Restaurant: New Bay Seafood [1, 2, 3]
Location: 203 West Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA. (626) 872-6677
Date: April 8, 2014
Cuisine: Cantonese / Chiu Chow Chinese
Rating: Some of the best Cantonese I’ve had!
New Bay Seafood has been one of our go to spots for several years for really high quality Cantonese and really excellent service. Unfortunately it seems that they are a little too pricey for the crazy cost competitive SGV restaurant scene and are closing their doors — which is a real shame. Still, we had to go back one last time really blow it out.
The interior is typical of Inland Empire Chinese restaurants.
We had a private room (there are several). Gotta love that wine bucket.
The owner shows off our giant Alaskan King Crab. He was alive here, about 7 minutes later he was in our stomachs!
Various sauces. The red one is vinegar chili. The orange one sweet “duck” sauce. There is sauce, soy and wasabi, and hoisin sauce at the bottom.
1993 Kalin Cellars Chardonnay Cuvée LD. VM 92. Pale green-gold color. Knockout nose of orange blossom, minerals, apple and hazelnut. Thick, rich and uncompromisingly dry; already showing superb inner-mouth perfume of orange oil, apple, flowers and spices. Brisk but harmonious acids frame the deep flavors perfectly and contribute to the impression of strong structure. Finishes quite powerful and long. “This wine was still totally dumb six months ago,” notes winemaker Terry Leighton, who won’t release a wine until it ready for its close-up. Leighton’s LD bottling is from a north-facing slope, while the LV vines face south.
agavin: Our bottle was in great shape, with a good bit of vanilla still alive.
Steamed Alaskan King Crab. The meat was incredibly succulent and sweet, plus easy to get out.
From my cellar: 1998 Domaine des Chezeaux Griotte-Chambertin. Burghound 92. A touch of wood frames bright, earthy fruit and the initial hints of secondary development followed by supple, forward, intensely rich and mouth coating flavors that possess really beautiful balance. This finishes with both elegance and fine intensity. I very much like this.
agavin: a bit of funk at first, but blew off in 10 minutes.
Whole suckling pig. Another winner of a dish, with a soft porcine quality to the meat and a nice crunch to the skin. Just the right amount of fat.
From my cellar: 2005 Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon. Burghound 91. A discreet touch of pain grillé and reduction frames fresh and exotic aromas of peach, melon and mango that continue onto the round, rich and concentrated flavors that possess real texture due to the solid dry extract on the mouth coating and solidly long finish. This is notably better than it usually is.
agavin: This is the second bottle of 2000s Leflaive Clav I’ve opened recently (the other being a 2006) and both were advanced (on the way to premox). What is it with the premox curse?
Geoduck! Tastes like giant clam, looks like something else.
Geoduck clam sashimi. Incredibly fresh, with that bit of crunchy chew.
Geoduck clam salt and pepper style. Like the Chinese version of those clam strips I used to love when we’d visit New England as a kid!
2008 Aubert Pinot Noir Reuling Vineyard. Burghound 76. A super ripe nose featuring notes of menthol, melted vinyl and blackberry jam leads to rich, suave and impressive constituted broad-shouldered flavors that culminate in an edgy, hot and short if mouth coating finish. This is almost painful due to the poor balance and finishing heat.
Parker 93. The 2008 Pinot Noir Reuling Vineyard is a bigger, richer, denser wine exhibiting a medium ruby color as well as notes of forest floor, fresh mushrooms, raspberries, black currants and spring flowers. With excellent depth and richness, it is best drunk over the next 5-6 years.
We also had a 2006, which I forgot to photo:
2006 Aubert Pinot Noir UV Vineyard. Burghound 82. An extremely ripe nose sports ample amounts of menthol and cough syrup character along with a mix of red and blue fruit aromas that have a mildly cooked quality to them that introduce exceptionally rich, round and concentrated big-bodied flavors that culminate in a bitter, clipped and short finish. It’s difficult to see much in the way of future development here.
Parker 92+. Extremely promising, the closed 2006 Pinot Noir UV Vineyard boasts earthy, raspberry, red and black currant notes intermixed with subtle background oak, smoke, and charcoal. The tannins seem to creep up in the finish, something I did not notice last year. The most structured of these Pinots, it requires another 1-2 years of bottle age, and should last for 4-5 years.
agavin: clearly, Burghound is not a fan of these, truth is, neither was I. Parker liked them better, but hey, he doesn’t even really like Pinot. And as a matter of fact, they didn’t taste like pinot noir at all. A bunch of folk liked them, those who like their pinot to taste like Syrah 🙂 I would have given them a higher score than 76 or 85, but not much.
Squab. Super tasty little gamey birds.
2000 Dirler-Cade Gewurztraminer Saering. VM 87-90. Slightly reduced aromas of cinnamon and char. Rather densely packed and tight, with slightly sweet fruit and notes of citrus skin and clove. Tricky to assess today.
Steamed Dungeness crab. Good stuff and perfect with a nice Gewurtz.
2003 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese. VM 91. The bouquet blossoms in a floral way that seems typical for the 2003 vintage here, as is this wine’s imposingly creamy texture. Elegance, lift, clarity, refinement and florality characterize the flavors throughout. In another reflection of the vintage, the essential fruit here is quince rather than apple, tinged with bittersweet vanilla and flowers and a subtle hint of white raisin. Ethereal fruit, flowers and wet stone really cling in the finish.
Cheese lobster. There is actually a bit of cheese mixed in with all that fry. And, yeah, it’s pretty darned fried, but it was really tasty. The lobster itself was succulent and not over done and it was easy to access big chunks of it. We had a pretty obscene amount of this, two of these plates!
