Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dumpling Hunt Part 6: Rice balls and Ginger Bean Milk at Yung Ho Tou Chiang

When I got to Yung Ho Tou Chiang they were already putting the chairs up and starting to mop the floors. I was afraid I was too late. The menu said open till 6 PM and it was just before 5. Time I thought for a quick early dinner. Turns out when they say close at 6 PM they mean the place is shut and the staff is on its way home by 6. Of course this way I avoided the lunch and breakfast rush.

Yung Ho Int

Yung Ho Tou Chiang is located on valley just before the New Ave. intersection. It’s in a strip mall with a fair sized parking lot. Arriving in the early evening there was plenty of spaces.

Yung Ho Ext

Inside the space was quite large and impressive for strip mall place. They showed me to a booth and gave me the menu.

The first thing that caught my eye was the prices. Most of the items under the Dim Sum were $2 or less. Some items went as low as 85 cents. The rest of the menu was also a bargain. Soups and Noodle or Rice dishes were between $4 and $6.50. Cold Dishes were ranged from $1.50 to $2.50. There were a few items scattered around that were $8, $9 and one was $15. But overall the menu was made for the budget conscious.

I stuck with the dim sum portion of the menu. I ordered a Sweet/Cold Ginger Bean Milk for $1.30. It was a glass of soy milk with a heavy taste of ginger. It was pretty refreshing on a hot day.

Yung Ho Ginger Bean Milk

Next came a Mushroom with Pork Bun for $1.00. It was a good sized steamed bao with a filling that was more pork than mushroom and had little dried shrimp as well. The filling was seasoned with soy and ginger. The bun was a little on the heavy side but there was a good ratio filling to bread.

Yung Ho Mushroom Pork Bun

After that came the only real disappointment. I ordered the Beef Pan Cake for $2.75. It was a bit of a let down compared to the exquisite Beef Roll at 101 Noodle Express. The beef filling was tender, rich and had a strong anise flavor to it. But instead of spreading the filling out evenly over the pancake and wrapping it, they first folded the pancake on itself, put the filling in the center, coated the outside with sesame seed and fried it on both sides. The pancake was heavy and a little tough where it was folded in on itself.

Yung Ho Beef Pan Cake

After that however came a real treat, Rice Ball Soup with Mushroom and Pork for $3.50. It was a clear broth with four dumplings floating in it. It was topped with a generous helping of cilantro and crispy onion flakes. The dumplings resembled little matzo balls. They were made of glutinous rice flour and had a meat filling inside each one. The outside was sticky and slightly sweet. Like matzo balls, they expanded when they reached the stomach. The filling was the same pork and mushroom mix from the bao. The whole thing may be a little salty for some people’s taste but I found it excellent.

Yung Ho Rice Ball Soup

The whole meal came out to less than $10. This is a place to eat up and not break the wallet. The rice balls are superb and a great bargain at $3.50. Just try and get there early.

Yung Ho Tou Chiang
533 W. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 570-0860
Price Range: Dim Sum menu from $0.85 to $5.75

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