Sunday, November 01, 2009

Back for Seconds: Koi Palace

This is an occasional report on return visits to restaurants that I’ve already reviewed.

A Gathering for Good Food
365 Gellert Ave., Daly City
Serramonte Plaza
Open daily for dim sum lunch and seafood dinner
PH: 650.992.9000
Major credit cards, reservations (primarily large parties and dinner) accepted

Original visit: July 2008

When my Mom was in town awhile back, we went to get dim sum with my aunt and cousin (who were also visiting from Los Angeles) at one of the best places for dim sum in the Bay Area ... Koi Palace in Daly City.

I read a mix of reviews on food discussion boards about Koi Palace, some wondering if the food and service are really worth the long waits. Every time I go, I always come to the conclusion that it is.

Granted, I go on the weekdays when I have guests visiting, so I've generally avoided the ridiculous weekends waits. So maybe it's worth taking the day off to get some good dim sum.

I actually wasn't planning to do a post about Koi Palace, sparing my relatives with my constant photo-taking during lunch. But I had to take a picture when our order of Shanghai dumplings arrived at our table.

While dim sum comes out in a parade of trays and carts, certain dishes need to be special ordered. Shanghai dumplings are one of them, and we ordered a double order for our table.

These are the dumpling that are made with a bit of soup inside, so when you bite into them you get a burst of brothy goodness. I liked how at Koi Palace the beautiful dumplings came in their individual silver tart liners. That made it easy to pick them up and place on your plate.

Koi Palace's version of the dumplings were tasty as well, with thin skin that's used to encase a perfect balance of pork filling that wasn't too dense or loose.

We had a whole slew of other dim sum as well, including my favorite pineapple buns filled with custard. My Mom got her favorite, which was a plate of roasted suckling pig. I generally don't eat animal skin because of the fat content, but no one can really resist the perfectly roasted crispy skin of these piglets at Koi Palace. They're done so well, this is really the inspiration for the pork belly movement.

Almost every other dish were also just as good, and what always draws me back to Koi Palace is the vast options of food to eat. You really will have to eat there a lifetime to be able to eat everything on the menu. I'm definitely up for the challenge. ;-)

Update experience (previous 4 stars): Upgrading to 4.25 because there's still no where better in the Bay Area

Koi Palace on Urbanspoon

Related dim sum reviews:
Hong Kong Flower Lounge: "Going Beyond Your Average Dim Sum"
Asian Pearl Seafood Restaurant: "Dim Sum that Offers Few Jewels"
Dim Sum in Honolulu


foodhoe said...

ooh, that plate of skin is pig? I didn't know they had that... sounds fantastic. I love that the shanghai dumplings are served in individual pans so you don't lose a single drop of the delicious soup!

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Koi Palace might have a big selection but I think their quality is spotty. And the weekend waits are insane!

In the South Bay, I prefer Dynasty in San Jose and Cupertino, and Mayflower in Milpitas.

Single Guy Ben said...

Foodhoe, yes, those are crispy roasted pig skin, and underneath is the tender pig meat. It was fantastic!

Nate/Annie, I definitely have to go down and try Dynasty in the South Bay to get a real sense of the Bay Area's best. (I've only gone as far south as Millbrae.) I have tried Mayflower a long time ago, and thought it was comparable.

Hungry Dog said...

I've been to Koi Palace a few times and always concluded that while the waiting is too long and chaotic, the food is awesome. Shanghai dumplings are my favorite after har gow. As for roasst pork with crispy skin...bring it on!