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May 14, 2009 03:26 PM

Tai Pan in San Jose - new dim sum bakery

Grand opening yesterday. A co-worker and I went today. Photos of the store and our take out stash here:

This is a tiny place almost adjacent to Lion Market at Capitol Expy & McLaughlin. Open everyday 8 am – 8:30 PM. Two tiny tables next to the door seats 5 total. The store was a little crowded during the lunch hour and can seem chaotic (no system to know who’s next in line


Paper menu touts Hong Kong Style Dim Sum. Dim sum pages list 34 varieties, ranging from $1 per dessert item, to $2 for 3 savory items.

Lunch Specials are $5.25, which include 3-4 dim sum and your choice of the Preserved (1000-yr) egg & Pork Porridge, or the Chicken, Wheat & Corn Porridge. Photo of lunch specials board in the link above.

Porridge a la carte is $2 for Small, $3 for Large.
Also listed is fung sing dumpling soup at $5.75/lb. and Shrimp wonton at $5.75/lb.
I think the turnip cake on the menu for $5.75 is a whole foil-tin cake pan (picture in the link above).

Overall, the portions (size of dumplings) are quite large here. Quality ranged from ok to excellent, mostly good.

Shimp cheung fan: Very fresh (a new tray came out right before we ordered), faint pleasant chewiness but mostly soft. Very fat shrimp, 3 or 4 to each roll.

Seafood sui mai: I think we were tempted by the really fat size of these, but the taste was just ok. Was a bit dry from sitting in the case. Pleasantly non-smelly (I sometimes find sui mai to have a unfresh smell/taste).

Hom sui gok or fried footballs. I’m a mochi-fan so I always like these even if they’re not done well. Soaking in oil and not crispy enough. Mochi still nicely chewy. Filling a bit sparse (but it always is wherever you go).

Fried shrimp balls. Very good, shatteringly crispy while the ground shrimp filling was plump & fresh. Only a bit oily.

Egg Custard Tarts, $1 each. Excellent. Very flaky slightly still buttery crust, smooth creamy eggy custard, not overly sweet. I can still taste these in my mouth mmmm. Dunno how well they keep, we ate ours about 30 minutes after purchase.

Our total for us 2 to split was a whopping $11 and enough to fill me up completely, but I think I had room for another egg tart. Or 5. Oink :O)

Tai Pan Dim Sum Bakery
1031 E Capitol Expy, San Jose, CA 95121

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  1. Thanks for the very thorough report, Alice! Knowing there's a spot this far south is going to be quite useful to me..

    1. Well, I still haven't tried it yet. I'm posting because there's a newish second location that one of my aunties told me about at 477 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, next to the Lion just off 280 near Ramen Halu. She particularly recommends the mochi covered with coconut, listed as Coconut Ball (ngo mai chi) on the menu. She explained that this is the only place she's found in the South Bay that makes them and has enough turnover that they're soft and fresh. And now I can't remember whether she said they were filled with peanuts or black sesame. In any case, hope somebody tries them and let's us know.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        So, I finally made it into the one on Saratoga Avenue this week. The ngo mai chi are indeed very good, and they're HUGE. These are filled with chopped peanuts, coconut and brown sugar.

        I also tried the ha gao, and the filling of large whole shrimp had too much gooey starch coating them. Preserved egg jook was okay; fried cruller sticks were freshly fried but not that crispy even after toasting.

        If anyone else has tried this spot, please speak up. I would return for the coconut balls.

        As a plus, it shares the parking lot with Bijan, so it was easy to grab a slice of princess cake too.