Tang Gong (Monterey Park)

A heads up for those who might be interested.

A friend from NorCal is in town and went recently, gave it good marks. It has been opened only a week and packed to the gills. This friend is far far more unrelenting and particular about Cantonese than I am…

Unfortunately Yelpers only care about dim sum, but from what I’ve seen the dinner pictures of my friend looks good. Roast suckling pig, winter melon soup (in whole winter melon), pan fried sole (bone in), beef short ribs over pan fried rice noodles (mifen) appears to be a signature, also egg white dried scallops fried rice. (Unclear what was special ordered if any)

Not sure where the executive chef (for dinner) came from before but he seems legit and has good experience. He’s friends with a very well respected former executive Cantonese chef up here, so this Tang Gong chef could be a bit of a veteran in the industry. I suppose…don’t compare the food to Hong Kong, but if you are not super picky, it does look quite decent.

Friend also mentioned the executive chef does great lobster dishes, the stir fried rendition looks decent too.

Might be a good change of pace from places like Longo. A potential candidate for a wine dinner gathering too for those out there who like to live it a little. Please kindly report back if you end up trying dinner there.


Opened on August 8th. General Manager is Derek, who used to work at Elite (and then at World Seafood).



Anything stands out to you?

Nothing stands out immediately, but if you go for lunch just order based on your instinct what looks good to you (and this goes for anyone else wanting to try their lunch/dim sum). The stuff marked Chiu Chow, Shunde may be worth exploring but only if you are feeling adventurous. For the places in NorCal that use this nomenclature a bit too freely on naming their dishes, the goal is to set expectations low, so you can be mildly surprised if the flavors work out, legit or not. For example the Shunde fishball item, in Chinese it says they use dace…but that’s not available fresh…so do they use a substitute like black bass, or do they import it frozen? Also their “regional” labeling is a bit all over the place, it’s trying to do a bit too much of everything.

I’m more interested in what they are capable of during dinner. If for dim sum, they do the basics / classics and run of the mill items well enough, the rest can’t be that bad.

Though likely the Sergio during dinner is not the same “Serge” who handles dim sum, if this restaurant cares about mastery/specialization.


I Googled ‘Tang Gong Seafood’ in Chinese and found that Tang Gong 唐宫 is a Cantonese Dim Sum/Seafood restaurant chain in China with branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, operated by http://www.tanggong.cn. Unfortunately, I was not able to find out if the Monterey Park’s Tang Gong is related. However, based on Yelp photos of the interior of the "Tang Gong’s in China and the one in Monterey Park, the MP version is seriously lacking in design style.

I had a wine dinner there last week and also a dim sum/entree ordering lunch.

For dim sum we ordered the lobster which is expertly stir fried. Plump and teetering at medium rare. They also have this whole roasted crispy chicken that slightly sweet and savory that’s excellent. The dim sum itself is not at an elite (no name pun intended) level.

Dinner we had king crab - which was good but not as good as Longo. $50lb. Longo is $35 and under depending on the day. Two months ago we ordered about 20lbs of King crab and it was $26lb. Don’t mind paying more if the prep was great but the salted egg body was heavily battered and didn’t give up much of that unique salted egg flavor. Longo does an incredible version of this.

Whole suckling pig - cooked well - tender and crispy. Pretty standard but still good.

Whole flounder 3 ways - soup was flavorful and rich, the stir fry was decent albeit it a touch over cooked. Roughly $30lb.

Got large snow pea leaf and also pumpkin /yam leaves in red wine stock. Pretty standard flavor.

Brisket hot pot was filled with chunks of tender brisket meat. This was my favorite dish of the night.

We had a number of other dishes that I cannot remember.

Biggest issue was service was horrible. We were in a large private room that’s split by dividers to make two rooms. In the middle of our dinner we suddenly smell a significant amount of smoke. We look at the room next to us was lighting up cigars. I go inside and ask them to put it out. They shrug at me. The employee inside pushes me out and closes the door on me.

Also the employees do a terrible job replacing plates and clearing plates. We’d have to hunt them down to get anything done. They didn’t even bother to take the dishes out, they just kept stacking them in the corner.

Asked for water and we’d get one cup at a time and had to keep asking.

I’ve known Derek for many years now and I told him the service was completely unacceptable. Hopefully they fix it. But I don’t foresee coming back again with Longo nearby. The food is good, better than most but not at the highest level. But it’s priced at the highest level. That opinion doesn’t even take into consideration the abysmal service.

But doubt they’ll be hurting for business. Both times I went it was a packed house


Thanks for the feedback, always curious about Cantonese seafood restaurants even though I don’t live in the area, though especially this one since my friend quite enjoyed her visit.

I know you’re a wine guy, and likewise from a sake perspective, cigarette smoke or any bad smell is the nastiest thing ever to deter from enjoying the full aromas of any good drink (wine and sake especially). I know because I can imagine trying to enjoy unicorn sake in a sake bar in Japan that allows smoking and it just kills the experience. Super inconsiderate of the restaurant to even allow smoking indoors and ditto for the people inside (just because that adjacent room could be VIP spenders), especially when you have aged Burgundies to enjoy. Perhaps confronting the room adjacent isn’t the best idea but I get the sense of frustration when the restaurant doesn’t seem to care.

Haven’t had a king crab in a very long time, but my favorite is the steamed egg white shaoxing wine (huadiao liquor sauce) steamed prep over garlic/vermicelli which is too easy. Just out of curiosity from a wine perspective what’s the best white burgundy pairing for the Cantonese prep king crab?

Suspect there is no connection to the Mainland chain since the website (which is the corporate website of a publicly traded company) mentions no US operations. Old Chowhounders may recall that’s how the fake Little Sheep in the SGV were outed a decade plus ago.

High acid or bust.

Tang Gong was packed by 11:30 yesterday. The menu dim sum was very good. No skimping on the ingredients with the dim sum fillings. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try any of the new items on the menu, just the classics. Someone else did the ordering😞. All the classic dishes arrived piping hot and the shrimp plates were delicious. Service was friendly and more than adequate. I’d rank it a couple notches above Atlantic Seafood. Another bonus, everything was clean and shiny!