When you talk about dim sum in San Francisco, Koi Palace is sure to make its way into the conversation. Interestingly, Koi Palace isn’t even located in San Francisco. It’s in the neighboring suburb of Daly City, more known for its Filipino predominant demographics and culture than anything Chinese. We met up with Weeners and Bruce Willis to meet their new progeny, Mini Weeners, for the very first time. On 4th of July Monday, you could imagine the wait was INSANE. We waited just a little over an hour. One of the nice things about The Annoyer is that he doesn’t whine much about anything. I have never heard him utter the words “I’m hungry.” I, on the other hand, often get “hangry.”
Bruce Willis is a pescatarian, so he did not enjoy the joys of the stewed beef stomach. The tripe was tender and without that offensive offal smell/taste. The sweet soy sauce had just the right balance of spices. The turnips were tender and provided textural and taste contrast.
In my opionin, a good dim sum place can be measured by the deliciousness of it’s har gow. Har gow that is mostly shrimp paste or fillers gets a thumbs down. So whole pieces of plump sweet shrimp is a must. Next, the skin must be the right balance of unctuous chewiness. When it’s translucent, there’s a very good chance the skin is going to be spot on. The har gow fulfilled all the criteria. It may have been a bit on the smaller side, but it was delicious.
I’m not sure why The Annoyer doesn’t like siu mai all that much. It’s another dim sum classic by which one can measure the caliber of a dim sum spot. The pork filling must be the right balance of juicy porkiness. Some filling are too dry and others have large chunks of fat filler. The siu mai here met my high standards.
Crispy Fried Taro Puff
This is not usually an item I get because it can be quite heavy. It was still delicious with its crispy friend exterior, and combination of taro and meat filling.
Green Onion Pancake
I’m used to a more flakey onion pancake, but this was rather doughy, like those long Chinese donuts. I had to stop myself from eating multiple pieces. It was that good.
Sea Scallop Dumpling
Not a usual dim sum item, but a seafood delight packed with fresh sweet scallops.
Dried Scallop & Meat Sticky Rice Lotus Leaf Wrap
Nothing to fault here.
Tender, fresh greens.
Steamed Shrimp Dumpling xo sauce
I’ve concluded that XO sauce can be added to just about anything to make it spectacular. The perfect translucent dumpling skin of the har gow shined again here.
Pan Fried Daikon Cake xo sauce
More XO sauce! Yay! Delicious daikon cakes.
Shrimp Rice Roll
Another favorite of mine, the chow fun roll’s soft luscious texture did not disappoint. YUMS!
I believe these were the flakey Portguese version. Perfect.
I don’t have much experience with pineapple buns and found out only in the last 5 years or so that there was no actual pineapple or even pineapple flavor in a pineapple bun. It’s just a sweet bready baked goodie with a floury sugary crust on top in the pattern of a pineapple. These were good, but not something I would want to waste stomach space on next time.
Koi Palace was worth the wait. It was the best dim sum I’ve had in the Bay Area, but keep in mind I haven’t tried that many places. It certainly rivals my favorite Seafood Harbour. I still give the edge to Seafood Harbour because they have milk buns. I think they have them here, but they ran out that day. All in all, Koi Palace does all the classic dim sum favorites very well. It certainly deserves your patronage if you want delicious dim sum and can tolerate a long wait. Maybe try eating here earlier like 10-11am because the wait is nonexistent to maybe 30 minutes.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here