Orange >Food & Dining > King Lobster Palace
2045 N Tustin St, Orange, CA | Directions 9286533.821580 -117.835904
Open Daily: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Dim Sum in Orange – My husband and I went here on a Sunday when they first opened for the day. It was not crowded, which was great. Service was good. But lesson learned is that next time (yes, I would go back), we will arrive maybe 1 hour after opening because they didn't have all the dim sum options in rotation. I was sad to see additional choices coming out as we left. I have eaten a lot of dim sum in my years -- San Francisco, Oakland, Monterey Park, LA. I would say this place will definitely fill the dim sum urge when you don't feel like trekking out of Orange County to a Chinatown.
My three favorites items are:
1) Custard egg tarts (dan tat) - they were perfect here! Flaky and light crust with a flavorful and airy custard. To let you know my "expertise" :) . . . A few years back, when my siblings and I were tasked with picking some up for our family, we taste tested the offerings of all the bakeries in the center of the Oakland Chinatown so I know some bad versions are out there!
2) Shrimp dumplings (har gow) - theirs were pretty good. Not full of cornstarch filler and they were flavorful. Wrapping not too dense.
3) Turnip cake - I wish they had the cart on which they could freshly grill/fry the cake to get the extra crispy outside but flavor/texture was pretty good. The outside was also decent re: crispiness.
Authentic – When I was a kid, I read this book called Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. It was about this very white high school girl who had a crush on this guy named Stan. Stan takes her to this chinese restaurant for their first date and she is freaking out because she thinks she might be eating cats, dogs insects, intestines, pieces of troll nails, etc. and didn't want to do anything embarassing like throw up on her sweetheart.
It was pretty insulting to chinese food in general. You'd have to be a moron to think that rice could be maggots and mushrooms could be cat guts. No that's not fish intestines, that's an egg boiled in soup, retard.
Sooooo....eating at King Lobster Palace totally made me feel like that very white 15 year old girl in the book.
They serve the real deal, not the americanized, white washed version of what we who are not from the motherland could ever conceive in our minds to be edible. They serve you stuff you don't recognize on your plate. The stuff that even when they tell you what you're eating, you still have never heard of it and you kinda wish they didn't tell you what it was.
We ate 1000 year old egg here and it was black and chewy. My boy loved it and fortunately ate most of it while I had to discreetly spit mine in my napkin. I love me some good ethnic flavor and texture but this was definitely a new experience.
We ate other things too that looked like dogs, cats, intestines and troll nails. But despite my inability to recognize any of the food and with the exception of the taste (and texture) of the one food I did recognize, it was still delicious and I would come back here in a heartbeat to taste more food that I don't recognize.
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