Restaurant: New Bay Seafood [1, 2]
Location: 203 West Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA. (626) 872-6677
Date: November 24, 2014
Cuisine: Cantonese / Chiu Chow Chinese
Rating: Really on point!
New Bay Seafood is a fairly elaborate (big with multiple private rooms) Hong Kong and Chiu Chow palace that took over the late Sham Tseng space in 2013. This is my second trip, for a massive Sauvages win luncheon.
The interior is typical of Inland Empire Chinese restaurants. We had a private room (there are several).
2011 Hatzidakis Winery Aidani Assyrtiko. 90 points. Great wine. Minerals. Big. Balanced. Complex. Overall very interesting.
On the table to start were the traditional peanuts.
From my cellar: 2011 Veyder-Malberg Grüner Veltliner Weitenberg. 91 points. Minerality and a kind of peppery herbal spice. A very good full bodied food white.
Fried squid. Chinese calamari. Light and not too greasy.
2011 Domaine Jacques Carillon Puligny-Montrachet. Burghound 89. I had a chance to retry this a year later and it hasn’t changed much from the first review as an expressive nose of floral, citrus and pear scents leads to vibrant and beautifully well-detailed flavors that display really lovely precision. The mid-palate offers solid volume and fine depth as well as impressive length on the saline-inflected finish. This moderately forward and classy effort is a lovely villages.
Fried oysters. I don’t usually love my oysters fried, but these were lovely. And a fabulous pairing with the gruner.
2001 Emidio Pepe Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. AG 92. Pepe’s awesome 2001 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is a great introduction to this producer’s wines. Richly colored, it offers an aromatic nose and layers of vibrant, sweet dark fruit that open in the glass, revealing a wine of outstanding purity that is full of life and energy. At once delicate and structured, it is one of the highlights of the afternoon. It should also be another long-lived wine from this estate and I imagine that its aging potential is decades.
Squab. Super tasty little gamey birds.
From my cellar: 1999 Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva. AG 92. The 1999 Taurasi Radici Riserva comes across as surprisingly simple. In 1999 the maceration time was only 15 days and the wine seems to lack the depth and concentration of the best years. Ash, game, spices and dark fruit come together nicely in this accessible, understated Taurasi Radici Riserva. Today, the 1999 looks to be a relatively early drinking vintage.
In case you’re into sucking bird brain.
2008 Château de la Maltroye Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru La Romanée. Burghound 93. Discreet oak notes don’t compromise the expressiveness of the white peach and subtly exotic fruit aromas that introduce concentrated, naturally sweet and textured medium plus weight flavors that possess excellent complexity and fine intensity. This is certainly very pretty and unusually fine as well as slightly more mineral-driven than the typical example of La Romanée. In a word, terrific.
Garlic Santa Barbara Prawn. These almost lobster like shrimp were cooked so well the entire shell was edible. Mine had row too and it was scrumptious.
2009 Aubert Chardonnay Larry Hyde & Sons. AG 95. The 2009 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard comes across as rich, round and layered. Dried apricots, peaches, flowers and tangerine are some of the notes that flow from this sumptuous, well-spoken Chardonnay. The wine turns more and more delicate with time in the glass. I loved it. This is a great showing from Mark Aubert.
2005 Aubert Chardonnay Reuling Vineyard. IWC 95. Pale green-tinged color. Aromas and flavors of dried pineapple, grapefruit, nutmeg and minerals. Hugely rich and dense, with a compellingly pliant, silky texture and great fullness and volume. As rich and chewy as this is, there is no sign of phenolic character on the back end. Subtle vanilla and smoke notes from the oak add complexity.
House special lobster. This version of the lobster was amazing. The sauce had quite a bit of black pepper and scallions in it. Lots of flavor and very tender.
1998 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage La Chapelle. Parker 90. This estate’s flagship wine, Hermitage La Chapelle, merits its world-renowned reputation. The outstanding, elegant 1998 Hermitage La Chapelle’s dark plum/purple color is followed by scents of new saddle leather, black currants, blackberries, and underbrush. In the mouth, the wine reveals sweet tannin, medium to full body, excellent depth, and an intriguing smokiness.
Shaking beef. This Vietnamese inspired beef with pepper dish was great with the red wine.
