Hong Kong Flower Lounge: Report
Spurred on by Dave MP's glowing report (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/453544), I went to Hong Kong Flower Lounge this morning. My friend and I arrived via BART at around 10:20--though the restaurant doesn't open until 10:30, there were already about 25 people milling around, mostly Asians, and lots of people with kids and babies. When the door opened, people rushed forward and grabbed the choice tables.
-barbeque pork bun
-shrimp, pork and vegetable dumplings
-sesame pork donuts
The wontons, freshly boiled in the cart, were amazing--probably the best I've had since I went to China in September. After boiling, the server put the wontons in a bowl and topped it with soy sauce and sliced chilis. The Chinese broccoli was also wonderful, bright green and perfectly cooked. These come in the same cart, so when you see the lady rolling by with a cart that has bowls of broccoli, ask for wontons.
The table was divided on the dumplings with shrimp--I liked the fun guo and my friend preferred the har gau. After I tried the shrimp mixed with other ingredients, the shrimp alone tasted too subtle to me.
We sat against the windows, on the far side of the first floor, so most carts were hitting us half empty, on the way back to the kitchen. As such, I think we missed some good stuff--I didn't see any shu mai or rice noodles, for instance, and wanted to try them.
My friend loved the char siu bao. He had never tried this before, and when he took his first bite, his eyes opened wide and he said, "Do you think we can find this in San Francisco?" I told him I thought it could be arranged. I've had and liked these buns before--while I liked the one at HKFL, it didn't taste extraordinary to me.
If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the wontons, but everything was either really good or outright wonderful. I can't wait to go back, soon and often. The check was only $34, with two drinks.
Hong Kong Flower Lounge
51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030
Glad that it's still holding up. For next time, note that you can order anything you don't see on the carts from the menu -- the service there is pretty efficient. When we went there for our "dim sum civil war" battle we had two tables of ten and were mostly ordering the dim sum from the menu, and they ended up assigning a waitress who was dedicated just to our tables.
re: Xiao Yang
i was at mayflower yesterday and was pleasantly surprised with both the quality and the pricing. since i usually go to mayflower only for major banquet-type (and therefore, very pricey) food, i was expecting the same for dim sum. instead i found there to be a nice variety at very reasonable prices ($12 a person with tip!).
i also liked that since the restaurant was smaller, unlike hkfl or my favorite koi palace, trays arrived hot and often. i didn't feel like things ran out before they got to my table, which can happen at koi palace. while i was not too impressed with the har gao (uninteresting filling, not as sparking as koi palace), the char siu bao and shu mai at mayflower were just as good, and the mango pudding and fried tofu were better.
overall, i think koi palace has better dim sum, but mayflower was cheaper, closer, had almost no wait at 11:30am, and still had a good variety of tasty dim sum. i would definitely go back.