Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mini Foodventure #43: Wonton Time (Alhambra)

Sweater weather rolling in also mean it's an appropriate time to play homage to a Cantonese classic comfort food: the wonton noodle soup. Last week, my search for the delicious trinity of pasta, dumplings and broth took me to Wonton Time in Alhambra.
Like most other casual "everyday" Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, it's a no-nonsense operation with furniture picked for functionality and value. However, unlike other places with menus that runs above and beyond a hundred items, the selection here is pretty "keep it simple":
Basically, you choose your noodles, how it's prepared and what type/combination of toppings you want (wontons, fish cakes and/or sliced beef). For another two bucks you can get vegetables of the day in oyster sauce too. Quick and easy.

Since I wanted to catch the evening news at home and their dining area (which accomodates about 30) is pretty packed, I opted for a to go order of fish cakes & wonton hor fun soup. I paid my $4.50 + tax, waited five minutes, and I was sent my merry way with two styrofoam to-go bowls (noodles are typically packed separately to avoid becoming too soggy and to allow diner to eat them dry with the soup on the side). Thankfully, traffic was kind enough to allow me to get home to enjoy my grub still piping hot.
A little plain to look at, and overall somewhere between 'so-so' and 'kinda good': the chicken broth was flavorful and not too salty (or MSG'd); the big fish cakes were nice and pretty aromatic from the mixed-in parsley. The wontons, however, failed to impress (and shocking, given the restaurant's name)-- they were simply too large and too bland--these are supposed to be one-bite treasures packed with a savory filling, not something whose halves are nervously balanced on chopsticks while I season them myself, all the while hoping they don't slip and dive back into the bowl and splash soup everywhere. The filling was also too shrimpy for my tastes (it's basically three shrimps, whereas I would've preferred a *seasoned* pork-shrimp mixture.)

So overall, perhaps worth a try if you're large, shrimpy wontons and if you happen to be in the that area, but definitely nothing that calls for a special trip. I'd rather take my wonton business to Har Lam Kee.

Wonton Time
19 East Valley Blvd; cross: Garfield
Alhambra
(626) 293-3366

1 comments:

teenage glutster said...

you continue to amaze me with the diversity of your posts you go everywhere!!!

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