Capital Seafood Chinese Restaurant is situated next to a 99 Ranch Market in the middle of an aging strip mall in Monterey Park. I knew the food would be good since the restaurant is in the first suburban Chinatown in the country. But I was also pleasantly surprised by the interior. Newly remodeled with lots of gilt with what I was told is the currently popular mainland Chinese interpretation of faux-Italian glamour.
Very shiny, eh?
This is the entrance area. On the other side of the columns is a spot for photos.
Side of the room.
Anyway, so the occasion was my second-cousin's wedding. As you can see by the picture, Capital Seafood is huge. I was at table 48. At 10 people per table, that comes out to an estimated 480. And if, like at my table, where additional chairs were pulled up, I'm assuming roughly 500 guests. There were also three overflow tables, just in case, but they weren't used.
If you're Asian, there's only one thing you really care about at a wedding banquet -- food! Forget the new-fangled notion of American weddings where guests only get one entree. No matter how many cocktail appetizers they serve, again and again, I always hear my parents and their friends complain that they leave hungry. That definitely doesn't happen with Chinese wedding banquets.
We had the "Pearl" Wedding Menu which featured: assorted barbecued meat with suckling pig, stir-fried scallops and shrimp in bird's nest, braised shark's fin soup, braised sliced abalone with black mushroom and seasonal greens, baked live lobster with house sauce, roasted crispy pigeon, steamed fresh live fish, fried rice Trieu Chau style, and for dessert steamed mashed taro with gingko nuts.
The assorted meat appetizer was a pleasant surprise. Normally, other places serve ham, char siu, and other cold cuts. Capital Seafood's featured roast suckling pig so the skin was crisp and crackly. There were several varieties of cold cuts as well as chicken. Pickled cucumbers and leeks added a nice crunch.
The stir-fried scallops and shrimp in bird's nest was chock full of scallops. The "nest" is made of chow mein noodles shaped into a pretty bowl. It's meant to be eaten. The minute I broke up the bowl, my cousins descended on the platter. The scallops and noodles were scooped up in about five minutes flat. The scallops were incredibly tender and sweet. Very fresh.
The shark's fin soup also featured fresh seafood. The shark's fin was nicely crunchy so I could tell it was the real thing and not a mushy faux version. The abalone entree was also real abalone, not the cheaper abalone mushroom substitute.
The best part for me? The literally finger-lickin good lobster with house sauce. The waiters came around with wet hand towels beforehand. Very useful to clean our hands before and after digging into the chunks of delectable lobster.
I've never eaten pigeon before so I couldn't tell you what it was supposed to taste like. Tasted like chicken to me! That said, it featured a crispy skin and moist, very tender meat. You can see it in the picture behind the fish.
I don't know my fish so I can't tell you what kind we were served. Some tables had one large black one, we got two smaller red ones. Steamed fish is kinda hard to ruin. Soy sauce, scallions, ginger.
The Trieu Chau-style fried rice was good, but it's kinda hard to ruin fried rice also.
The mashed taro with gingko nuts is reminiscent of Vietnamese dessert soups -- sweetened taro, crunch of water chestnuts, and gingko nuts. And of course, we each got a slice from the 5-tiered wedding cake.
Overall, Capital Seafood ranks high on my list for wedding banquets. The food was delicious. The service was very good. The waiter would transfer food to smaller plates when he brought out new entrees. The atmosphere is quite showy but elegant in a brassy Vegas-y way. And even with a table of all girls, and one boy, there weren't any leftovers. Which is saying a lot for the quality of the food as I'm used to taking home a box or two.
I'll have to come back to try out their dim sum menu.
Other wedding banquet posts:
Empress Harbor Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Monterey Park
Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Emeryville
Pearl Chinese Cuisine (Wedding Banquet) - San Diego
Prince Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Cerritos
Regent West Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Santa Ana (Little Saigon)
Capital Seafood Chinese Restaurant
755 W. Garvey Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91754