Restaurant: Monterey Palace Restaurant
Location: 1001 E Garvey Ave. Monterey Park, CA 91755. Phone number (626) 571-0888
Date: November 11, 2018
Cuisine: Cantonese Chinese
Rating: Tony always gets great stuff out of the kitchen
Tony Lau’s Cantonese dinners are some of the best Chinese dinners of the year. He always manages to get the best out of these old school Cantonese kitchens.
Monterey Palace is definitely one of these old school 80s Cantonese Palaces on Garvey.
The interior is the usual somewhat overdone, slightly Chinese wide space.
We had a nice private room.
They specialize in roasting so there were pigs and ducks in the window.
Peanuts on the table to begin with.
Suckling Pig. Of course we had to. This was pretty typical of good SGV suckling pigs. Crisp skin, nice porky meat and the light hoisin sauce.
Garlic shrimp. Crispy fried/baked. Not sure how they get them exactly like this.
With roe too and WAY better than the similar steamed “bug” dish at Newport Seafood. This had a lot of flavor. You could munch on the shells if you like too.
Scallops, pea pods, and sea cucumber. Very light sauce. A totally different sea cucumber prep than I had in China. But good. The scallops and pea pod part of the dish reminded me of velvety dishes I’d get at Chinese places in my youth (early 80s).
Beef with mushrooms. Simple, but nice tasty beef actually.
Sizzling pork. It came first in a bowl.
Then they transferred to the hot skillet to finish it off. Much like the old “sizzling war bar.”
Cantonese roast duck. This is close to Peking Duck, but not as crispy. Basically roast duck. Served with the heavier buns.
And the usual condiments. Not nearly as good as a great Peking Duck, but still excellent.
Lobster steamed with garlic. This simple prep is often one I get for crab. Just steamed, over glass noodles, and with lots and lots of garlic. Actually turned out to be excellent with lobster as it played up the moist and tender meat.
Mushrooms, veggies, and pan fried meat (can’t remember which type). This was a slightly different dish and nice.
Some ancient dessert wine for my gelato.
My son’s favorite and his birthday pick: Triple Chocolate Cloud Gelato – the base made with Valrhona 63% Satilla Chocolate and then layered with Dark Chocolate Creamcheese Ganache and house-made Valrhona brownie cubes — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #SummerTime #TripleChocolate #chocolate #valrhona #javara #brownies #icecream #dessert #FrozenDessert
There was also a tiny bit of Saffron Pistachio Gelato – Persian Saffron infused milk and Pistachios from Bronte Sicily — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #saffron #pistachio #nuts #sicily
The restaurant brought fruit.
Overall, this was a great meal. Monterey Palace is a pretty dated old school Cantonese place and I bet that if you just went and ate dinner it would be fairly middling (although enjoyable enough). However, Tony Lau always manages to get the very best out of them. This meal wasn’t my favorite Chinese style, I like a somewhat more varied, spicier, and more “Chinese” Chinese food style personally. In some ways it actually reminded me of what we had in Guilin China (which isn’t that far from Canton). You can see a lot of examples from China itself below in my Chinese dining guide.
For my catalog of Chinese restaurant reviews here and in China, click here.