I was there this weekend with my parents and the first thing I noticed was it wasn't open until 10am, unlike some other places that have dim sum (which are open as early as 8am). The second thing I noticed was there were no cars parked outside, and absolutely nobody waiting for the place to open (as with some other dim sum places). Yes, alarm bells were ringing, but I still tried to keep an open mind.
I don't think the shrimp in the xia jiao/hagow/ebisiumai/shrimp dumplings were very fresh. When I ate one, it tasted like the ocean. Yes, I realize that shrimp is seafood and comes from the ocean, but these dumplings tasted like that mouthfull of seawater you swallowed by accident when playing in the surf at English Bay.
The siumai tasted pretty good actually, no complaints here. Decent size, juicy and flavourful. The good thing about hitting a dim sum place as soon as it opens is you know everything is freshly steamed.
You know, some people can't stomach the chicken feet, but I'm okay with it. And these ones were really tasty, just don't think about what it is.
The steamed pork spareribs were seriously lacking, and I was really disappointed with this one. A little too lean, and the bone/cartilidge to meat ratio was way off...not enough meat. On top of that, they had deepfriend tofu as a filler. WTF? I've seen butternut squash in there sometimes, but most places will servce just meat. Tofu? Are they just trying to piss me off? Anyway, not happy with this one.
The steamed rice noodles were good. Nothing spectacular, but not overly soggy or watery.
My mom's favourite dish at dim sum is the sesame balls. If the place can nail the sesame balls, my mom will go back there forever. This place got it done right, or maybe because they were fresh out of the deep frier. Either way, my mom now swears by this place because they made good sesame balls.
I didn't like the sticky rice wraps.....no flavour whatsoever, and they must have undercooked the rice, or used extremely low-grade rice. This one is a definite fail.
Well, now, if it's good enough for our commander in chief......
Now for the things I did like about Continental Seafood Resaurant. The push cart service is awesome, as dim sum should be (or even more old school, carried on trays). The new "order sheet" system that some places use doesn't sit well with me - too AYCE style, too boring, and though probably more efficient, just doesn't feel like dim sum anymore. Another good thing about Continental is there's little or no wait time to be seated. The places is pretty big....haha, but maybe it was so spacious because the place hardly had any customers? The service was actually good - quick, but then again, it could have been attributed to the fact that there were so few customers. Loads of parking, no issues there either.
Price-wise.....there are cheaper better places out there I'd rather go, but I don't suppose I'd object to going to Continental Seafood Restaurant if the rest of the group was going.