I didn’t clean the house, I failed to buy a new pair of shoes, and I forgot to wear red. To top things off, I had neglected to get a much-needed haircut. My disregard of Chinese New Year traditions was so unintentionally comprehensive that I needed to make amends. In the end, I did so by overdoing the only tradition I hadn’t overlooked: The Chinese New Years feast.

I had made a point of phoning Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant in Richmond and making reservations three weeks in advance for the special occasion. My foresight netted us one of the last tables of the evening, an 8:00 p.m. seating. And no wonder. Sea Harbour’s folksy fish ’n chips exterior belies the fact that it is one of the city’s top Chinese restaurants, offering unique, upscale menu items one would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else outside of Hong Kong.

We arrived a little before 8:00 p.m. to a full and festive house: red and gold decorations, children in traditional Chinese dress, whole roast pigs, and plenty of red wine and scotch. The floor staff was constantly on the move, from tables to kitchen and back, stopping only to take orders and sing Happy Birthday on two separate occasions. Thankfully, despite the expected full house, we weren’t confined to a specific New Year’s menu. And so, we ordered a la carte, starting with shark fin soup.

Sea Harbour offers five varieties of shark fin which can be prepared one of seven different ways. All three of us elected to go with a braised premium double-order. I had the Golden Mountain spike fin – long, thin, translucent strands in a light, subtle brown sauce. The Ya Jian fin Fondy and our friend, Jackie, ordered was shorter and thicker, their accompanying brown sauce denser, darker, and richer. Although both soups were excellent, I preferred the bolder flavors of their selection while they preferred the texture of my dish.

The house “hand-ripped chicken” was next – perfectly roasted and lightly seasoned, it was moist and tender. Available in half or full orders, it is the highlight of the menu and not be missed. We went with the full order and ended up picking the bones clean. Another stand-out menu item – and, not so coincidentally, another popular specialty of the house – is the steamed barbecue pork bun, available by the full or half dozen. They arrived at our table, hot and still steaming. The faint sweetness of the bun nicely complimented the atypically not-so-sweet barbecue pork it contained. We also had an excellent fresh, steamed rock cod with soy, ginger, and green onions, and a stir-fried vegetable plate that included elm fungus, water chestnuts, lotus root, snow pea, cloud ear mushrooms and gingko nuts. The only dish that failed to impress me was the sweet and sour pork shoulder. I found it too cloying but, to be fair, Fondy enjoyed it.

Unable to decide on one dessert, we opted for three. The first, was a very good steamed white bun with lotus paste. For me, lotus paste has always held an almost peanut butter trace, and Sea Harbour’s version also included hints of almond. The second dessert was a deep-fried dumpling, its exterior casing flavored with bitter gourd, its interior a dark sesame paste. Also very good but slightly greasy. Our third dessert was the consensus favorite, another steamed white bun, this one filled with a rich liquid sweet and salty egg yolk.

Dinner wasn’t cheap and the place can get mighty noisy, but Sea Harbour is well worth the trip – especially at dim sum where diners can order from a less-pricey menu that includes pictures of every dish available (in the event your Chinese is a little rusty).

29 thoughts on “February 24, 2007

  1. Joe,

    Given that Scifi doesn’t plan to air the first episodes of season four until the fall, on what information will a potential fifth season of Atlantis be based? Will Scifi use the ratings from the back half of season three? Will they wait until season four does begin to air, thereby possibly risking putting you guys way behind on prodcuing a fifth season? Or are many fans and entertainment websites correct, and that it’s unlikely that there will be a season five at all? Thanks for answering these questions.

    Rob Heintz

  2. South Texas has a dearth of great Chinese food. That’s not to say there isn’t some good stuff – there is, but nothing as good as you describe for your Chinese New Year celebration. Happy Year of the Pig!

    BTW – Please tell Carl (or whomever was responsible) that I loved hearing my name as a character in “The Game.” I really don’t want to know who she was named after – I prefer to think it was me. Hahaha


  3. Joe, I have an SG-1 question. Mitchell seems to be unequivocally in command in Season 10. Does this mean the whole co-command thing with Carter was dropped? Or did you move away from it or what? To be honest, I never saw a co-command in Season 9, either.

