Dim sum at Joy Luck Cupertino good again
About two years ago, we started seeing downhill reports for the Cupertino location, while shining reports for the San Mateo location were climbing. On Friday, I went with two other dim sum lovers and we had a feast in which almost everything was good or great, only one or two things just okay. I would say some of the items were as excellent as the San Mateo location. We were not even seated at the start of the tray/cart path, but things tasted very freshly fried or freshly steamed. It was during the peak lunch rush (we came at 11:15; they open at 11 and our wait was ~15 minutes, on Friday).
The okay items:
Cheung fun Rice Noodle Roll with cha siu - skimpy filling, but rice noodle was good thinness, sauce just ok
Baked pork bun - not memorable, but not bad
The good items:
Fried Taro balls - very lightly crispy, not greasy, balanced ratio in filling
Hom Sui Gok - crispy chewy, not greasy, nice notes of 5 spice but missing the mushroom
Har gao - 4 to a basket, tender wrapper, fat pieces of shrimp and non-smelly bamboo binded in some filler. In my photo, I tore the wrapper on purpose to show the inside. It tore only a little when I lifted a hot one out of the basket.
Sesame balls with sweet bean paste - very freshly fried (the sesame seeds very crispy)
The very good:
Fried shrimp & mango roll - crispy/flaky shell, and the mango added a unique fruity sweet/tart dimension
Jellyfish & Seaweed - great chewy-soft jellyfish texture, seaweed not overly salty
Tripe - not a fan of tripe, I took a tiny bit to taste and was surprised I liked it. Good texture, not smelly, braising sauce had depth of flavor.
Crab rolled in cabbage - fresh tasting crab, not muddled by salt or other flavors, gently steamed cabbage
Siu Mai - Not a fan of this usually, but loved this one. Very flavorful combo of mushroom, pork & shrimp in generous filling; topped with thin slice of scallop and sprinkling of roe. Not overly salty.
Panfried chive dumpling - perfect golden color, very tender wrapper, pleasantly light tasting filling
Fried tofu skin roll - shatteringly crisp, loved the combination of cilantro & shrimp
The I died & went to heaven:
Tofu Fa - very fresh tasting as if the tofu was made in-house, very lightly sugared syrup had a light hint of ginger. We each had one bowl all to ourselves it was that good.
And the black sesame/peanut mochi, its black liquid oozing out and burning my mouth, the roasted peanut powder so toasty and fluffy, the mochi so unctuously chewy. This was made to order and my cantonese speaking co-worker was able to easily ask for it by speaking to one of the dimsum cart/tray ladies.
We did pass on some things that didn't look too great, like egg tarts where the filling was dry & separated and the bony looking deli meats. I looked out for the lotus root things that I love at JL San Mateo but didn't see it.
Total including tax & tip was $75 for 3 of us though we easily ate 4 hounds worth of dim sum (and I took home 9 pieces).
Photos of most items here:
Alice, great write-up! Those black sesame/peanut mochi things are one of my all time favorites; I usually have a fair amount of difficulty getting them. Once, after I sucessfully ordered them, a waiter wrote me a note with the characters but now I can't find it... From your photo, this was a good version - the mochi wasn't too thick and the filling looks properly oozy plus lots of crushed peanuts. Looks like Joy Luck Cupertino is on the up-swing again. I'm looking forward to visiting soon!