Keeping Cantonese cooking alive.....Pearl River Delta/Deli and Needle

The future of Hong Kong and its culture which includes its cuisine is at a crossroads. The closing of dai pai dongs, expensive real estate, children of restaurant owners and cooks not taking over (this can be seen as a plus as the children have a higher paying job and the restaurant did its job…serving food but also taking care of the children/grandchildren), young cooks not wanting to cook Chinese food because it’s less money/prestige, and the PRC government relationship with HK (I won’t go there).

Here in CA, no doubt the new generation of Chinese immigrants have come from the Mainland. The SGV of the 10’s and now 20’s is a reflection of that and we can see that in the all the restaurants across Valley, Garvey, and Colima. When I was a kid, the 80’s and 90’s the SGV was mostly Hong Kongers and Taiwanese, again the restaurant scene reflected that. There was still Mainland places but they were not “It” or “In”. There is still HK and TW places of course but are now outnumbered by Mainland places and especially Sichuan (when will this Sichuan trend die, please!)

With all that said above, sorry for the ramble, it really makes me happy to see 2 young Canto brothers from another Mother giving a beep about Canto food and cooking it with pride and skill.

Chef Johnny Lee with Pearl River Deli at Far East Plaza (awesome name btw), of Side Chick fame and also fellow LA FTCer @JLee
Chef Ryan Wong with Needle in Silver Lake.

Pearl River Deli


Hong Kong Lemon Tea and Chicken Broth ($1 extra). With HK Lemon Tea I wanna see the lemon pulp! This is created by using your spoon and smashing the lemon inside your cup. The tea was fine tasting, it’s not a focus I get it but I could use a little more lemon flavor.


Macau Pork Chop with Bolo Bao.

Wow!!! This was absolutely delicious and slightly decadent. I was slightly hesistant because of the bolo bao, because at Smorgasburg there is someone doing fried chicken sandwiches with bolo baos…meh. Actually lol I think PRD sources from them. Sweetness from the bolo bao pairs well with this pork chop. I would say it’s a must here. It’s slightly messy but so what this is incredible.


Char Siu Pork Neck.
Char Siu first off is one of the greatest preps for Pork, hands down for me. As a kid I love char siu from Sam Woo Alhambra Valley OG, it’s serviceable not the best nor the worst.

And you guys know my love for Ming Kee in San Francisco, it’s char siu pork neck is one of my favorite things to eat ever. PRD’s?

Very good, I like the marinade and the neck has a little bit of lean and fat. Get it. I love PRD already and it’s concept but you have to know Brother Ming/Uncle Ming has been making roasties for probably decades, Ming Kee’s char siu pork neck is too damn good. @JLee if you are ever in SF hit this place up.


I already ordered enough food but f it. Shrimp and Egg, and Chicken with Gravy. Shrimp and Egg is such a classic Canto restaurant dish and homestyle dish as well. I can appreciate the different appearance, and it was very tasty. The Chicken with Gravy was probably my least favorite on this visit. For HK cafe food, in the category of saucy over rice dish, I much prefer Tomato,Creamed Corn, and Cream. The chicken was well cooked. Just a personal preference now if PRD decides to do a Baked Pork Chop Rice in Tomato Sauce or Creamed Corn Chicken/Fish Filet, now we’re talking!!


Hainan Chicken Rice. Chicken was cooked perfect. The rice was not too fragrant. The sauces were okay, in So Cal sorry to say but Savoy’s sauces are the best.

Be sure to follow them on IG and check out their stories. I can’t wait to see what else they are going to do. Thank you PRD for the wonderful visit.

Needle.
There is actually a free parking lot FYI behind the restaurant. I wasn’t so lucky but I found a spot about a block away on Hyperion.

Needle and PRD at this current moment, almost share a similar menu…char siu, Macau pork chop sandwich, and shrimp and egg!!!

Hearing trusted LA FTC’er and EaterLA’er @euno loving this place I had to try. I figure we like the same things so I’ll probably like it.


Iced HK Milk Tea.


Char Siu.
Wow, this was stunning especially with the texture, soft, tender, butter-like. The marinade was well balanced but maybe could be just slightly sweeter. Definitely a must get and quite possibly better than anything in SGV.


Got the Pea Shoots and Shrimp and Egg. Shrimp and Egg was on the special list. I would say you should come down here and get this! This would make a French Chef and a Chinese Grandma proud…wow. The taste, and the texture out of this world good! Pea Shoots were great I like the little bit of goji berries.


They also do Brunch, which looks to me pretty traditional and they got a dope BL poster in the restroom.

Also on the Specials now is a beef/daikon stew (not clear/white kind).

I am going to give both of these places my recommendation! Keep Canto food tradition alive and come out support them.

Ho Ho Sik!!

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That needle char siu looks insane.

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Aw yeah.

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You gotta try it. Worth the drive over the hill.

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Nice report @JeetKuneBao! :slight_smile: Can’t wait to try these next time we’re in the area.

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Great writeup! Been to both, quite like both. But not super versed in Cantonese so didn’t wanna review.

Pork chop bun at PRD is fire. Hainan chix solid, prefer the dipping sauce at Siam Sunset, though maybe that’s a bit apples and oranges.

