Harborview, founded in 2018, is a sophisticated Cantonese restaurant that can be found at the Four Embarcadero Center and a dynamic spot for Happy Hour. I entered through the guardian lion door knockers at Ground Level, and was immersed in the traditional Chinese art displays of a sitting Buddha statue and stunning wooden panels. Up the stairs, I passed through an elegant hallway of Chinese scenery, to the host podium, beside a lovely couch with elaborate floral bouquets.
Karen, the restaurant manager, took us past the dark bar decor of chairs and brightly-lit TV screens, seating us in a cozy booth with silken pillows. Every Wednesday during Happy Hour, a live band entertains the crowd on the outdoor patio; this week was Caribbean band, The Spice Islander. The patio is a casual setting with a picturesque view of the Ferry Building across the street.
As a non-drinker to Happy Hour, I always go for the food, but was surprised with the nice Guava Mojito mocktail, made of various juices, adorned with starfruit. The Lychee Martini with Suntory Haku vodka was a strong, unique creation. Our sweet and attentive server, Erika, brought us Happy Hour dim sum dishes; one of which was the traditional Siu Mai, pork and shrimp dumplings. The tobiko toppings were large and the dumplings were nice, meaty morsels. The vegetarian Snow Pea Dumplings lacked some flavors, but the wrapping and fresh leafy fillings were delicious.
The House Specialty was the Baked BBQ pork buns and they were a highlight! The fluffy flakiness of the breading was heavenly, and there was a light, sugary topping with a subtle crunch. A fun, modern twist on a traditional dish was the Tofu Fries, accompanied with garlic, pepper and spices. Happy Hour at Harborview was a unique experience, a combo of traditional food with a slant of modernity in a comfortable setting.
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