Monday, June 02, 2014

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 1

It started out as a Twitter conversation when David Chan (who has eaten at 6,297+ Chinese restaurants) mentioned the crispy deep-fried milk at King Hua Restaurant in Alhambra. One More Bite said she loved the dish. I haven't had sauteed milk since Macau Street - Monterey Park closed a while back and a deep-fried crispy version sounded intriguing.

We made plans to meet up and Gourmet Pigs decided to make King Hua one of her going away dinners before she moved to Boston. Well, I don't know if she picked the restaurant in particular or was more nudged in that direction, but it helped me achieve Cantonese seafood restaurant trifecta (dim sum, wedding banquet, and regular dining at one location). Not that that should be a goal, mind you, just happenstance.

A few years ago, I blogged King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra for dim sum and later that year, attended a wedding banquet so I knew it was a solid Cantonese restaurant. Part of the reason Gourmet Pigs chose it was for some fresh Chinese seafood since she doubted her options in Boston would be as good.

There ended up being five of us for dinner. We knew we wanted to order crab, so that was an easy first pick. The waiter grabbed a large Dungeness crab from the tank and brought it out to us in a bucket to show us its freshness. After we nodded, he whisked it back into the kitchen to be cooked. We went with the waiter's recommendation for the house preparation.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 2

The crispy deep-fried milk, $8.80, that spurred this whole dinner. The milk was custardy with a nice crispy batter. Basically, like eating very soft deep-fried tofu. There was a little dipping saucer of sugar if you're so inclined to eat it that way. It was good, but I think the novelty of deep-fried milk was more appealing than the actual dish.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 3

I was drawn by the Chinese Deep-Fried Pork Ribs with Honey Garlic, $13.80. Pretty carrot rose!

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 4

Here's a better photo of the fried pork ribs. Lightly battered, crispy, sweet, vinegary. The waiter recommended this dish over another pork rib dish that I asked about ordering.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 5

The 2.5 lb Dungeness crab, market price of $62, came out steamed with some egg whites and scallions in a light beer broth. This was a delicate preparation that didn't overwhelm the crab. I just have a hard time justifying buying crab in restaurants when my parents catch them on the Oregon coast for free.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 6

One of Gourmet Pigs' friends insisted on ordering the spot prawns because they were so sweet the last time she dined here. So we ended up ordering it for the table. But, 1.5 lbs spot prawns at $55.20 for 10? Ouch!

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 7

The prawns came out simply steamed with a dipping saucer of soy sauce.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 8

The prawns were huge as you can see compared to the plate of crab.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 9

The waiter evenly distributed so each person got one large and one small prawn. They were so sweet and delicious, but the frugal side of me still balks at the $11.04 price tag for two shrimp.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 10

That still wasn't quite enough to fill us up so I ordered the shrimp on the specials menu, $9.88. The regular shrimp were quite small compared to the prawns. It was a tamarind-based sauce, crispy, sweet, sour. I wish this dish had more than just a half dozen shrimp.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 11

Complimentary red bean dessert.

King Hua Restaurant - Alhambra 12

If not for the seafood, which was market priced, most dishes are in the $9 to $14 range so dinner would have been more affordable. The food was good and so was the service, but I think the portions are a little skimpy. Compared to other Cantonese seafood restaurants such as Lunasia Chinese Cuisine - Alhambra and Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant - Monterey Park where for the same price range, the plates would actually be full and not sparsely filled and garnished to make up the space.

Other Chinese family-style seafood restaurants:
Kim Tar Seafood Restaurant - Monterey Park
Lunasia Chinese Cuisine - Alhambra
NBC Seafood Restaurant - Monterey Park
Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant - Monterey Park
Seafood Village - Temple City

King Hua Restaurant
2000 W. Main St.
Alhambra, CA 91801
Monday to Friday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sun 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

1 year ago today,
2 years ago today,
3 years ago today,
4 years ago today,
5 years ago today, pomegranate blossoms.
6 years ago today, a survey to find out more about my readers.
7 years ago today, Chanh Muoi (Vietnamese Salty Lemonade) and How to Preserve Lemons.


  1. Oh gracious! I'd have a problem with those Market Prices as well. Eeek!

    I hope Gourmet Pigs is doing well and enjoying the cheap lobster in Boston. It's amazing!

  2. PS - My mom-in-law spent three years in Panama, as a Navy wife. Many challenges there but one of her fav memories? If you did not want to cook, you could just go to town and get a bag of lobsters. Cheaper than ground beef!

  3. Oddlyme,
    She's been enjoying the much cheaper seafood in Boston for sure! I have to get back to blogging my trip out to visit her and our Maine lobster roll tour. At one of the stops, I had to buy a whole lobster because it was cheaper than the lobster roll! I can't imagine getting a whole bag of lobsters! Who knew heaven was in Panama? ;)


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