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Chinese food: Millbrae - San Mateo

Looking for a Chinese restaurant in the Millbrae - San Mateo area for my parents- newly transplanted New Yorkers age 90 and 88! They are used to fresh, delicately flavored and well prepared food. For the rest of the family spicy is OK. My folks are somewhat adventurous, but to start expect a few familiar dishes. Large noisy places are a challenge unless week day lunch a bit past peak hours. Have avoided Honk Kong Flower Lounge- overwhelming? We enjoyed dim sum at the Grand Palace in South San Francisco. My mom was eying the chicken feet and recalling her childhood. Thanks for giving your personal slant on what's what- have at it. .
~ Wendy~

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Grand Palace
359 Grand Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080

Flower Lounge Restaurant
2033 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602

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  1. I like Dim Sum at The Kitchen in MIllbrae. Otherwise I eat at Joy in Foster City regularly. Very good but I am not sure it's "typical". Potstickers are a must but are really quite different from the usual ones.

    1. Try Hong Kong Flower Lounge. Chicken feet is good. Asia Pearl, Zen Peninsula, have been good in the past, though haven't had it lately. Try Broadway bistro for casual Hong Kong style food. I've tried the Kitchen several times, and it's just not my favorite. Dim Sum in San Mateo is not recommended. ABC in San Mateo is okay for casual Hong Kong style too. I've eaten the dim sum/Chinese food in Millbrae for over 25 years and have seen/tasted it's ups and downs. 5 Joy in Foster City does have really good potstickers, but it is not Cantonese food. If they like stinky tofu, they may like Joy.

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

      Zen Peninsula
      1180 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

      1. H. K. Causeway and Champagne Seafood, on different sides of Fourth Ave. in San Mateo, might also be alternatives. Perhaps a little less bustling.

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        Champagne Seafood Restaurant
        88 E 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chandavkl

          We were at Champagne Seafood this past weekend and were impressed with the food and very impressed with the service. I agree that, because it's a smaller place, it may be less overwhelming. Also, they have a (paid, but very cheap) parking lot behind them.

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          Champagne Seafood Restaurant
          88 E 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

        2. If you are willing to go as far as Palo Alto, and to spend around 30% more than at the Millbrae places, Tai Pan would be a good choice. The place is fairly luxurious, the service is very good, the food, especially the dimsum, is carefully and delicately prepared. And there's a parking lot beside it, so your parents won't have far to walk.

          http://www.taipanpaloalto.com/

          1. I'm guessing you mean Cantonese food. Zen Peninsula is a possibility. They have semi-private rooms/alcoves and partitions available, and if you mention your special circumstance, they should be accommodating provided you give them sufficient lead time and be polite about it.

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            Zen Peninsula
            1180 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cary

              +1 on Zen Pen. The inside isn't elegant like Champagne or Tai Pan, but the flavors are far bolder and better. Not a bustling as HKFL.

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              Tai Pan
              Waverly Ln, Los Altos, CA 94022

            2. A couple of favorites:

              Chu Kong (Millbrae) - The famed garlic crab, congee and seafood.

              Family China Bistro (Millbrae) - reasonably-priced Cantonese seafood and gai lan.

              Hung To SeaFood (South San Francisco) - good egg tarts and reasonable dim sum prices. Have not tried their dinner.

              Silver Lake (San Mateo) - great value for dinner.

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              Chu Kong
              1661 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

              Family China Bistro
              1055 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

              1. I thoroughly love Asian Pearl. By far one of the better Chinese restaurants I've had in my life! It is noisy though... likely comparable to HK Flower Lounge, but at least the food is better.

                And I love Shanghai Dumpling Shop, with their main go-to dish being the Xiao Lung Baos. All other dishes are decent with other standouts being mung bean flat noodles w/ pork in a spicy sauce (one of those only found on the wall menu items), soy milk soup, and any of the soup noodles. The noodles have a great bite to them. People think the Shanghai Stir Fried noodles are good here too... I think they suck. Their service could be a bit more attentive though.

                1. Cathy Kitchen on 2116 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo. A small restaurant with reasonable prices. Try ABC in Foster City for dim sum...excellent a few years ago, lately; it's having mixed reviews.

                  1. I thought Yummy World in San Mateo is fairly decent, though Silver House a few doors down has been around much longer and is quite well known.

                    1. Well if you find HKFL overwhelming, the other better dim sum places are going to be equally crowded and noisy. You have your choice of the killer row of dim sum places north from HKFL on El Camino Real: The Kitchen, Asian Pearl, and Zen Pennisula. ABC Seafood in Foster City is a little less bustling, with much better parking. All of these are better than Grand Palace, IMO.

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                      Grand Palace
                      359 Grand Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080

                      Asian Pearl
                      3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

                      1. 5 Joy in Foster City is pretty calm and has parking outside. The Taiwanese and Shanghainese food I've had there wasn't especially delicate.

                        I have only been to Champagne and Zen Peninsula for weekday dim sum but both were calm. Champagne has lots of space between tables and very nice decor.

                        Yummy World at lunch today was calm with nice decor and attentive service. They have just a few parking spaces in back and if you park in front on El Camino make sure both your parents are seated on the passenger side-- the traffic is pretty heavy there and you don't have much time to get in or out between waves of cars. They have lots of nice delicate Cantonese fare.

                        I really like the food at Peninsula Asian Pearl but am not impressed with their service. I haven't been there on a weekend but I expect it could be pretty hectic.

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

                        Zen Peninsula
                        1180 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

                        Yummy World
                        2216 S El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94403