The reason I'm saying "I think", is that for the life of me, I couldn't find an English sign for the place. Googling the address 828 West Valley Blvd brought up a huge listing for a place named "Wok and Noodle", so that's the English name until someone tells me otherwise. We had finished our, not so great lunch at Kingburg Kitchen, and feeling unsatisfied, decided on a drive down the "old side" of Valley Boulevard. We hadn't been down here in a while. Right past the Boiling Crab, we noticed a large group of folks exiting what looked to be a restaurant. The Missus read the signage and told me, "this is a Shanghainese restaurant." Which sounded good to me....I swung around, and parked the car.
Upon entering, we noticed 2 things, many large families, and lots of older Chinese. This was a sure sign of "value pricing" and sure enough, looking over the menu, we found the prices to be very, very, reasonable. The 2 waiters here cracked us up....they were very nice, but just kinda did things at their own pace(S-L-O-W). One guy constantly hummed and sung while cracking what I thought were sunflower seeds. Every so often he'd spit the shells out into the tray holding the dirty dishes. The other guy just loved to whistle. You gotta love places like this.
Realizing that we had just eaten an hour earlier, the Missus and I decided on just a few cold dishes and some "bao".
So of course we ordered the Shanghai Smoked Fish ($4.25), one of the Missus's favorites.
This was a decent version, not too bony, not overly sweet, but maybe a bit too "wet" and mushy. But the Missus wasn't complaining, especially after having the really lousy version at Mr Dumpling recently, that was allwrong taste and texture-wise, over twice the price ($9.95!), and less than half the portion size.
I wanted the Salt Cured Duck($4.75):
Can you say "duck ham"? I really enjoyed this salty, duck-y(is there such a word), mildly salty cold dish. The meat had a semi-dense and ham like texture from the curing, though the Missus said the look of it kinda turned Her off.
Just seeing Xiao Long Bao on the menu means we have to order it($4.95):
This was not a particularly stellar version of XLB, the pork filling was decent, nice pork flavor and not overly sweet. The soup to meat ratio was a bit off, in my opinion, not enough soup. The wrappers were the weakest part, too thick and gummy. I probably won't be coming ordering Xiao Long Bao here next time.
And then of course, we had to have the Missus's latest obsession; Shengjian Bao (6 for $4.95):
The Missus said these rather rustic looking SJB, most closely resembled what She recalls eating in High School. Though the bottoms of these Bao were nice and crisp, the bun was more gummy than fluffy. The filling was a simple pork meatball that was on the bland side.
I think we'll be back for the cold dishes, and a few other items we saw being served at the other tables. After all, you can't beat the prices.
The service is pretty slow, though the staff is nice, it just seems like they're eternally day-dreaming. We saw one rather impatient older lady walk up to the service window and grab what I'm hoping was her dish and take it to the table herself! The restaurant is smaller than it looks, and full of large parties. Two can stuff themselves silly for under $20.
Wok and Noodle
828 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803