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Apr 1, 2001 03:21 AM

Fatima Seafood Restaurant

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A couple of fellow chowhounds have recommended Fatima Seafood Restaurant. Thanks, now this restaurant goes on my favorites list. I had the delight of exploring muslim chinese food at Fatima's San Mateo restaurant. The freshness seems to burst out of the food.

The knock outs that we ordered included the lamb with leeks (also starred pressed marinated tofu), sesame pancake (which is shorter than the sesame bread, which is also offered. It has a dense satisfying consistency and is 100% encrusted by sesame seeds. Our waiter suggested the pan cake for newcomers and the bread for our next visit), soft home made wheat noodles (soft, chewy, comfort food), tofu wrapper and cabbage (fresh, sparkling baby bok choy and ivory colored tofu wrapped like elegant knots), and red bean pan cake (dessert; red bean paste enveloped in a thin wheat wrapper, lightly sauted).

The prices were very reasonable - $14/person. Service was friendly and fast - all but one dish arrived within 5 minutes of the order. (This kitchen sure knows about process flow and execution). To add to this efficiency, we parked right in front of the restaurant, feeling like vips. The restaurant is very clean and tables are wide apart, allowing comfortable conversation. Fatimas is at 1208 S. El Camino Real (at 12th avenue), San Mateo, 650 554 1818; 650 554 1701. The second Fatimas is at 1132 #A De Anza Blvd., San Jose.

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    Melanie Wong

    Elise, dear, you are really on a tear!

    I had thought I'd have dinner at Fatima's for the first time on Wednesday, as a preview to our dinner at Old Mandarin. But couldn't get there in time and ended up at Little Sichuan instead.

    How would you compare this place with OMI? And, to complete the loop, when you are hitting Ma's in the south Bay? (g)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      hey elise and melanie,

      as one of the "other chowhounds" who have mentioned fatima in san mateo (which was unfortunately buried in a thread about patak's curry paste), i'd just like to take this opportunity to second elise's opinion for all you other bay area hounds out there that this place rocks.

      it remains one of the best restaurants my fiancee and i have eaten at on the peninsula in the year that we've been here. now, if only there was something in palo alto that even faintly could rise up to that level of quality . . .

      missing san mateo,


      1. re: wonki
        Melanie Wong


        Ms. Elise is obviously a far more careful reader than I am.

        Have you tried the Cupertino branch of Fatima? Here's the link to the page with other Islamic restaurants including New Ma's in Mtn. View. Have you accomplished your goal of sampling every place on Castro Street yet?

        Fwiw, when we were still at SU and bumping up against closing hours, I'd asked my brother about trying the newest branch of HK Flower Lounge in Palo Alto. He said he hadn't heard anyone say anything positive about it yet. What do you think?


        1. re: Melanie Wong

          hey mel,

          i've been to hk flower lounge in palo alto probably 3 times for dim sum last summer, and although it's decent for palo alto, i certainly wouldn't drive here for it. some of the stuff's okay, none of it is great. i'm not a big fan.

          i've been to several places on castro st. but nothing's really excited me. i think i need to hit the side streets there.

          thanks for the links. i'll check those places out.


      2. re: Melanie Wong

        Comparing OMI to Fatima Seafood, Fatima's wins! I went to OMI for a second time (for lunch) and ordered most of the same dishes as in the first visit (for dinner). I was sadly disappointed. The freshness of the first meal disappeared. In fact, the peking beef pie seemed tired, like it had been fried in old oil.