Sunday, September 26, 2010

Golden Great Wall 長城飯莊


I had dim sum today with my Groupon at the Golden Great Wall Szechuan Restaurant. The prices are really high compared to other dim sum places. The food was alright, but didn't justify the high prices. Worse yet, the owner didn't seem happy about having so many Groupon users and tacked a mandatory 15% gratuity on to the bill. This was not stated in the Groupon fine print, but simply printed on a piece of paper and displayed near the entrance. Personally I think that's an act of dishonesty. But anyway on to the food! Our first dim sum was the Shanghai style dumplings, aka xiao long bao (小籠包) ($6.99). They were juicy enough, but not hot enough for my taste. The soup inside was lukewarm, not boiling hot as in most other restaurants. I also found the dumpling skin to be slightly doughy. And on the main menu the dumplings are listed at $7.95 for 10, but on the dim sum menu they are $6.99 for 6. When I asked the waitress about it, she told me they changed the prices and the dim sum menu price is accurate. So each dumpling costs more than $1...


Then we had noodles in soup with smoked fish (薰魚湯麵) ($8.99). This dish was average, and the noodles were not hot enough.


Next was the sticky rice with Chinese doughnut (粢飯) ($3.50). This is a famous Shanghainese dim sum which is a sticky rice roll with Chinese doughnut and other fillings inside depending on whether it's salty or sweet. The salty version uses dried shredded pork (肉鬆) and preserved mustard tubers (榨菜), while the sweet version uses sugar, sesame seeds, and peanuts. I always get the salty version because I think the sticky rice tastes better with savoury fillings. This sticky rice roll was really good. It didn't fall apart and the Chinese doughnut inside was crispy on the outside, slightly chewy, and not too greasy.


But the beef sesame pancake (牛肉麻醬燒餅) ($7.99) was a disappointment. I couldn't taste the beef at all, or the sauce for that matter. The pancake was completely bland and flavourless.


The dessert was really good though. We had the baked red bean cakes (豆沙酥餅) ($4.99). The pastry was soft and flaky, and the red bean paste inside was smooth and not overly sweet. I think this was the best dish in the whole meal.


The last dish we had was the salty soy milk (鹹豆漿) ($1.99). The sweet version is just sweetened soy milk, but the salty version contains bits of food such as dried shrimp, green onions, preserved mustard tubers, and Chinese doughnut cut into small pieces. I didn't like the strong musty flavours that leaked from the preserved shrimp and mustard tubers into the soy milk. I think there are ways around it such as precooking the preserved foods, but I guess they didn't bother with the extra work.


Overall it was a satisfactory meal, and with the Groupon it was good value for the money. But I don't think I would visit this restaurant at regular price.

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4 comments:

eeScorpius on October 02, 2010 9:43 pm said...

Was it very busy at the restaurant? With the amount of people purchasing the GroupOn, I have no idea how they are going to accommodate the rush...

krispymilk on October 02, 2010 10:21 pm said...

It was quite busy especially since I went on a Sunday. Good thing I called ahead and made reservations. Did you read the discussion board on Groupon regarding this deal? There have been so many complaints about having to wait in line even though there were empty tables because people didn't make reservations. When I was there, the table beside mine didn't show their Groupons at the beginning of the meal, and the manager refused to let them use it when the bill came. There're so many "traps" regarding this deal. Did you buy a Groupon as well?

eeScorpius on October 03, 2010 2:20 am said...

Nope I didn't! No offence but I don't exactly trust Chinese restaurants with this kind of deals =/

krispymilk on October 03, 2010 3:35 pm said...

Haha so true! That's exactly what my parents said too. But I think that as long as I know the restrictions and play everything by the rules, it'll be ok. Chinese businesses are usually less accommodating regarding these deals though.

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