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Egg puffs from Koi Palace - anything like it in Oakland?

  • Cindy Nov 13, 2006 03:46 PM
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Took my mom to Koi Palace, in Daly City, yesterday for dim sum (warning - get there when it opens, otherwise long long waits). Had the egg puffs (I think that's how it's described) - very very good! Light and eggy on the inside, not too greasy or sugary on the outside. Fresh is obviously important, but it seems like the batter is also key (in contrast, my mom said they tried to find these same pastries in Vancouver but everything was hard or heavy, even though it was fresh.)

Anyone know of a place in Oakland that makes these as good? Thanks!

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  1. Beignets non-New Orleans style? Try Peony.

    1. that's sai yo (sp) and i'm absolutely addicted. fresh out of the fryer, there is nothing better. i've been all over the penninsula looking for ones as good as the ones at kp and have found nothing even comes close.

      i haven't searched the east bay though. if you find some, please post!

      12 Replies
      1. re: artemis

        They are also called "Dja Dahn"....."egg bombs" at least that was what they called them at Hong Kong Flower Lounge....at a few other places where I saw them (unfortunately none in Oakland...sorry) they never heard of this term...(I tried!!!) but they do use "Sai Yun"....so my question ...what is the translation of Sai Yun??? (it may be "Sai Yo"...my Ears aren't attuned enough for Chinese yet, but I am working on it!!)

        1. re: ChowFun_derek

          When I was growing up in Hong Kong, Sa Yung also refered to sugar-coated donuts. Since beignets are also fried doughs and dusted with sugar, I guess they use the same term for both items.

          1. re: dty

            These are more like "cruller" dough than beignet dough...a little 'eggy'

            1. re: ChowFun_derek

              They are indeed beignets. My French boyfriend compared the ones from Peony favorably to the ones his grandmother made back home. Of course, after praising them, he accused the Chinese of stealing a French recipe.

              And these people also agree that they are beignets:
              http://www.sfist.com/archives/2005/06...

              1. re: dty

                I totally disagree...the two doughs are quite different...the only similarity is that they are fried and sugared.....Sai Yung are closer to a French 'choux" pastry dough (or cruller)... Beignets whether they are yeast raised or use baking powder have quite a different texture...at least in my experience...!

                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                  According to this article, beignet IS a choux pastry:
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beignet

                  Speaking from my own experience, the texture of the orange-blossom beignets served @ Piperade, a French Basque restaurant, is almost identical to the ones you find in dim sum places.

                  I'm wondering if we're discussing different beignets: classic French ones vs the New Orleans version (which incidentally my aforementioned boyfriend avoids like the plague).

                  1. re: dty

                    ...DEFINITELY the New Orleans version!...I've never had a French one (Unless cruller is a French word?...pronounced crew-lay...I guess!!!) Definitions are soooo important I guess......you say beignet I say croolay......thanks for clarifying!!!

                    1. re: dty

                      Some beignets are made from choux paste, others are from yeast dough. Have had both.

              2. re: dty

                Yes, sa yuen is the more "modern" name for these sugar-coated egg puffs. That's what they're called at Yank Sing.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  ah, i do get a funny look when i ask for "sai yo," but i thought it was more about a caucasian-looking girl intently asking for something in very, very bad cantonese :).

                  how do you pronounce "sa yuen"?

                  1. re: artemis

                    Sah Yung (as in Y + own).

            2. re: artemis

              Try Cooking Papa. People I know swear by them. I like hte KP ones better though...

            3. They are available in Oakland, but dunno what the quality is... I've seen them during weekend dim sum @ Gourmet Delight on Webster & 7th.

              1 Reply
              1. re: S U

                I forgot, you might also wish to check out Legendary... I think I've seen them on the carts there as well.

              2. They're done very well at Lee Gardens Seafood in Pleasanton. We prefer their dim sum to any place in Oakland's Chinatown. It's always packed with local Chinese.

                My family loves the sai yong at HK Flower Lounge in Millbrae but they aren't traditional. The ownership changed some years ago, and now they're very 'eggy' and like a soft spongy cake inside. Quite different from every other place we've tried.

                1. Sai yuen during at East Ocean Seafood, uneven quality depending on time of meal.

                  1. This isn't Oakland, but Cooking Papa (Foster City, Santa Clara) specializes in them and even makes a point to ask you to order them while you're eating, so you get them freshly made to order. I prefer Koi's version (texture-wise), but CP's is also quite good.

                    1. You can always go to the Koi Palace branch in Dublin:

                      Ulferts Center
                      4288 Dublin Blvd Ste 213
                      Dublin, CA 94568
                      Tel: (925) 833-9090

                      1. Old thread, yes I know, but some comments from this post:

                        Egg puffs are also known as Sa Yung or Sa Yong 沙翁. They have been called fried egg bombs before 炸蛋球 (Dza Daan Kau). It's basically just eggs, butter, water, and flour mixed together and deep fried, then coated with sugar. Some say the name came from Sabayon or Sabaglione, but they bear no resemblance. Historically, there seems to be records of a varation (no eggs, lard used instead and glutinous rice flour instead of the flour normally used today) dating back to the Ming Dynasty.

                        Apparently in Henan China there is a variant called 琉璃蛋球 or glass egg ball.

                        The receipe was discovered or found its way into Japan into the Ryukyu Islands or Miyako Islands 宮古列島. During the time of the Ryukyu Kingdom, it is said that some chefs traveled to China to learn how to cook, and they brought back the receipe, which was modified locally and became Sata Andagi (サーターアンダーギー) also known as the Okinawa donut (where they used local brown/black sugar).

                        In the early 1980s, you can easily find Sa Yung/Egg Puffs at any local bakery in Hong Kong. Now it's becoming a popular revival item, and many dim sum restaurants are starting to serve it.

                        Cooking Papa does a good rendition sometimes, but it's a matter of timing and luck... and also make sure they are deep frying to order. Koi Palace, they say, does one of the best in town when it comes out piping hot.