A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation from PR Rep, Britta Franson of Weber Shandwick to try out the Chinese New Year's Brunch at the Terrace in the Pasadena Langham Hotel. My previous visits have included enjoying their Chocolate Tea at the Lobby Lounge and a Media Dinner at the Dining Room to check out Chef Michael Voltaggio's new menu, but their brunch at the Terrace was something I had yet to experience. I jumped at the chance and was even able to bring a guest.
As we were being seated, our hostess graciously pointed out where all the various food stations were situated in the dining room. I have to admit to feeling a bit dazed by the time I sat down. There were just so many food options. I already pictured myself having to be rolled out to my car. The first thing I wanted to mention is that while your server was happy to consistently refill both your water, champagne and orange juice glasses, there was actually a Self-Service Drink Station where you could mix your own Mimosas, your own Bloody Mary drink or have a glassful of a drink made up of St. Germaine Liqueur and Green Tea. Choices abound.
Although the pastry and muffin station looked tempting, carb freak that I could be, I decided to skip it entirely to ensure that I had enough room in my system for everything else. Take a look below at what I "bravely" gave up.
The first thing I put on my plate was cheese and considering that I am such a cheesehead, I actually restrained myself by just taking 3 out of the 10 that were available. I wasn't tempted by the fresh fruit, but a couple of slices of bread with olives called to me.
Around the corner from the bread was a charcuterie lover's delight - various cured meats on wooden boards. Of course, I had to have a piece (or two) of all of them, along with a green bean salad and lox.
Down the stairs was a Sushi Station and a spicy tuna roll and a salmon and eel nigiri also landed on my plate before I sat down to enjoy the first part of my meal.
Now that I've had my fill of cured meats and cheese, it was time to investigate the Chinese Food, a special brunch offering just for the month of February. At one station there was a chef preparing stir fry dishes using fresh colorful vegetables.
Next to him was a carving station where you could get slices of Char Siu Pork and Peking Duck.
Dim sum was also on the brunch menu and included everything from steamed pork buns, and shau mai to shrimp and scallop dumplings. There were even Chinese soup spoons of various condiments for additional flavor.
Doesn't this look a pretty picture below? I think Mimosas should be a new Dim Sum tradition at all San Gabriel Valley dim sum restaurants.
The nice thing about dining at the Terrace was no one was rushing us out the door. My guest and I enjoyed our food at a leisurely pace. There would be moments where we'd pause our eating just to chat and enjoy each other's company in between sips of our Mimosas. I think that also gave us time to digest our food in between forays to the various food stations situated in all corners of the restaurant.
After enjoying our Dim Sum, we found out that there were other Chinese-inspired small plates of dishes like a Hibiscus Poached Chicken with Ginger Orange Carrot Puree.
If seafood was your thing, believe me, you were taken care of. Beneath an ice sculpture, there were raw oysters, shrimp and even crab claws along with lemon and cocktail sauce, if you so desired.
If you're of a meat lover, you were covered to because there was a carving station where you could get both lamb and prime rib with a side of veggies (or not).
Suffice to say, I definitely got surf and turf all in one plate, as you can see.
Since I wanted dessert, I only had a few bites of what was on that plate, which I actually felt a little bad about. In retrospect, I think my friend and I should have shared so as not to be too wasteful, but at least we ended up doing that when it came to our desserts, starting with our crepe. With the crepes, there were also waffles, but I was happy to skip that. The crepes were cooked with your choice of fresh fruit and topped with this amazing caramel sauce. I was feeling the blackberries, which were deliciously plump and tart.
Around the corner was a huge Chocolate Fountain with bowls of fruit, housemade marshmallows and cake squares for your dipping pleasure. I decided to forgo all this chocolate goodness and opted for the dessert station.
The desserts were also Chinese or Asian inspired. There was everything from Jasmine Flan and a Mango Mousse to a Taro Cake and Lychee Fruit Salad. My favorite was actually the Hazelnut Almond Cake with Chocolate. Other sweets included Creme Brulee and a Raspberry Gateau.
In the end, I really enjoyed the brunch at the Terrace although I do have a few quibbles about some of what I ate For example, the prime rib was way too rare to suit me. The Hibiscus Chicken I mentioned earlier was a little too dry and the surprisingly, so was the crab claw meat. The Peking Duck was also a tad oily, but was at least moist and juicy. When it came to the Chinese food, specifically the dim sum, I'd say that there are better options in San Gabriel Valley, but I can also say that there are also worse options in San Gabriel Valley. In geneal, the dumplings and buns were pretty good.
Overall, it was a very relaxing atmosphere with the piano playing in the background. The service was excellent with our beverage glasses always filled as soon as they got empty. As for the food, was it a mind blowing experience for my taste buds? No. I think that's too much to ask of a brunch; however, every thing was fresh and well-prepared and the variety was absolutely stellar. My guest and I got there at 11 am and literally closed the place down. Suffice it to say, we had a great afternoon at the Terrace.
Champagne Chinese New Year's Brunch runs every Sunday in the month of February
- 10 am to 3 pm
- Sunday Brunch is $75 for adults and $35 for children under 12.
- Complimentary valet parking is available.
- For reservations, please dial (626) 585-6218 or book online.
1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106
Now that you've read about how much I enjoyed the Chinese New Year's Brunch at the Terrace in the Langham Hotel, now is your chance for you and a guest to experience this brunch for yourselves! The total cash value for this prize is $150.00 and includes everything you've read in this post. Available dates for this brunch are Sunday, February 21 or Sunday, February 28. What a perfect way to spend a Sunday Afternoon. There are several different ways to enter and each way gets you an entry!
Mandatory (for at least one entry)
- Leave a comment on my blog and let me know why you'd like to win this prize. Be sure to leave some kind of contact info so that I can get a hold of you, if you've won.
New to Pleasure Palate or the Langham? You can do any or all of the things listed below for additional entries.
Already Following or a Fan of Pleasure Palate and the Langham? Please mention whether you've already done 1 through 5 and if you've done 6 and 7 for additional entries.
In both scenarios, you can have up to 8 entries each; however, please note that you have to comment back and let me know which of the actions you took, so that I can keep track of them. If you don't, you'll be entered only once instead of multiple times.
- Follow Pleasure Palate on Twitter
- Fan Pleasure Palate on Facebook
- Follow the Pasadena Langham Hotel on Twitter
- Fan the Pasadena Langham on Facebook
- Join the Pleasure Palate Dining Group
- Friend Me on Facebook AND Mention this Contest on your Facebook Profile
- Tweet: Win a Chance for Two to Enjoy Brunch at @LanghamPasadena via @pleasurepalate: http://bit.ly/bUaBOS