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Jul 1, 2007 09:06 PM

The Kitchen/Aisa Pearl expands to Millbare

Yesterday I drove by the first location of HKFL in Millbare which has had a few eatries since they move will be the latest location of Aisa Pearl. AP is the higher end of the chain which has The KItchen, Macau and the Richmond location of Aisa Pearl.

I stopped at The Kitchen to ask about when it will open and was informed that it will open July 11, 2007.

Aisa Pearl is a upgrade in food then the Kitchen and I think will be on the line of Zen Pen and HKFL.

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  1. interesting. i think the kitchen is already better than zen and hkfl.

    i hope higher end doesn't just mean more money. its not like some of the dishes at the kitchen are cheap either.

    anybody been to Asia Pearl?

    3 Replies
    1. re: spork

      I went to Asian Pearl the first week when they opened in 2005 and it was lousy. More recent board reports indicate that they righted the ship.

      Wasn't the original HKFL (actually HKFG I think) site most recently Hong Kong Pavilion? I thought that was slightly upscale itself and pretty good.

      1. re: Chandavkl

        Which Aisa Peral did you go to? We started to go to Aisa Pearl less than a year ago not sure when they open. The location is in Richmond CA.

        1. re: yimster

          This was the Asian Pearl in the Pacific East Mall on Pierce St. in Richmond. It opened in September of 2005.

    2. I thought the HK Pavillion location was technically borderline Millbrae/San Bruno with more so of the latter.

      It's great there's going to be more variety, but I hope this conglomerate isn't going to spread too wide and thin out the quality in the end.

      1. I had the $288 set dinner tonight. Someone swiped the menu from me after we left the restaurant so I may not be able to remember each dish...The cold platter, with jelly fish, suckling pig (probably teenage pig though,) marinated beef, pork, cha sui was very good. The standard shrimp w/walnuts was very good too, not too much goo on the plump shrimp. The best dish, I think, was the steak with mushrooms. There were at least 3 kinds of mushroom, not the canned kind, and real pieces of tender steak. Shark fin soup, not much fin, it was okay. Dry fried chicken was next, crispy skin, a little dried out maybe, but I only nibbled on the wings anyway, I was too full to really enjoy anything after this...two steamed fresh water fish, two stir fried crabs, mushroom and sea cucumber over pea sprouts (this was good) and loo mein (not so good). I may have forgotten a dish, I was a little over stimulated and full. Dessert was supposed to be some buns or something else, but they only sent us the red bean soup, which was pretty good since it wasn't too sweet. (We asked why we didn't get the dessert listed on the menu, and they said they changed the menu. Whatever.) I definitely would go back for the jellyfish, the beef and the shitake mushroom/sea cucumber. It seems the initial chef from the Kitchen is now here to open this restaurant. It was very packed.
        As for the other Asian Pearl, I went to dim sum in the Richmond location about a month ago and wasn't very impressed. I did have dim sum last week at the Millbrae Asian Pearl and I'd say it has it's good dishes and it's so-so. The decor is very nice and contemporary. I'd like to see them upgrade the bathroom...ick!

        4 Replies
        1. re: peppatty

          Thanks a bunch for the quick turnaround dinner report! Could you say more about the dim sum items at Millbrae's Asian Pearl that you thought were good?

          Peninsula Asian Pearl
          1671 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            The decor is very different from HKFL in it's hey day, I remember being at the opening party, years ago. It's light, bright, modern, with big screen tv's all over the place hawking the Hawaii Chair. The bathroom needs to be gutted and redone. Since I had lunch last Monday, I can't remember everything, but the gnaw jhap, (tripe stew) was very good, very flavorful and perfectly cooked. The beef rice roll was okay. I actually like the Joy Place, S.M. better. The fung jow, (chicken feet) was good, a bit spicy, cooked perfectly. The har gow, shui mai were good, not stellar, and the fried ball of glutinous rice with the savory filling was very good, crispy, not greasy. (Sorry, dunno the chinese for this) Steamed cha shui bow was a bit off, the bun had too much baking powder, I think, so it took away from the enjoyment of it. Dessert was the guilin gow, which is the black herbal jelly (also from turtle?) I personally can't get over the turtle part and it's a bit bitter, unlike grass jelly, so I can't say if it's any good. I'll definitely be back with a bigger appetite. I think I prefer this dim sum over The Kitchen. I have to say also, about dinner, the platters of food were huge. I'll report again.

            1. re: peppatty

              Recently was there for a weekday dim sum treat.

              The food was fresh and in most case better than either the Kitchen or the Richmond verison of the same.

              Expect for the Fried Taro Puffs, the best verison I have had was at Richmond location. It was just the outer part with any taro paste on the inside. You had the taste but none of the heavy taro root, so it was like eating air.

              One outstanding dish was a Steamed turnip cake (in a small plate) topped with dried scallps. Something new. Does not remember having this dish before.

              The xlb's is something I would not have again.

              To of the special order was the Crispy Pork Belly, half fat and half meat and a wonderful crispy skin.

              Also Boiled Lamb dishes which had a wonderful gamey taste that you find in lamb, but if do not like the gamey taste do not order this dish.

              Soon my sons will be treating me a off the menu dinner and I will report back.

              But still number one on my dim sum list in Joy Luck Place in San Mateo, with now Aisa Pearl a close second.

              Also we had a Rib Eye steak cooked with deep fried tofu in a House sauce which was out of this world. We have had good luck with steak stir fry at Aisa Pearl. Like the old steak cubes at Nam Yuen.

              1. re: yimster

                Glad to hear Joy Luck San Mateo is still your favorite for dimsum. I've tried a few other places since JL opened, but I haven't really found anything that I think is better, all things considered. (Koi Palace has some items that are better, but the huge hassle involved in dining there isn't worth the difference.)