Saturday, August 2, 2008
It's nice to have a traditional Chinese breakfast once in a while. Although it was only me and HT, we still had a lot of food & fun. We decided to try Yi Mei Restaurant, which I have actually been to eons ago. It's best when you have a nice big group to eat with though because you can order a bunch of different breakfast foods and share. This place definitely is not a place you want to take a big party because it is tiny. I think 4 people would be the max for a group because more than that it will be very difficult to get a table. When we went around 10:30AM to 11Am on a Saturday it was totally packed. There's barely any walking room and there isn't any standing room for you to wait while your order is being prepared. Be sure to bring someone who can speak Mandarin or Cantonese if you can't yourself.
Even though I speak Mandarin fluently, it was extremely difficult for me to order the Rolled Beef Pancakes. This was actually really really tasty! I like the skin used and the aromatic flavor of the green onions mixed in with the flavorful marinated beef. It's $5.95 per order and well worth it! I think this was the best thing there and I usually can't find it in most places or they run out by the time I get there. It's great that I was finally able to communicate what I wanted and turning out to be the right item! ^_^
HT ordered the "Fen Tuan", which was actually pretty good. It's Chinese Fried Doughnut, Pork Sung, and some Pickled Vegetables all wrapped in Sticky Rice. This is best for people on the go because you can just grab & go eating with one hand. I really liked the crispy texture that the fried doughnut adds. When I was in Monterey Park today, I thought about stopping by just to pick this up for tomorrow.
When I walked in I saw that a table had the Egg Pancakes that are usually pretty good. After I ordered them I had the biggest regret because the same table left it untouched. It made me think, hmm that's not a good sign! I brought all mine home because it was really bland and forgettable. You can make one better by just buying some frozen pancake and making your own eggs that would be much better.
For some reason I didn't feel like a Sweet Soybean, which HT got. It was good but she really should have gotten the Large because it's a much better deal! I ordered the Salty Soybean, which is a hot soy bean soup filled a variety of ingredients. It was actually pretty flavorful, but I was missing something important. Since I was thinking about taking out, I neglected to get an extra order of fried doughnut to add into the soybean soup. Be sure not to skimp and pick them up! Break it into little pieces and add it to the soup. It will give it that extra boost!
Last but not least, we decided to share their Xiao Long Bao. People on the internet said that the ones sold here were fabulous so I had to give it a try myself. They were tasty, but I don't know about to die for. The flavor was slightly different from what I normally eat, but still good. There was a sufficient amount of juice in the bao and the skin has a nice texture. Would I stay up at night and dream about it? No, but it's not bad and if I ever get a craving I'd keep them in mind.
All in all the food was good and the prices weren't bad. It's your typical Chinese breakfast place. The people working there were actually pretty friendly. If it's busy, be sure to mark your territory and stand by the table you are waiting for. Got to do it Asian style. I would definitely go back for the Fen Tuan and the Rolled Beef Pancake! Those two would be my recommendations for sure!
Yi Mei Restaurant
Monterey Park, CA 91754