Sea Harbour is a classy, modern Chinese restaurant in Richmond offering specialty Chinese cuisine.
.... the decoration of a restaurant is better than the food?
Took my son and a friend of his here for dim sum on a Wednesday. Having been overawed by the jammed parking lot out front in the past, we agreed to get there EARLY to avoid a wait. The place opens at 10:30, we were there by 10:40. No wait, no problem getting seated.
The room is open, not horribly crowded and nicely decorated. The front door has an arrangement of screens that keeps the people waiting in line from staring at your food and keeps the drafts out - quite ingenious. Also ingenious was the illustrated menu card with numbered items that matches the numbered tick-off sheet. I had a moment's panic when realizing that there was no English on the tick-off sheet, but son's friend pointed out the numbering system and all was well.
With two young men with good appetites, we were able to order quite a variety of dim sum. The usual suspects, plus a few different dishes over and above the run-of-the-mill. The quality varied from OK to pretty good. Pan-fried radish cake (lo bok gow) was cut into smaller pieces and fried with spicy XO sauce - great! Purple taro steamed cake topped with cheese was unusual and good. Deep fried spring rolls were crisp and served standing upright in a footed goblet; the presentation was interesting and preserved the "crisp", but the filling was skimpy. Steamed spareribs in black bean and garlic sauce dish was sub-standard - mostly tasteless and mostly gristle. Har gow, congee, egg tarts, cha siu bao were all good. A pan-fried egg batter folded over filling and topped with dried tuna shavings was a visual treat, the tuna shavings "dancing" in the heat of the dish. We ordered three sweet items for dessert - egg tarts, steamed sponge cake and a slice of papaya filled with a gelatin-based pudding.
The food came intermittently, which was good as we were able to sample the dishes while they were hot. When we reviewed the orginal order sheet (returned to the table as an "all done" signal), we realized we had not received the papaya/pudding item. Asking for the dish resulted in three people double-checking the order slips delivered to the table with the dishes. By the third sour face, I felt that they were doubting our honesty. After a manager checked the slips, the papaya dish was dumped on the table by the stone-faced manager lady. Guess they don't like it when they get caught out in a slip-up?
Anyway, lots of food, some of it outstanding, but most of it pretty average. Quite pricey, in my opinion. This place is supposed to serve some of the very best dim sum in the Lower Mainland, or so I've heard from Asian friends. I'm glad we went, REALLY glad we didn't have to wait in a long lineup, and glad that my curiousity has been satisfied. I would investigate some of the other well-regarded restaurants in Richmond for dim sum before I return to Sea Harbour.
In the past years, whenever I did give this place a shot, I came out disappointed and wondered what it was ppl saw in it whether it be for lunch or dinner. It's known to be a high-end Chinese restaurant (in price & quality) and yet the decor shouted of dingy old and unimpressive. With the more recent visits after a long while of absence, I've been back more than a handful of times in the span of a little more than a month (weekends, mainly).
This is now on my list for one of my favourite dimsum places (while, say, Kirin d/t has fallen from that list). I'll have to give a shot at their dinners soon! The variety is good, and service is pleasant. There seems to have been some renovations done. No more mirrors on the the wall. It's been updated though it's still almost a little crowded in seating but still better than some other places. Now, I go almost weekly but started to alternate to (re)try other dimsum spots.
Parking is good if you go for the first sitting right when they open at 10am.
I'm surprised there are so few ratings on this one here. It recently got rated highly in Vancouver magazine and several others.
Very deserving. This feels like a higher-end Chinese restaurant, not like your usual greasy joint. Service and decor to match.
We've been here many (too many?) times for dim sum and dinner and they are great at both. Be sure to make reservations, as they are almost always really, really packed.
Food style is Cantonese influenced, and they are semi-regularly adding and changing menu items. Definitely not afraid to experiment (this is one Chinese place where you can get foie gras, though I'm not sure it's a regular menu item, we've had it at least 3-4 times there).
If you can, try to find someone who has been there before, preferably regularly. It seems like they have many regulars and they tend to get slightly preferential treatment. (e.g. you might have a slight wait, even if you did reserve). Once you're seated though, it will all be fine, they seem quite nice and not snooty. They seem to be quite adept at handling a full restaurant, so service shouldn't be that bad. If you do go, try not to pick your usual that you try at lower end Chinese restaurants, you might be missing the point.