  4. Joe, big network shows like Jericho and Lost have seen their ratings tumble drastically after long layoffs. SGA, with much less network promotion, will face the same challenge soon. Do you feel like you’re being set up to fail by Sci-Fi? Aren’t they stacking the deck against a turn around in Stargate’s poor ratings?

  5. Wow.

    I’m sorry to say I’ve never really gotten into sea food. And I’m afraid my exposure to it is limited to the local Red Lobster. 🙂

    Ironically, even though the restaurant is called, “Red Lobster,” I’ve never actually had lobster, typically opting for anything with shrimp in it…especially Coconut Shrimp and Shrimp Linguini Alfredo.

    Although I will add that thanks to a visit to a fast food sea food place at a mall in Edinburgh, Scotland years ago, I’m a BIG fan of haddock and chips.

    Yes, feel sorry for uncultured souls such as I. 🙂

    That being said…I’m a huge fan of pretty much anything chicken; and that hand-ripped chicken sounds truly delicious.

    Mary Beth 🙂

  6. Actually, I’ll throw another vote in for hearing how you feel about co-command a year later, Joe.

    Unlike the poster before me, though, I think you’ve hamstrung the Mitchell character in season ten. He seems to have no direction or purpose this year, and a lot of what made him who he was seems reduced to grim looks and short answers. And frankly, I still haven’t seen where you’ve let him be in command like O’neill was previously. On top of that, Carter is much more prominent in season ten, and seems to have stolen much of the screentime that Cameron enjoyed last season.

    So, who’s in charge Joe? You never did tell us.

  7. Joe, a few days ago you wrote about giving the characters more background in s4, and I was wondering something about John’s background:

    In season 1’s “Letters from Pegasus” when Elizabeth tells John that Ford is just finishing recording personal messages to send to Earth, John replies “I’m good”, which might imply that he had no one waiting to hear from him at home.

    According to Sci Fi site, Shep is “the son of a respected Cold War colonel…” (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check http://www.scifi.com/atlantis/cast/sheppard/index.html). However, that bio at Sci Fi doesn’t mention whether John’s father is still alive or not.

    Will this be explored as part of John’s background? Could be that John’s father is still alive but since he appears to be from the old school (“Cold War colonel”), maybe the two of them don’t get alone very well after John’s black mark?

  8. Hi Joe:

    Have you watched any episodes of Eureka? If so, what do you think of it?

    Have a great Sunday,


  9. Dear Mr. Mallozzi,

    Does the Stargate writing/ directing team have an overall James Bond preference? Is the anger at any possible reproach of your preference for early Roger Moore a sign of a Connery-based regime at the office?

  10. Hi Joe,
    I was watching Common Ground again today. There were several comments that Sheppard and the Wraith made about what would happen if their paths ever cross again and all bets being off. Will we will ever get to see an episode where they run into each other again?

    Looking forward to season 4. 🙂

  11. I’ve decided to give you your choice of my silly questions to answer. Of course, you may choose one, some, all, or none, as you see fit.

    Have you ever tried to see how many other words can be created using just the letters in your full name?

    Let’s give it a try with your first and last name only:

    mall, oz, help, spam, ill, mop, pop, oleo, laze, zip, spill, pill, etc. Now you try.

    Wow, that could be fun for the entire family on game night around the card table.
    I hate to say it, but you’ve influenced me into checking out Simmons’ ‘Terror’ from my store. If I’m going to read this 900 page behemoth, on the word of two other book people and a guy who has action figures of bad guys in his office, then I’m going to make it fun.

    So…I issue you a two-fold challenge. First, I challenge you to see who can finish reading it first–you or me. (It’ll probably take me a while, so there’s really no hurry.)

    Second, I challenge you to write a thorough review of it in exactly seven words.

