The BBQ Pork (叉燒) at the Floata Restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown was just about the worst I have ever had. It deserved only a 1 out of 5 Rating.
I had been very much looking forward to visiting the Floata Seafood Restaurant after reading about in on-line and I made a special point of including it on list of places to dine on a visit to Vancouver. Unfortunately, my experience was less than stellar, both in terms of food quality and service, with the Barbecue Pork appetizer shown above being one of the reasons for my disappointment.
The premises at Floata are huge and, for me, a little austere. Only one section was open and it seated easily a couple of hundred guests. There was another section to one side not being used and another one behind a set of accordion doors on the other. Decoration was minimal and the white table cloths and formal attire of the all-male wait-staff made it all seem cold. The service was brusque, if formally correct, and not at all welcoming.
What surprised me was that, though billed as a ‘seafood restaurant’, the actual seafood dishes comprised only about 8 selections of a small and disappointing menu. It consisted chiefly of the sort of things available in any westernized Chins restaurant even down to having a ‘Chow Mein’ section and that old stand-by, Honey-Garlic Spareribs. As the regular entrees were specified as being for four, and I was dining alone, I ended up choosing from the brief and rather uninteresting appetizer menu.
Anyway, the appetizer shown above was billed on the menu as ‘BBQ Pork in Honey Sauce’ and I was expecting something alone the lines of the typical Char Siu (叉燒) Cantonese barbecued Pork. I suppose this was, more or less what I was served, but it was extremely disappointing and not even remotely approaching the quality of the excellent BBQ Pork at the GainWah Restaurant I had been served a few days earlier.
The Pork in this appetizer may well have been initially roasted at some point in the past, but it clearly been steamed to re-heat it for service (perhaps multiple times) and the texture and taste reflected it. The usual flavor of barbecued Pork was absent, and this was really much more like Supermarket Ham overly seasoned with 5-Spice Powder.
Finally, the Sauce here turned out to be really nothing more than a slightly sweetened Soy Sauce. I would say the sweetener was probably sugar, rather than the advertised Honey (though this is pretty standard), but, in either event, the result was mediocre. I had been looking for an experience at Floata that lived up to its website claim of being ‘Award Winning’ but, even aside from the less than mediocre quality of this dish, I was seriously disappointed.