Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Nov 27, 2007 03:10 PM

Dinner at Lily's House, Lafayette

Just a quick note to mention that my extended family (9 of us) had dinner at Lily's House this past Saturday. I pre ordered the Braised Pork shoulder and some cold dishes, then ordered the rest when we got there. Everything was excellent. Because of the holiday weekend, the dining room was less than half full at 7:30. They typically have a tough time during the holidays, though the takeout business continues to be brisk.

They have added set menus to their Chinese menu, which Lily said was in response to requests from customers. The menus are mostly the Shanghainese dishes, ranging in price from $56 (soup, 2 cold plates and 4 dishes plus the tangyuan for dessert) for 4, to $166 for 10 (soup, 6 cold plates, 11 dishes and dessert). Not sure if the menus are translated into English or not, but ask the waitress or Lily about them.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We were at Lily's on Friday night. Another great meal -- highlights were smoked fish, pork belly, and sweet rice balls in wine sauce (dessert) from the Shanghainese menu. We talked to Lily about the set menus off the Chinese menu.

    Unfortunately, they are not translated into English. Any translation or advice would be greatly appreciated! Do any of the menus look better than others? Are the larger menus inclusive of the items on the smaller menus?

    Let me also say that Lily and her daughter were very, very nice to our two kids -- including teaching my 4 year old several Chinese words... I'm sure they are always nice, but I think they really appreciated a non-Chinese kid trying the Shanghainese stuff...

    1 Reply
    1. re: jmarek

      Next time, bring a larger group and ask for the $108 menu. It has 4 cold plates a soup and 8 dishes, like stir fried shrimp, fish slices in wine sauce, lion's head meatballs, water boiled lamb, spare ribs, chicken and tofu. It looks a bit meat heavy, actually but is a great deal.

    2. Has anyone tried their xiao long bao? I tried it at Lily's last week and thought they were pretty good. They had a thin, delicate skin, with a good amount of soup and the black vinegar with ginger strands went well with the dumplings. Although, I'm no xlb expert...

      4 Replies
      1. re: DezzerSF

        Their xlb are frozen, not house made. I asked Lily for the home made ones, but she said he doesn't have enough time to make them. He still is a one man shop.

        1. re: DezzerSF

          I've had both the vendor-made frozen ones and the housemade ones. The xlb made by Chef Willy himself are quite good, but he usually serves the frozen ones. You have to get past Lily and ask the chef for them in advance. He'll explain that he might be too busy but will try. Be understanding if he doesn't, but refuse to order them otherwise.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Thanks for giving me perspective. This was probably the most decent version I've had in a while. Now where to get a revelatory version...

            1. re: DezzerSF

              Try Shanghai in Oakland Chinatown. While I love Lily's, the xlb at Shanghai are much better.