Last saturday, my family arrived at New Concept around 11:30 am without reservations. We had read the review in the LA Times a few months back, and were pretty excited. Our wait was pretty long - guess we had missed the first wave of dimsumers and weren't able to get seated for at least 45 minutes. I did notice that other parties had about a 20 min wait if they made reservations (who knew dim sum restaurants take reservations now??) During our wait, we read the menu and made our selections.
The restaurant itself is REALLY small and quite cramped. I was seated near a side door and for some reason, the waiters kept going through it. I assumed they were taking a short cut through the outside of the building and to the kitchen. Turns out there is one lone table out there on a "patio."
After exchanging my lipstick stained tea cup for a hopefully clean one, onwards to dining! This is from memory so excuse me if I am omitting any key ingrediants, etc.
1. Steamed Beef Cheong Fun - fresh noodles, but seemed like they used fatty beef.
2. Steamed duck and bean sprout Cheong fun - my mother liked this dish but my brother felt "ripped off" because his piece had no duck. The taste WAS pretty subtle.
3. Shrimp Har gow - three lovely, crunchy shrimp per dumpling.
4.Lotus wrapped leaf - a slightly more upscale version with abalone and dried scallop but slightly less fragrant than usual because there was an oiled piece of parchment paper separating the rice from the lotus leaf.
5. fried pumpkin dumpling with red bean paste - both my mother and i loved loved this.
6. xiao lung bao with duck liver and mushroom: i liked this but for the price (75 cents a bun), i would go to din tai fung.
7. beef stew with steamed noodles - my favorite dish of the meal. comes in a large clay pot with lots of chinese beef stew and tendons with perfectly cooked noodles. it must have been a large sized dimsum dish because it really was a lot of food in there.
8. fried dumplings ("salty water corners") - with pork, veggies, and peanuts inside.
9. some gelatin - dessert roll. red in color, my mother seemed to like it. i have no clue what it was made of.
10. steamed tofu skin with chicken, bamboo, and braised in gravy.
one more dish that i can't remember.
$50 for 5 people.
The aftermath: THE WORST CASE OF MSG OVERLOAD I have ever experienced. within an hour, my father and i were both noticing the strong msg aftertaste.
It's slightly cheaper than Sea Harbor but I'd probably never go back again because of the excess MSG.
New Concept Ambrosia Inc.
700 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park CA