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May 13, 2007 08:38 PM

Richmond – Pacific East Mall - 99 Ranch Market … strawberry macarons & $2 congee

What is unique about the Richmond 99 Ranch?

This old SF Chronicle writes about 99 Ranch Markets tailoring to the make-up of the nearby Asian population. I am guessing with all the Taiwanese food at the Pacific East Mall restaurants that this 99 Ranch has lots of Taiwanese products. The Chronicle wrote …

“Of course, each of the six Bay Area stores has a different shopper profile. The Fremont store caters to more Indians and Pakistanis. In Milpitas, there are fewer Caucasians and more Taiwanese. Daly City attracts more Filipino shoppers than any other”

I’ve read that this 99 Ranch has a some decent Indonesian groceries and there seems to be a Filipino presence with bright red balut and a large selection of frozen lumpia.

There’s a Sogo bakery at this 99 Ranch where I bought those macarons.

Actually, they are called strawberry snow drop cookies and the only resemblance is the look. They seem meringue-based, the strawberry flavor may or may not be fake and the creme in the center reminded me of the stuff in Twinkies.

It has a smaller selection than Sheng Kee bakery across from 99 Ranch. To compare, I bought the onion hot dog roll I bought a few days ago at Sheng Kee.

No contest. Sheng Kee wins on this. Sogo didn’t have enough onion on top, the bun wasn’t as good and the hot dog didn’t have that nice roasted taste like at Sheng Kee.


There a deli section with dim sum, bbq, steam table, noodle soups and more.
On weekends there’s congee and Chinese donuts. Today there was shredded pork and preverved egg congee. I’m no congee expert having had it only once before at Fat Wong’s on the peninsula. This was good.

The large take-out container had some tasty pork and I just pretended the preserved egg was black mushrooms since it had a similar texture and color. For $2 it was a deal and I’d order it again.

The Chinese donuts were large and oily … close to a foot long and inch in diameter. It wasn’t elegant, but it had a greasy appeal especially with the congee. I brought half home and the oil not only saturated the brown paper bag, but coated every take-out container in the same grocery bag … so there you go.

The won ton soup was ok. The cup was filled with shrimp wonton … most of the soft wonton noodle having separated from the shrimp. There was also some fresh broccoli florets in there and fresh chopped green onion. It takes a wait of 10 minutes for them to make the soup. The shrimp didn’t have a lot of flavor but it beats the type of soup sold at Safeway.

The Hong Kong dim sum looked on the oily side, but it was popular. There are also stacked bamboo containers of dumplings and buns. The dim sum cooks work madly to keep up with the demand. The weekend is probably the time to go.

I had the shrimp balls that had some nice shrimp flavor and good crispy strips coating it. For three it was $2.10.

The steam table wasn’t the best I’ve seen, but it looked good and a lot better than most. For $5.95 there was a choice of two items with rice and the styrofoam containers had mountains of food on it.

Next to the steam table is a long counter of stuff that I have no clue what it is … looks sort of like dried … no … no clue. What is that case next next to the congee pot?

The Hong Kong-style BBQ counter had hanging chickens in three shades … pale steam salted chickens, golden house-baked salted chickens and soy chickens wih a deep tanning salon color. The chicken heads were still attached, the long necks twisted back, beaks slightly open, combs mussed and eyes staring out at eternity.

There’s also ducks and hanging strips of BBQ pork. In another case there’s pork belly and huge pieces of pork with crackly skin. BBQ was busily being hacked to pieces for customers. Steam tables held beef shank with wine, cuttlefish in soy sauce, honeycomb in soy sauce, duck feet & wings in soy sauce, pork tongue, ears, bung, uteri

There are a tables in between the deli and bakery if eating in-house.

The best thing I learned on my first two visits to 99 Ranch is that everything is marked in English as well as Chinese. In the large produce section, I learned the name of some of those unidentified greens at farmers markets.

The staff often doesn’t speak much English, but enough people do.

Live fish in tanks are at the back and they will deep-fry fish on request.

There’s even some decent wine ... EOS moscato ‘Tears of Dew’ was on sale for about $11. OK, don’t know how good that is, but liked the name. Anyone tried it?

Anyway, I enjoyed my intro to the 99 Ranch Market in Richmond and hope Chowhounds post about what to look for at this branch.

Previous Chowhound post about the Richmond store.

Lunch at Richmond 99 Ranch market

99 Ranch Market

3288 Pierce St
Richmond, CA 94804
(510) 558-2120

PS: Do you have to have a VIP card to get the sale prices? Or do you get additional specials with the card?

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  1. You used to have to get the VIP card but for the last year or so I don't think it's been necessary...each register seems to have a dummy card that the cashier will scan automatically.

    5 Replies
    1. re: jeannechang

      Yah, the VIP card doesn't seem to be necessary. Most of the time I tell them that I forgot to bring my card and they just scan the card they have at the cashier.

      And strawberry macaron-like cookies? Mmm, I have to take a look if I happen to be at 99 Ranch again. Speaking of Sheng Kee, you may wanna try their taro and red bean loaf/toast. They are really soft and come with a pineapple bun topping. My friends are in love with those.

      1. re: dreamsicle

        Thanks for the tip about the taro and red bean toast.

        Just a warning that the strawberry snow drops are to macarons as Martha Stewart's mac and cheese is to a box of Kraft. Then again for the price of one real macaron you can get a half a dozen snow drops. They are a bit smaller. There was another plain flavor. LIke I said, the resemblance was more about the appearance.

        I'm telling you, reheating the congee and Chinese donut for breakfast this morning, hi-lighted the flaws of both. The saltiness of the congee was intensified as was the oiliness of the donut. After sitting all night and oozing even more oil into the bag, I microwaved the donut. At the bottom of the dish a little more oil pooled. And still plenty of oil was extracted by chewing. And sadly, they were both still tasty to me ... so there you go with my taste in food ... I have a few flaws food-wise too.

        1. re: rworange

          I agree about the snow drops - I'm on a bit of a macaron hunt and I had mango-flavored ones from the Sogo on Saratoga Rd. In San Jose/Santa Clara. Looked macaron-ish but was oddly squishy-chewy-crumbly with that cream filling.

          1. re: manda

            I've been trying to find decent macroons as well, the almond kind, not the coconut kind. I found a decent, but expensive, verion from the bakery/cafe on Columbus across the street (sort of) from Rose Pistola. I don't know the name of this bakery, but their macaroon is the right texture and not overly sweet. But I think they are $1.50 each, which really adds up. They have many flavors, including cassis, lavender, pistachio, and all the regulars.

          2. re: rworange

            Love your comparison rworange. I found a wonderful French Shop in Sacramento the owner sells great gifts and has recently started selling some of the best french macroons I tasted since my trip to Paris in 2003. I've had purchased these at Bay Bread before but speaking of can not compare the 2. The price was less no bad either. Favors like lavendar, rose, fig, which all the other flavors we love. Try them if you can they mail order I think also. Enjoy the photos.
            Le Petit Paris-------