This 'other' GTA's Giant Lobster Specialist had been well covered by members of the other food blog that begins with a 'Y'. However, based on my recollection, no chowhounders had written any detailed review about this super popular seafood place!
After recently moved to its new location further west on Steeles, this restaurant, notorious for pushy service and setting a time limit of 2 hours per sitting, is now located in a huge modern cavernous space with curved walls. Wrapped around these walls were array of 27 fish tanks, all housing giant lobsters and king crabs, up to 11 pounds in weight!
Our party of 5 arrived at 6.00pm and the place was already packed!. We ordered one of the 'lobster' set dinner and augmenting it with a couple more dishes. ( there were also more expensive 'king crab' set dinners for 2 to a party of 8 or more ).
The dishes included:
- Complimentary Soup of the day ( Pork and Chinese root vegetables )
- Fried jumbo size BC oysters with black pepper and honey sauce.
- Stirred fry Angus beef filet mignon cubes with cashew and garlic chips
- 6 pound lobster prepared Hong Kong Typhoon Shelter style ( spicy )
- Poached 'Choi Sum' in seafood broth topped with BC clams & Tobiko.
- Steamed whole live French Turbot with ginger, scallions and cilantro.
- Fried rice with lobster Tamale
- Complimentary Black Sesame soup dessert.
First off, be-warned! Sizes of the dishes were huge! Next, prices including those of the lobsters and King crabs, were very reasonable especially when compared to their 'other competitor' in Richmond Hill.
However, as foodies, we were all here for the taste!! And it was here that things started to fall apart..
The oysters, though crunchy and moist inside, has too thick a batter and the black pepper used in the sauce was way too overwhelming! All we can taste was the burning sensation of the pepper! The Emperor's version is way way better!
Stirred fry Angus beef cubes were of high standard. Full of smokey wok-hay flavor, this dish was at par if not better than Maple Yip's. Best dish of the evening.
The poached 'Choi Sum' vegetable dish was a delight. Simple, delicate and flavourful, just the right dish to offset some of the more 'intensely flavoured' dishes.
The steamed French Turbot unfortunately was way overcooked. For sure, Maple Yip's Chef Ho will weep if he sees how they treated such fine product! BTW, O'Mei, the only restaurant close by serving this fish, also beats Fisherman's version hands down.
Fried rice was a bit dry but flavourful.
The star and supposedly, climax of the evening was next! The giant lobster was cooked 'Hong Kong Typhoon Shelter style'. Fried using a mixture of minced garlic, scallions, cilantro, chilis and fried silver ray fish, the end result should be a taste bomb! Unfortunately, the way it was executed, the dish was a major disappointment!! Under seasoned, bland and greasy, fortunately, the huge size of the lobster pieces allowed the sweetness and moistness of the meat to be retained. In comparison, O'Mei's version (s), though $5 more expensive per pound, had flavour profiles that were way more superior and well worth the price premium!
The only selling point of Fisherman's lobster offering was its ' shock and awe' gimmicky tall tower presentation!
Lastly, after spending mega-bucks on the main meal, the lumpy and gooey black sesame dessert soup offered at the end was a total travesty!! Considering O'Mei hands out 4 complimentary and utterly 'yummy' desserts, they should head over to O'Mei and steal a page from them!!
IMO, trying to use gimmicky and showy presentation to offset the rather mediocre tasting food might work on a few non foodies. However, anyone with a more discerning palette can easily see through this smoke screen. I, for one, will not be taken in and as such will not be returning in the near future!