Saturday, November 9, 2013

Golden River ~ Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant

"For her own breakfast she'll project a scheme,
Nor take her tea without a stratagem." 
~ Edward Young, Love of Fame

Place: Golden River ~ Dim Sum & Seafood Restaurant
Location: 5827 Geary Boulevard (Between 22nd and 23rd Avenues)
Hours: open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 9:00am; Tuesday at 10:00am; and Saturday and Sunday at 8:00am
Meal: Salty Egg Yolk Pumpkin; Green Onion Cake (1); Vegetarian Rice Crepe Roll (4); Egg Custard (3); and a pot of loose-leaf jasmine tea

(I suppose I could have gone with the Beatles original version, but I think I may have used that EweToob video before, as it's one of my favourites of theirs. I just thought this was a pretty decent cover.

Strangely enough, David Boney's "Golden Years" was actually playing on my XM Radio when I first turned it on while typing out this 'blog-entry, but that song just seemed too anti-Italiano to me what with all the insulting references to "Wop, Wop, Wop, Wop" and such. I can't prove it, but I am pretty sure that "Space Oddity" is really an anti-Semitic paean, too.)

For a change of place, I decided to try something different this morning for breakfast. I just recently noticed that Golden River is open for breakfast. I have eaten there a few times before for lunch or dinner, but was not aware that they were even open for breakfast or I would have included them in my "Breakfast on Geary" series (see last 'blog-entry from May 20th, 2012). I like that they are open early enough on the weekends, and for breakfast, not "Brunch" either. I don't know how to say "Brunch" in Chinese (not that I know how to say "breakfast" either), and would probably ask for the wrong thing, anyway.[1]

I like that they are located close enough to my apartment that I can walk there and back ~ just ten blocks away, downhill (but ten blocks uphill on the way home). There are five large round tables for ten (with a large lazy susan in the middle of each for fun, family-style sharing), and ten tables for four people (groups under five need to fend for themselves, though, as there are no cool lazy susans on the smaller tables). There are also a few large aquariums on the back wall with live fish and lobsters in them ~ provided as entertainment for the kiddies from what I observed.

I can't pretend to even guess at what a typical Chinese breakfast might include, but there were several things on the menu that I decided qualified as breakfastary ~ anything with "egg" or "pancake" in its name would do for me. I was surprised to find out that the Pan Fried Turnip Cake was not vegetarian. (Why is that? Apparently, they include "just a little meat". Really?!) There were also a few puddings available if necessary: Mango Pudding, Green Tea Pudding, Logan (which I am pretty sure is supposed to be "Longan") & Goji Berry Pudding. I didn't notice until I had already ordered these two other items: Garlic Pea Sprouts or Pea Sprouts Dumpling; I probably would have gotten one of those ~ pea sprouts/shoots/greens are one of my favourite leafy greens. And for those of you that ingest the dead, decaying animal flesh (and are a little adventurous) there is always: Snake Soup, Jelly Fish Salad, or Steamed Chicken Feet Black Bean Sauce. Anyone?!

The first dish to come out was the Salty Egg Yolk Pumpkin. I had no idea what this was going to be, but I like pumpkin and figured as long as it's vegetarian (which I confirmed on all my other items ordered, too), I would try it. This was just some egg (yolk)-battered deep fried pumpkin (well, it was probably Kabocha squash) cut into pieces about the size of large French fries. It was okay, but I think it could have used some kind of sauce (other than just soy[2] sauce) or dip to go with it. I have some left over and will reheat it later and try it with some of my own hot sauces.

Next out were the Green Onion Pancakes and the Vegetarian Rice Crepe Roll. I always like green onion pancakes, and these were a good version. I was not sure what a Rice Crepe Roll was going to be, but I liked it a lot. The "rice crepe" part of the roll turned out to be the same stuff that Chow Fun noodles are made from; so, more chewy than a standard crêpe would be. The rolls were filled with (at least) two types of mushrooms, carrots, and celery, and had a light soy-based sauce already on them. I was just a little disappointed that there was no maple syrup offered to go with the pancake.

Lastly were the Egg Custard cups. These were slightly-sweetened egg custard tartlets. They were very hot and fresh out of the oven when they brought them to the table (and I know this as I burned my tongue on the first two I ate ~ yeah, I could have let the second one cool off a bit before trying it, too, but what is the fun in that?).

For condimentary supplementation, Golden River has soy sauce (of course) on all the tables. I didn't ask for any other forms of hot sauces or such. I suppose, like most local Asian restaurants, that they also had some kinda Sriracha hot sauce. I didn't bring any from my own collection with me as I wasn't even sure what there was going to be for breakfast.

It's always nice to get some dim for breakfast…

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Salty Egg Yolk Pumpkin ~ 5.8; Green Onion Pancake ~ 6.1; Vegetarian Rice Crepe Roll ~ 6.3; Egg Custard ~ 6.2

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, number one:

I only know about two words in Chinese, but I know that it is a tonal language and there are several words that are similar-enough sounding like the words for "Ma", "horse", and "morphine", which in Chinese are (in order): "" (pronounced something like "Ma"); "" (pronounced something like "ma-a"); and "" (pronounced something like "ma"). So, it is easy enough to call someone's mother a horse-faced addict by mistake.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day, number two:

"Soy/soybean" comes from Dutch "soya", from Japanese "soyu", variant of "shoyu", from Chinese "shi-yu" (or "jiàngyóu"), from "shi" ("fermented soy beans") + "yu" ("oil").

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