The cooking at Needle really impressed me. Precise and balanced. Especially for the cost. Ambiance/lighting and lack of alcohol the only reason I wouldn’t be there twice a week.

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Here are some photos of Needle along with my highest recommendations. i’ll let the photos do most of the talking. You guys know I love Johnny and I’m so happy for his success at PRD. That said I do love Needle for my Canto food fix. What chef Ryan is doing here is special.

braised beef with daikon radish and bean curd chips – great quality beef and just exquisitely cooked daikon. there is care in this dish that is just uncommon at this price point (I think it’s $25 right now… a steal). The beef is obviously meltingly tender, the daikon nice and firm yet cooked through, retaining most of its delicate flavor and adding that familiar dimension to soy-sugar based braising liquids.

pork chop bun, homemade milk bun. I actually like this dish a lot, i read @chandavkl thought it was pricey at $13 and though I won’t disagree with sifu (mostly bc he is sifu), it is Silverlake and it is a sandwich and that’s still cheap relatively :laughing:. If I want a sandwich ever, it’s probably this one.

ah yes the soon-to-be-infamous chasiu v2.0. (note the “tail” of slightly charred fatty gristle on each piece – the strip of pork shoulder used here is quite low-yield and intentionally built out this way. in order to use shoulder for this cut you have to use a decently marbled cut of pork). you might have noticed that this man is trying to make the best chasiu in the United States. sorry for the bad photo on this one. it’s… like $15? Which for this level of quality, I mean. Come on. I had this chasiu and the siu yuk at Ruby BBQ food in the same day. I live a charmed life in general

white cut chicken (note the structural integrity of the skin, the way it drapes the meat completely and hasn’t shrunk… this is a big deal for those of you who know)

Happy to answer any questions as I’ve been here probably 4-5 times since opening.

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@euno Thanks for the detailed report!

It’ll be tough for Needle to beat out char siu made with Iberico pork! Have you had a chance to try any?

I can tell from the picture that the char siu is gonna be tender and succulent without even trying. But I’m surprised that there aren’t additional glaze on the plate since that’s what I’m used to seeing.

I have a question. When are you gonna bring me along to try some of these dishes?! :wink:

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Damn you now I am attempted to go again tonight

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Have you been to brunch? How was it if you been? Food porn if you got any

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Yes. Pretty affordable for what it is in that part of town and the execution is magnificent.

Scrambled eggs are really fantastic. The HK-style scrambled egg sandwich is flat out the best you’ll find in LA. It makes DFC’s look sad in comparison, sry not sry DFC.

Milk buns are homemade and the bread for the scrambled egg sandos are from Jim’s.

Congee quite good; the natural comparison is of course to Mei Lin’s at Nightshade but more of a Hong Kong style and not so much spicy as it is a lil salty, mushrooms are a very tasty inclusion.

Milk buns with condensed milk drizzle = lol so good.

EDIT: They uploaded! Sorry, didn’t take photos of the egg sandos but… god dayum. So good. also removed the photo of the smoked prime rib from majordomo meat & fish lolol mb

!

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WHERE THIS?! chasiu is like one of my top 5 favorite foods.

Yes – this is a sticking point that I think they’re aware of. So Chef Ryan is definitely intentional about letting the pork come through and not putting too much glaze on the thing. Chasiu v1.0 was even more lean (no gristle), snappy texture (good marbling on the lean part of the pork shoulder) with scattering of salt to help bring out the flavor of the glaze more but even more lightly glazed if I recall correctly. The glaze comes through, but a bit more subtle than most will be accustomed to.

For a glaze-forward version that’s a bit more rustic, definitely recommend the version at Nightshade that’s large format (large groups can book it in advance… it’s quite a bit pricier iirc, like $58). It’s served bossam style with bibb lettuce and some other accoutrements but you are free to eat it however you like lol

I’m very down to meet fellow FTC’ers when I get back from Asia in April. I have like three days until I leave and friends all of a sudden remembered that they are my friends and want to get dinner before I leave so I’m squeezing in a bunch of meals before my flight :angry:

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Mott 32 in Las Vegas and Palette Tea House in SF

There are quite a few places in HK that does Iberico char siu as well!

:+1:

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I’m back at Needle lol

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Bang with Superfine after!

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Eggplant. Very lightly battered. Could use a little more Yu Hong sauce.


White Cut Chicken. Nice, I didn’t care for the side chilli sauce. Good ginger-scallion sauce. One of the better White Cut’s I had.


Taishan Cauliflower. Very good Wok Hei. I like the pieces of fruit that brightens this up.


Pretty good Egg Rolls. @Chowseeker1999.


Beef and Daikon. Not as sweet as I expected (rock sugar, and star anise? Maybe used very subtlety). The beef has the flavor of Lu Wei and is incredibly tender and fall apart, delicious! Much better than the typical “braised short ribs” you see around town. Some of the daikons could use a little more time. Overall very good.

Very happy again with my second visit.

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I think the days of Bang Bangs are behind me lol

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palette tea house

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Hi @JeetKuneBao,

That’s not possible if you wear that avatar! You can do it!

I want to see your Bang x Bang x Bang x Bang to make your Uncle Bruce proud! :wink:

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Thanks for giving us a try! Appreciate the critiques and will keep working at it to improve what I can and also amazing to see you did Needle even after eating all that food on the first stop!

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