Dim sum is Chinese food served in bite size portions. Kind of like tapas plates, but Chinese food. The interesting part is that it is only served in the mornings and lunch times. You will see ladies push metal steamer carts around with stacks of yummy deliciousness. Often times, you will find some interesting (weird for some) foods — chicken feet and tripe to name a couple. Ocean Star in Monterey Park is affordable and is busy as heck on the weekends. Their dim sum is comparable to the good ones in Los Angeles. Here are some of the items on the menu:
The chow mein is a thinner noodle, and it comes out room temperature. Theirs was less oily which I like. It was a nice complement to the other side dishes.
The clams were sauteed in some kind of hoisin or black bean sauce. It was fresh for the most part, and tasty.
The egg rolls were filled with cabbage and carrots. Yes, a vegetable egg roll, but still good dipped in soy sauce.
These dumplings were delicious. They are packed with vegetables and pork, and the outside dumpling part was nice and chewy.
Without a doubt, the most popular dim sum item is pork shui mai. They are like meat balls with shrimp surrounded by a wanton wrapper. They are one of my favorites.
Shrimp shui mai are whole shrimp, covered in wanton skins. It is steamed, which leaved the outer wanton skin smooth, yet sticky. Each bite was perfect with a little soy sauce.
These are shrimp in fried wanton. The shrimp inside were meaty and the wantons were very crispy and crunchy. Perfect, dipped in soy sauce and vinegar.
I always like to end my dum sum with mango pudding. It isn’t too sweet and the texture is so nice after a nice meal. It doesn’t quite taste like mangoes, but they are still delicious.
Ocean Star is one of my favorite dim sum restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley. The price is right, thought they did raise their prices recently. The servers are somewhat helpful and well organized. This place is perfect for big groups, banquets, and small gatherings.