Visted Triumphal palace this past Saturday for dinner. When I walked in, i said, "finally a Hong Kong styled restaurant in LA". Typical palace type restaurants in Hong Kong these days are a mixture of modern and traditinal decore with great service and very clean.
You make say, modern + plus traidtional? Yes.. in HK it works great and the trend these days.
Because my friends had already ordered by the time I came, I'm not sure the english names on the meny were, but I will try to xlate them into english.
We had about 9 ppl and ate about $161 + tip.
1. Deli combination platter $28
2. Corn and fish maw soup
3. Assorted fresh mushrooms with baby bok choy
4. steam pork cake with squid
5. Some kind singapore style vermicelli, curry hot pot
6. ginger and onion crab $38 for 2 crabs
7. Stuffed tofu in broth pot
8. On choy sauteed with garlic $13
9. Stir fried fillet mignon cubes with pepper (aka, French style mingnon)
10. Desert - Red date and herb soup.
I'd say the quality of the preparation and ingredients were excellent. However, it lacked what cantonese called, "wok hay"... essense of wok. Some dishes were great, some were not that great.
1. In the combination platter the soy sauce chicken was overly salty, but cooked to perfect tenderness.
2. Corn amd fish maw soup - pretty standard. Nothing to note about.
3. The mushroom and baby bok choy dish was phenomenal. Fresh shitake, oyster, and straw mushrooms sauteed with baby bok choy. The freshness of ingredients could really be seen in this dish. The flavoring of the sauce was perfect.
4. Steamed pork cake with squid - This is a new take on an old skool ghetto home style dish. This came to mixed reviews around the table. I though the added bits of squid were a nice innovation. I liked, some didn't.
5. Vermicelli dish - Vermicelli with curry, garlic, and bits of seafood and pork. I thought this dish lacked flavor and texture. I expected it to be a bit more garlicly and to have some more broth. The curry was too bland... poorly executed dish imho.
6. Ginger and onion crab - A standard cantonese dish, dungeness crab stirfried with ginger and onion. The restaurant did a nice take on this dish by having sauce and season minimal. The focus was on the sweetness of crab... I really liked the sauce being very mild.
7. Stuff tofu in hot pot - This is what I believe cantonese call a "sa woh", meaning "sand pot" (because of the pot used to cook it). Basically, silken tofu stuffed with shrimp/fish cake and gently cooked in vegable and chicken broth. Also has napa. The tofu was spectacular.. very soft and silken with great flavor. The soup was quite salty, wasting the broth.
8. On choy sauteed with garlic - Phenominal. standard cantonese dish, again very light on the salt and garlic. I liked it because the sauce was subtle.. though I think other cantonese would object due to the light use of garlic in this traditional dish.
9. peppered fillet mignon cubes - Very well done. Corse cracked pepper gave this dish losts of spice with very tender seasoned cubes of mignon. Cantonese usually call this a "french style mignon"
10. The desert soup of red dates and chinese herbs was a little too sweet, but the quality of preparation and use of ingredients were phenomenal.
Overall, I really like the restaurant. The quality of preparation, ingredients, atmosphere, and service was excellent. However, the taste was a little off. They need to hone their skills a little bit to get of the tastes just right. Pricewise, most items are between 10-$14/15 bucks on the menu. Not bad. However, I think most of the more traditional eaters will object going back a second time due to the missed flavoring in some of the dishes.
Here's a picture of a great restaurant in the Langham plaza, the lobby is more modern than traditional, but the restaurant still plays slightly on the traditional theme inside.
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