ISO Cantonese family style dinner restaurant

Looking for a solid Cantonese family style dinner restaurant to celebrate a birthday next week. Ideally would like a place in San Gabriel Valley and is relatively wallet friendly and decent portions. Was originally going to do a banquet menu but am thinking might order a la carte instead. Fresh seafood is a plus, but not essential. After doing some research on Yelp, I was frustrated that most of the reviews for restaurants like these were about the dim sum and not dinner, so wanted to post this for recommendations. Thanks!

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Newport seafood not necessarily true true cantonese but very delicious and wallet friendly unless you go ham on the lobster. I think if you have a large enough party they will do reservations.

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My friend who visits SoCal often (and knows far far more about Cantonese cuisine than I ever will) and hits up SGV often, recommends Tang Gong. Service may be an issue as reported in another thread and even the friend found that to be an issue (to me service issues can be generic and depending on your cultural perspective), but prices are very reasonable compared to Northern California and food was of very good quality.

At least the executive chef at Tang Gong is legit. Supposedly he does good lobster dishes and may have had some work experience at a place called Henry’s Lobster or taught some chefs there. Unclear about quality of seafood dishes, you may want to scour yelp and Instagram tagged pictures or Chinese blogs.

Here are some of my friend’s pictures of the food at Tang Gong. The bone in short rib with pan fried rice noodles (mifen/ mai fun) is drool worthy.

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Seconding.

They have a family set menu that is a very good value versus ordering a la carte. The smallest one is for 2 people and they have sets going up to 10ish that include the lobster. You could always do the banquet and then add on stuff a la carte, which is what we end up doing.

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Newport Seafood is the default answer.

Sure Seafood Harbour is great but I have never left dinner with a bill I would be willing to show my parents.

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Ho Kee Cafe also has special family style menus that you can order in advance but their regular menu is good too. The location in Temple City/Arcadia has private rooms as well.

not certain what you mean by “wallet friendly”, but i will suggest jasmine house in alhambra on main. reasonably priced and they have a private room that will handle about 15 people.

Above is the picture of a combination plate with suckling pig head presented with some roasted pork. [quote=“beefnoguy, post:3, topic:10699”]


[/quote]. If they ordered roasted pork, there is little need to include the suckling pig’s head.
Last month I was invited to a Cantones style dinner at a different restaurant. Immediately, my host complained about the roasted suckling pig dish when it was presented. Clearly, what was presented was not suckling pig but substituted with roasted pork instead. Roasted suckling pig, a common dish should look something like this

just skin and tiny rib bones, not with an inch of meat in between.
If you were not specific in your ordering, You may have been deceived. This practice is now not unusual in “Canto” restaurants offering suckling pigs on their menu.

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A lot of my Chinese friends like Henry’s on Valley in Alhambra. I’d also recommend Seafood Palace on Garvey in Monterey Park. Love their House Special Crab and their House Pan Fried Noodles.

Thanks for the heads up warning for people. That’s not my food//dinner, but my friend’s. I just “borrowed” random pictures of their dinner pictures from a post elsewhere. Good catch though.

My recommendation in general with Cantonese in general is just focus on the more simpler and home style dishes to save money and definitely avoid the higher end items unless you know the kitchen and chef can pull them off.

Test out things like a claypot dish (it’s getting cooler after all), vegetable dishes, perhaps a whole chicken, a soup of some sort, definitely a pork dish (steamed pork patty), and stir fry (e.g. oyster sauce beef with mushrooms), and a carb based dish as an ending like egg white scallop fried rice. Have to admit the roasted/grilled beef short rib slices looks great though, as I’ve had something similar to that in Northern California.

If doing seafood, inquire about the market rate/availability and the preps that they offer (and be very specific on how you want it done). For a live fish, figure out the approximate size/weight you need (and do some research what might be in season), rather than have them recommend and then end up removing a much larger one and charging you more for it (you could say you want a 2.5 to 3 pound and maybe they would say oh smallest is 4 is that ok, and inquire the cost). For live prawns depending on the size, either boil or if they are nice and fatty pan fried in superior (Maggi) sauce is also a good approach.

