Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Kitchen in Alhambra

With all the buzz I was hearing about The Kitchen, I decided to check it out with a couple of friends last month. Upon entering the space, I felt like I was the whole room was awash in this yellow light and in fact, it was. I heard that the Kitchen was an off-shoot of an upscale Hong Kong restaurant that's based up North. Upscale in decor, it certainly wasn't, but then I was there for the food.

With only three of us, we stuck with 5 entrees. Unfortunately, while I love my two friends dearly, they're not always very adventurous when it comes to dining, so while there were quite a few items on the menu I would have liked to try, we kept it simple.

The first dish that hit the table was the Crispy Roasted Chicken. Nothing fancy, but I really liked that the chicken skin was brown and indeed, crispy. The chicken was nicely cooked and not dry and over-cooked.

Surprisingly I was able to get them to agree to the Bitter Melon Salad, which followed the chicken. The bitter melon was perfect. Not too bitter to render it inedible, but still had a nice bite of flavor to it. The dried salted fish that topped the veggies probably also helped cut down the bitterness as well.

A few minutes later, the Golden Seafood with Tender Green Soup joined the other two dishes on the table. Very yin and yan presentation. The soup was very thick and bland, but the addition of soy sauce added some much needed saltiness to it. I wish I could tell you what the soup was made of exactly. We ended up just ordering it, but didn't really ask what it was. Hmmm...maybe, my two friends were actually more adventurous than I thought.

The last two dishes consisted of the Chinese Broccoli with garlic and the Fried Rice (Fujian Style). The Chinese Broccoli was unusual in that it was actually cut smaller which definitely made for easier eating; however, more garlic would have given it more flavor. The Fujian Style Fried Rice which is basically fried rice topped with a dried scallop gravy was pretty good. The sauce had a little sweetness to it and it actually reminded me of Japanese curry.

In general, I wasn't wowed by anything in particular, but than it could also be because we didn't go out on the limb and choose some of the more exotic dishes. The menu interested me enough that I might go back another time and maybe, next time, I'll get more of that wow factor.

To see pics, go to:

The Kitchen
203 W. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA

No comments: