You're a Wonder, Wonder Seafood. Basic Dim Sum Done Right. Temple City, CA.
Sleek & clean seafood space.
Walk into the wide open dining room at Wonder Seafood in Temple City on Las Tunas, and you can't help but notice the flying saucer-like lighting fixtures overhead. Upon closer inspection, those flying saucers might resemble something more like the tops of bamboo steamers, which would be more appropriate considering dim sum is served here till pretty late, about 5 pm.
Wonder Seafood is not a new restaurant but more of a re-do of an existing place formerly named Green Island Fusion or Green Island Flavor Restaurant (I would hope flavor existed at the restaurant). The place is pretty much the same but with the alluring addition of dim sum to its offerings. And, as a dim sum freak, I was bursting with joy like an overstuffed, steamed BBQ pork bao.
Wonder Seafood represents with the dim sum basics.
Although you won't discover a vast breadth or the more elaborate dim sum delights that you'd savor at dim sum empires like Sea Harbour or Lunasia, what you do get is basic dim sum like siu mai or har gow done exceptionally well. All of dim sum's greatest hits are more or less on the menu of this cart-less, à la carte dim sum and seafood restaurant.
Super siu mai!
The baby's fist of a pork and shrimp dumpling called siu mai is a chunky and hunky bite, actually, more than a bite, maybe three if you're dainty. It's topped with tobiko, those itty bitty, day-glow orange, flying fish roe that add briny pops to the dumpling.
Wonder Seafood's siu mai is massive, meaty, and moist. Definitely one of the bigger ones found around town and full of porky, shrimpy flavors.
Har gow hooray!
Hands down, the har gow or shrimp dumplings at Wonder Seafood is the best I've eaten in a while. For the most part, the har gow at many dim sum restaurants are indistinguishable, probably even interchangeable with one another. One bite of Wonder Seafood's har gow and you'll notice the supremely fresh shrimp and slight pungency from the bamboo shoots. Above all, there's an exquisite creaminess that contributes a bonus luxurious texture that other har gow typically lack.
The outstanding craftsmanship is also crystal clear. The tapioca-wheat wrapper is perfectly translucent allowing the peachy-pink hue to peek through while durable enough to hold the contents. For those who appreciate the attention to detail (not all diners care), there are at least 10 pleats on the har gow. This is above and beyond the mark of an expertly folded shrimp dumpling. Bottom line: it's a really delicious dumpling.
Champion chicken feet.
The litmus test I like to use for good dim sum are "phoenix talons," as chicken feet are poetically referred. However, if you actually find any talons on your chicken feet dim sum, then send them back. They should've been clipped off. Wonder Seafood's chicken feet are great. A little bit of nibbling and sucking here and there are required to maneuver all those salty-sweet bits of skin and tendon off of the tender foot. A well-cooked chicken foot demands very little effort to coax the goodies off the bone. Such is the case with Wonder Seafood's chicken feet. Once I put this foot in my mouth, I knew it was all good at Wonder Seafood.
And at less than 4 bucks for most of the dim sum selections, the price brightens the heart like good dim sum should.
9556 Las Tunas Dr.
Temple City, CA