Location: 250 W Valley Blvd. San Gabriel, CA 91776. (626) 282-1777
Date: June 2, 2019
Rating: Very authentic Shanghai style
The San Gabriel Valley is a veritable treasure trove of Asian dining, particularly regional Chinese. Shanghai #1 Seafood Village is the LA branch of a high end Shanghai chain specializing in banquet dining.
The decor is Stark meets Chinatown. Interestingly, as cheesy as it is, it’s fairly authentic. It is however, some 7 years after I first went here, looking a bit “shabby.” This is typical of Chinese establishments as they don’t seem to do a lot of maintenance.
We had the private dining room tonight. Mysteriously, even though it was a Sunday night and the place was EMPTY, at first they gave us a table in the main area. We had to ask for the private room. It’s much better though.
From my cellar: 2006 Taittinger Champagne Comtes de Champagne Rosé Brut. VM 96. The 2006 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Rosé is at once rich and refined, a simply fabulous Champagne Rosè I won’t soon forget. Intensely perfumed, with the Pinot Noir-derived red berry and cranberry flavors that are not just concentrated, but also remarkably pure. It is one of the better Rosé bubbles I have had in the last year.
Marinated sweet turnip. Delicious and crunchy.
Shanghai style smoked fish. Dry and smokey with a sweet soy glaze.
2009 Dom Pérignon Champagne. VM 94+. The 2009 Dom Pérignon is open, seductive and radiant, as it has always been. Soft curves, mid-weight structure and tons of plain allure make the 2009 impossible to resist in its youth. This bottle, the best I have tasted so far, offers a distinc citrus and floral-driven profile that adds a good deal of brightness. Above all else, the 2009 is a gorgeous Champagne to drink now and over then next few decades. This is the first time in the house’s history that a vintage was not released sequentially.
Vegan tofu “duck”. Not exactly duck like, but a delicious beancurd with a nice firm texture.
Bamboo shoots. Delicious and crunchy. Delicate flavors.
Lotus root stuffed with sweet rice in a tea marinate. Very interesting texture and a lovely tea flavor. But a bit cloyingly sweet this time around.
2010 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos. VM 95+. The 2010 Chablis Les Clos is all about understatement and balance. White floral notes meld into white stone fruit in this utterly gracious Chablis. Clos can at times be fleeting and elusive, and there is certainly some of that in the 2010. Still, it is impossible to miss the wine’s textural finesse and sheer overall balance. I will not be surprised if the 2010 continues to get better in bottle.
Braised sea cucumber with brown sauce. Ever since I had good sea cucumber in Shanghai, I’ve been jonesing for it — and this was certainly delicious. Maybe not AS good as the one at Shanghai Tang, but still yummy.
Hot and sour seafood soup. I thought this would be more different. It was pretty much hot and sour soup (maybe with a bit of crab or something in it). Still tasty though and I do love hot and sour.
1996 Nicolas Joly Clos de la Coulée de Serrant. 92 points. A deep yellow/light gold center and clear rims. The medium+ intensity nose offered up ripe pear, tangerine, hazel nut, and some minerals. In the mouth, this wine had a lovely jelly-like texture. It was a bit heavy on the wood at first but this mostly blended in with time. It had good acidity and very good length after extended air. This developed extremely well. I know that this bottle got several hours of air before we started drinking it an it needed a couple more to show its best.
Lobster steamed with onion, garlic, and ginger. Very nice, light, delicious lobster prep that showed off the lobster without hiding it under a layer of fry.
Cabbage. I love Chinese cabbage.
House Special Stone Pot Fried Rice.
2013 Domaine Dujac Morey St. Denis. VM 90. Pale, bright red. Inviting perfume of raspberry, mocha, coffee, brown spices and wild herbs. Sweet and supple but vibrant too, with harmonious acidity framing the flavors of raspberry, pepper and fresh herbs. Finishes with nicely refined tannins.
Assorted Seafood in Abalone Sauce. There were whole abalone in here, jellyfish, more sea cucumber, a brown thing I have NO IDEA but with a beef-like texture (it was delicious), and quail or duck eggs. Interesting dish. Very Chinese (full of luxury ingredients). Not as good as the standalone sea cucumber, but still great.
2011 David Duband Nuits St. Georges 1er Cru Aux Thorey. VM 90-92. Dark red/black stone fruits, wild flowers, sage, tar, rosemary and leather are some of the many notes that flesh out in the 2011 Nuits St. Georges Aux Thorey. The 2011 is soft and sensual to the core, with a caressing, expressive personality that offers considerable appeal, even at this early stage. There is much to like here.
Shanghai style sweet and sour fried fish (squirrel fish). This was one of those goopy straight up orange sweet and sour sauces, but it was awesome. Particularly dripped over rice. And the method of flaying the meat out and frying it created a much crisper effect, even if the appearance is a bit horror movie.
2003 Marc Sorrel Hermitage. VM 90-93. Good full ruby. Aromas of blackberry, cassis, menthol and bitter chocolate. Extremely ripe and impressively dense (the alcohol is 15. 2%), with port-like flavors of black fruits and dark chocolate. Very rich but just this side of heavy. Finishes with powerful but fine tannins. Impressive for this classique bottling. This will be approachable early but has the stuffing to age.
Special Shanghai BBQ red pork. Oh so fatty and oh so tasty!
Shanghai Whole Duck. Not what I expected, and kinda crispy and deep fried, but with a delicious smokey taste and very tender.
2016 Domaine Lucien Boillot et Fils Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Corbeaux.
XLB (soup dumplings). Nice versions, always delicious!
Pan fried Shanghai Style pork dumplings. Have to order these here, the juicy meat inside is amazing.
String beans with XO sauce. Nice version of the classic.
Peanut Chocolate Caramel Ganache Reese’s Gelato -Sweet Peanut Base with house-made Valrhona Chocolate Caramel Ganache and mini Reese’s Peanutbutter Cups! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — the ganache is delicious but the 80% Valrhona I used swamps out the caramel — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #peanut #reeses #peanutbuttercup #ganache #Valrhona
Blackberry Mango Amaro Sorbetto! — like a frozen aperitivo — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — although I do need to improve at decorating in the Pozzetti –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #sorbetto #mango #blackberry #amaro
Mangoberry Cheesecake Gelato — raspberry/mango cream-cheese base with blackberry/mango ripple and house-made graham cracker crumble — 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 #cheesecake #mango #raspberry #blackberry #GrahamCracker #coulis #ripple #creamcheese
Chess Chocolate Oreo Gelato — Valrhona medium chocolate base with layers of Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate ganache and crumbled Oreos — 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 #cheesecake #chocolate #valrhona #WhiteChocolate #oreo #chess
The wine lineup.
Overall, this was a really great meal. First rate Chinese and quite authentic and typical of high end banquet meals in China. I’ve been here many times and finally enjoyed getting some “tricked out” dishes like sea cucumber. They were great. Service was good. The place is QUIET these days. Maybe they subsist on dimsum, but it’s a shame as this Shanghai banquet food is delicious.
I flighted the food into waves and it was quiet successful in terms of pacing and size. We also had only 8-9 people which is perfect for both table spacing and dish sharing.
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They have a Karaoke setup in the private room!