It was a promising start - it was a beautiful, perfect day here today - a real respite from all the cold rain we have been having late this summer. Seven of the regular members of this board all met at Rainflower - a fairly new dim sum palace located in what used to be an XSCargo location. This was the first time here for all of us - a Chowdown first -so none of us really knew what to expect.
This place certainly held a lot of promise - it generated a lot of positive buzz when it first opened last year. It was known for its modern take on dim sum. The space is huge and covered in a thin veneer of faux-opulence. We all had high hopes for the food, but ultimately, we all thought is was merely mediocre at best.
The flavours were muddy, the execution and presentation were sloppy - all the dishes looked a little disheveled as they came to the table. Also, for some twist of luck, we all managed to order a preponderance of steamed items. Fried and baked dim sum were sorely underrepresented. But still - the steamed dishes should have held their own.
I couldn't decide on a "favourite" today as I felt that none of the dishes were worthy of the description. The bellwether for me was the har gow - whose skin was mealy and gave up too easily when bitten. The XLB's were fine - juicy - but I found the broth overly sweet, the meatball spongy, the skin was thick, and overall - it looked deflated. The youtiao in the rice roll stuffed donut was over-fried. The sui mai was a bit of a formless mess....I could go on, but you get the idea.
Compared to our stellar meal at Fisherman's Terrace a number of months back, this Chowdown was a bit of a disappointment in terms of food. That said, we all had a chance to meet bdachow and repartee in person for the very first time and we all had great conversations about food and dim sum. The conversations at these Chowdowns are always the best part of the meal.
On to the next one....(Sea Harbour next week.)