Restaurant: Grand Harbor [1, 2, 3, 4]
Location: 5733 Rosemead Blvd, Temple City, CA 91780. (626) 280-2998
Date: July 24, 2022
Cuisine: Cantonese Chinese
Rating: Solid Cantonese
It has become traditional for the Dirty Dozen (our blind tasting group within a group) to do white wine lunches over dim sum — but this time we mixed it up slightly and combined with Sunday night dinner into a Cantonese banquet Dirty Dozen White dinner. I think this was originally white Burgundy themed, then opened up to Rose Champagne for this event.
Grand Harbor is a relatively new Hong Kong place in Temple City from Jackie Zhou, having opened in 2012. It is part of the NBC Seafood Restaurant group, which has several other locations throughout the Los Angeles area.
The restaurant was designed to provide an elegant and upscale dining experience, with a focus on fresh seafood and high-quality ingredients. The owners of the restaurant were inspired by the traditional seafood restaurants of Hong Kong and wanted to bring a similar experience to the United States.
Since its opening, Grand Harbor has become a popular destination for diners seeking delicious seafood dishes and a luxurious dining experience. The restaurant has received numerous accolades and positive reviews from food critics and diners alike, and has become a go-to spot for special occasions and celebrations.
The dining room is huge and opulent in that chintzy Chinese way. I would have thought from all the overzealous cove lighting that the space was built out in the 80s, but apparently it’s only a year or two old!
Real marble blends non-so-seemlessly with faux-alabaster. They have wine too like many of the new high end places. Mostly big young red wine like Bordeaux which totally fails to pair with Cantonese Chinese, but it’s the thought that counts.
We had a private room — pretty much a necessity given the crowded main room.
Smashed cucumbers. Slightly spicy sweet sauce. Not sure what the deal with dumping this kind of spring roll sauce on top of the cucumbers is.
We had the champagnes in flights but I’m too lazy to do anything more than present the photos of them in the order they were served.
And thus ends the champs.
Cold appetizers. Jellyfish, roast pork, pork belly, roast duck. Roast pork and duck were good.
Sauces for the cold apps. The hoison like one and sweet duck sauce.
Walnut shrimp. Lightly fried, very mayo, a bit sweet, and quite delicious.
“Peking Duck.” Skin is a bit soft and mushy and there are buns, but still tasty. This is “pseudo peking duck” like most of the Cantonese restaurants server. For more legit versions, check out my Peking Duck Guide.
Scallops in XO sauce. Very nice, not super strong.
Lobster steamed with garlic. Nice light prep.
Duck meat as lettuce cups. Good texture.
Pork belly with preserved vegetables. Mild and very fatty but very good. Mild is a theme tonight.
Fried pork chops. Very fried but not super salty.
French style beef with mushrooms. Super tender but why, why do we keep ordering this dish?
Bok Choy. Lightly flavored.
Everything fried rice.
Truffle chicken. Chicken itself was very tender but the truffle was canned truffle with rancid truffle oil. I could only handle one bite.
Pan fried noodles with beef and egg whites. Topping was pretty good but noodles had a slightly odd flavor. Overall pretty mild (aka under seasoned).
Double Mint Oreo — Base made with Fresh Spring Mint infused milk and then laced with Crushed Mint Oreo Thins and Chopped Valrhona 70% Chocolate! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — lovely strong mint flavor and color is all natural — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #dessertgasm #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #mint #valrhona #chocolate #oreo
My gelato is DOTN (dessert of the night) by about 5 orders of magnitude.
Light honey and plain sponge cakes.
Sweet soup with sesame mochi. Sweet egg drop anyone?
By July of 2022, Grand Harbor had come most of the way back since it’s immediate post pandemic low, but it’s still not quite as good as it was before 2020. The dishes look good, but there was a slight but consistent under seasoning that made a little one dimensional — except for the truffle chicken which was disgusting. Say no to truffle oil! Still, one could always bring some a shaker of “flavor” (MSG) and Grand Harbor a very solid Cantonese with top notch rooms and service. From those who have visited more recently I’ve heard they have rebounded even further.
And I do like Rose Champ with Chinese food.
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