I took some time off at the end of last week. We had an appointment in LA and since I'd been working pretty hard over the last couple of months, I thought it would be good to take an extended roadtrip. Our first day would be in our old neighborhood of Rowland/Hacienda Heights and then we'd move further "North" for a few days.
We also took the time to see what was going on here.....
We weren't too hungry, but of course we also didn't want to squander a lunch, so we headed to a place that caught the Missus' attention the last time we stayed in the area. According to what I've read, Shanghailander Palace was aiming to be the area's equivalent of Shanghai No. 1 Seafood Restaurant. So we stopped by to have a light lunch.
Arriving at almost 2 pm on a Wednesday, we were shocked to see how busy the place was! The crowd was composed of mostly older folks and larger groups. I really could have done without the middle aged woman dressed almost "cosplay" style in a short plaid skirt, blouse, and schoolgirl like sweater....yikes, it gave me the heebies!
The service was rather slow, but it could be understood since the place was slammed.
We started with the Xun Yu - "Shanghai Style Smoked fish", which as I've often explained, isn't really smoked. In what seems like the "new style" of Hu Cai (滬菜), this is served warm (deep fried after marinating) rather than as a cold dish.
I enjoyed this version as it was light, mildly "winey", not too sweet (though still too sweet for the Missus), with a nice soy flavor. Even though this was obviously fresh water fish; it lacked the muddy flavor I find unpleasant. This was much better than the version at Shanghai Number 1. I also thought the portion size was nice for an appetizer.
I will say that the tea we ordered - Ti Guanyin, a favorite of mine was just plain insipid.
I didn't see one of my favoite dishes; jellied pork on the menu, so we went with the mutton version instead.
I loved the texture, but the sauce provided was just wrong. I ended up opting for black vinegar instead.
Of course we had to get Xiao Long Bao. We went for the Pork and Crab version.
These were average at best. The tuft at the top was too hard, the wrappers ok....no leakage here, if perhaps a bit too thick and gummy. I thought the filling had decent flavor; not too sweet, but you could definitely make out the crab. Not enough soup though.....hardly any soup.
Some of the other dishes....stuff we could order if we could handle left-overs like the Braised Pork looked really good. So I think we'll probably be back.
Overall, this was a nice start to our roadtrip, which would be taking us North, culminating with dinner in San Mateo at Michelin Starred Wakuriya. Man was I going to enjoy this roadtrip!
1695 South Azusa Ave
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745