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Koi Palace - Dragon Beard Candy

wchane Mar 13, 2007 11:15 PM

Those who have tasted authentic Dragon Beard Candy from overseas as well as the DBC from Koi Palace. Would you please chime in? How does Koi compared to the DBC sold by street vendors in China & Hong Kong?


  1. hhc Mar 14, 2007 08:48 AM

    I didn't know they had it. Is it something you order at the table or someone is making it outside or what?

    1. p
      PekoePeony Mar 14, 2007 11:00 AM

      We bought a box of the dragon beard candy when we had dim sum there a few weeks ago -- they had a gentleman making it near the hostess station. Unfortunately I've not had it in Asia and so the only comparison I could make was a demo sample at Ranch 99 a couple years prior (when they also brought someone in to make the candy in front of you). The KP box was a bit heavy on the peanut side, and it didn't seem as light and airy as the Ranch 99 one. Hopefully other hounds can chime in with better comparisons.

      1. vincentlo Mar 15, 2007 01:38 AM

        It's excellent. Not too sweet, which is how I like it. At $1 for each tiny piece--one can easily down half a dozen in a setting--it's almost very expensive. The guy making it there told me in Cantonese it was only a fifth in cost in Hong Kong.


        4 Replies
        1. re: vincentlo
          Gary Soup Mar 15, 2007 07:45 AM

          How can something that's essentially just spun sugar be "not too sweet?"

          There's a permanent DBC stall in Montreal's Chinatown where it's continually made fresh and is cheaper, but airfare to MTL is almost as expensive as air fare HK these days, unfortunately.

          1. re: Gary Soup
            Humbucker Mar 15, 2007 09:48 PM

            It isn't sweet because most of the volume of the outer spun sugar coating is just air and, I believe, corn starch.

            1. re: Humbucker
              Gary Soup Mar 15, 2007 10:23 PM

              I believe it's sweet rice flour, not corn starch. To me, it's sweet.

          2. re: vincentlo
            wchane Mar 15, 2007 10:39 PM

            awesome. thanks for the report. looks like i have to get myself to daly city sometime.

          3. p
            pwu_88 Mar 15, 2007 05:23 AM

            Can somebody please describe the candy? I am intrigued...


            4 Replies
            1. re: pwu_88
              wchane Mar 15, 2007 10:40 PM

              imagine a ball of cotten candy with a pinch of crushed nuts in the center.

              more or less. you can image.google.com/dragon beard candy for pictures.

              1. re: pwu_88
                grocerytrekker Mar 28, 2007 10:49 PM

                This candymaking technique is similar to hand-pulled noodles. A ball of sugar "dough" ends up looking like very fine long strands of hair. They can even move like hair for a short while before being shaped into the final version - mesmerizing stuff.

                1. re: grocerytrekker
                  grocerytrekker Jun 23, 2007 10:57 AM

                  Pictures from Koi Palace:

                  1. re: grocerytrekker
                    grocerytrekker Jul 4, 2007 12:41 PM


                    Koi Palace Restaurant
                    365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

              2. choctastic Mar 15, 2007 10:18 PM

                how long is he going to be there?

                3 Replies
                1. re: choctastic
                  wchane Mar 15, 2007 10:40 PM

                  i believe there's no end in sight. just limited times.

                  1. re: wchane
                    choctastic Mar 15, 2007 10:48 PM

                    what are the limited times he's there? I need to get my butt on over there.

                    1. re: choctastic
                      wchane Mar 15, 2007 11:58 PM

                      that i am unsure, as i've yet to go. i keep forgetting. 11am sunday? something like that.

                2. r
                  rc50 Mar 16, 2007 03:49 AM

                  Now this sounds like something that might be fun to bring home. Will be visiting the city next week for a few days- does anyone know if this candy is available in SF Chinatown?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rc50
                    Chandavkl Mar 16, 2007 08:41 AM

                    Don't think anybody has seen it in any store in any mainland US Chinatown in many years. That's why the Koi Palace sighting is such a big deal.

                    1. re: Chandavkl
                      wchane Mar 28, 2007 11:59 PM

                      you can buy the pre-packaged variety in the northwest (seattle or vancouver) and in new york city.

                      they're just not avail in the bay area. the pre-packaged ones are absurdly expensive...but what are you gonna do? i'm addicted.

