Empire Seafood Restaurant combines contemporary Chinese cuisine, cutting-edge interior design and breathtaking panoramic views in a destination restaurant. From baked BBQ pork buns to live Alaska King Crab, Empire Seafood Restaurant is suitable for everyone with any budget.
The dimsum experiences have been generally good, price and food were decent. This made us want to go back and have dinner there.
We made a reservation for four and asked the price for the king crab per phone, they told us the price was 18,80 per lb (last week the special price was 10,80 per lb). Later when we went to the restaurant, we ordered a kingcrab for 18,80/lb. We asked why the price differed so much from just last week. The waiter in a suit told us that kingcrabs are scarce now, there are only two more left. So according to the price of 18,80/lb, we bought a crab that was around 8 pounds and asked them to prepare the crab in two ways, which wasn't a problem (many restaurants will have this service as well). We also ordered live prawns for the special price of 9,80/lb and two other dishes. The service was generally appropriate, f.e. they changed the plates quite often and were quite attentive to our requests.
However, we were caught by surprise when we received the bill. Suddenly there was 10$ extra charged for preparing the crab, which we thought was part of the total price of 154$. The restaurant did not tell us there is an extra charge for cooking the crab. Also, we didn't get the special price for the prawns. Supposedly for 1,5 lb, we were expected to pay around 15$ but it was charged for about 25$. When we asked about this, we received the following explanation. Apparently the crab for 18,80/lb was a special price, because normally the crab is sold for around 30$/lb. And because we got the crab for this 'special price', we were not able to get the live prawns for the special price, but have to pay for the regular price. This was not communicated in their advertisement nor in their menu or through the waiter. We asked about the price of the kingcrab twice, and this was the first time we heard that this was the special price. And that we actually cannot order two items for a special price, that's why we paid the regular price for the prawns, which was never communicated to us in any ways. So we end up paying 20$ extra, feeling cheated, unclear communication or embedded charges. We were just expecting a nice dinner out, not minding the prices, but all what we received was a blame of their collegeae who wasn't clear to us?? We are not satisfied with this way of doing business. We are definitely not going back anymore, it really spoiled our dinner experience and our experience of the Empire restaurant.
I decided to take my family to this restaurant on a friday afternoon, and the place was incredibly busy. The restaurant was packed and so was the entrance. We had a long wait to get a table because of the size of the restaurant (which is small by chinese restaurant standards). There really are just not enough tables and the smaller room wasn't open for some reason. Meanwhile, for the existing tables, many of them were in a bad location (i.e. by the aisles). I know chinese restaurants are known for being loud but this place was incredibily chaotic...even the General Manager was yelling at the staff right in front of the customers. I find that extremely tacky and rude and it wasn't even the fault of the staff! We also got pushed down on the waiting list because the GM wanted to give the good tables to his buddies (nice, eh?). The rest of the staff were great, however, the waiters, the hostess, even the assistant manager ? who came to check up on us once in a while.
The food, on the other hand, was delicious, and for a great price too. I especially loved the egg tarts (very crunchy!), BBQ pork buns and siu mai. The food and value is quite good. However, I find the atmosphere/environment of this restaurant very stressful and noisy. I think I'd rather go to another one of the many other chinese restaurants in Richmond to get cheap dim sum!
I was there on a Sunday night and it wasn't very busy. They made me take a 2nd sitting reservation at 7:45pm. The other was at 6:30pm or something. After seeing some rave reviews about their peking duck, I had to check it out. Unfortunately it was dissappointing. The server brought the duck over to let us see it very quickly and it was a small duck. It tasted good but seems like portions were scarce. I had better duck at another restaurant for much better price. Our 1st soup dish was meant to be shared between all of us but they just brought the soup and didn't bother to bring enough bowls and spoons for us to share. In another dish, we found a strand of metal cleaning pad. The food is good and doesn't use a lot of msg so they do have good chefs but portions are small. I told the server and he explained it was from the cleaning of the wok, took it and walked away. At the end, there was no appologies, discount or future credit for their mishaps. Most of their dishes are expensive. They are trying to be high end but with sad service, expensive price, small dishes, I definitely staying away as far as possible from this place.