Longo Seafood sits in the space that once was Sun City Seafood Restaurant, which also served traditional, but inexpensive, dim sum where you order from various carts that roam about the dining area continuously. Sun City lasted for about 6 years before going through a change in management. Sun City then closed and reopened as Crown Palace. Dim sum wasn’t any better than its predecessor, and after 9 months, Crown Palace shuttered its doors.
Fast forward to over a year later, and the space went through a complete renovation inside and out, but mostly inside. It was lavishly decorated to give a feel of a higher end Chinese dim sum palace. More importantly, the food has improved substantially, with offerings of specialty dim sum that are made from high end quality ingredients such as black truffles, foie gras, and wagyu beef.
However, without proper execution, or even proper development of recipes, adding higher end ingredients to traditional dim sum dishes doesn’t necessarily mean that dish will work.
Foie gras used in a steamed dumpling was first done by the original owners of Lunasia in Alhambra when it opened about 10 years ago. The one item that was to be their signature dish was their Foie Gras Dumpling, which was a roundish steamed dumpling with a shrimp filling, topped with a small piece of foie. Unfortunately, for the most part, these dumplings were overcooked, so when you bit into one you, you bit into a piece of overcooked duck liver as well, leaving your mouth with this dry, gritty muddy taste that overpowered the shrimp filling.
Longo, though, does do a better job at presenting foie gras in a steamed dumpling. With a clean palate, you can get that subtle hint of foie from your first bite into their dumpling. The problem was that, it was just a hint. Unless you’re able to identify the flavor, you’ll easily miss it. For many at my table, it was not worth paying the extra money for that.
More successful are Longo’s Black Truffle Siu Mai. I taste finely shaved black truffles placed on top of their siu mai (pork and shrimp dumplings). You do get that truffle flavor with every bite. At about $3 per dumpling, it’s a better deal (and taste) than the Black Truffle XLBs at Din Tai Fung (which run about $4.50 per mini-XLB).
Having Wagyu Beef in rice rolls (cheung fun) is like making a hamburger patty out of Kobe beef, a seemingly waste. The beef in these rice rolls come across as overcooked. I prefer the traditional beef rice rolls made with a marinated ground beef filling.
And while the Longo Lobster Dumplings weren’t bad, ordering the Longo Shrimp Dumpling will give you the same experience. Only a small piece of lobster meat is placed on top of the shrimp filling inside the Longo Lobster Dumpling, and the flavor and texture of the lobster disappear when it becomes overcooked in a dumpling that’s 80% shrimp inside.
Service is typical as to what you expect from other dim sum palaces. Just because they look higher end in decor inside, and offer fancy dim sum dishes, you’re not going to be treated as you would while dining at Patina.
And did anyone leave here with a dry mouth? Whenever I get that dreadful feeling, it’s usually because the food has been seasoned with too much salt.
As always, click on the thumbnail to enlarge the photo.
Scallion & Ginger Lobster with E-Fu Mein
Wagyu Beef and Enoki Mushrooms Rice Rolls (Signature Item)
Black Truffle Siu Mai (Signature Item)
Veggie Rice Rolls with Truffle (Signature Item)
Longo Lobster Dumpling (Signature Item)
Inside the Longo Lobster Dumpling
Shrimp Dumpling with Foie Gras (Signature Item)
Salt Pepper Calamari
String Beans with Flossy Pork and Pickled Olives
Longo Roasted Pork Belly (served with hoisin sauce and sugar)
Longo Roasted Pork Belly
Braised Baby Bok Choy with (Salted Duck) Egg Yolks
Scallop & Shrimp Dumpling
Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings)
Chinese Herbal Soup
Shredded Taro Egg Rolls (Left), and Baked BBQ Pork Pastry (Right)
Shrimp with Fungus (Mixed Mushrooms) Dumpling
Baked BBQ Pork Bun (we had it cut in halves for sharing)
Sticky Rice Wrap
Portuguese Egg Tart (Macanese)
Pork Chop with Peking Sauce
Shrimp and Chinese Chives Dumpling
Choy Sum in Salt Water
Duck Rice Rolls
Baby Napa Cabbage Rolls stuffed with Squid Balls
Beef Meatballs doused in Worcestershire sauce
Black Truffle Siu Mai (Signature Dish)
Black Truffle Siu Mai
Foie Gras Shrimp Dumpling (Signature Dish)
You can see the bits of foie gras under that translucent wrap
Inside of the Foie Gras Shrimp Dumpling
BBQ Supreme Rice Rolls (made with bits of roasted pork belly) (Signature Dish)
Mushroom Bun with a sweet paste filling
Creamy Egg Yolk Bun
When you bite into a Creamy Egg Yolk Bun, it should be runny like this. But be careful not to burn your mouth!
Longo Ma Lai Cake
Side view of the Longo Ma Lai Cake
Puff Pastry Over Almond Milk Tea
BBQ, Dim Sum and Take Out Orders next door to the restaurant
Menu for the BBQ, Dim Sum & Take Out shop next door to the restaurant