Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kang Kang Food Court in Alhambra

The weather in Los Angeles has certainly been up and down lately. A few weeks ago on a warm, windy afternoon, Hubby and I took the kids to the park to fly their kite. We were scheduled to get some shaved ice at the Kang Kang Food Court in Alhambra, but truthfully, I was excited to meet my inspiration and fellow food blogger Wandering Chopsticks and taste test the Jing Dong Meat Pie she recommended there.

WC got a taste of the kids that day. Baby R was teething and being weaned simultaneously, so he was not a happy camper. But WC took to him immediately and graciously held him while I sampled the food. She didn't flinch a bit when R decided to go for his bowl of rice cereal, splashing milk all over poor WC's pretty dress and the floor. The other two for some reason decided to take turns going on long potty breaks with Hubby, but otherwise, they were fairly patient as Mom chatted with her Hubby-dubbed long, lost twin (because we have a lot eerily in common).

For a warm afternoon, the place was quite empty. I remember years ago before this place closed down for remodelling, and when we used to call it Shau May, it was always packed with people, but it was also a lot more grimey. The removal of the dirty carpet and a fresh coat of paint did wonders. Now the place seems roomier and cleaner.

I ordered some shaved ice for the kids at the shaved ice bar. Now, I don't know what the story is with this location and that of the Shau May in Monterey Park. Both locations offer the same stuff, so either it's a chain, or it's owned by the same people. The shaved ice bar offers the same stuff as the Monterey Park Shau May, but when I tasted the rice balls, they seemed harder than those at the Monterey Park location. Otherwise, it was all good.

On a sidenote, I want to demonstrate how sleepy and distracted I was that day. The girl at the counter who took my order asked me what table number I was at so that they could bring us our food later. I started telling her my phone number until WC stepped in with the correct info.

I decided to order two of the Jin Dong Meat Pies thinking one wouldn't be enough for all of us, but boy was I wrong. I had leftovers for the next day. WC pointed out the pretty layers in the pie, and when I bit into it, it was bursting with flavor. If you love ginger, you'll love this, because there was a lot of ginger mixed in with the pork. I didn't care much for the ginger, but I liked the texture of the pie itself and the flavor of the meat.

A few weeks later, I regretted not trying the Shanghai Pan-Fried Dumplings that they are also famous for, so I sent Hubby to order take out for dinner. The dumplings were noticeably juicier than that of the Monterey Park location, and my parents became a fan, even though the juice squirted all my mom's clothes before I had time to warn her. Yeah, they were that juicy. This photo just doesn't do them justice. We also ordered the meat pie again, and this time there was less ginger for some reason, but still yummy.

Kang Kang Food Court offers cafeteria style food for takeout also. So, Hubby also ordered some of their three item combinations.

The first combo consisted of steamed chicken with ginger and scallion, steamed shrimp, and steamed chinese brocolli. The chicken was not the usual steamed chicken I'm normally used to. The scallion/ginger dressing was not as salty, and the chicken felt soggy and actually grainy to me. I'm just used to firmer meat. The shrimp was also soggy, grainy, and not so fresh, but I liked the sweetness of the sauce. The chinese brocolli was just that, average.

The second combo had steamed cabbage with tofu, fish with black bean sauce, and soft tofu with meat and vegetables. Both tofu dishes were bland to me, but the silky texture of the soft tofu was nice. I did not like the fish at all. The sauce was overly salty, sour, and just plain strange. You also get some soup with the combos, but this "soup" is basically some broth with a bit of bean sprouts in it. Not even worth drinking.

Both Kang Kang Food Court and Shau May are comparable, but whenever I want the Pan Fried Dumplings, I'd come to this location. Just don't order them for takeout because it took them half an hour to fill our order. I think I will also stay away from their combination items, although it's a good deal for $4.25 for the three items. Parking is also tough here, but it's worth the trouble.

Kang Kang Food Court is located at 27 E. Valley Blvd in Alhambra, CA (626) 308-3898


Wandering Chopsticks said...

You make me sound nice. :P I was too busy playing with your baby to notice you ordered two meat pies, or else I would have suggested you order the pan-fried baos at the time. It was fun! We'll have to meet up again.

EatTravelEat said...

Haven't been here in a long time, but I fondly remember those Shanghai style baos to this day even if it's been almost 5 years. They are just so juicy and crisp. Mmm.

The Jing Dong Meat pies look great too. Haven't eaten one before though.

shavedicesundays said...

WC, you ARE nice. Of course, we'll do it again!

EatTravelEat, I'm already craving those dumplings again. So yummy.

JenJen said...

My favorite is still the pan-fried bao. I love the juice inside the bao. I often go there every other week to pick up an order of the bao.
I also notice the soup noodles there in a GIANT bowl, haven't try it yet, but look very interesting.
I aslo heard alot of people order the watermelon juice, I'm thinking of trying it the next time I'm there.

Selba said...

The shaved ice looks so good!!! Condense milk on the top, right?

shavedicesundays said...

Selba, yes, it's condensed milk on top. Yum...

SinoSoul said...

this place single handedly saved me from starvation while I was a strapping young single buck.

Right Way to Eat said...

You and WC were here? Damn. I would have honestly thought she would make you ordered pan fried baos or potstickers. LOL

shavedicesundays said...

Pepsi Monster, I think WC knew I had already tried those and wanted to try something new, right WC?