2008 Rhys Pinot Noir Horseshoe Vineyard. Burghound 95. An exceptionally densely fruited nose that is intensely floral and nuanced with stone, spice and soft earth hints complements to perfection the impressively concentrated medium weight plus flavors that brim with dry extract such that the very firm tannins are rendered almost invisible at present though I suspect that they will become more visible as the baby fat recedes. This broad-scaled effort should age for up to a decade and last several more. Magnificent.
agavin: Meadows clearly does like this new world pinot. I found it better than the Auberts (which didn’t taste like pinot).
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.
2012 Failla Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast. VM 89. Medium red. Slightly high-toned aromas of cranberry, cherry and licorice. Spicy and intense, with good lift and sap to the red berry flavors. Good brisk, persistent, varietally expressive pinot. Jordan produced 2,000 cases of this blend.
Crab steamed egg. Bits of the giant crab meat, guts, and eggs steamed into an omelet.
You can see the layer of crab at the bottom. This had a really nice complex “crabby” flavor.
2000 DuMOL Syrah Eddie’s Patch. vm 92. Full, bright medium ruby. Musky, varietally expressive aromas of raspberry, licorice, pepper, spices, gunflint and exotic hints of apricot and mango. Sweet, silky and concentrated, with lovely inner-mouth aromatic quality. A satisfyingly mouthfilling, suave syrah that finishes with lovely ripeness and sweet tannins. Here’s a 2000 that shows thorough flavor development and terrific depth.
Roast goose. Wow, was this a tasty bird. It was so succulent, moist, and fatty. Just melted in your mouth.
2008 Neyen Espiritu de Apalta. 92 points. A very nice Chilean wine…nicely balanced. Carmenere/Cab…deep color, chewy, strong dark fruit – cassis, currants.
Ma Po Tofu. I love Ma Po in general, but this was one of those “southern” variants on the dish where it didn’t have any of the heat or numbing factor of the real Szechuan original. Tasty actually, but not the powerhouse I crave.
2006 Château Destieux. 88 points. From an assemblage of 66% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Cabernet Franc, the wine offers red and black fruit, stone, earth and coffee scents. Medium/full bodied, soft in texture, the wine ends with black raspberry and licorice notes.
Sweet and sour BBQ pork chops. Like the fancier more meat version of a Panda Express sweet and sour pork ball! But actually pretty darn tasty.
2010 Luca Malbec. VM 91. Good ruby-red. Crushed dark berries and chocolatey oak on the nose, lifted by a mineral element. Sweet, velvety and inviting, with harmonious acidity and underlying minerality enlivening the dark berry, coffee bean and chocolate flavors. Very rich and sweet without being too much. Still, I’d drink this very showy wine on the young side.
Cabbage with preserved shrimp. Cabbage and other vegetables with little dried shrimp. It had a distinct “shrimpy” taste.
2008 Charles Smith Syrah Royal City. 94 points. Wow, great concentration & ripeness, but wonderful balance, too.
Sautéed greens (Ong Choy). A top flight version of the Southern Chinese style greens. Lots of garlicky goodness. An excellent colon sweeper.
2005 Clos de l’Oratoire Chateauneuf du Pape les Choregies. Parker 91-4. The top cuvee, the 2005 Chateauneuf du Pape Les Choregies, a blend of 60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre, with the Grenache aged in tank and the other components aged in barrel, is superb with its dense purple color and a big, sweet nose of black raspberries, black currants, and a touch of pain grille as well as licorice and flowers. It is full-bodied, powerful, and multi-dimensional, a top-notch effort that should drink well young because of the silky tannins but age for 10-15+ years.
Special fried King Crab. Big chunks of succulent crab meat with a really tasty garlic fry.
2005 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape. Parker 95. One of the most age-worthy cuvees in the appellation, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe’s 2005 Châteauneuf du Pape was gorgeous on this occasion, showing classic iodine, seaweed and peppery herbs intermixed with layers of sweet currant, plum and blackberry fruits. Full-bodied, powerful and ripe, with a still youthful profile, this beauty won’t hit full maturity for another 3-4 years, and should hold for a decade or more after that.
Roast BBQ chicken. I’m not that much of a chicken fan, but this was a darn tasty one. The meat was moist and perfectly cooked. Too bad we were so full.
2000 Chapoutier Chateauneuf du Pape Barbe Rac. Parker 95. There are approximately 500 cases of this wine. It is a large-scaled Chateauneuf du Pape that represents the antithesis of La Bernardine. This wine has been spectacular, and I have been a frequent buyer and consumer of this wine since the first vintage Michel Chapoutier made, 1989.
1989 Thumbs up Our Way Riesling. 94 points. Not even listed in Cellar tracker, this was great stuff, to be confused with a 25 year old dessert riesling from Germany.
Overall, this was an amazing dinner. The food was just awesome. So many delectable Cantonese dishes. We had great wine and fabulous service. One of the amazing things about New Bay is how flexible their service is. They even partially consented to bringing out the seafood first (Chinese restaurants have their own “order” that does not comply with wine progression). Or mostly consented as the chef snuck out the suckling pig early (it’s supposed to be by Chinese thinking).
It was pricey, on the order of $200 all in, making it the most expensive (per person) Chinese meal I’ve ever eaten in the states, but we had all sorts of mega expensive ingredients (giant crab, geoduck, other crab, lobster, goose, suckling pig, etc). Such a shame New Bay is closing up shop. It will be missed.
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 coconut snow, passionfruit sauce, with egg pudding, almond jelly, and blackberries. Yum!
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