We went to check out Gourmet Village after its reopening. I personally didn’t think the food was all that great when we went prior to its remodel/change of ownership, but my visits were pretty much the year or so before it closed.
When we arrived for dinner, we noticed that their menu looked relatively basic. There were a few dishes that piqued our interest, but everything seemed somewhat pedestrian (please refer to yelp for the latest menu… I uh tend to forget to take pictures of those things haha… oops).
In any case, there were a few items in the seafood tank that looked good. Two giant ling cods were seen and a rock cod or two. Crab prices seem pretty high (around 40s) so we were going to forgo that option. However, we had a very talkative owner/server that attended to us that night and well, everything he suggested we just went and ordered. Looking at what we ordered and what was on the menu… I think only 1 item was actually from the menu.
To start out our night, we received the tepan/iron plate garlic and honey ribs:
Served on a bed of sauteed red onions, the ribs were quite savory with a hint of sweetness from the honey. The aromas and slight sizzling sound had had a few people craning around to see the entree.
A little out of order, but our next dish was their soup du jour that was black-eyed peas, peanuts, and chicken feet. A nice warming broth on this cold weekend.
Next, our server/owner was describing to us in Cantonese about a geoduck clam (or as best as I can figure out). Price wise, it was 6.95 each, and we initially decided to order one for each of us but as it turns out, there was only one left. The owner suggested to switch to a black bean sauce style dish and they’ll add some shrimp to the dish. We agreed and the jalepeño addition gave the dish a major kick. I frankly quite enjoyed the dish though what was described as a geoduck clam is most likely the pacific razor clam. I found the clam meat to be more soft and a little less chewy than the Atlantic razor clam (I prefer the Atlantic one more). I think the dish would have been solid without the razor clam, though I couldn’t find it on the menu.
Next up we got Chinese cauliflower (I find that they have a pretty good texture and gives a nice firm crunch compared to regular cauliflowers) stir fried with preserved meats (preserved duck, cured pork belly, and Chinese sausages). The fattiness from the preserved meats basically lubricated the cauliflower turning what was possibly a healthy item to something a little more on the unhealthy end… but uh, nevertheless a nice umami bomb.
Lastly, we got the braised rock cod with bitter melon. Usually we would just go with a plain steamed rock cod, but the server suggested this pairing and boy, it was tasty. The fish was cooked quite well and that umami laden sauce goes great over rice. The bitter melon (was still bitter) provided an interesting balance to the savoriness (Kinda like those stuffed bell peppers in dim sum menus I guess).
Ending the meal, we got a nice bowl of red bean soup. Quite hot and not that sweet is the best way I can describe it as I’m not a huge fan.
Overall, I’m very intrigued by Gourmet Village now. We talked with the servers and they do double boiled soups whenver the chef feels like it, but you can order the soup in advance. There wasn’t a definite stated price (depends on which double boiled soup you order) but they do offer small and large versions.
In regards to our off menu selections, they are made by the chef if the kitchen is on the quieter end but… I have no idea what that actually means (there were around 5/6 tables as we were eating around 60% full I guess). Price wise, our meal ended up being around 120 and I found the food quality to be better than our recent menu at Andy’s Restaurant (minus the soup). I’m a little confused about Gourmet Village, but I’ll definitely head back in the near future to check out their double boiled soup and whatever the chef is inspired to create.