Main Street Eats: Haiyi Seafood Restaurant

Overall Rating 4.5/5

4818 Main St, Vancouver, BC 
(604) 321-4448

7 days a week 9:30am – 10:30pm

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We’re back. We hope you all had a great holiday break and got to spend time with friends and family. We took the break to do just that which is why you haven’t see a Main Street Eats post from us in a while.

This week we went to Haiyi Seafood Restaurant. As you can see from the picture it is located in a very tiny strip mall, if you can even call it that, and it takes up one half of it.

Haiyi Seafood Restaurant is a dim sum restaurant. For those who don’t know what that means it means that they have a very large menu of dishes that are meant to be shared. This is why you get a large menu and tick off the items your table wants. When the food comes to your table it is placed on a big lazy Susan and you take what you wish from whatever dish is in front of you. You then spin the lazy Susan clockwise to the next dish and so on. This was our first time in a traditional dim sum restaurant. I remember growing up and seeing them in Richmond Centre and always wanting to go in but that was never my family’s style, we were Chinese take out white folk.

My cousin and her boyfriend joined us for this venture and it was a great time. We were the only white people in the restaurant but, as we’ve experienced all along this journey, that didn’t affect our service or how we were treated, nor did we expect it to. The gentleman who served us was amazing. So great with the kids, constantly trying to get Nixon to laugh, which he finally did before we left and it was a cute moment for both of them.

Their menu is extensive with precisely 264 items. We forgot to take a picture, we are going back to get a picture and will update the post for you. So, picking items to eat was difficult indeed. In the end, we decided on the following:

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

House Special Fried Vermicelli

Sweet & Sour Pork

Spicy Green Beans

BBQ Pork Sticky Buns

Spicy Fried Halibut

Shrimp Spring Rolls

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Everything was delicious. There is nothing that we ordered that I wouldn’t order again. The shrimp dumplings were exactly what you would expect and he dumpling was perfectly cooked as was the shrimp. They were a good size too, definitely not one-bite dumplings. The house special fried vermicelli was also excellent. Definitely on the spicy side which we weren’t expecting from the description but as you know by now, we love spicy so that was not a pleasant surprise, for some of you it may not be. The sweet & sour pork is the one thing we can order that we will always be familiar with and it’s hard to screw up so it’s really a safety order for us, it was delicious. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a bad sweet & sour pork. Spicy green beans have to be one of my all time favourite hot veggie dishes so it wasn’t up for discussion, we were getting them; as with everything else, delicious. Not too spicy but a perfect balance of spiciness and saltiness. BBQ pork sticky buns are a traditional dim sum menu item so we had to get them. They were sticky alright. None of us could get a whole bun out of the steamer basket in one piece so we just picked at it in parts. The bun doesn’t have a ton of taste but the filling is what you’re after and the BBQ pork was so yummy. Not too sweet but it did have some sweetness that was nicely balances by the BBQ flavour which brought the savoury side. The spicy fried halibut was a big question mark for us. We had no idea what to expect and it came in little two-bite sized pieces. This is where the one negative of the menu came in, there were bones in them. On my first bite I bit into something hard, I figured it was a bone and this was an unpleasant surprise. I’m not sure if this is traditional but it was annoying having to be hesitant with every bite no knowing when you might chomp down on a bone. The halibut itself was nice and flaky and the spicy crust on the outside made it a great bite. The shrimp spring rolls were as expected, a nice crunchy, flaky outside with well cooked shrimp inside and a nice sauce to accompany it.

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The food was excellent, other than the bones in the halibut we have no complaints. The portion size was very generous also.

The service was excellent and the servers were back to top up waters and make sure we were doing alright but they didn’t come back so much that it got annoying. I’m sure we’ve all been to a restaurant where the server comes back so much that you just want to tell him or her “we’re good, you don’t need to come back every 5 minutes. If we need something we will let you know.” That didn’t happen here.

The value we received here was average, we wouldn’t say it was great but it was right in the middle. The food was good which can justify the slightly above-average prices but we still felt the prices were a couple dollars higher per dish than they should have been. That being said, price would not deter us from returning to Haiyi as everything was excellent.

Food 4.5/5 – no bones in the halibut and this is a 5/5

Service 5/5 – perfect, it doesn’t get any better than this

Kid friendliness – high chair, no kids menu but the kids ate what we ate

Decor 4.5/5 – very elegant with white draped chairs and big glass lazy Susans

Value 4/5 – portions were generous and the food was good but a couple dollar high per dish

Never stop adventuring!

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