11700 Cambie Road, Richmond, BC
HO's BENEVOLENCE ASSOCIATION OF BC 17th ANNIVERSARY BANQUET
We got invited to this dinner. No, not because we're food bloggers, but because of mom, she's friends with New Town Bakery's David and Susana and they invited her. Not one to turn down a free meal, we played designated driver. After hearing where this dinner was, I wasn't too keen on this meal, Buddha Girl and myself were already plotting where to grab some grub afterward.Continental is one of the old school banquet restaurants and it's been around for ages. It's in the same category as Golden Swan, Floata, and previously, Pink Pearl. So you kind of get the idea of the quality and age. I don't really get my hopes up at dinners like this, but it's a fundraiser or sorts, and I'll take what I can get.
The appetizer course consisted of BBQ pork, jellyfish, soy sauce chicken, roast pork and BBQ duck. Overall, this was okay, the worst part was the roast pork, it was pretty bland and the skin no longer had the crisp crunch.
The standard banquet shrimp crab claw. The shrimp was perhaps a bit too pureed and didn't have any texture. The crab part wasn't very good.
A veggie dish with scallop, I actually liked this dish, it had a decent sauce that went well with the dish. The scallop was placed in the center of each melon piece and it actually worked. I'm thinking of making a variation of this dish at home.
I'm not sure what soup this was, but it was pretty bland, but that's actually okay since I prefer bland in these instances so I can add extra pepper or vinegar or anything else. Like I said earlier, dinners like this, I don't really get my hopes up.
Prawns in in some kind of sauce. These prawns were huge, but overcooked, I guess that's expected during a banquet. Aside from being overcooked, this was quite nice.
A fish and celery stir-fry. Buddha Girl thought the fish was fishy, I didn't get that taste. I actually thought this dish was pretty decent, the celery was cooked nicely, the fish tasted fine.
Another very veggie dish with dried scallops, mushrooms and bak-choy. This dish was also done pretty good. It was simple and tasty.
This was quite obvious being the Crispy Chicken. Unfortunately for Buddha Girl, they didn't service this dish with any shrimp chips. I ate about a quarter of this dish, I found the chicken still moist whereas Buddha Girl did not. In any case, the skin was crispy.
A common yee-mein stir-fry, I didn't have any but everyone at the table said this was okay.
The rice was pretty bad (sorry about the picture quality). The sauce was watery and very bland, I can't say much else, just plain bad.
Obligatory desserts, I'm not supposed to have any, but I secretly had a cookie. The cookie itself was good, but the almond was stale.
Throughout the meal, there was entertainment, Buddha Girl had fun listening to all the singing. I recognized the actor above from old Chinese shows as a kid. He sang a Chinese song pretty good, not that I could really understand it though.
For a meal that I didn't have high hopes of, I was quite surprised by the results, the food was on par with congee noodle type places where the food isn't great, but acceptable. While there were misses and no real hits, the food was decent.