This year we decided to dust off an old tradition, one we'd put away into the closet over 5-6 years back and grab some dim sum on Thanksgiving day. Over the years we've become less satisfied with the inconsistent and plain low quality of the dim sum in San Diego. Instead, we opted to drive to our favorite place for dim sum Sea Harbour. We made really great time on our trip to the SGV, having time to grab some roast duck for dinner (a later post) before arriving at the doors to the restaurant about 10 minutes before opening. Sea Harbour is one of those places with an eternal line during weekends and holidays, you either get there early, or try to time the first major turnover of tables.
On this day, the line dictated a major seating effort and the place was at full capacity ten minutes past ten.
Service was bit confused at first and while not exactly the most friendly, much better than Shanghai No. 1, where the asking of the most simplest question (like, "could I have a menu?), would cause them to give us a pained look like Dr Szell had been working on them for a couple of hours, "Oh, don't worry. I'm not going into that cavity. That nerve's already dying. A live, freshly-cut nerve is infinitely more sensitive. So I'll just drill into a healthy tooth until I reach the pulp." You almost thought they were trained here. 'Nuff said......
For some reason the Missus wanted some Gailan.....
They obviously brush some oil on it to give this poached vegetable some sheen. As gailan goes, this was fine, but I thought the oyster sauce was very good.
We usually go fairly light and at Sea Harbour go primarily with seafood. The hargow was good, nicely pleated, the wrappers not too think nor too sticky.
The shrimp were plump and cooked well...my only complaint were that these were perhaps too big, you couldn't eat them in a single bite. Which I guess is not much of a complaint at all.
I loved the Shrimp, dried scallops, and Chinese celery dumplings on our previous visits. These did not disappoint.
Nice wrappers, not too sticky, the savory flavor of the shrimp and dried scallops, with a nice textural counterpoint and the palate cleansing flavor of the Chinese celery. Still a favorite.
We always try something new when we visit Sea Harbour. On this visit it was the Radish Cake with XO Sauce. We usually avoid ordering these because we make it at home, but the allure of the XO sauce could not be avoided. This dish totally changed our opinion of Radish/Turnip Cake.
There were huge pieces of daikon in these, not shreds, that literally melted in your mouth! The texture was excellent. The XO sauce wasn't artificially salty and just added a touch of spice, with a nice savory touch. But those tender chunks of radish cake....I'm sure we'll be having those again.
The clunker of the day....and there always seems to be one, was the vegetarian Black Fungus and Celery Dumpling.
Nice textures, but pretty bland.
I was looking forward to trying the Egg Tofu in Abalone Sauce.
Loved the texture of the egg tofu, the sauce was pretty mild though.
At this point, we were satisfied but waiting on one item. We asked one of the gentlemen about it and he efficiently went to check the kitchen and told us "exact, three minutes"...and about three and a half minutes later our Pan Grilled Spinach Pork Bun. The Missus thinks this is too sweet, but I usually love the flavors. Today, I was less then satisfied with the dough which had the texture of dough where steam had escaped leaving it on the harder, waterlogged side.
I still enjoyed the filling, so I'll just have to wait until our next visit to see......
Overall, our tab came to about $35. Which may be expensive if you dim sum in LA, but not so much if you've had it in San Diego recently. Plus, there's nothing here that comes remotely close to this in quality, prep, and flavor.
Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
3939 Rosemead Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770
We made two more stops before heading home; first to Tianjin Bistro for some "day after" suan cai yang rou, then the market for some supplies. We had smooth sailing until the 5/405 merge...after that it was pure murder until we hit Carlsbad, where traffic suddenly dissapated.....very strange!
Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year!