Koi Palace Buddha Jump
To celebrate a special occasion we decided to go to Koi Palace for a dinner splurge. Initially, there was a problem of deciding upon what to eat since KP's menu required a minimum paired order of two on every special set dinner. There were three of us. Two finally settled for the “Abalone & Shark Fin Super Value Set Dinner.” The third person, was tempted by a “Buddha Jumps Over The Wall.” and some variety. After a little discussion with the KP lady who answered phone to establish our reservation, she finally consulted the manager at our persistence and we were granted an exception of a single “BJOTW. Turns out, we were also lucky to have gotten a reservation. Upon arrival on the appointed Saturday night, the big main dining area had been reserved for a big fancy wedding party and the restaurant was absolutely mobbed and jumping! The blushing bride and her attendants, dressed in their finest attire, were anxiously and gingerly pacing around in the crowded reception area waiting to be seated as we came in. Then, just before serving, our astute waiter came by and suggested splitting the “Buddha Jumps Over The Wall” split into three individual bowls for all to enjoy..........great idea!.......... we “jumped” on it right away ended up with the best of all arrangements. The BJOTW required advanced ordering; it takes two days minimum to prepare with via a complex procedure and slow simmering. It had assorted Chinese herbs, shark fin, abalone, dried scallops, Jinhua ham, sea cucumber, fish maw, mushroom, pig stomach and tendon, etc, etc.. The Braised Superior Shark Fin was superb and the abalone was a standout treat – exquisite flavors! The steamed lobster rested on top of a bed of rice vermicelli noodles which nicely absorbed all the delicious juices from the lobster. Rich food, expensive too, but we enjoyed all the dishes and had a very enjoyable dinner. There was so much food that we came away with three boxes of leftovers. The Koi Palace has performed yet another commendable and memorable job with reliable consistency! We look forward to coming back for more!
1. BJOTW (One Third)
2. Braised Supreme Shark Fin Soup
3. Whole Abalone & Maw in Oyster Essence
4. Steamed lobster in Garlic Sauce
CYL, thanks so much for posting about Buddha Jumps over the Wall. I’ve always wanted to try that dish, but with it being a rare and expensive specialty, I’ve been wary of where to invest my dollars to sample. The price of $38 per person is less than I would have expected. I recently had a dinner at Koi Palace, and thought I’d add my report to your topic to give folks an idea of what else is good at dinner time. We didn’t order BJOTW, yet we did have an excellent meal.
A couple weeks after a dim sum lunch here, we were back for a family dinner. We asked for a table near the bar in the back hoping that it would be less noisy for our mom.
To start we specified what we wanted on an appetizer cold plate from the barbecue station. Our waiter was good about telling us upfront what our selection would cost, $35, for our four choices: suckling pig, cheek meat, jelly fish, and concubine chicken.
The tan-toned concubine chicken was excellent. Removed from the bone, the free-range flesh had good flavor and toothsomeness, even the white meat pieces, and the lightly seasoned skin was taut and firm. The char siu-roasted cheek meat was quite good too, though we all agreed that the version at S & T Hong Kong Seafood in SF was better. The suckling pig was a treat with dark brown, bubbled and crispy skin, yet the meat was not as smooth and silky as in the past, a problem at the Dublin location just weeks earlier. The jelly fish was good too, but more than we could eat and a bit of overkill on the plate. Most of it went home with us.
Walnut prawns in honey cream sauce, $16, isn’t a dish I would usually order. But our mom likes it even though she’s frequently disappointed. We’re glad we gave it a whirl, as KP’s is quite excellent. The candied walnuts were fragrant and crunchy from fresh-frying. Big, firm and juicy prawns were exactly on-point and sauced with a barely sweet creamy coating. The fine shreds of cabbage slaw and the crispy froth of fried rice noodles would cling to the glaze providing contrast of taste and texture for each bite of prawn. Very rich, but so delicious when done well, and it’s easy to see why this preparation has become such a popular standard.
We also had e-fu noodles with dried scallop, enoki mushroom and yellow leeks, $14. The spongey noodles still had good bite and had soaked up the delectable stock. We’ve ordered this dish at many other restaurants, and this was top form.
Our favorite of the night was actually the least expensive, Braised bamboo pith, bean curd skin, egg tofu, and tender greens, $12. This was my sister’s first taste of egg tofu, and she was quite taken by the silken quivery custard-like texture of the interior of those golden pan-fried discs. This looks like a relatively simple dish, but only works because each element was top quality and prepared to its best. The delicious and gelatin-laden sauce uniting the dish was like a chicken demi-glace. The sponge-like bamboo pith was especially excellent, thick and very pale, and William commented again that pandas must love eating this.
Smoked sea bass, $28, was the least of the meal, as it was somewhat overdone and dry on the edges. Nice carmelization of the glaze, but just a little too sweet as well. We prefer the version at R&G Lounge.
Dim sum at Koi Palace thread -
Koi Palace Restaurant
365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015