                  2. r
                    rc50 Mar 28, 2007 04:49 PM

                    Went this past weekend to Koi Palace to check out the dragon beard candy. They sell it only on the weekends (Sat and Sun). As has been mentioned, there is a chef making the candy behind a plastic window near the cashier so it's quite interesting to watch. They come in a plastic container and cost $1 a piece. They are about the size of a mini shredded wheat, kinda small. It was nice to try for a first time, I gave one to a friend from taiwan and she mentioned it compared favorably with the ones she used to get. Glad I didn't go there for dinner because it was a madhouse Sunday night. Wall-to-wall people waiting for a table. Is the food that good?

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: rc50
                      Chandavkl Mar 28, 2007 09:18 PM

                      Yes. One of the best Chinese restaurants in the U.S.

                      1. re: Chandavkl
                        Theta Mar 28, 2007 11:44 PM

                        I really don't know why so many people sing the praise for Koi Palace. Having moved up here from SoCal, I went there for the first time couple weeks back and can say this place is more hype than substance.

                        Couple of gripes. Why are the tea-cups so small? Heck, I could barely even drink out of it. Even going on a weekend, I thought the selection was sparse, the servers were slow (why don't they use carts?), and overly priced. I thought the food itself was ok/fair.. but clearly nothing to write home about.

                        "One of the best Chinese restaurants in the US"?? Ummm.. ever go down to L.A. to eat dim sum? Not only is it cheaper, but more selection and much higher quality. I don't understand why the dim sum places in the bay area are so much more expensive than LA.

                        1. re: Theta
                          Melanie Wong Mar 28, 2007 11:51 PM

                          Uh, take a look at the LA board for the last few years and check out Chandavkl's reporting on the Chinese scene.

                          1. re: Theta
                            wchane Mar 29, 2007 12:03 AM

                            i'm not going to argue with you, but koi is what it is...

                            they're one of the better dim sum institutions in the bay area if you want authentic oily finger licking, grandmother's reciepe dim sum. chances are that if you love yank sing you will find koi apalling, and if you love koi you will find yank sing a fraud. regardless both has its merits.

                            that being said i haven't gone in ages, my usualy dim sum joints are east ocean, canton delights, mayflower, and i keep hearing good things about hk seafood harbor in sunnyvale.

                            i digress....i only mentioned koi due to the dragon beard candy.

                            1. re: Theta
                              Gary Soup Mar 29, 2007 07:43 AM

                              A couple of points here:

                              First, Dave said KP is one of the best Chinese Restaurants (period) in the US, not just dim sum restaurants.

                              Second, KP's menu lists over 100 dim sum choices (77 of the S/M/L variety and another 28 separately priced various "specials". There's also a choice of 18 teas (8 "house" teas and 10 "premium" teas). That's enough choices for me.

                              Third, Koi Palace DOES use carts, so one has to wonder if you are really talking about the same restaurant.

                              1. re: Gary Soup
                                Theta Mar 29, 2007 10:02 AM

                                Just because an item is on a "Menu" doesn't mean anything to me. Isn't the purpose of going to dimsum is to enjoy the whole sensory experience of ordering dimsum? The last thing I want to do when I go to a dim sum place is to look at some menu and check off how many of each I want.

                                Did I see carts in KP? Yes.. but so few of them it was insignificant.

                                To each his/her own. If you like KP, go back. I know I'll be going to other places.

                              2. re: Theta
                                Chandavkl Mar 29, 2007 09:00 AM

                                Actually I figure I've probably eaten at 95 percent of the Chinese restaurants that have ever opened for business in the San Gabriel Valley during the past 15 or 20 years. (If you'd like an Excel listing of the places I've eaten eat, let me know.) And certainly breadth and depthwise, Chinese food in the L.A. area is better than that in the Bay Area, though there are an unlimited number of wonderful Chinese food options in both areas. However, in my mind, after the original chef at ABC Seafood in L.A. Chinatown retired back in 1998, a truly heartbreaking event for me, Koi Palace took over as the top Chinese restaurant south of the Canadian border.

                                1. re: Chandavkl
                                  choctastic Mar 29, 2007 09:22 AM

                                  for dinner, you may have a point. for dim sum, no way.

                                2. re: Theta
                                  badbatzmaru Mar 29, 2007 09:01 AM

                                  They do have their hits and misses like any restaurant and place. Is it pricey, yes. Are there certain dishes that's spot on, yes. Would I go there even if I had the money? No. I do think they're somewhat overrated, but they make some mean dishes, like the gigantic crab done 2 or 3 ways, and the lobsters with the yam noodles, or their desserts (when we used to go there often, dessert was on the house, muhahahhahah--just means you gotta tip more). And until the next 1000 lb gorialla comes along and kicks their butt, their popularity will continue.

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