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Piece of advise!! - Stay away from Chinese restaurant on festive holidays like mother's or father's day!

Just finish having dinner at the supposedly consistent and good 'Brilliant Chinese Restaurant' The restaurant was packed and the meal was BAD! BAD! BAD! We even have to complain and return one of the dishes ( Braised whole yellow fin Garoupa tail section that was sooooo fishy in smell and taste ). This was my second bad experience this year in a Chinese restaurant! The first one was a meal at Emperor on Mother's day! Is this a trend?! Bad food on a holiday that falls on a weekend?!! I guess so!!
Service was pretty bad too! Our waitress tried consolidating our dishes by scooping scallops onto the beef dish without our approval! During the process, she dropped a serving spoon full of sauce onto my daughter's Gucci hand-bag!! My daughter almost 'killed' her!!!!!

BTW, the table next to us in Brilliant was occupied by caucasians who happened to order a whole bunch of dishes that would require 'insider information' and advance order. Either they worked for the Globe & Mail or they must be chowhound members! What a bad time to try out an 'off-form' restaurant recommended on the chowhound board!!

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  1. Definitely one of those occasions where non-diners blink at newfound daylight, and go to places that they would never otherwise try. Right up there with Valentine's day as one where the price goes up and the seats get turned over quickly. My youngsters chose a quiet patio with cold draught and a jazz combo.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Snarf

      I agree with this but disagree that it relates to the type of restaurants OP is talking about.

      1. re: szw

        I agree with szw. This is a poor correlation made by CY and I don't get what the table next to them had to do with anything, let alone the Gucci purse murder reaction. I just think that bad meals/service happens and shouldn't be taken so personally.

        1. re: justsayn

          I think Charles is just saying it is a bad time for the group next to them visiting the restaurant that they may not experience the true potential of the restaurant recommended on chowhound board.

          For Chinese festival such as Chinese New Year, Mother's or Father's day, the chance of getting bad food, rush service, long lineup at a Chinese restaurant are very high, this is also from my experience and it is a pretty well-known issue. Same with Valentine' day or Christmas time, I will stay away from Western establishment to avoid disappointment. So it is a just a piece of advise, take it easy.

          1. re: skylineR33

            Exactly my point!
            In my opinion, If the food is sub par, at least the service can be more responsive and attentive to compensate. However, as a regular customer, to dough out big bucks for both sub par food and service is no excuse!

    2. We were at Brilliant Sat. night for dinner and the meal was subpar as well. We got there a bit earlier, so the service didn't suffer too much. The rice in the stuffed glutinous rice chicken was quite lackluster compared to previous visits (and we pre-ordered it too). Skins on the peking duck were a bit thick too. Definitely noticed that the kitchen maybe rushing the dishes out a bit. Not even a full bowl of soup per person. When we tried to order other dishes off the regular menu, they refused saying we could only order from the special set menu dishes for that night. They were rushing us out by 8pm, trying to fit in that second seating.

      Gotta agree w/ Charles, that if you haven't gone to Brilliant before (or any other of the highly touted Chinese restos on Chowhound) and if this was your first visit because of this special occasion, you may have missed what all the hype is about.

      1. There was a time not that long ago when Father's Days were almost a non-event at any restaurant, while Mother's Days were always super busy. Does this new reality apply to all restaurants or only Chinese ones?

        1 Reply
        1. re: T Long

          We now celebrate these occasions one week earlier to avoid paying high premium for sub-par food. Went to Casa Imperial one week before. Quiet room, attentive service, free dessert (not your usual red bean soup either) plus a 10% discount. Can't be beat.
          Last time we went on Mother's Day for dinner anywhere - paid 30% premium for set dinner where you can only choose between dinner for 4 / 8 / 10. Told by mgr this helps to keep quality and service level high since it makes things easier for the kitchen.
          All it meant was we ended up paying more for dishes we would normally order any other day, rushed service and lower quality.
          Mom and Dad don't seem to mind dinner one week earlier. In fact, having an experience like Charles and his daughter would tick everyone off and ruin the celebration.

          Funny bit about the Gucci purse. Made me laugh out loud!

          -----
          Casa Imperial
          4125 Steeles Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1W 3T4, CA

        2. I suppose eating out anywhere is risky on mother's day or father's day ;)

          But we had excellent dim sum at Very Fair Seafood on Mother's day. They had the usual, plus fresh shrimp that were live in a tank at the front (pricy for shrimp, but incredibly tasty!).

          -----
          Very Fair
          4002 Sheppard Ave E, Toronto, ON M1S, CA

          1. Avoiding Chinese/Cantonese seafood restaurants (especially the great ones as well as the little bistro types that do great stir fry that are not fancy, so long as the food is good) on special occasion days (and to some extent weekends) is definitely a great idea. This should apply pretty much anywhere in metropolitan North America where there is good Cantonese to be found.

            1. Somewhat unrelated questions re: Brilliant Chinese:

              Is dim sum any good? What are the prices for S/M/L?
              What are dinner prices like for "standard" fare? Are the special order dishes much more expensive?

              -----
              Brilliant Chinese Restaurant
              7220 Kennedy Rd, Markham, ON L3R0N4, CA

              1. I'm not sure why anyone would be surprised if one goes to a restaurant on two of the business days of the year for restaurant dining, and then find that the service suffers.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Midknight

                  FYI, Food at Maple Yip was always top notch and 'consistent' even the restaurant was packed and people were lining up outside for a table!!

                  1. re: Midknight

                    Agree. This is hardly news. It's like warning people that there will likely be lots of drunks on New Year's Eve.