Full House on Hwy 7 - review
Recently went for dim sum at Full House after reading about the fairly good reviews on CH. I wanted to give Full House and Casa Imperial a try and decided to go with Full House first.
Two of us arrived there at around 2pm and were seated almost immediately, as it was late and although it was still very full inside, there were a few empty tables.
Ordered the following:
roll with bbq pork
sticky rice with meat
shrimp dumplings in the clear/white wrap
shrimp and pork dumplings
The first three dishes were alright, nothing bad, nothing outstanding.
The mango pudding looked so good, it comes as two intricate fishes on one plate with milk on the side. BUT... it was so FIRM! And there were also no mango pieces in it, like I've had at other places. We didn't like it very much.
The shrimp and pork dumplings ......... it came raw!! We each bit into it, and the interior meat was so completely raw, it was chewy and shiny. I don't go to dim sum very often, but my friend said it should rarely happen that they serve raw dimsum.
We sent it back. It was the third dish out on our table so we ate the others as they came and then finally we waited.. and waited... no dumplings in sight. We flag the waiter down again and ask for the bill before he asks if the dumplings ever came out. We say no and that we don't want it anymore since we want to leave. He says "what's taking so long?" and says that he will cancel it for us. Five minutes later, it appears... and then our bill appears 2 seconds later with takeout boxes... and they charged for the dumplings!!
Overall, VERY DISAPPOINTED and will not go back.
Your dim sum sounds awful. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience but we were there recently and i posted my review previously:
"We had Full House today and it's the best dim sum I've had this year.
Better taste and creativity than Ambassador. Cheaper than Lai Wah Heen and though the vegetal flavours don't "pop" like at LWH, just as satisfying.
The good: marinated beef shank with jelly fish (marinade not too salty and meat sliced very thin), scallop and spinach dumpling (beautiful green and complimentary tastes), the honeydew custard cake (a steamed cake similar to million layer but better), sticky rice with meat in lotus leaf (smaller so better leaf flavour)
the good like anywhere else: bbq pork bun, shrimp and chive dumpling
the not worth it: the abalone and seafood dumpling (only ok but $5.60 for 3 pcs), the papaya and milk pie (interesting and pleasant but kinda greasy), shrimp in beancurd wrap in soup (meh)
for 2 it was about $50. They also have a lot of vegetarian options."
Totally astounded to read such a negative posting on Full House's Dim Sum!! To me, the place is one of the best in the Richmond Hill area. Their shrimp dumpling ( Ha Gau ) is the closest one could get to authentic 'Hong Kong' quality. A recent change in Dim Sum chef, may be?! But I havn't noticed any high end Chinese restaurant opening up recently?! Perhaps skylineR33 can chip in? He is an 'expert' on Full House. Ha!!
re: Charles Yu
Hi chocabot and Charles,
I was sad to have to write a bad review after reading all the good ones :( !
But that was my experience, I don't know if I would go back for another one.
I know I read your post, chocabot, which is one of the ones that made me really want to try it in the first place. I just noticed that I didn't order any of the ones you recommended (except the sticky rice). Maybe that would've made a difference! I think the ones I ordered were standard dimsum fare though...
As to their authenticity, I can't comment on it, Charles, but I have no gripes about their shimp dumpling. It was alright :) I read skyline, royaljelly, and your posts on sooo many chinese restaurants, I think you're all experts at it and really enjoy reading your comments.
I have no idea too. I agree that the dim sum at Full House is not as great as before with my last 2 visits about a few weeks ago (like the seafood dumpling in clear broth has gone downhill), but still good though with other items... Maybe they have some consistency problem now ?! But the dim sum at Casa Imperial is still great as before with my experience.
My 2 cents.
maybe time of day? if you were at the end of rush maybe they had food sitting around... i know that when we went the restaurant only had one large table finishing and 2 small tables occupied so the food was hot and likely made to order.
is full house better at dinner? i've only been to their other location at night and i find it only ok. the highway 7 location seems like a totally different operation though.
Maybe, but that doesn't explain uncooked food :( . Anyway, I didn't know that Full House and Casa Imperial were owned by the same people!
I went to Casa Imperial today for dim sum. Had the following:
shrimp and mushroom pancake
rice wrapped in leaf
The shrimp dumpling, rice wrapped in leaf, and taro pastry were all really good and really hot and fresh. The taro pastry especially was really good.
The shrimp and mushroom pancake would've been good if there was actually shrimp and mushroom in it...?? There were TWO pieces of small shrimp on the entire pancake and a lot of green onion. We were wondering if they gave us the wrong dish when they first placed it on our table. Otherwise, it was pan-fried very nicely and was crispy.
The seafood dumpling didn't look like the picture.... I wasn't really expecting a certain something in it, but the picture shows that the filling is dark in colour. When it arrived, it seemed that it was just a shrimp dumpling... except in a different wrapper? And the wrapper was not fully cooked around the top where they close off the dumpling. This dish and the pork dumpling didn't appear to be fresh, as it was just warm when they brought it to our table.
Mango pudding was same presentation as Full House, except it was softer here, which was better. But still not great.
My friend who went with me likes a place called Grass Mountain Villa. It's at Don Mills and Steeles. Have any of you been there for dim sum?
Grass Mountain (Don Mills and Finch) used to be one of my favorite places, but lately it seems to have gone downhill. I went for dim sum this summer and was disappointed. A better place for me is that old standby - Sam Woo Seafood on Bamburgh and Warden...they've done some nice renovations. There has been some changeover in staff also as a lot went to Casa when it opened, but at least one of the "Captains" that went to Casa has returned (or perhaps he works both places). Casa has the better presentation, but you pay a lot more for it...and for me its not worth the money. If I'm willing to spend that kind of money for dim sum, I would go to Lai Wah Heen.
re: T Long
I gave Grass Mtn Villa a try today for dim sum (since my usual sunday morning place Spring Villa was a 30+ min wait)... big mistake! Some dishes were half warm (rice noodle), ingredients were not that fresh (shrimp dumplings), and prices weren't that attractive either. I can see it surviving for all those apartment dwellers nearby that intersection, but anyone with a car should keep on driving north...
BTW, I was talking to my friend tonight and it turns out his uncle owns both Full House (2 locations) and Casa Imperial. Apparently his uncle treats them to dinner and dim sum all the time, to the point that he's almost sick of eating there (shark's fin and lobster every other weekend would do that to a guy). I'll have to ask him if their dim sum chef @ Full House had changed at all.
I also went to GMV this weekend for an early lunch (11am). In the past my biggest complaint was that I've found the dishes overly salty and greasy, but this time everything was pretty good! (rice noodles (beef and bbq pork), har gow, siu mai, steamed beef balls, chicken feet, gai lan, lo bak goh (turnip patties), woh teep, black sesame soup, etc. - )
All of the dishes came out hot and there was no problem with stale-tasting dishes -- although I thought the tea tasted funny, everyone else said it was fine to them. A couple dishes were missing, but we just asked for them and they were brought out promptly.