Eats - Chinese - Taiwanese
31 South B Street, San Mateo, CA
Yet another excellent Chinese restaurant, just a half-step
below Joy restaurant, and in some cases superior. I can't recommend the stinky
tofu or spicy wontons, but I can give a big thumbs up to the stir fried chitterlings
with preserved vegetables, and the ethereal deep fried soft tofu served with
vinegar dipping sauce. Chinese menu is in Chinese only. Updated 02/02
Update 02/04: Oh, I don't know what
happened. We had actually been staying away from this place
for awhile, then we came back and the food was good. Today
we went for lunch and the chef must have been out. Everything
was okay, but not as good as we've come to expect. The
beef soup was about the same though with nice chunks of
succulent tendon, but the soup itself arrived at the table
medium hot, not steaming as usual.
1495 Beach Park Blvd., Foster City, CA
Overall: **** | Dimsum: NA
This is still my all-time favorite restaurant. Tucked away in a nondescript strip mall in a remote part of Foster City, the food is absolutely without equal. Szechuan dishes like chitterlings with cubes of pigs blood, an amazing beef soup with tendons
and shaved noodles, and spicy wontons are just the beginning. Very busy at lunch and moderately busy at dinner (post Sept. 11th).
Chinese menu is in Chinese only, so know what you're talking about before attempting to order. I should note that eating at this restaurant was one of the prime motivators for me trying to learn Mandarin.
07/19/04 Update: One of
my coworkers mentioned that they've opened a new Joy restaurant
in the East Bay somewhere. The quality
of the food at the Foster City location wasn't affected.
I'll check it out shortly.
Updated 9/17/2006: We returned
here because we had to be in San Mateo or Foster City for
some reason. I ordered the usual—chang wang, the seabass
with the crunchy soy bean stuff on top, the spicy wontons,
and the noodles with XO sauce and seafood that they make
by slicing thin slivers of dough from a big block. Scott
basically devoured the noodles, and I ate the fish. The
chang wang was good with lots of chitterlings and the spicy
wontons were surprisingly spicy (much hotter than before).
The waitress there still remembers me and forgives my crappy
10869 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino,
Mon-Sun, 11:30 a.m.-11:00 p.m.)
I'm not sure if these is really Cantonese, but I'm sticking it here anyway. I
went here on the recommendation of my boss, who is from Taiwan. The weird thing
is that a) he didn't mention that all of the menus are only in Chinese, and b)
it isn't obvious what to order. I should mention that congee or the japanese
equivalent was what my mother forced me to eat when I was sick. You'll be pointed
to a table and a large plastic container of steaming hot congee (thin, unseasoned
rice porridge) mixed with chunks of carrot will be brought to you. You go to
the counter and place your order for accompaniments. We chose badly. We had chicken
gizzards (my friend chose these; I can't stand the texture of gizzard), small,
spicy dried fish, cold noodles, and a large fried white fish steak which was
delicious. Service is actually quite good, considering only one server speaks
Correction: You have a great webpage
on Bay Area eating. To my supprise, a lot of your reviews
really match the Chinese tastewhich I think is very
rare for an American. Just one correction on your Porridge
House review. The red chunks in the congee is not carrot,
but yams (sweet potato).
WES NOTE: Apparently, the Chinese version
of congee with yams is similar to the Japanese
version, which is called something like chestnut rice,
which I only know about because my friend Michael bought
me this book on Japanese food.
Correction #2: Apparently this is a Taiwanese restaurant,
not a Cantonese restaurant. Thanks to justarover for the
Tainan Delight Restaurant
218 Barber Court, Milpitas, CA 95035
Tainan is a Taiwanese snack joint located in the mega-Asian Milpitas Square shopping mall. The interior is similar to a Baskin Robbins, but they serve cow uterus and chang wang, which is why we decided to visit. The uterus is chopped into 1" pieces and looks like a pink 1/2" thick macaroni...except it's a little chewy. I was surprised that a cow could actually squeeze through that small an opening, but maybe those were the fallopian tubes. Whatever. The texture if fairly similar to chitterlings, but with a subtler taste. It was served with a spicy sauce, which it needed. The chang wang was not as good as at Joy Restaurant in Foster City, with not enough intestines and a blander, brown gravy-like sauce. The deep fried tofu was good. "Special Chicken"
is actually three-cup chicken made with just chicken necks (lots of bones).
Oyster omelet was much better than Joy's, with a simpler sauce and oysters that tasted like the sea (my guest really like this dish).
The service is stand-offish but accomodating, and I think the only reason they didn't blow us off was because we ordered the uterus.
While we were eating, two white guys walked in, talked to the staff, and walked
out. What's up with that?
NEW - Taipei Restaurant
2666 Ocean Ave. at
San Francisco, CA 94132
Went here for lunch last week by chance. They actually had
the mee gan dou kou (or however you want to translate it) which
is the fried then steamed pork belly with the delicious layer
of fat at the top edge. Their version wasn't as good as Joy's,
but hit the spot nonetheless. We also had a couple of other
dishes, including chicken in lettuce leaves which were good.
Service is excellent and friendly. They have the oddest menu,
because it switches between authentic dishes and 60s Americanized
fare, which has itself become it's own thing. We'll go back
because I love that dish and it takes 3 hours to cook at home. November
Taipei Stone House
10877 N. Wolfe Rd.
Cupertino, CA 95014
One of the many Chinese restaurants in the Ranch 99 shopping center at Wolfe and Homestead in Cupertino. Because I went with a conservative friend, we only ordered safe dishes, which were all fine. I plan on visiting again once I learn more Mandarin so that we can see what their specialty is. A nicely decorated small restaurant with excellent service. 09/02
Updated 04/04: We return because Silver Lake was packed. We had an excellent dish of braised pork belly with pea sprouts (we devoured this) and a so-so dish of beans with gluten puffs and a pretty insipid clam dish.
I don't think we'll be going back until I get my boss to explain the menu.