Food Review: YOU Kitchen will surely make YOU satisfied

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You Kitchen, a Chinese restaurant that recently opened in Alhambra, specializes in handmade dumplings, authentic buns, beef rolls, and various pancakes. They also serve specialized regional food, such as soups, noodles, and MalaTang (spicy hot pot).

When I first arrived, I was drawn to a machine placed closely to the left of the entrance. You Kitchen had installed a self-ordering system, which I found very convenient to use. My friend and I were able to choose where we wanted to sit as well.

After ordering on the machine, I took a good look at the restaurant. For a place that had opened just recently, there were no customers other than us. The atmosphere was comforting in this small restaurant that could seat eight tables of people. There was a clear window panel, allowing customers to witness the art of dumpling-making as the staff made them by hand. Against the wall and windows were banners of Chinese characters and small illustrations of men in traditional Chinese clothing serving food, eating food, and making food.

The staff was extremely kind. They greeted us with a smile and introduced every dish that was delivered. My friend and I ordered the scallion pancake ($3.99), pan-fried pork buns ($8.99), and juicy steam buns ($8.99). On the menu, most of the items were reasonably ranged from $4.50 to $9.99. The food arrived quicker than I anticipated.

Served in nine triangles, the scallion pancakes were delectable due to their crunchy, yet chewy texture. My personal favorite was the pan-fried pork buns, served in six, because of both their texture and taste. The buns had a crunchy exterior on the bottom, whereas other sides remained soft. The skin was quite tasteless, but the juicy pork inside and the great texture made up for it. The juicy steam buns, which were served in eight, were absolutely mouthwatering. When I ate one juicy steam bun in one bite, there was a burst of what I initially thought was flavorful soup and pork itself. It was actually pork fat that had been solidified as jelly, which becomes liquid when the buns are steamed.

Overall, I definitely would recommend You Kitchen to those who crave dumplings or any sort of Chinese food for an inexpensive price in a small, cozy atmosphere. You Kitchen is located at 1402 E. Valley Blvd., Alhambra, CA 91801.

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