Another place to consider might be Seafood Palace. The Chiu Chow Cantonese themed items are solid, and can’t really go wrong even if you do the salt pepper crab (or ask for different preps). Not as fancy for a special bday, but at least the food is probably better in a less fancy Cantonese place.

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It’s a shame Embassy Kitchen is gone…

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i’ve seen ho kee cafe arcadia location have the same shrimp paste stuffed chicken as embassy kitchen. will have to try soon.

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Now I’m curious which SGV restaurants will allow you to bring your own live seafood, pay a cooking fee and they serve it to you? Definitely not the big name dim sum joints…

Just saw some pics of black bean sauce stir fried razor clams of Ho Kee. Looks like a super viable low key fun place with good food without the high end seafood restaurant snobbery and you can mix and match up varieties.

Relatedly, has anyone here tried Ho Kee Arcadia compared to Ho Kee SG? I’ve been to the SG location and wasn’t super impressed, but the pics of the Arcadia food look a bit better (and also different selection) than SG.

Oh since when? I didnt notice it last year. Will have to get out there to try it.

Of my 4 or 5 visits or so there, Tang Gong had been solid but there are still hit and misses throughout their menu like their bland lobster with yee-mein. Do note that I haven’t really ordered their high priced items though.

My preference goes to Ocean Bo for a solid neighborhood Canto restaurant.

Ho Kee (Arcadia) sounds like a winner!!

Making it easy for everyone:

Website: http://www.bigbc.us/author/hokeecafe/

Preorder private kitchen dishes

Also a video ad: Arcadia 分店新張 | 大名片

Requires calling ahead (or drop in and show the characters)

Using the first URL as a guide:

清炒木耳甜豆鮮百合

Stir fried wood ear funghi, lily bulb sugar snap peas (with Chinese celery, carrots). Looks like the preorder is mostly in the knifework of the decorative piece on the side (lol)

白灼珊瑚蝦 (boiled live coral shrimp)

薑蔥炒肉蟹 (ginger scallion stir fried crab) my guess is that the restaurant either doesn’t have live fish tank or they don’t regularly stock crab…normally this shouldn’t require a preorder if any Cantonese place has live crab and lobster in tank…

豪記滷水椒鹽拼盤 (Ho Kee’s marinated and salt pepper combo appetizer platter)
nothing unique about this but presentation makes it look a bit more formal/banquet. Jellyfish, salt pepper squid, cucumbers, marinated duck wing mid joint…

豪記燒味拼盤 - Ho Kee mixed BBQ platter (why this needs preorder I have no idea)

百花芝麻雞 - indeed this is the stuffed chicken with shrimp paste with crispy skin and sesame seeds outside

鮑汁原條海參 - braised sea cucumber in abalone stock

荷塘四蔬 - four vegetables in superior stock. Shitake, lily bulb, tofu and a leafy green (looks like large pea sprout)

鮮百合炒象拔蚌條 - stir fried lily bulb and geoduck (with assorted veg like carrots and Chinese celery). Personally I would modify this request to be bean sprouts, young yellow chives and minimize all those other textures… and then have the adductor muscle stir fried, congee, or salt pepper fried

龍蝦刺身海膽 - lobster sashimi and uni (too gimmicky)

胡椒豬肚雞煲 - peppercorn pork stomach chicken claypot (in chicken stock)

菱角銅盆蒸雞 - steamed water chestnut chicken in copper pot

蟲草花銅盆蒸雞 - a variant of the above but using cordyceps

避風塘炒飯 - typhoon shelter fried rice

滷水鴨中翼拼海螺 - marinated duck wings mid joint and conch platter

豪記冬瓜盅 - Ho Kee’s winter melon soup in whole winter melon

薑蔥龍蝦 - ginger scallion lobster

The phone (626) 822-3399 for the pre order is exactly the Arcadia location.

Hmmm give this place a go then?

If it were me I might inquire what other styles of lobster and crab they are willing to do instead of ginger scallion stir fry (that’s a bit too standard and easy).

Scouted pictures from a Chinese blog of the San Gabriel location, the crispy fried beef brisket 脆皮坑腩 looks good

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my friend went to try it shortly after they opened, maybe 4 months ago… she said they didn’t even have to special order the stuffed chicken like embassy kitchen…but would double check on that since it is listed in private kitchen section @beefnoguy noted above.