Restaurant: Shanghai #1 Seafood Village [1, 2, 3]
Location: 250 W Valley Blvd. San Gabriel, CA 91776. (626) 282-1777
Date: August 10, September 3, & November 10 2013 and June 19, 2022 (and more)
Cuisine: Chinese Dim Sum
Rating: Very authentic Shanghai style
The San Gabriel Valley is a veritable treasure trove of Asian dining, particularly regional Chinese. Shanghai #1 Seafood Village is the LA branch of a high end Shanghai chain. But today it’s time for dim sum!
The decor is Stark meets Chinatown. Interestingly, as cheesy as it is, it’s fairly authentic.
This time around we have come for dim sum. Yum!
2011 Domaine Collotte Bourgogne Rosé Marsannay. This is one of my go-to roses, as it’s all Pinot Noir from Burgundy. A wonderful sunny weather wine, it paired very nicely with the sweet and sour tones of the Chinese. There were a few rose-haters as usual, but this really is a great wine, bright and full of strawberry flavors.
Delicious pickled radish (probably Daikon). Crunchy, sweet, extremely enjoyable complex flavors.
2010 Servo Suo Prosecco. Very nice.
Special pickled fresh cucumber. Crunchy, with a bit of heat.
Old Shanghai stewed duck in Soy Sauce. Sweet and very smokey/ducky.
Old Shanghai baked spareribs. Amazing Chinese-style ribs.
A different kind of pork rib, almost certainly the same cut as the above BBQ, but steamed. Tasty, but not AS tasty as the BBQ version.
Old Shanghai Smoked fish. Nice smokey tea flavor with a bit of sweet.
Chicken feet with Black Bean Sauce. Eeew!
1974 Beaulieu Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Georges de Latour. Parker 88. The wine’s color revealed amber at the edge, a roasted, herbal, sweet, spicy nose, loosely-knit, jammy fruit, and some hot alcohol in the finish. Lots of coffee and tobacco. Actually, although nearly gone, it was kinda delicious.
Peanut Pork & Chicken Celery Dumpling. Nice and fresh.
Beef ball with Orange Peel Sauce. Like a giant Chinese meatball, but almost tartar (on purpose). Very tasty and interesting.
2011 Prager Riesling Wachstum Bodenstein. A lovely dry riesling with a strong mineral component.
Cold chicken in sweet sauce. Not bad, but def tastes like chicken.
This is a kind of fried mochi stuffed with meat. Interesting chewy texture and a fairly tasty meat.
Baked chicken bun. The pasty has a light fluffy quality.
Here you can see the chicken, which was tasty, but pork probably would have been even better.
A sort of kung pao tofu (tofu and peanuts with a slightly spicy sauce). It was okay, with an unusual firm texture. I’ll still take a genuine Ma Po Tofu any day.
Shanghai rice cakes. These are pan fried rice cake with scallions and sweet soy. Odd soft texture, but delicious.
2001 Weingut Robert Weil Kiedricher Gräfenberg Riesling Spätlese. 93 points. Apple, peach and apricot, zest of citrus, ginger, gunmetal and hint of straw. Very ripe and deep. Sweet, but balanced.
House No. 1 Baked BBQ Pork Bun. Wow! They are right about the House No. 1 bit, as these are the best pork buns I’ve ever had.
Shrimp dumpling with chives. Nice.
Broccolini. Very nice and not over cooked at all.
2009 Meyer-Fonné Pinot Gris. 90 points. Unfortunately, this bottle was corked.
Stone Hot Pan Fried Rice with Pork. Stunningly good fried rice.
Classic lotus leaf wrapped steamed sticky rice.
But this one has abalone (fresh from Santa Barbara) in it. As usual with this place, a top example of the type.
Special Taro Cake. This was the unanimous “winner” of the “worst dish” vote. I suspect it’s excellent for what it is, but taro is so bland and pasty.
Har gow (6/19/22). Classic shrimp dumplings.
Spicy shrimp dumplings (6/19/22). Nice bit of mala inside and squid ink dough.
Some other seafood and green dumpling.
And yet another seafood dumpling!
Bean curd with sticky rice. The rice is inside. Very mild and pleasant.
Bean curd with vegetables. Very tasty.
Special Soup Dumpling. Quite the dumpling! Full of shrimp and other goodness in a very pleasant broth.
1974 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Napa.
Steamed Shanghai Juicy Pork bun. Full of juice and oh so yummy!
Shrimp and squid. Sort of a Chinese gefilte fish (plus shrimp).
Pan Fried Shanghai Style Bun. Wow again! These are tremendous.
Shanghai Style Pan Friend Noodles. Not my favorite, as they are sweet and a bit too soy-ish.
Simple pan fried noodles. The kid version.
More chicken feet! Double eeew!
Steamed rice noodle with Beef. Yum. The beef was again sort of medium rare — and very tasty.
Steamed rice noodle with Shrimp and snow pea. Good examples of this type.
Steamed rice noodle with tofu and scallop. Interestingly soft. Kind of soft on soft on soft.
Rice crepe with crab. Wrapped around imitation crab. Pretty good though.
Sweet baked bun filled with taro.
Shanghai sweet cake? Another fried rice ball with a bit of some sweet mild fruit in the center. All about the texture, with a pleasant mild flavor.
Macau Style Baked Egg Custard. Triple wow. Best custard buns I’ve yet had, like creme brûlée.
Mango Pudding. Pleasant, mild, sweet mango flavor.
Pineapple buns (6/19/22). Pretty yummy.
Sweet cake. This pound cake is striped with sweet bean paste, which was pretty mild.
Overall, this was another great meal. It’s probably the best dim sum I’ve had in LA, really first rate. Stuff was extremely fresh, cooked to order and not on the carts. Service was good. They did their best to slow down for us (Chinese food is usually a breakneck frenzy). [ NOTE: the above was written in 2013, but by late 2014 I’ve found 2-3 better places (Elite, King Hua, etc), still SH#1 is very good ]
Thoughts in 2022. The dim sum here is solid, but not amazing (there are much better places in the SGV). Dumplings are a bit thick and oversized. But you can also order the Shanghai dishes and it’s a nice room(s), so nothing too wrong with it.
Plus, there is a $15 an hour foot massage place right downstairs (NOTE: closed by 2022).
For more LA dining reviews click here.
For more crazy Hedonist meals, click here.