Restaurant: Sham Tseng BBQ
Location:634 Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754. (626) 289-4858
Date: February 12 & October 22, 2017 & July 21, 2019 & November 13, 2022
Cuisine: Chinese BBQ
Rating: Best BBQ fowl and pig!
One of the first Hedonist Chinese diners I ever went to — 5 or more years ago! — was at Sham Tseng, but back when they had a different location.
And even mysteriously for lease is…
Beef tendon and pig ear. Not my favorites. I actually love beef tendon, but in spicy sauce where it’s chew is complemented by some flavor.
Corn Soup (7/21/19). A corn egg drop soup. Light and delicious.
Garlic, Ginger, and Scallion Lobster on Chow Mein. The lobster sauce was very nice with a great ginger flavor. The lobster meat itself was well cooked. However, the lobster was tiny and so there was almost no tail and it was hard to get the meat out of the body. The crispy noodles were insanely good.
Lobster in black pepper sauce. Fine, although not their speciality.
Lobster with garlic ginger sauce and noodles (7/21/19). This was a better lobster prep for them, although a bit of a tough beast, the sauce on the noodles was excellent.
Roast goose (2 pictures). This was an incredible dish too. Super moist and great crunchy skin. Eaten with the sweet orange sauce.
Egg yolk salt shrimp. A little too heavy for my taste.
Salted Egg Yolk Crab. A frozen Dungeness Crab because Yarom was too cheap to pay for the much better live crab. The fry was very heavy, grainy, salty, with a bit of funky fish sauce taste. I didn’t like it at all. The meat was meally and fell apart. Not a good dish.
This chili oil isn’t nearly as good as mine.
Roast chicken. Some of the best straight up chicken I’ve had! Again cooked perfectly.
Hyper fried pork or such. Actually pretty darn tasty.
The party spread even to the staff.
Green beans. Fine.
Chinese broccoli (10/22/17). Fairly typical Chinese green.
Pea tendrils with garlic (10/22/17). I like this kind of colon sweeper better.
Chinese broccoli (and regular broccoli?) with mushrooms in velvet sauce (7/21/19).
Rice noodles with chicken (10/22/17). Vaguely sweet.
Ma Po tofu. Not very spicy sort of goopy version.
Peking duck. Some more stunning poultry! Fabulous and as good as Tasty Duck.
Different presentation on 10/22/17.
Beef Tendon Curry. I really enjoyed this dish. The tendons were almost all tendon which isn’t for everyone and while the curry wasn’t as awesome as the Henry’s version of this same dish it was quite good. Certainly an excellent dish.
Chewy fried rice balls with red bean inside (10/22/17). What historically passed for dessert in China.
Confetti cake. Even odder.
Radical new flavor: Gianduja Extra Virgin Olive Oil — a tricky high fat EVOO base made with 2014 Giuseppe Quintarelli Olive Oil and layered with house-made Piedmontese Hazelnut and Valrhona Chocolate Ganache — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato) — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #evoo #OiliveOil #Quintarelli #SavorySweet #ganache #valrhona #chocolate #hazelnut
Italian Lemon Cookie Meringue Pie — Limoncello Zabaione base with lemon cookie flavor mixed with Italian Lemon Creme Cookies and Sicilian Candied Lemon and topped with house-made toasted Meringue — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato) — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #lemon #LemonCookie #cookie #Sicily #Sorento #Limoncello #Meringue #LemonMeringuePie
Overall the private room is a fun time at Sham Tseng — although it almost guarantees the dreaded “2 table” vibe which I think severely reduces the fun at SGV Chinese. Downstairs is a crowded mess and basically 2 tops. And while most of their non-BBQ dishes are just fine (solid, but nothing amazing), their BBQ poultry and pig is off the charts great — really really good.
On the 11/13/22 meal it was even more clear how much of a division there was between their BBQ (birds and pig) dishes and the rest. All of the former: whole pig, pig leg, duck, squab, goose, chicken were fabulous, first in class, but the seafood dishes kinda sucked. Plus some totally bad or wasteoid dishes like the bad eggs and the soy sauce pig’s feet. The ordering was not particularly well planned.
Still, with the right care this can be an amazing and special place.
And I brought this too. Not enough fruit.