Tsing Tao, Campbell - Nooooooooo...
This restaurant was where my family would go and take friends for EVERY special occassion for the past 20...birthdays, weddings, graduations, funerals...if it called for going out to eat, this was the place. Alas a few months ago the previous owners sold the business and the food has taken a turn for the worse, particularly two of their signature dishes that are now just a shadow of their former glory.. The "cham pong"(Soup Noodles with Meat, Vegetables and Seafood) no longer has meaty cuts of beef, seafood, and vegetables, but little slivered portions and is extremely oily, and the broth just isn't the same. The hand pulled noodles remain excellent however. The "kam pong gi"(Dry Sauteed Chicken with Garlic Sauce) used to be the crown jewel of the menu, but what used to be all drumsticks that have been trimmed and "frenched" so you have a nice handle to grab has been replaced with whole wings and this chicken piece that I honestly can't identify what part of the chicken it's from - it's a joint piece where three bones meet - and I spent half the time picking pieces of shattered bone from my mouth.
This place used to be packed, but I went on a Thursday night and the place was half-empty. Myself and every relative that's been there under new ownership have had nothing but bad things to say about the quality of food now and won't go back. It seems like they're trying to cut costs but this restaurant has been around for two decades, I have no idea why they're driving this place into the ground...it's disheartening to see this happen to a place that's been such a staple for so many years...
That is bad news indeed. They've always had one of the best chao ma mian ("cham pong") around. Last time I was there I ordered the gan pong shrimp and it was terrible as well, with the fried shrimp's breading thicker and bigger than the small shrimp itself. Any idea where the owner went or where the chefs might have gone?
From what I heard since it was family run and being open year round for all those years with long hours no breaks, the years have caught up to them. They actually considered selling the place a few years ago, but instead went with closing the restaurant for one day a week, but I guess even with that it now looks like it was time. Good memories, but now I have to find another comparable place!