1990 Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Boisrenard. Parker 95. This wine saw a small amount of aging in new oak cask, resulting in a more international style when released. Still youthful, the dense ruby/purple-colored 1990 exhibits a classy nose of black fruits, spice box, vanillin, and kirsch liqueur. Full-bodied and pure, with a subtle touch of oak, this fleshy, stylized, yet authoritatively flavorful, rich Chateauneuf du Pape has reached its plateau of maturity, where it should remain for 7-8 years.
1998 Domaine Jean Deydier Les Clefs d’Or Chateauneuf du Pape. Parker 88. The dark ruby-colored 1998 is dense, with mineral, pepper, and garrigue, but seemed muted when I tasted it. It displayed all the characteristics of a wine that had just been bottled, so I suspect there is more to it. The wine offered a garrigue/spicy-scented nose, medium to full body, obvious notes of kirsch liqueur intermixed with crushed stones and a pleasant earthiness, admirable layers of flavor, and moderate tannin. It requires several years of cellaring before consumption.
Fried pork chop. More or less like the Taiwanese version.
2003 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee. Parker 98. Starting with the 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reserve, this wine showed spectacularly on release, closed down for a few years, and has now emerged, at close to full maturity, and is straight-up fabulous. Out of the entire tasting, it remained my favorite. Giving up gorgeous blackberry, currants, garrigue, pepper and beef blood, it hits the palate with a massive, full-bodied texture that carries layers of sweet fruit, awesome concentration and blockbuster length. Tasting like the essence of both this estate and the terroir, it’s an incredible wine that I’m happy to taste/drink anytime. It will continue to evolve gracefully, but I see no reason to delay gratification.
Kung pao chicken. Tasty, but on the mild side compared to authentic KPC.
2000 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva Alban Estate Vineyard. Parker 94. The saturated blue/purple-colored 2000 Syrah Reva Vineyard exhibits a slightly reduced nose, but with aeration of 60-90 minutes, glorious notes of blackberries, asphalt, singed leather, and wood emerge. Medium to full-bodied and moderately tannic, this young, unevolved, but promising 2000 will be at its finest between 2004-2015.
Greens and garlic. Colon sweeper!
2002 JC Cellars Syrah Haley’s Reserve Rockpile Vineyard. Parker 94. The blockbuster 2002 Syrah Rockpile Vineyard Haley’s Reserve (from a red soil vineyard planted at 2,000 feet) boasts a gorgeous perfume of boysenberries, blueberries, blackberries, lavender, toast, and licorice. Full-bodied, with a voluptuous texture in addition to dry tannins lurking behind the extravagant fruit and concentration, this terrific Syrah should hit its prime in 1-2 years, and last for a decade.
Special olive pork ribs. These small bits of pork rib were fried and seasoned to perfection. Really tasty. Not sure what was olive about them.
2002 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec. 90 points.
Almond soufflé. Not exactly a true souffle, under the pastry is a kind of warm almond soup with ginko nuts in it.
2002 Raymond-Lafon. Parker 90-92. I suspect most readers will find it hard to get excited about the 2002 vintage for the sweet wines of Barsac and Sauternes after what appears to be a prodigious 2001. However, 2002 is a very fine year for this region, possibly superior to any of the vintages between 2000 and 1991. The wines possess plenty of botrytis, but neither the impressive definition nor supreme elegance of the 2001s. This is a sweet, full-bodied, fat, concentrated, intense effort that was showing well in September, 2003.
Creme brule. Not your usual Chinese dessert, but good all the same.
The co-owner. They were incredibly nice, friendly, and with fabulous service.
Overall, New Bay Seafood was really good. Being Southern Chinese, it’s not the most exotic of the Chinese sub-regions (foodwise, since so much American Chinese is Cantonese derived) but their execution is really very very good. Every dish was tasty and more than half of them fabulous. If you want an approachable entree into the wonderful world of San Gabriel Valley Chinese, you can’t go wrong with New Bay. And, besides, the owner treated us like kings. They served the dishes one by one, hung out, and we’re generally fabulous.
Afterward, we walked next door to the awesome Sabu Dessert and get some light fluffy “snow.” If you haven’t tried Taiwanese style snow, you are really missing out. This one above was pineapple snow, passionfruit sauce, with almond jelly, and boba (on the bottom). Yum!
For more crazy Hedonist meals.