Restaurant: Southern Mini Town
Location: 833 W Las Tunas Dr., San Gabriel, CA 91776. (626) 289-6578
Date: April 26, 2016
Cuisine: Shanghai Chinese
Rating: Tasty, but too much MSG
A couple of us Hedonists drove out to the SGV for lunch intending to go to Tasty Noodle House, but they were on summer holiday so we went next door instead.
Southern Mini Town, despite the weird name, is a pretty ordinary looking SGV Shanghainese.
The inside has that SGV vibe.
Including the helpful “menu as wall decor.”
House special two flavor shrimp. The right one was the simple white sauce shrimp and the left a onion based sweet and tangy sauce. In both cases the shrimp were extremely tender and well cooked. The “spicy” (not really) sauce was better, very good actually.
String beans. Classic dish. A pretty good version. Beans were crunchy.
Special beef tendon. Not so much tendon, actual meat. However the sauce, onion based and tweet and sour made it taste like my mom’s sweet and sour pot roast / brisket. Good stuff.
Garlic ribs. Hot and fried, but a bit chewy and not enough garlic. This was one of our least favorite dishes.
Fish filet in spicy sauce. Very similar sauce to the “spicy” shrimp, but not as tangy. Helped by adding vinegar.
Beef and scallions. Okay. Tender beef, but not amazing or anything.
Shanghai pan fried buns. Excellent. They ought to be as a Shanghai cuisine signature item.
Shanghai steamed dumplings (XLB). Disappointing as the dough flavor was too dominant and there was little to no juicy broth. Not enough pork flavor for sure.
Overall, Southern Mini Town was okay. By non SGV standards it would be quite good. For the SGV, it’s just fine. I’ve had a lot better Shanghai food. And HUGE negative. I was walloped with a massive MSG headache about 45 minutes after leaving. About 25% of the places out here will use a lot of MSG, but plenty don’t.
Tasty Noodle House is where we were originally trying to go.