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Sep 22, 2009 11:39 AM

Hong Kong Flower Lounge - still good?

Greetings all from a Washington DC hound. As a result of past recommendations on this board, have had many excellent to outstanding meals at HKFL. Haven't been in a while, and if I remember correctly there's been an ownership or management change? Will be flying into town around dinnertime in a couple of weeks and, if it's still good, will pop in for dinner. Thoughts? TIA.

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  1. The management change seems to have been an improvement over the quality of 1-2 years ago. I didn't go often enough 5+ years ago to speak to whether they're the best they've ever been or merely very good, but they're definitely still up there. You'll almost certainly get recommendations for a handful of other places on the peninsula, but none of them is a sure bet for a better meal, and the psychic value of knowing where you will eat when you land, and the convenience, is hard to beat.

    You didn't mention what kind of food you want--we mainly think of HKFL in terms of Dim Sum, but if you're flying in at night, are you looking for a more traditional Cantonese set meal?

    1. I had dim sum at HKFL a couple of months ago. It was very good but it got pricey from what I understand. Don't know about dinner. I believe the Mayflower restaurant now owns it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ML8000

        Interestingly, I also had dim sum at HKFL a few months back, and I thought it was surprisingly cheap. It ended up costing us something like ~$10/person, and we were all stuffed, and we all thought the food was great.

        1. re: gyc

          I wasn't paying and it was a family thing where people ordered a bunch of stuff, I mean a bunch as "in just get it" I just assumed it was pricey.

      2. It's still good, but for 20 years it was great. Prices haven't changed.

        However I'd recommend Asian Pearl, a mile north of HKFL on El Camino.

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

        1. Did you try it? I've not been for dinner since posting this last year, soon after the change,

          But last week, my mother and i stopped for a quick dim sum lunch. We got there at 1pm on Wednesday, and were very suprised at how full and busy the place was at lunch time for a weekday. If anything, I think the service is better than before. We'd had a bakery break that morning so weren't super hungry and ordered lightly.

          We had panfried Chinese chive and shrimp dumplings, one of my standard orders here, and these were as good as ever. Not too greasy, fried to a gentle crispy, and chewy tender wrappers encasing a generous amount of chives and shrimp.

          The rice crepe filled with char siu was quite good too, if a bit too sweet once the sweet bbq pork was doused with the sweetened sauce. Best item was plate of light and fluffy fish balls . . . gefilte fish, eat your heart out. These were more like quenelles in texture, meaning very tender and not rubbery.

          For two Large and one Medium dish, tea charge, tax and tip, our tab was $16.40. I have no problem recommending it for dim sum.

          Hong Kong Flower Lounge
          51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030

          8 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I also recently went for dim sum after a long awhile away. It looked the same in decor but even though it was crowded, the wait wasn't that long for a table. I went with a few Hong Kong relatives and they liked the service and food. They had some unusual items that I don't see at other dim sum places, like the desserts. Here's a look at what we ate:

            I still like Koi Palace better but HKFL seems to be holding strong in Millbrae. They've always had such a prime location too.

            1. re: singleguychef

              Your blog post contains an incidental mention of Fook Yuen. Did you happen to notice if they had actually reopened or not? I think it had been closed for several months.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                I drove by and saw people going into Fook Yuen. But I can't say I walked in and checked out their dim sum.

                1. re: singleguychef

                  Thanks for the info. A number of Hounds were waiting for word on the reopening.

            2. re: Melanie Wong

              The travel gods were against us so unfortunately we were not able to go. Got in too late on Friday, and had to leave too early on Monday. Next time!

              1. re: Geoff

                What a shame. Any other news and views to report from your visit?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Yep. In short:

                  Dinner at Manresa in Los Gatos. Continues to be as wonderful as ever - truly a national treasure. Dinner at Dio Deka in Los Gatos. Really a lovely place with excellent food. Breakfast on Saturday morning at the Saratoga farmer's market - how can you argue with fresh pork tamales, fresh strawberries, and sweet coconut water? This is a great market, alway enjoy visiting. Sunday morning Los Gatos farmers market, also lovely, smaller than Saratoga, but with at least two, really the real deal Mexican food stalls. tortillas with mole to die for. Followed up by a wonderful scramble, coffee cake and tea at Hobee's!

                  Ridge winery continues to be a beautiful place to visit with great wines to taste and buy. Also, our first visit to Pichetti. Highly recommend it; go for the 3 mile hike on the Zinfandel trail, reward yourself with a tasting and a picnic on their grounds afterwards.

                  Lucky for us we were in town during beautiful fall weather - hope everyone made it through ok during that nasty storm that blew in just as we were leaving......

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    Oh, can't believe I forgot our quick visit to Mi Pueblo market in San Jose. HUGE barbecue in the parking lot, grilling up what were wonderfully delicious chickens. only wish we could have taken some home.

              2. I ate there with friends on October 4th. None of us had ever had dim sum before but we enjoyed it. It was a real experience. The restaurant was very busy, our waitress helped us pick out some dishes to try and we had a bunch. I thought is was very affordable. I don't think the bill was over $50 for the four of us. We were there around lunch time.