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January 27, 2006
Floata Seafood Restaurant, based out of Hong Kong, is Canada's largest Chinese restaurant, with 1,000-person seating capacity with secured parking in Chinatown. Dim sum, dinner, and banquets are offered. We arrived here for the Gung Haggis Fat Choy, 10-course banquet. We went upstairs on the elevator to the restaurant. The food quality of entrees such as crab with ginger and scallions, sticky fried rice, and vegetarian moo shoo was good but not great.
From journal YVR
October 6, 2004
Floata occupies the fourth floor of a large shopping mall in Vancouver’s Chinatown. This is the second of its two locations (the original is located in the suburb of Richmond and seats nearly 400 diners). Once you walk into the mall, you may be temporarily bewildered by the shops and stalls selling Chinese goods while searching for the elevators.
It is well past rush hour for dim sum, but we were seated at a lonely table by the back window, fortunately shaded from its outdoor refuse bins and soft drink racks. I was hoping for a conveyor belt of goodies, a la some sushi restaurants, or at least the steamy caravan of metal carts with trays of flavorful Cantonese morsels. Alas, our waiter pushed a straggling cart to our table with about eight selections, and we chose five of them. This was a good move, for we would see no more carts after this one. Our choices were quite delicious (either this or I was very hungry!). The cheng fun (or steam rice roll), three tubular white rice noodles with a delicate mushroom filling and drenched with soy sauce, were the best ones I have ever tasted. The sui mai, steamed pork dumplings with won ton wrappings, are a childhood favorite of mine and are excellent here. The order of sticky rice comes wrapped in three bundles, with a bit of chicken tucked inside for good measure. The shrimp dumplings were tasty according to my companion, and the mystery dish consisted of chicken with black Chinese mushrooms and white globs of some delicacy I could not identify. We later ordered coconut jelly cubes and mango pudding for dessert, both very good but not exceptional.
As we were seemingly the last dim sum customers, we were not rushed out of the cavernous restaurant. We observed the employees positioning a few room dividers and otherwise setting up tables for the dinner crowds that were to come later. A few stragglers near our table were ordering dishes off the regular menu. Lavish dinner selections include lobster, crab, and Peking duck.
The tab was not cheap, but similar to what I would pay in other dim sum restaurants around the world. I would love to come again when the restaurant is bursting with chatty locals, curious tourists, and more dim sum choices. The huge facility probably does a favorable impersonation of a Hong Kong dim sum palace at peak hours. Floata is open from 7:30am to 10pm (go before 11am for the best selection!), and there is parking within the building.
From journal Bill in Canada - VANCOUVER