Also, I believe they are prepared to do special requests if you let them know in advance, such as vegetarianizing everything (which tastes a damn site better than the Naam!)
I was excited to finally try this place for my friends' wedding banquet after reading the positive reviews. The restaurant looks great with modern,sleek Asian fusion style, so my first impression walking in and sitting down was positive (particularly liked the charger plates).
Service was good. Servers consistently topped up the drinks and did their jobs very efficiently and professionally. I was more impressed by the speed and accuracy at which they split the platters into individual plates for the tables.
Now only if I can say the same about the food.... While again, very nicely presented, the dishes throughout the 12 course banquet were either tasteless or too salty. Sharks fin soup was particularly disappointing with very little flavor in the broth and seemed rushed, maybe overcompensated with MSG instead. I would have rated them a 3 for food, but the squab I had was still had blood spewing out in the middle. That dropped their rating to a 2 for me.
As for value, I do like the ambiance, but feel the food isn't worth the price, especially in Richmond where there are other contending Chinese restaurants of the same calibre.
Might be back but not any time soon.
This restaurant is one of the coziest and classiest restaurants we have been to. After renovating several years ago, this place has a great high class feeling.
The food is a bit more expensive but comparable to other restaurants of this class (ie Sun Siu Wah & Kirin). The portions were bigger than expected and food was great!
Several friends had wedding banquets here and all of them were happy with the resultss. Outside, may not be too glamourous but once you go in, you will see it's a whole different restaurant. And parking is ample so no need to worry about finding a parking spot.
Seems I only go to chinese restaurants mostly for dim sum and on a late Sunday morning we came here looking for the same.
No reservations so that meant braving the long wait. We were seated after about 20-25 minutes.
Unfortunately I can't read chinese so I had to ask for a menu to cross reference the dishes on the item list. We of coursed were looking for the favourites. My girlfriend had been craving those seemingly rare Taro Dumplings and after going through the decently sized list a couple of times we got confirmation from a server that they do not have that dish. Oh well.
One dish arrived at first and after nursing it for a bit our remaining dishes all came at once scalding hot. Shrimp Dumplings were excellent quality the skin was perfectly done firm and not mushy and good size. The Deep Fried Squid was lightly battered and fried a faint golden yellow and the pieces were tender.
It was especially busy on a Sunday but driving by on a regular basis the parking lot is usually filled up. I came here years ago and it seems they've renovated the place (or at least freshened it up) and looks several notches nicer than what I remember. The customers there dressed unusually nice on that day but seeing the types of cars outside this place seems to attract a slightly higher end patron.
Service was good many of the servers gave long passes across the floor to check up on tables. It's noisy and the tables were a touch close so it felt a little discomforting while I was eating (perhaps facing the front entrance where hungry customers were waiting didn't help either).
Braving the hustle and bustle and a long wait it's a good bet for your first meal of the day. Probably a good bet for dinner too which I'd like to come back here for.
The last time I wrote a review on this restaurant, I rated it 'The Best Chinese food in Town'. Unfortunately, not any more.
My latest visit was a BIG disappointment. Prices were as high as they ever were, but only the roasted squab and the dessert were up to their usual high standards. The other dishes were merely decent, except that the pan fried geoduck was horrible (and it was the most expensive dish we ordered, at more than $42). Even though two waiters told us that it was geoduck, we still have our doubts. it neither looked like nor tasted like geoduck, it was overly chewy, and flavourless. Whereas geoduck is usually presented in thin slices, these were solid chunks. It was more like pork belly to me. The sweet and sour pork looked dry, like it was yesterday's leftover, although the taste was OK. No wonder that the place was only half full even on a Saturday evening. They must have changed the chef, and for the worse. There are several other Chinese restaurants in Richmond and in Vancouver with far better food, good decor, and at less cost. No longer recommended.
My hubby took us to dinner to celebrate my birthday. This was the restaurant that I requested. Outside, the building doesn't look much to look at, but inside, the restaurant was quite nice, elegant and clean. Even their bathroom was clean.
When I made the reservation, I mention about their famous crab hotpot as I wasn't sure if I was suppose to order in advance. Luckily, I did.
