Thursday, March 01, 2007

"Dim Sum of the Month Club" at Triumphal Palace

January became the start of my 12 month odyssey checking out a different Dim Sum restaurant a month all over LA County. My trip started last month with Triumphal Palace in Alhambra.

Triumphal Palace is one of the Dim Sum restaurants where dim sum is ordered off a menu versus getting them off runaway carts. This is only my second experience with ordering off a menu and I have to say that I really prefer it that way. With carts, it sometimes feels like you're a mad dog rushing after a speeding cat. You either catch it or you get completely left behind. Now how frustrating is that? At least, with a menu, you'll definitely get what you order eventually. Anyway, on to the food.

My dim sum that morning consisted of 15 various dishes. Of the 15, there are two I would never order again. One was the House Special Dumpling in Supreme Soup Stock. I didn't taste the soup so I can't speak to it, but that Special Dumpling was definitely not that special. It was rubbery. Enough said.

I also didn't fare well with the Shanghai-Style Dumplings. With them being referred to as Shanghai-Style, I was expecting "juicy" dumplings, but I should have lowered my expections because there was really no broth to be found.

Of the 10 left that were savory options, 4 stood out for me. One was the Rice Noodle with Hot and Sweet Sauce. I loved the duality of sauce flavors and I liked the fact that the noodles weren't sticky-starchy and had a nice smooth eating texture to them.

Second was the deep fried chicken wings. The skin was golden and crispy and the chicken had a tanginess-hotness to it that I liked a lot. Third was the deep fried shrimp in seaweed roll. Deep fried seaweed is quite crunchy and when combined with deep fried shrimp, it's quite easy to enjoy every bite of this fun pairing.

Last was the Sticky Rice in Lotus Wrap. The rice was moist and had just the right consistency of being "sticky" without being over done. As for the flavor, I appreciated both the sweetness of the rice as well as the savory aspect of the meat and sauce that was part of the rice.

As for the 3 desserts we shared, one item caught us by surprise. We ordered a "Sweet Sesame Ball" and was expecting the round sesame-coated bread balls with some kind of sweet bean paste and got something not fitting that description.

Instead, what came to us were these three "dough-like" spheres coating with something powdery and inside was more of a runny black bean liquid. Interesting flavor, but not what we were looking for.

Overall, when looking at my Dim Sum experience at Triumphal Palace, I'd say that our Dim Sum choices were for the most part, good solid dishes. While I did have my favorites, there wasn't anything in particular that would make me want to take a special Dim Sum trip back to Triumphal Palace at this point.

Perhaps a second visit with different menu choices will garner me a better culinary experience, but for now, Triumphal Palace wasn't quite the triumph for me just yet.

To see pics, go to:

Triumphal Palace
500 W Main St
Alhambra, CA 91899
(626) 308-3222

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