The place fated to be known forever as the place next to Ton Kiang (TPNTTK) is actually named Golden Island Seafood Restaurant and has had a few brief mentions on the board. It was one of the North teams candidates for the low-end dim sum battle. Ruth Lafler and Derek Durst had noticed it again on the teams abortive visit to Ton Kiang and returned the next day to try it to positive reviews.
My own solo visit was in October, late on a Sunday. Even after 1:30pm, I still had to wait to share a larger table. The no-frills space is modern and crowded with tables and seafood tanks. Dishes are ordered from a check-off menu and are cooked to order. As a grand opening special (which had been going on for several months now and may still be), all dishes small, medium and large were priced at $1.95 each which makes Golden Island quite economical.
All items were freshly made. The steamed dishes were nicely done and tasty good har gau and siu mai, and the Teochew-style dumpling was very good with a chewy wrapper and intensely seasoned filling. Where Golden Island fell down was on the fried items. The taro root dumpling had a frilly and fluffy coating, moist and meaty filling, smooth but substantial taro paste, but was not drained sufficiently. It had a big oil pad on the underside and left a puddle of grease in the paper cup doily. The fried tofu skin wrapper with a pork and veggie filling was similarly oil-soaked and also excessively tough to the bite. I couldnt eat it.
My bill was $12, inclusive, and I took half of it home with me. The offerings are somewhat limited but provide good quality for the money in a casual well-kept setting. The style of dim sum and the ambience is less fanciful than its neighbor next door, but offers fresh-cooked dishes and superior flavor. Golden Island may have lost out to Imperial Garden Seafood as the North teams low-end candidate, but I wouldnt hesitate to return here when Im in the neighborhood.
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