We ordered 2 of their specialty dishes, crab and pumpkin hotpot and hand shredded chicken. Plus the choi sum with wolfberry and dry scallop in superior broth. All 3 dishes were fantastic. I really enjoy their crab hotpot. When they presented the live crab to me, I had to return the crab as I told them that we were not going to pay good money for a crab that was missing a leg.
After dinner, we were offer complimentary mung bean soup which was delicious. Had I known that, I wouldn't have order their steamed milk and almond soup with egg white. It was also good.
I didn't rate the service high because I thought the wait staff were slow in refilling our teapot or replace our plates when it was pile with crab shells and chicken bones.
The food was a bit expensive, but it was well worth it. The four of us were happy with the quality of food. My girlfriend mention that she would like to come back to try out other items. Maybe on her upcoming birthday. This is the kind of place that I'd go for a special occasion.
Thank you Mr. Panda for a lovely b'day dinner.
Went here for a family birthday and was very impressed. We ordered a 10 course set menu and the results were great.
The food was fresh and tasty. They offered some unique dishes that went beyond the typical offerings seen in other Chinese restaurants.
I enjoyed the Pumpkin and Black Bean Crab dish which was very tasty.
The Egg white and dried scallop fried rice was done very well and offered alot of flavour. I definitely recommend Seas Habour and will be returning in the future.
If you want first-rate chinese cuisine, this is the place. Reservations are highly recommended. I have been here for dimsum and for dinners, and the place is always packed! The ambiance feels like an exclusive Hong Kong restaurant. I enjoyed dimsum there even though it is pricier; however, each dish comes out hot, tasty, and delicious. For the discerning Chinese palate, you will know the difference between ordinary and extraordinaire!
What do Yao Ming, Jackie Chan, and many other famed actors and directors from over sea have in common? They all love Sea Harbour. Sea Habour is by far... if not one of the best places for dim sum, it is the best in BC by a mile. There are many times when customers are early, they would offer them a place to sit with something warm to drink. Their waitresses and waiters always keep an eye out you. The place is always clean.
Sea Harbour's fame is that they claim to have world's best bun. They don't just claim it. They own it. I've never met anyone who doesn't love their buns. While in town? Why not give it a shot? Just be warned, they are always packed.
Came here for a wedding banquet and was quite impressed. Been to many chinese wedding banquets and must say that the food here was quite impressive for what it was. The seafood was all very fresh and didnt have any 'weird fishy taste'. Some of the courses were shark fin soup, lobster, abalone, and fish which were all very fresh. Service was good in comparison to other restaurants, they filled our glasses quite often. Ambiance was very nice as well as it had a elegant and oriental feel. Would definitely go back for dinner sometime.
One of the best chinese restaurants in the lower mainland with outstanding consistency of quality. Sea Harbour is one of those restaurants that are comfortably uncomfortable, you don't mind the upper middle class feel and the BMWs and Mercedes in the parking lot aren't intimidating. Parking is difficult on weekends but is acceptable. The place feels clean and modern without trying to hard. The Number 1 buns really are delicious and don't hesitate to ask the waiter for recommendations, Worth the money if you don't eat there every day.
Food was not good for the price we have to pay. Bland and poorly cooked; it seemed like they didn't put enough effort in making their dishes. Tea refills and plate changing came in a slow pace (20 mins at one point with no water). This is totally unexpected from a restaurant that calls itself 'upper class'. Ambience and decor is too busy. A female manager made us pay before dessert came which is a 'no no' in Chinese etiquette. Also dessert came before the table was cleared of dirty dishes. When we didn't pay any tip, the manager had the nerve to ask us why we didn't give one. When we left, all the waiters/waitresses were cursing us behind our backs. Eat at your own risk!
Knowing how popular Dim Sum is (expecially on a weekned), we made a reservation the day before. However, when we arrived (10 minutes before our time) we were told that the waiting time is 30 minutes, which eventually turned to 45 minutes. Funny, that the people who didn't have reservation waited also 45 minutes. The lobby is tiny, the hussel is increadible, a receptionist was exhausted and didn't hide it, as enourmous amount of people were coming in and out and everybody was flipping through her reservation list ? lke it was their own (?).
When we finally got to our table we found food to be very good, but it was almost impossible to catch a waiter to ask a question/order food/ask for a bill.
The whole atmosphere of rush and hustle was very unpleasant.
Don't think we'll come again.