Guangzhou Style Food Comes To Monterey Park

There’s nothing new about Cantonese food being found in the United States. Cantonese food was the only style of Chinese cuisine available in the United States from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, and was the predominant style until a decade or so ago. But that Cantonese food was either based on the version brought to the US by early immigrants from rural Toishan, or in the last 50 years by immigrants from Hong Kong. However Xiangji Cuisine at 644 W. Garvey Bl. in Monterey Park brings Mainland China style Cantonese food to town. Xiangji Cuisine isn’t the first Guangzhou restaurant to arrive in the SGV, as a couple of Guangzhou rice noodle roll restaurants opened up in San Gabriel last year. But Xiangji brings a wider variety of dishes, some of which I’ve never seen including salted Cantonese rice balls, sweet and sour deep fried eggs, and pork knuckle lo mein. Xiangji is also noteworthy for being one of the few new Chinese restaurants to open up in the SGV during the pandemic, and indeed replaces Hong’s Cuisine which itself opened up during the pandemic at 644 W. Garvey.

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I saw it today and cant believe another place took over it while the pandemic was happening.

Better try it fast before quality declines/they close up.

I’m looking at the menu pictures on yelp and only looking at the Chinese names of the dishes.

There isn’t something that screams Guangzhou specifically, outside of what it says as Chef’s Specials which seem off the beaten path, as there are a number of items that are otherwise typical in restaurants in Hong Kong, as well as Hong Kong cafe fare for the rest of the menu sections.

Pork blood and leek is a Chiu Chow influenced dish (although presented as soup format).
It is also possible some of the chef specials include or stem from the greater regions outside of Zhuhai, Shunde, Zhongshan…hard to say which is which as I am not familiar with what constitutes dishes specifically from those regions (Shunde is a bit more well known) but if I were a betting man and the business owner I would include dishes from those regions as they are also not as common in the US.

Pork knuckle noodles is very common and a standard additional offering at won ton noodle specialist restaurants, it’s not too difficult to find in SF Bay Area as well.

As far as the oddball drinks like Mixed Spica Prunellae Tea, JiaDuoBao Herbal Tea, those you can also find in remote parts of Hong Kong and maybe at those “cold” (herbal) tea shops that sell turtle jello…probably more prevalent if you head to Tai O Fishing village in Lantau Island. Old school for sure.

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Manager described the food to me as Guangzhou style.

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JiaDuoBao isn’t uncommon at restaurants from all regions in the SGV, and has been for some time. It’s usually served in cans. I saw it on menu at a Shaanxi-style place a decade ago.

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