YOUnique Cafe – Monterey Park

Younique Cafe is an uninspiring pun on words but does serve pretty good Chinese cafe food. Back in the 90s, I recall it being a Cantonese-style seafood restaurant. In any case, its menu looks a lot like the typical Hong Kong Western-style cafe’s (akin to American diners), consisting of both more traditional Chinese options and Hong Kong-style Western food. There are a plethora of options to be found.

Unlimited refills on milk tea. Check. Servers donning golf caddy uniforms. Check. Futuristic decor. Check. What more can you ask for?

Camera shy Clifford is camera shy.

The place is quite spacious, and striking, at that. Perhaps the interior designers went for a spaceship-like theme, with unemotional plastic chairs, oddly-shaped metal bars that pierce the ceiling, and a water fountain at the entrance.

HK style milk tea 港式奶茶
HK style milk tea 港式奶茶

Of course I couldn’t but help myself to a cup, or two, or three, of Hong Kong style milk tea, rich and creamy. Did I already mention they have free refills on the traditional tea drinks (others being coffee milk tea, milk tea, lemon tea, etc.)? Note how big the cup actually is.

 Lychee strawberry freeze 荔枝草莓冰
Lychee strawberry freeze 荔枝草莓冰

Josie ordered a lychee strawberry freeze, topped with what I’m presuming were canned lychees.

Crispy salt and pepper fish 椒鹽石斑塊
Crispy salt and pepper fish 椒鹽石斑塊

Off their Chinese menu, we ordered crispy salt and pepper fish, whole anchovies fried in a batter of salt and chili peppers, crisped to perfection. I personally think anchovies are one of the few kinds of fish are better tasting when fried.

Malaysian style seafood with rice in sizzling stone pot 馬拉盞海鮮石頭飯
Malaysian style seafood with rice in sizzling stone pot 馬拉盞海鮮石頭飯

We also shared family style, a sizzling stone pot of “Malaysian” seafood with rice. When Hong Kongers use the word Malaysian, they use it very loosely (Hong Kong style Malaysian dishes lack the potent spices and intensity of their Malaysian counterparts.) The presentation was absolutely gorgeous, glimmering pieces of shrimp, mussels and other seafood, atop a bed of white rice. Portions left much to be desired, though.

To our surprise, we got a complimentary dessert of waffles drizzled with chocolate and condensed milk

Peace, Justin

Younique Cafe 綠味
220 Garvey Avenue, Monterey Park, CA 91754

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