Hong Kong Bistro - coming soon to Castro, MV
- K K Mar 9, 2007 08:28 AM
I believe this is the spot next to Netto cafe. Tons of newspapers against the windows, meaning they are still working on the interior.
Huge English only signage on top says Hong Kong Bistro. I can only hope this is authentic HK style cha chan teng (HK style cafe) fare. If it is as good as Venus and Cousin in the East Bay, there is hope. If it is just a pretty decor with Top Cafe style food, count me out.
Then again this could end up being something else. Whatever it is, hopefully it fills a niche of Cantonese food of some sort missing from Food Street.
147 Castro Street
Mountain View, CA
Ironically even some of the better HK style cafes in the Bay Area don't do a good BBQ, like cha siu, but they do other things well. For good BBQ it looks like you have to go to a specialized place for that, e.g. Cheung Hing Noriega or select places in Chinatown (darn all too far).
In Hong Kong there are cafes that do good things all round, but specialize in certain items or signature dishes that vary from locale to locale (e.g. one place in Wanchai supposedly famous for egg tarts and coffee/iced coffee).
99 Ranch cha siu (Foster City) is incredibly horrid, last time I went instead of red with a bit of darkness here and there from carbonization through fire, the whole thing looked like it was soaked in soy sauce for years (and looked like a solid piece of soy sauce too).
Marina BBQ pork isn't bad. The trick is to ask for boon fei sau (half lean half fat) which is not entirely fatty, but has strips of fat in the cut to make it more juicy. A decadent yet comforting guilty pleasure, if you pair it with say, garlic or onion and black pepper focaccia, or garlic bread, like the kind from Cuneo Bakery that sells fresh focaccia at Millbrae farmer's market on Saturdays.
We can only hope that some restauranteur entrepreneur is willing to further upscale and Californize this HK style cafe food, e.g. using Berkshire or Niman Ranch meat for HK style BBQ. Free range organic chicken for steamed or soy sauce chicken, would be interesting, but that would keep away the frugal gourmets in us (aka Asian Cheapness).
There was a sign on the door this morning when I passed by says Apr 26th or 27th... can't remember exactly.
The menu's also posted. It's also posted down the block and across the street in the Fu Lam Mum window.
Things I remember seeing -- rice plates, sandwiches, noodles, drinks.
Yep, mystery solved. Opening date is 4/26/07. Thankfully not a phusion place like 3TA or Xanh. I'm curious about the lack of Chinese signage. Hopefully it is not the same owners as Fu Lam Mum...
Future offerings include appetizers such as curry fishballs, XO sauce stir fried cheung fun/vermicelli rolls/banh cuon, garlic bread. Also on the barely legible Chinese part of the menu is won ton, shui gow/dumplings, roast duck (as a topping) with or without noodle in soup, not terribly interesting sandwiches like ham + egg, western plates such as baked pork chop over rice and I think I saw ox tongue as well, soups including borscht, cream of mushroom and I think cream of corn or chicken, and of course your standard drinks like HK milk tea, coffee, and the Yin Yang (mixing HK style coffee and milk tea together), lemon tea etc.
Well either way HKB will be a welcome addition to downtown MV, considering Food Street has been closed almost 2 years now and I doubt they will reopen (plus any new propsective business tenants will be driven away from the underground pipe sewer damage that caused Food Street to close in the first place).
Turns out the grand opening lunch of HK Bistro was cut a little short. At 1 pm ish or so, their computerized accounting/billing system went down. They couldn't input orders, and thus they couldn't be electronically communicated to the other end in the (cough cough) kitchen. And for some reason the cashier machine associated with it did not work.
All that feng shui in the form of the yin yang octagon on the front entrance door, plus some good luck grand opening plants, did not help the electronic hex.
At least I got to see the menu. Reasonably priced on everything and while variety is way smaller than other HK style cafes, it seemed interesting enough at least from glancing at other people's plates (the baked rice/spaghetti plates were moderately sized, not very big but should be enough for a decent meal).
For those wondering, they do have rice plates with your choice of beef brisket, chicken, beef, shrimp, bbq pork or roast duck. There's also chow fun chow mein, soups like cream of corn, cream of mushroom, and a deluxe seafood soup with a puff pastry topping. Won ton, shui gow with or w/o noodles, and baked western style rice or spaghetti plates like pork chop, ox tongue, ox tail etc with your choice of sauces (ketchup, white/cream, Portugese style, black pepper sauce). Appetizers like curry fishball, XO sauce stir fried rice noodle crepes, sandwiches, and your standard drinks like HK style milk tea, coffee, yin yang (milk tea and coffee mixed together, nothing to do with the anti hex protection that failed them today at 1pm sadly), Ovaltine and Horlicks (why someone would order this I have no idea).
Hope the hex is gone when I go back next time for the first real time... sigh.
I read somewhere that the owners are the same people who run Fu Lam (Moon) up the street next to Nami Nami (downtown Mountain View on Castro). Has nothing to do with Dessert Republic in San Mateo.