Monday, February 06, 2006

Happy Harbour Restaurant, Rowland Heights, CA

Happy Harbour is currently considered the top (or at the very least, the second best) Chinese seafood restaurant in the California southland. In Rowland Heights, a restaurant had better be good to convince people to make the trek out there. I've got the good fortune of coming from a family of foodies who like to frequent these fine Chinese restaurants and we've developed a bit of a familiarity with some of the restaurant owners/managers. Jackie Zhou, the Directing Manager, made sure we were taken very good care of, but everything leads me to believe that the service in this restaurant is beyond what you would normally expect from a Chinese restaurant.

We had the luxury of their finest private room, a beautiful corner room hidden behind two large exquisitely decorated glass doors. At all times the room was attended by two waiters who made sure your tea cup, beer glass or wine glass was always full. On one side of the room was a dining table for ten; on the other side, couches and seating area for people to relax to the side. Upon entering, a waiter would greet you and direct you to the seating area to pour you a cup of tea of your choice. When your party fully arrived, they would move you to the main dining table and bring out some appetizers as well as show you the wine bottles they had previously brought to the room to recommend. It was all class. I can't say enough about the service or the decor. It was classic Chinese decor done up in a very traditional seafood restaurant style, but clean, professional and very well executed.

The food was great. I'm not even going to go into details of each dish other than to say that they were good in allowing the natural tastes of the dishes to come out instead of having sauce overbear the natural flavors. The portions were ridiculously large. We had 13 dishes plus some freebies and each was just way too big. Just think.... a large whole roast pig, the second biggest bowl of shark fin I've ever had (second only to one at the Thai Village Restaurant in Singapore) It could have easily fed 15 people. We suspect that their normal servings are not that size but that due to the special circumstances of the dinner that night, they made the dinner a bit glitzier than normal. The manager admitted to us that the profit margin on our dinner was less than the profit margin they'd have had on a normal table and we believe him wholeheartedly. The food was very tasty and elegantly presented. Each time a dish came out, the manager would come showcase it to the table and tell us what it was and then they'd take it aside and divy it up into ten portions. Without further ado since my words can't do enough justice to the food, this is what we had:




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