China Red is an exciting new player in the SGV dim sum scene. Following the dining trend for the past few years in Hong Kong and Canadian Chinese communities, there are no carts at China Red. One simply checks the items from the paper menus/order slips, and the fresh food starts arriving from the kitchen!
Parking: A relatively small lot for the capacity of the restaurant. Street parking is available, though.
Wait times: Considering it’s a “hot” new place in the Arcadia area - Unless your party arrives early (read: opening time), expect a wait.
Décor: Nice, clean and new! Very comfortable seating, and the tables do not feel too cramped. The obligatory live holding tanks filled with prawn, spiny lobsters, and king crabs are there, and will keep the young’uns entertained for a bit.
Tea selection: We are not very snooty about our tea, so we ordered the very vanilla Jasmine Tea, which was quite good.
Service: Above average! Our water and tea were kept constantly refilled, and new dishes were automatically given to us without having to ask. It’s easy to flag down any server for any additional needs.
Price: EXTREMELY affordable. Our party of 6 ordered over 70% of the menu, and the bill (food only) came out to about $94 (before tips). This place is a steal.
Now, on to the FOOD!!!
Steamed Char Siu Bao (fluffy bun, bursting with very tasty, flavorful char siu filling).
House Special Rice Noodle Roll (with fried prawn inside the chang fen; an interesting textural experience).
Sheng Jian Bao (I know, I know… not Cantonese, but my dining companions wanted to try it – Excellent char on the bottom, with a splendid filling).
Chilled Osmanthus Cake (more of a jello, this was very light and refreshing, with the clear taste of the osmanthus coming through).
But, my VERY favorite dish at China Red are their Egg Tarts Macau Style. Just incredible - These Macanese egg tarts are the best I’ve had so far in Southern California. The egg filling is fluffy, not flat in texture, and the flakiness of the shell is absolutely perfect. It is a splendid, gift-worthy egg tart.
Misses: The Mango Pudding tasted “off”, for lack of a better description. And while the Durian Pastry had an extremely light, delicious durian cream filling, it was encased in a crepe with the rubbery consistency of a fruit roll. I would have been happy just with a serving of that yummy durian sweet cream alone.
Overall, I would place China Red just below the level of my current SGV dim sum gold standard, Sea Harbour, at this time. However, they are relatively new, and I suspect they will be upping their game in the near future. It is definitely a high value (i.e. huge bang for your buck) dim sum experience. Try those Macau Style Egg Tarts!
855 S. Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007