Last year I reviewed our outings to Elite and King Hua, two of the most celebrated dim sum houses in the San Gabriel Valley (just outside L.A) but unaccountably failed to write up our meal at Sea Harbour, which is perhaps the most celebrated of them all. Well, we were there again within a few days of my arrival in L.A and here is a report on what was an excellent meal.
Sea Harbour, like Elite and King Hua, does not have carts—instead, you order from a menu and your dim sum is fresher and better for it. There were four adults and two small boys eating. This is what we got:
Sea Weed with Special Sauce. Tangy, sweet and just perfect.
Dry Scallop and Meatball Congee. It is a pleasure to eat dim sum at a place that offers eight different varieties of congee. This iteration with dried scallops and chunks of pork meatball is always great and was so again on this occasion.
Bean Curd Strips with Minced Pork. This was our first time getting this cold dish. It was very good, with the pleasures more textural than of flavour.
Pork and Shrimp Shiumai. Excellent.
Fish Roe with Scallop Dumpling. Tasted very good, with very fresh and briny roe; however, the dumplings fell apart when picked up.
Steamed Shrimp Paste with Corn and Pea Dumpling. Another one we’ve never gotten before and this was quite good.
Shrimp, Dry Scallop and Chinese Celery Dumpling. An old favourite and excellent again on this occasion.
Juicy Pork Bun x 2. Most of the better dim sum houses do these miniature “soup dumplings”. They’re never quite as satisfying as proper soup dumplings but they’re still quite good.
Bean Curd Skin Roll with Seafood. Another new order and quite good—though it seemed like there might have been a fair bit of pork filler in there with the seafood.
Sticky Rice Wrapped with Lotus Leaf. I failed to take a picture of the interior but these were just perfect.
Green Vegetable in Brine. A great alternative to the many options with the more cloying oyster sauce topping.
Deep Fried Smelt in Spicy Salt and Pepper. This is one of our very favourite things to eat at dim sum and Sea Harbour’s version never disappoints.
Steamed Chicken Feet in Brown Sauce. Just perfect.
Deep Fried Durian Pastry. A little funky on the nose but just wonderfully custardy in the mouth with the perfectly crisp shell a perfect counterpoint.
All of this plus excellent jasmine tea came to about $115 with tax and tip. Which is a little lower than we pay in the Twin Cities for far inferior and far less interesting dim sum. I wish we could eat here every month.