We were originally going to stop by to try their new version of Hakka Pork Belly, but found a pleasant surprise:
- Pearl River Deli’s Wonton Noodles are still on the menu this week(!).
It seems they want to see if it is popular enough to remain as a permanent menu item (I hope so).
Hakka Pork Belly:
For this second iteration of Chef Johnny Lee’s Hakka Pork Belly dish, the slices of Pork Belly were bright and meaty. A touch too firm for our tastes, but still tender. If it was a bit more tender, this would be insane.
The Preserved Mustard Greens (made in-house by Chef Lee!) add some flavor to the dish and you can taste the quality, but it needs more punch, more of that enticing aroma that this Sun-Dried Preserved Green usually has.
(Special) Lemongrass Pork Chop (Served with Rice, Fried Egg, Scallion Oil, and Pickled Daikon and Carrots):
Chef Lee has brought back the wonderful Grilled Lemongrass Pork Chop / homage to Com Tam (Broken Rice) Plate dish from last weekend! It is as outstanding as it was on this 2nd weekend as it as last weekend!
Incredibly moist, tender, juicy Grilled Pork Chop with a strong Lemongrass flavor coming through. Add in some of their Nuoc Mam (Fish Sauce-based Dipping Sauce) over the Steamed Rice and it’s ridiculous!
The Fried Egg (nice runny Egg Yolk) and Pickled Daikon and Carrots are great accompaniments.
Wonton Charsiu Noodles:
We’re so happy Pearl River Deli decided to bring back their Housemade Wonton Noodles dish this week.
For this 3rd try, their Housemade Wonton Soup (from Chicken, Pork and Shrimp Heads) is about the same as before, light, delicate, it serves as a canvas for the Wontons to shine.
The Egg Noodles are fine, sufficiently springy (when eaten immediately).
But it’s their Housemade Wontons that really are the star: Nice Wonton wrapper, not too soft, and then a delicious, savory Marinated Ground Pork and Shrimp filling. If there’s one minor quibble, it’s that today’s Wontons tasted fresh and very good, but it lacked that subtle finishing sweetness (as if you were eating Amaebi) that the first weekend’s Wontons had. Like a lingering whisper of an aftertaste that stays with you… it was missing today, but was present in the first 2 times we tried it (during its debut last weekend).
Hopefully it was just a hiccup, because even without that, these Wontons continue to be the best in L.A. right now.
The Pork Neck Charsiu (as seen above) (as an add-on) were excellent! Moist, meaty, and with enough fatty and lean parts to make it a great accompaniment to the dish.
(Special) Hainan Chicken Rice:
Chef Johnny Lee’s famous Hainan Chicken Rice makes a return this weekend!
Ginger Scallion Sauce, Sweet Soy Sauce, Housemade Hot Sauce:
Look at how juicy and succulent the Hainan Chicken looks. Perfectly poached Chicken, all the more impressive as you notice that the subcutaneous fat has been rendered away, leaving just a tasty bit of tender Poached Chicken Skin with the Chicken Meat.
Every bite was perfectly tender. This is excellent execution.
The Ginger Scallion Sauce remains our favorite pairing with the Poached Chicken. A great combination.
The Sweet Soy Sauce is just too salty for our tastes (but maybe it has to do with eating lighter at home during COVID-19), and the Housemade Hot Sauce is fine, lightly spicy.
The one misstep on today’s visit was the Hainan Chicken Rice itself: There was a nice Chicken flavor coming through, but it was a bit too salty. Not to the point of “bad” or anything, but since it was saltier than usual (and usually Chef Lee’s Hainan Chicken Rice is lightly seasoned), adding any of the 3 Sauces (that also had Salt in it) pushed it over the edge into too salty territory.
Beef Short Rib, Tendon and Radish Stew:
Mouth-watering, luscious, lip-smacking flavors of Stewed Beef Short Ribs, meaty, fresh-tasting, tender. Then you get the magic of long-stewed Beef Tendon in that excellent Soy Sauce-based Stew, and the Stewed Radish chunks.
Pearl River Deli
727 N. Broadway, #130
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (626) 688-9507
(Check their IG for latest specials and updates):