Long before Casa Imperial, Casa Victoria, LWH or Yang's... established themselves a foot hold in the high end Chinese Cuisine market, this position was mainly dominated by the Bayview Garden, Sam Woo Seafood, Dragon Dynasty and Regal16...etc. With the first two now defunct, Dragon Dynasty gone downhill and becoming somewhat mediocre, Regal 16 has remained the sole survivor of the 'original', providing the Chinese community with their occasional craving for expensive and exotic delicacies.
Recently, Regal 16 has moved on from its run down location on 16th avenue to a new and cavernous space inside of Richlane Mall on Leslie/16th. Renaming itself 'Richlane Chinese Cuisine' in the process, whilst retaining its entire management and kitchen team.
Whilst a number of my friends have tried out their Dim Sum lunches, none of them have yet given their dinner offering a taste. Again, braving blizzard condition ( somehow, this seems to be the norm this year?! ), a number of us decided to join up and have a simple, non-fancy dinner there Sunday evening.
We picked the following dishes:
- Deep fried Pumpkin Slices with Salted Duck Egg Yolk Coating.
- Aromatic, Wine infused, Peppered Salt, Baby Pork Spare Ribs
- Poached baby Mustard Green with Chinese Ham and Fish Broth.
- Braised Pomelo Skin with shrimp eggs, Oyster sauce, Baby Bok-Choy Bed
- Sauteed Black Pepper Chili Dungeness Crab
- Complimentary dessert of Silken Tofu with ginger syrup, Lotus seed & Green Tea Puff, Almond cookies.
Overall, flavor profile of most dishes were very nice. However, literally every dish was under-salted or under-seasoned, including the supposedly salty duck egg yolk?! We need to ask for salt in order to kick some of the dishes up a notch!
My favorite of the evening was the slightly spicy and bold tasting Crab. The black Pepper, shallot, garlic and black bean 'Tapenade' was very addictive. It was on special for $22.80. A pretty good deal, considering the crabs are selling for $8.99 a pound in most Chinese super market.
Pomelo Skin, if prepared and executed correctly can be a joy to eat. Acting like a sponge, they can soak up whatever delectable sauce they are prepared in and create a mouthful of sensation. Unfortunately, our version was overcooked to the point of 'mushiness', losing the textural feel in the process! What a pity, since the Shrimp egg sauce was very pronounced and tasty.
The ribs, with indeed full of Chinese wine essence, was crunchy, crispy and enjoyable to eat 'by hand'! Again, somehow, it was under-seasoned and a pinch of salt is needed to enhance the taste profile. Consistency was also a slight issue since some morsels were dry inside whilst others were juicy and moist?!
Lastly, diverging from the norm, our complimentary dessert offering was a tasty bowl of 'not overly sweet' and full of ginger essence, silken tofu pudding. Way better than the usual red bean soup. A very nice touch!
It's too early to base my opinion of this place just on one solitary dinner. However, considering the good slightly beat out the bad, the uniqueness of some of the dishes offer and the lovely space, I will return for a second and more detailed review.