Monday, March 31, 2008

"Dim Sum of the Month Club" at The Kitchen

Next up for the "Dim Sum of the Month Club" was The Kitchen in Alhambra. Sitting down at our table, I spotted something that already I've never seen before at Dim Sum, a call box. Yes, a call box. Hmmm...dim sum on demand?

I like that; however, with ordering from their picture menu in combination with the wait staff carrying around trays of food coming around on a fairly consistent business, we didn't do much buzzing. It did come in handy though when we wante
d more water, tea and eventually the bill, but enough about the buzzer, let's talk food and be sure to read towards the end about my roast duck story.

For this dim sum excursion, we checked out 15 different dishes. You're not going to get new wave fusion concoctions at The Kitchen, but what you will get is food that just tastes pretty darn good. Examples included their Chive and Shrimp Dumplings. The won ton skin was delicately transculent; yet, managed to help the fillings retain a nice hit of moisture. Taking a bite, you get sweet shrimp complimented by grassy chives, all in a nicely wrapped juicy package.

Another standout was the Shui Mai with Crab Meat. In simple words, succulent and delicious. Enough said. Being a turnip fan, I'm always on the lookout for pan-fried turnip, but this time, we opted for the Soft Turnip Cake with Scallops. I'm not sure where the cake reference came from, because it looked more like scalloped potatoes in a bowl. Regardless, I liked the dish's smooth texture, with the flavor of the onions and scallops keeping it from being too plain tasting.

In the scheme of things, there's nothing really special about Chinese broccoli, but up to this point, this was the only dim sum place I been to where they actually cut them in half for smaller portions. For those of you who know the struggle of trying to bite off a pie
ce of this sometimes long vegetable while using chopsticks, I think you'd appreciate that little nicety.

One item that was a bit unusual were their green tea dumplings and of course, we had to order that for the table. When it arrived, it had a greenish-white bumpy exterior. I took a bite and was surprised that the black sesame filling was runny and although I liked the slightly bitterness of the green tea dumpling paired with the sweetness of the black sesame filling, that runny filling was a little off putting.


Now we get to my roast duck story. We were craving it but it wasn't on the menu and when w
e asked our waiter about it, he said that it won't be available until later in the day. I guess he must have sensed that we were really disappointed, because about 10 minutes later, the manager came over. After just a little persuasion and maybe because he felt bad looking at our woebegone faces, he actually decided to call one of his chefs to come in early just to make roast duck for us. Now that's service. Of course it may have also helped that I brought in a group of 20, so he was looking for good word of mouth.

He certainly got that after our duck showed up on our tables about an hour later. Let me tell you, the begging and the wait was worth it. I've had my share of roast duck over time, but this was one of the best I've ever had. The skin was golden and crispy and the duck meat was tender and juicy. My mouth is just watering thinking about it.

Overall, I enjoyed the dim sum at The Kitchen and when a restaurant goes out of their way to take care of their customer wishes, that goes a long way in my book.

To see pics, go to:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/la_addict/sets/72157603920629839/

The Kitchen
203 W. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA
626-289-4828

4 comments:

teenage glutster said...

awww..Dim sum has become one of my passionate, all time comforts. Whenever I do have the privilege and money to, I treat myself. But I can, only get so much (since I go by myself)

do you think, there is any way I may be able to attend one of these wonderful foodie events?

WSL98787 said...

The Kitchen always tries their best for good service. On my most recent visit, our beef rice noodle wrap was undercooked (the beef was reddish pink as in undercooked looking). Instead of heating our order again, they asked their chefs to cook a new order for us.

Nice post!

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Amy Jurist said...

oh that duck looks so good. there's nothing better than the crispy skin and succulent meat. can't wait to go there and check it out. thanks for sharing!