Over winter break, I grabbed some dim sum with two of my high school friends to catch up, as part of our yum cha tradition, since we rarely see each other nowadays. This time, we decided to forgo our usual choice, New Capital Seafood, for a new restaurant, 888 Seafood, also on Valley Blvd about two miles to the east.
It was my first time there, and what struck me immediately was how gaudy the restaurant is. I suppose it makes a good place for Chinese banquet dinners.
I think their motto for chandeliers was “the more the better.” The entire ceiling was riddled with chandeliers. To add to the excess, the obligatory double happiness sign (囍) was on both ends of the restaurant, to accommodate two wedding banquets once.
As a side note, I apologize for butchering all the Cantonese spellings.
I forgot to tell the waiter in advance to serve chrysanthemum tea, so he gave us the default, wulong tea (烏龍茶).
We started off with some of the obligatory staple dishes (clockwise from upper left):
Cha siu bao (叉燒包): cha siu pork-filled buns (a little too moist),
Ha gao (蝦餃): shrimp dumplings in translucent skins,
Shrimp cheong fen (蝦米腸粉): rice noodle rolls with shrimp (well done),
Siu mai (燒賣): shrimp and pork dumplings.
Pineapple bun (菠蘿包): Perfection. I liked that the pineapple custard inside wasn’t completely pureed. There were one or two pineapple slices in the custard to vary the texture. A nice surprise. 🙂 Also, the crust didn’t just flake and crack into bits when I bit into it.
Barbeque pork puffs (叉燒酥): I think fried things are hard to mess up.
Xiaolong bao (小籠包): Pork meat inside tasted sour and not at its freshest. The soup juice tasted sour too, even without the vinegar. This was my least favorite out of all the dishes. I don’t think it’s a smart idea ordering xiaolong bao at dim sum restaurants, because it’s usually nasty-tasting.
The egg tarts are ridiculously pint-sized, so I decided not to get any. The total bill came out to be $25, mentally calculated by a server in his head. We checked his math to be sure. Unlike at New Capital, where each dish costs the same, dim sum here comes at different pricing tiers.
888 Seafood is definitely pricier than New Capital, with fewer selections in my opinion. We saw the same cart ladies over and over. And I didn’t see any long and fried donuts/youtiao (油條/油炸粿), red bean cake (紅豆糕), or even sticky rice in lotus leaf (糯米雞). Mmm, pork lard.
Address: 8450 E Valley Blvd Ste 121, Rosemead, CA 91770 | Yelp
P.S. I think I’m going to write less for resto reviews now and focus more on the pictures and the dining experience. I feel like my ratings can be arbitrary because no two places are alike.