Live Abalone at Koi Palace
Abalone fans should head on over to Koi Palace. They have 2 tanks of live abalone. The large go for $20 each and small go for $15 each. We had 4 preps tonight. Our favorite preps were:
1. steamed abalone with ginger and onions
2. sauteed abalone slices with yellow chives and sugar peas
3. steamed abalone in garlic sauce
4. The soy sauce abalone (by far the least favorite prep)
Mom thought the small abalone were more tender which may be just barely so since both the large and small were very tender.
There were also 3 more live black cod/sablefish/butterfish left after we ordered ours for those who like steamed black cod. Of course, the roasted pork and peking duck 2-ways was also excellent.
They also comped us some mango jello and a clear brown jello with logans that was pretty good.
Eleven of us went last night and had the live abalone sashimi-style (the large one). Honestly it was a bit disappointing, we wouldn't order it again.
We also ordered the $309 banquet:
A quick rundown of the dishes in it:
* Japan-Fusion BBQ Meat Combo: The tofu skin with mushrooms was bland but otherwise the combo was excellent, with duck slices, jellyfish, sliced octopus, seaweed, char siu pork, and a couple other things I don't remember off the top of my head
* Chicken w/Cashew Nuts: I wasn't excited about this from the menu but ended up being amazed since it was by far the best version I've EVER had. Everything was perfect, from the silkiness of the chicken to the freshness/cooking/cutting of the vegetables. I couldn't stop eating it though I knew I shouldn't gorge myself since it was only the second course!
* Crispy Fried Shrimp Ball: In general this dish isn't one of my favorites but here it was very well executed with just a bit of bite on the outside and tender, luscious shrimp inside, really one of the best renditions I've tried. I had this dish the weekend before at a wedding banquet and KP's version blew it out of the water
* Shark's Fin Soup w/Chicken Shreds: Probably the most disappointing dish of the banquet. The shark fin wasn't the best quality (but I guess we deserved it for ordering the second-cheapest banquet) and the soup wasn't that deep or complex in flavor
* Black Mushroom w/Shellfish Abalone: More abalone, but this time cooked, and one could tell it it wasn't as fresh as the sashimi we had. This dish was served with steamed bok choy and was just so-so.
* Dried Scallop over Veggies: The straw mushrooms (fresh!) with the scallop were very good, the veggies (similar to chinese broccoli) were fine, but overall this dish seemed too similar to the previous one
* Peking Duck w/Buns: Normally restaurants would either serve the little puffy buns or a flat pancake with the duck, but at KP it was the first time I've seen something in between. They were the size of the small buns but flat, but somewhat softer and puffier than the pancake. I liked these buns quite a bit and the duck was good too.
* Steamed Whole Fish: Instead of one large fish they gave us one medium and one small black bass, which was a mistake since the small one was delicious and perfectly cooked whereas the large one was undercooked.
* Dried Scallop Egg White Fried Rice: Although I try not to eat too much rice, any fried rice with egg white at KP is always stellar, though I prefer the version that has crab since it's slightly moister
* Dessert of The Day: This was mango jello molded into cute little shapes. I had ordered this a few months ago at KP as part of dim sum but it was better this time -- previously it was rather tough and not very mango-y
Overall we really enjoyed our dinner at KP except that we wished we didn't order the abalone sashimi, but some of the other preps sound delicious!