A couple of weeks back, Wandering Chopsticks and I headed to the San Gabriel Superstore for some groceries—I bought coconut milk and fresh egg noodles, while WC returned some moldy tofu and picked up ingredients for curry laksa. After we finished up shopping, we dashed over to Yum Cha Cafe for a quick bite.
Yum Cha Cafe, which is more of a food court than a cafe, is located near the front entrance of the superstore. They specialize in dim sum and noodle dishes for the time-conscious crowd.
During our visit, WC and I stuck to the dim sum offerings. While I prefer dim sum served a la cart (get it?), I was curious to sample fast food-style dim sum. After queuing up, WC ordered a selection of her favorites, plus an order of pan-fried dumplings per my request.
The goods, clockwise from top left—pan-fried pork dumplings, rice noodle sheets with shrimp, shrimp har kow, and pork and vegetable tapioca dumplings. All four items were satisfactory, but none of them knocked our socks off.
Admittedly, it was strange eating dim sum from Styrofoam containers under fluorescent lights. For me, food experiences are oftentimes influenced by ambient factors such as lighting and presentation. Of course, I have treasured many a bowl of noodles in parking lots and tiny rooms with used napkins strewn across the floor, but I’ve always associated dim sum with a more refined dining experience. While the superstore dim sum was good, some of the tastiness was diminished because it was eaten with a plastic spork.
Yum Cha Cafe is a cheap and quick alternative to traditional dim sum, but something’s definitely lost in the fast food translation.
Yum Cha Cafe – San Gabriel Superstore
1635 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776