with chili black bean sauce, known as “harbour style” fried crab, a well-known recipe from the boat people in Hong Kong. The crabs were drenched with such lingering spicy flavour that they were literally finger-licking good.

The fish was my least desired dish of the evening, probably because it arrived after the ravishing Flambe drunken spot prawns which was cooked table side. The prawns were dunked in Chinese wine, removed, seasoned and pan-fried. Just like crepes Suzette, liquor was added in and ignited, creating the amazing flambe effect. This “show” dish obviously took everyone’s full attention and the robust flavour prawns mesmerized our palates too.

The vegetable we opted was baby choy sum. They were so young and tender that if the chef left them in the wok three seconds longer, they would be too soggy already. Lucky for us, his timing was perfect.

Though we brought our own birthday cake, the kitchen sent out a complimentary birthday dessert — steamed sweet buns stuffed with red bean paste in the shape of a Chinese peach, symbolizing best wishes. Steamed Chinese buns are white in colour, they are aromatic and cuddly soft when hot, and is definitely a great way to end a birthday dinner.

© The Vancouver Sun 2008


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