I was recently hired by a friend to shoot his relative’s wedding reception dinner held at Peninsula Seafood Restaurant. Located at Oakridge Mall, Peninsula opened up just a few years ago and is an upscale restaurant specializing in elevated Cantonese dishes. It is also known as a hot spot for the nouveau riche immigrants from Mainland China who now live in the Shaughnessy area (perhaps Crazy Rich Asians?)
I was graciously offered a seat at the dinner as a guest so I had the opportunity to try what Peninsula had to offer. I had noticed that the restaurant received low ratings on Yelp (2.5/5) and Zomato (3/5) so I was interested to see why that might be the case. In the end, I found the dinner to be quite excellent from the flavours to presentation as well as the service. I had heard that the dinner was priced at $150 per guest (definitely on the higher end for Chinese banquets) and that seemed reasonable to me.
Before I present the dishes of the evening, I’d like to say that the service exceeded my expectations for the banquet. All the dishes came out in a timely matter where the server presented the full dish to the table and then took it away to separate it into individual servings. The pace of the dinner was on point and everything went smoothly.
Course 1: Crispy Piglet Platter | 鴻運當頭：脆皮乳豬大拼盤
I particularly enjoyed the presentation of this appetizer platter. The skin of the pork was nicely crispy.
Course 2: Peninsula Speciality Soup | 喜氣洋洋：半島精品工夫湯
I found the soup to be very hearty and comforting.
Course 3: Sweet Green Beans, Fried Shrimp, Scallops | 甜甜蜜蜜：碧綠甜豆炒蝦球帶子
The green beans were sweet and crispy, the shrimp was bouncy and the scallops were tender.
Course 4: French Foie Gras with Abalone | 幸福美滿：法國鹅肝拼鲍魚
This dish was rich, flavourful, and tender.
Course 5: Lobster Duo | 縱横四海：墓葸煽雙龍蝦
Good things come in pairs, right? This exquisite dish featured two lobsters with juicy, sweet and succulent meat. Bravo.
Course 6: Braised Pigeon | 龍鳳呈祥：紅燒三喜鸽
I enjoyed the tender meat and crispy skin.
Course 7: Steamed Fish | 魚跃龍門：清蒸海上鮮
A nicely presented steam fish where the meat was light, flaky and slightly sweet.
Course 8: Vegetarian Bowl | 海誓山盟：法海蒲團
Course 9: Peninsula Speciality Fried Rice | 福星高照：半島特色炒飯
Wow, I have never seen fried rice presented so beautifully. Shaped like a fish which is a symbol of good fortune.
Course 10: Fried Noodles | 長長久久：干燒伊麵
Course 11: Cookies with Goji Berries and Sesame Balls | 心心相印：美點雙輝
How cute are those heart-shaped cookies with goji berries on top? The sesame balls were crunchy, chewy, sticky and sweet.
Course 12: Red Bean Soup with Lotus Seed | 百年好合：蓮子百合紅豆沙
To finish off the dinner, a comforting bowl of red bean soup with lotus seeds.
I was really impressed with Peninsula’s execution for the banquet dinner. The dishes were flavourful though not overly salty and greasy and there were some really nicely presented dishes. I can’t understand why they would garner such a low rating on Yelp and Zomato, perhaps their dim sum is not what people expected. At $150 per person, their Chinese banquet seems fairly valued and I’m a fan of what they have to offer. Rating: 4.5/5
Peninsula Seafood Restaurant
Address: 650 W 41st Ave, Vancouver, BC