Location: 250 W Valley Blvd. San Gabriel, CA 91776. (626) 282-1777
Date: February 16, 2013
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 specializing in banquet dining.
As this is a Hedonist/Foodie Club wine diner, we prearranged a banquet and reserved the usual giant table.
NV Jean-Pierre Brouchard Champagne In florescence. 92 points. A brilliant Blanc de Noirs exhibiting a dense, yet crisp mouthfeel with subtle elegant mousse. The nose has a lot of mature red apples, lime zest and newly made French toast. The length on the finish is very nice. The wine is crisp and clean, still it shows all the best sides of the Pinot Noir varietal. Overall impression is that of a very good Champagne which drinks terrifically tonight but would not mind resting another couple of years.
This was much fruiter than the Peter Paul, but I liked the nuttier drier one better myself.
From my cellar: 1990 Robert Ampeau & Fils Volnay 1er Cru Santenots. 94 points. Wonderfull intense colour, complex nose and pure Volnay fruit. Dark cherry fruits, wet forrest and just a little animal characters. Just right to drink now, no decline at all.
My favorite wine of the night, but I’m a Burgundy troll.
2011 Pierre Gonon St Joseph. Parker 93. The 2011 Saint Joseph offers lots of olive tapenade, black currants, blackberry, tobacco and spice in a medium to full-bodied, supple and beautifully fruited profile. Filling in nicely with time in the glass, this chewy, rich effort has ripe tannin, excellent freshness and a big finish. Enjoy it over the coming decade or so.
Lots of rich fruit, but not at all overbearing.
Shanghai style sweet and sour fried fish. This was one of those goopy straight up orange sweet and sour sauces, but it was awesome. Particularly dripped over rice. And the method of flaying the meat out and frying it created a much crisper effect, even if the appearance is a bit horror movie.
1994 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon. Parker 91-93. I have been a fan of this winery’s Pinot Noir, but I have not seen the newest offerings. However, I do have enthusiastic tasting notes on Stonestreet’s other red wines. The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon appears to be even more intense and powerful than the 1993, with an opaque purple color, and gobs of lavishly oaked, smoky, cassis fruit intertwined with aromas of roasted herbs and high quality toasty oak. This powerful Cabernet reveals plenty of tannin, low acidity, and outstanding concentration and purity. This large-scaled, remarkably well-balanced wine should drink well young yet last for two decades.
Our bottle was corked.
2004 Colgin IX Syrah Estate. Parker 96. Aubert demonstrates a superb know-how with Syrah. These wines are macerated for 35-45 days, and given frequent pump-overs as well as punch-downs. They are aged completely in French oak. The floral-filled 2004 IX Syrah Estate (486 cases) offers super-pure blue and blackberries intermixed with hints of new saddle leather and meat. High but sweet tannins, powerful flavors, and an overall sense of poise characterize this stunning effort.
A strange Shanghai take on Ma Po tofu. It has peanuts, and a bit of spice, but the tofu is the firm kind instead of the silken tofu, and there is no yummy pork and mighty numbing Schezuan heat like here or here.
Overall, this was a really great meal. First rate Chinese and quite authentic and typical of high end banquet meals in China. We didn’t have the totally tricked out menu with all the sea cucumber, shark fin, and the like, but I don’t love that stuff anyway. Nearly every dish was wonderful. Service was fine (for Chinese). They brought things a little rapidly, but it was fine. Great experience.