Written by I Teng Song Photography by Tiffany Ng and Rebekah Kamemoto
Everyone has a specific Hong Kong café when they came to San Gabriel area. This place is definitely a hole in the wall cafe that often goes unnoticed, and it survives mainly on its long time regulars and families in the area. U2 café restaurant, is the best Hong Kong style restaurant I have ever been, which located in the busy street of Valley Blvd in Alhambra.
When I came to LA 4 years ago, I didn’t think that I can find a restaurant that feels like home until my Hong Kong friend recommend me this place, the U2 café. Saturday was a cloudy day. Yet, it did not eliminate my passion of going to the best Hong Kong restaurant in the San Gabriel area. After driving past Glendale and Pasadena, I have finally arrived at the U2 café, which had been opened for 20 years.
Spicy styled pork chop
Pork belly with preserved vegetable
Beef and egg flower
After meeting up with my photographers, Tiffany and Beka, we got seated at a table for four. The interior of the restaurant has a very traditional Hong Kong themed style. There are different photographs of Hong Kong which make you feel home. People are giggling, chatting and sharing about their lives. A lovely lady got us some iced water and menus as she kindly smiled at us. We ordered pork belly with preserved vegetable because it is a signature dish, spicy styled pork chop because it sounds great, pan fried string beans because vegetables are important, beef and egg flower for protein and rice, of course. Also, we got hot milk tea and ice lemon tea as for drinks. When the food comes, the smell is flavorful and each dish are colorful. The pork belly is very tender that it melts in your mouth, the vegetables balance the greasiness of the pork belly. Beef and egg flower is a normal dish in my country, when I mix it with rice, it reminds me one of my grandmother’s cooking. She cooks a lot of different styled food because she knows that her food give us joy and happiness. The pan fried string beans is a bit oily which I would not recommend. Spicy styled pork chop is very crispy and juicy, which make me keep eating. The most impressive were the beverages, the taste of hot mike tea and the iced lemon tea were exactly the same as Hong Kong café. Western people may think that it is a normal drink but it is totally different and I bet everyone would like it. I will come back for it. U2 cafe doesn't only remind me of home, but it also reminds me of the nostalgic times that I have spent with my families.
Overall, I am glad that my friend recommended U2 café to me. It is the best Hong Kong styled restaurant I have ever been in in the United States. Not only because of the delicious food, but also the warm and friendly atmosphere.
My overall review: Price: $ (inexpensive) Sound: Moderate Recommended Dishes: barbecue pork with scrambled egg, spicy styled pork chop, pork belly with preserved vegetable, mike tea and the lemon tea.