    The following is an example of what is not an appropriate review: “The Terror” by Dan Simmons is scary.
    Enjoy the remainder of your weekend.

  12. I very much enjoy the Chinese food I’ve had, especially the chow mein (or whatever it is with the noodles). My problem is that a couple years ago, I discovered I am allergic to soy, which dramatically reduces my menu options (you’d be amazed how much stuff it’s in: bread, juice, soup, granola bars, pasta sauce, cereal, etc….I’m mostly angry that I can’t eat chocolate unless I make it myself from scratch, and I love chocolate!), and I’ve assumed it’s cut out Asian food altogether. Do you happen to know if there are any types of Asian food, or dishes, which do not contain soy, yet actually taste good (I’m afraid what I liked most about Chinese food was the soy sauce)? (I’m also alergic to peanuts, which sucks, as those mini Reese’s peanut butter cups used to be my favorite candy.)

  13. All going well (barring cancellation) how many more seasons of Atlantis are likely?

  14. Hiya Joe,

    Will we be seeing more of Micheals beasties in the next season?

    Of all the ‘other’ alien threats we saw on the show (Foothold aliens, Re’tu rebels, Aschen, Shipbuilders from Grace etc) which one would you have wanted to explore more? And do you think any of those races will be seen again?

    Take care Joe.

  15. Hi!

    I love reading your blog from time to time but it’s actually the first time I post a question. Two actually.

    First, I love Kolya, IMO is one of the most interesting bad guy, so why did you write this in Irresponsible? (I won’t be more explicit in case people who don’t read spoilers don’t know)

    Then, Weir is my fave character in Atlantis, the best eps focuse on her character, especially The Real World which also showed to everyone what a great actress Torri is. Anyway, my question is of you could write any story focusing on Elizabeth, what would it be?


  16. “Common ground” is one of my most favorite episodes. It was so good and very interesting to see a wraith not acting in this ‘stupid-killing-machine’ manner. Kudos to Ken!!
    Is there any chance that we’ll meet this particular wraith in the next season again?

    love, Julia.

  17. Joe,
    Any chance of seeing the wonderfully talented and of course beautiful Laura Harris in season 4?

  18. With the Vancouver convention coming up, is Torri under any restrictions (from any element of the franchise) in terms of talking about her Season 4 status? Or is it plausible that we can get an explanation for this situation?

  19. Since I know you’re not likely to comment on Torri’s presence in S4 episodes, I’ll try a ‘shallower’ question. Will Torri be included in the S4 cast promo photoshoot?

  20. Is that a fish head? Doesn’t it feel weird to eat something that’s looking at you? Ugh!

  21. Joe, I’ve got 2 questions for you.

    1: What is mission #30185, as mentioned in 200?

    2: How much involvement will Columbia Pictures (aka Sony) have in the upcoming SG-1 movies, since Columbia distributes most of MGMs movies?

  22. Hello Mr. Mallozzi,

    I am new fan of stargate atlantis catch up on download in Czech Republic. I need only episode Sunday and First Strike to have seen all. My question is do Jack O’neill return for next season? Return was most exciting episode yet but I read that First Strike is also exciting. Thank you and I can not wait for new episodes.


    (It’s only, you know, 10 days late, but I usually avoid the madness around here.)


  24. hi joe!
    Just wanted to say im really looking forward to season 4!
    do you have any idea what episode number travelers might be? All the shep whumpers are realy excited about it, ever since you told us it was a gift for us! we just hope the whump delivers!

  25. just want to say i like your pics..seems like u carry a camera at all times – is there a meal u havnt documented.. 🙂
    favourite one of this batch is the egg filled dumplimg – good colour – nice!

  26. Is Torri definitely doing the Vancouver convention? There are people coming from overseas specifically to see her. We’d just like to be sure that she’ll actually be there, given what’s going on with the uncertainty of her character before we fork out the money for flights.

  27. Is there any Sheppard and Ronon focused stories in progress? I’d really like to see an episode where maybe Sheppard and Ronon have to solve a problem without the help of McKay or by blasting their way out.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.