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Koi Palace - Dragon Beard Candy

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?


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

    1. 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. 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

          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

            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

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

          2. re: vincentlo

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

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


            4 Replies
            1. re: pwu_88

              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

                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


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

              2. how long is he going to be there?

                3 Replies
                1. re: choctastic

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

                  1. re: wchane

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

                    1. re: choctastic

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

                2. 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

                    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

                      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. 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

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

                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                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

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

                                2. re: Theta

                                  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.