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Mission 261

So I wanted some dim sum over the holiday, and since the word on these boards is that Empress Pavilion has gone downhill, I headed out to the SGV. Couldn't decide between Sea Harbour and Mission 261, but finally settled on the latter.

I was unimpressed. The fried seafood thingies had a good texture but were bland and didn't have much seafood in them. Vegetable spring rolls were so-so. Ditto for the steamed chicken buns. The shrimp dumplings were good but very plain, no dipping sauce, no hot mustard, nothing. A fried noodle with shrimp dish was OK but more the sort of thing I'd order for a Chinese dinner, not dim sum.

The service was quite good. But no scallops on the menu? What's up with that?

Overall, I don't get it. Is this a place for meat-eaters (my wife and I stick to fish and chicken)? Or is it just not that good?

Next time I'll try Sea Harbour because they specialize in seafood.

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  1. It's just not that good. Sometimes I feel like people rave about places just because Jonathan Gold told them it's good. To me, his taste buds are very hit and miss.

    1 Reply
    1. re: slacker

      Btw, I went when it was still fairly new so pre re-vamped menu, and good variety. Still, it just wasn't good.

    2. 261 re-vamped (well, downsized) their dim sum menu over the summer -- VERY disappointed after the change, since a lot of their signature dishes were taken off. (and yea, they used to have scallops) :(

      I won't be re-visiting for a while either.

      1. At one time I have heard that Sea Harbor and Mission 261 have the same owner - from Vancouver. Was that ever true, and is it currently true?

        I like the food at Sea Harbor, but it sported a Health Department rating of 61 on my last visit.

        1. Mission used to have some very innovative dim sum. But my previous visits have resulted in some not too hot dishes, despite the fact you order from the kitchen. It's also on the expensive side. It does have the advantage of a good space and the ability to make reservations.

          BTW you ask them for the hot mustard sauce. I have never seen dipping sauce coming with steamed shrimp dumplings.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PeterL

            I have never seen dipping sauce with shrimp dumplings, either, but in the absence of all else, I thought maybe ... ? I did ask for hot mustard, and after the waiters got over their surprise, they brought some.

          2. I went to Mission 261 yesterday and was also not impressed. While I like the idea of the food being fresher when you order from the menu (rather than sitting in carts), I miss the carts. I think there's probably high enough turnover that things will be more or less fresh when you get to point at things in carts. I also found we ordered too much when we didn't see everything and just checked off things on whim.

            Overall, I think the dumplings are too sweet there. I'm expecting a savory taste and would be hit with granules of sugar. On siu mai? Very unacceptable. I did like the mushroom dumpling though I cannot recall actually ordering them (light green wrapper).

            You can ask for the condiments.