SGV: Dim Sum at China Red
I recently tried China Red for dim sum. It’s been open a few years now but I haven’t heard anyone say I must go check it out. And truth be told, I already have my favorite dim sum spots. But every now and then I crave something new. So I gathered up the troops and we checked out China Red.
My friends look to me to ordering. For our group of 5, I checked off 15 items. Now, that seems like a lot and but it was just enough to land us a bag of leftovers. I actually showed great restraint. China Red didn’t have as many different kinds of dumplings as I had hoped.
After almost an hour wait, we were seated and our food came fairly rapidly after handing over our choices.
Actually, everything came a bit too quickly. But we didn’t feel rushed to leave as we worked through our mountain of food. I ordered the usual suspects; har gow, siu mai, egg rolls and more.
I got two orders of the sheng jian bao expecting them to be similar quality to Shanghai No 1 Seafood but sadly they were a lumpy mess without much soup inside. I also felt a bit sad that the Macau-style egg tarts landed during the middle of our dim sum experience. Next time I’ll order them last so they’ll be warm when we’re ready to eat them.
I did like the shrimp cheung fun. The rice noodle roll was nicely slippery as a good roll should be. I ordered the tofu skin believing it to be my favorite bamboo stuffed tofu skin. It was not- it was fried and eventually like all fried food is universally liked, got eaten. But I longed for the soupy version of the rolls.
The Chinese broccoli (gai lan) and egg rolls were fine.
The siu mai (pork dumplings) were also fine. Actually, they were some of the better ones I’ve had in a while with lots of roe (despite some slipping off of one — bottom right of the photo).
These crystal shrimp dumplings were also average, just fine. They were neither memorable or bad. I will order them again but only because I always order har gow at dim sum. The wrappers were just a little too thick for me.
We were puzzled by the pork and century egg porridge. The jook was so thick. It was like oatmeal! My best friend and I couldn’t understand it. Did it need more water as cooking? While some like their congee / jook extra thick, I actually prefer chunks of pork and egg. Ours were pulverized into the porridge.
I actually did like the scallop and leek dumplings. These were nicely filled with scallops and the leeks seemed very fresh.
Yes, yes, hate or love them, I also always get chicken feet. But I fear not many do these days. I remember the days where there were lots of chicken feet to go around. There were only three here. Give us another foot or two, China Red. We like them.
I also adore tripe. The tripe with pepper sauce is not as fantastic as Lunasia’s but it’s still pretty good.
As mentioned, I was a bit shocked how ugly the sheng jian bao were. Were was that nice crispy sesame studded bottom? Ah well, it’s food, eat it!
The radish cake was also quite standard, bordering on very good. I would order this again.
Like the sheng jian bao, I was disappointed with the xiao long bao. True, both of these are not traditional Cantonese dim sum items but considering they’re competing with lots of Northern Chinese restaurants, China Red should do better. The XLB skins weren’t silky and the lump of meat was just that- where was the soup?
Overall, despite my exactly and high standards for dim sum, I would land China Red within the top 10 in SGV. Not top 5 but top 10. The search to find better dim sum than Lunasia and Shanghai No 1 Seafood in LA/ SGV continues.
China Red855 S Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007 — (626) 461-3124
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