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Dec 26, 2006 10:54 PM

YUM CHA CAFE (inside San Gabriel Superstore) ... Review

So I am out and about doing a little pre-Xmas shopping in the San Gabriel Superstore (corner of San Gabriel and Valley) and lo and behold I run into this little gem of a shop.

For those looking for portable (i.e., takeout) dim sum, YUM CHA CAFE is a solid, if not great, option.

It's located in one of the many stalls inside the San Gabriel Superstore.

They offer pretty good steamed bbq char siu boa, cheong fun, all sorts of braised chicken and duck parts (e.g. chicken feet, duck beaks, etc.)

I tried the char siu boa, which were very good, the bbq sauce was sweet and tangy but not cloyingly rich as to drown out the pork bits.

The cheong fun was very fresh, soft and tender, without being too chewy. The shrimp filling was also tasty, but I preferred the plain ones.

But the best treat of all was the BROWN SUGAR rice cakes. I'm sucker for the ordinary (white) sugar rice cakes that bakeries and dim sum places will have. To me, rice cakes are the perfect combo of textures and taste: soft, chewy, a bit sticky and just sweet enough to make it seem like you're not just eating poorly cooked rice balls.

But these at YUM CHA CAFE, these were made with brown sugar which added a whole new dimension to their subtle sweetness. I could probably eat a whole sheet of these and still not be satiated.

Check it out for yourself ... Cheers.

(sorry - couldn't get a telephone number)

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  1. Thanks for the update. I remember there was a post about the place maybe six months ago that mentioned the chicken potstickers, that got picked up in Chownews, but didn't indicate what else might be good there.

    1. I've been there. I personally like takeout dim sum from 888 better, but if you're already in the Superstore (as I was today) it's not a bad option.

      1. Mmm..brown sugar rice cakes. I love traditional asian desserts with such novel twists (like brown sugar on the shaved ice at SinBaLa). Thanks!

        1. Thanks for the post.

          We checked it out last week. The set up is kind of like the ubitiqiuous dim sum places in SF chinatown, but not as fresh. At least not when we went.

          The highlight for us was the turnip cake. Perfectly tender, with pieces of turnip in it. Better than most of the high end dim sum places. The cheong fun was good, but not sure why they give you a watered down soy dipping sauce that tasted like ginger.

          The shrimp ball (fried and coated with wonton strips) were good. The hargow, siu mai, sticky rice, chicken bao were fair to meddling. The chicken feet and ribs looked a bit old, so we passed.

          Overall a good value, but I wouldn't give up Sea Harbour... Nice to have someplace to satisfy the after 3PM dim sum hankering.

          3 Replies
          1. re: notmartha

            Yeah, Yum Cha Cafe is like going to a taco truck for those times when Babita just doesn't fit into your schedule ...

            1. re: notmartha

              Thanks for the update! We've been dying to try Yum Cha to relive our experiences at Good Luck Dim Sum in SF. This helps set expectations and we were slighly lamenting the fact that we passed by Yum Cha this weekend, but after a Vegas Food Coma, we decided it was best not to stop.


              1. re: notmartha

                More report... Had my hubbie pick some food up for dinner.

                The shrimp shau mai was better than the har gow. At least the wrapping was thin and didn't get in the way.

                Rice congee was tasty. A bit thicker than normal but still good.

                Brown sugar rice cake was good as reported. Probably one of the better versions I had though I am not a big chinese dessert fan. I liked the texture - soft but spongy, and it's not overly sweet.

                Cheng fun (rice noodles) were very good. I like the veggie filling one - got it by mistake but ended up liking it better than the shrimp. It really reheats well in the microwave. I dump the sauce they gave and use the Kikkoman sweetened soy (claypot rice) instead.

                Lastly, the turnip cake is killer (as reported last time). That's got to be my favorite version in all the dim sum and chinese breakfast place (previous title held by Yei Mei). Reheats well by pan frying.

                The roast pork, and the ribs with rice noodles weren't very good. I found the preserved egg siu with the bean paste kind of odd, but hubbie liked it.