Sheesh. Little sisters are so demanding.
The other day at 9 a.m., we hear a tap, tap, tap on the window. Lil' sis's friend was waking us up for some dim sum. Dude! Too early. So we promptly went back to sleep and woke up again at the more decent hour of 11:30 a.m.
Since it was a weekday, there were no lines at NBC Seafood Restaurant in Monterey Park (There's also a CBS and an ABC restaurant...). Normally on weekends by 10 a.m. there's at least an hour wait and people are jam-packed into the spacious vestibule and the front of the restaurant. The crowds actually made a difference as I think the higher turnover results in fresher and hotter dim sum. On a weekday, the dim sum was mostly good (we had a very poor quality tofu dessert), but it's better on the weekends. Just make sure to get there before 10 a.m. or be prepared to wait, and wait, and wait.
Small items are $1.90, medium items are $3.10. I don't think we got anything that was large so I don't know how much that cost.
First up was the fried breadstick wrapped in a shrimp noodle sheet, served with a side of hoisin sauce. Crispy on the inside, soft on the outside.
The egg rolls were filled with meat, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots, served with worchestershire sauce.
These are my favorite char siu bao (Chinese barbecued pork buns). A generous mix of barbecued pork and onions on the inside, but the bun is incredibly soft, with a sweet, sticky glaze.
Steamed book tripe. Very tender, slightly seasoned.
Siu mai were really meaty.
Har gow. The shrimp had a nice bite, the skins were translucent and chewy.
Shrimp and chive dumplings. Yummy.
Shrimp cheong fun were tender, but not melt-in-the-mouth tender.
Lil' sis was complaining about having to wait while I took pictures before she could eat, but then she was the one that reminded me I forgot to take a picture of the spare ribs before we almost polished them off. I thought they were a little oily, but she really liked them.
The tofu dessert was grainy, the texture was so off that lil' sis's friend was visibly upset. It tasted OK, but part of the appeal of this dessert is its silky smooth texture.
Since lil' sis's friend's family was in the restaurant business, he also didn't like that the workers seemed unprofessional, at times standing around gossiping and even swearing. Granted it was in Chinese, but hey, somebody understands what they're saying. I was more annoyed by the white guy next to us who, from the sound of it, was introducing his date to the culinary wonders of dim sum and would make the dim sum cart ladies pronounce each item as he shouted in repeat.
Total bill for all of the above, plus tea $28.40, including tax.
Other dim sum restaurant posts:
Bon Marche Bistro/B Village Cuisine (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park
Capital Dim Sum & BBQ - Monterey Park
CBS Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Los Angeles (Chinatown)
Dim Sum Express - Monterey Park
Elite Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park
Full House Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Arcadia
Lunasia Chinese Cuisine (Dim Sum) - Alhambra
Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant (Dim Sum) - Monterey Park
404-A S. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Dim sum 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.