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Stinky Tofu really stinks at Happy Kitchen - [Newark]

shanghaikid Nov 8, 2011 12:12 PM

Happy Kitchen is a pan chinese eatery from the New China folks in Union City, here, Happy offers many taiwanese, hunan, szechwan, and northern dishes. many items are transplanted from the new china menu. these should be skippped as the highlights are the northern dishes and the stinky tofu.

-stinky tofu (4.25)
large, lightly tanned fried tofu, best tasted in the bay area
crunchy skins, tender innards, nice dip, large portion
-xlb (8/5.99)
very thin skin, nice soup, tasty meat, better than average
-porK & chive dumpling, beef & celery dumpliing (12/5.99)
very fresh veggies and meats used. these are godzillas compared
with an eatery in the same mall promoted as the "king of dumplings"
-lamb stew on clay pot(9.99)
actually an herbal soup with lots of tender lamb.
-spicy beef tendon hand rolled noodles soup (6.25)
spicy oil fresh, spicy, not stale like the szechewn eatery in the same mall
noodles resembles hand cut noodles.
lots of whole tender tendons provided.
-pot fried pork bun (6/4.99)
excellent sheng jen bao, bun texture very thin, tender nonfat meat, size as big as mini char siu baos.

they also have tofu, meat products, and buns for sale to go like the union city store.

Happy Kitchen
39055 Cedar Blvd, Ste 108
Newark, Ca.

  1. h
    hedge_hog Nov 30, 2011 10:55 PM

    When it comes to sheng jian bao, I always thought it should have a nice brown/crispy bottom, soupy, filling with some fat, and not much bigger than a XLB. The one you described sounds a little on the big side, but everyone's different.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hedge_hog
      shanghaikid Dec 1, 2011 11:50 AM

      never seen a sheng jian bao with soup inside. the meat's always been dry. also little fat. most sheng jian bao are little bigger than a xlb. the sjb's at happy kitchen are double that at least.

      1. re: hedge_hog
        Melanie Wong Dec 1, 2011 12:39 PM

        The SJB at Shanghai Flavor Shop in Sunnyvale are very soupy and juicy. They squirt!

        Shanghai Flavor Shop
        888 Old San Francisco Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94086

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          bbulkow Dec 1, 2011 10:30 PM

          And that famous place on the dumpling street in Shanghai that make the reference dumplings. Quite juicy.

        2. re: hedge_hog
          foodlover Mar 4, 2012 04:07 PM

          Had lunch at Happy Kitchen today. Posting a photo of the sheng jian bao. They are quite large; six to an order. Portions are quite large, considering the moderate prices. $4.95 for SJB. They are listed as "pot fried pork bun" on the menu. They're pretty good but not great. Little Shanghai in San Mateo makes them better. The braised pork knuckle was a good deal at $9.99 -- very flavorful and lots of yummy fat. The salt & pepper squid at $5.99 was a huge order -- very popular at tables with kids. Quite good, not oily, and tender. The xiao long bao were not very good -- definitely not worth ordering or shooting. Thick skin and the same pork filling as the sheng jian bao. This place merits a return visit to try other dishes. It's reasonably priced for the quality and quantity.

        3. escargot3 Nov 29, 2011 10:09 PM

          Ever since Grey Elf introduced me to stinky tofu, I'm a huge fan.
          Looking forward to trying some at Happy Kitchen

          3 Replies
          1. re: escargot3
            grayelf Nov 30, 2011 07:59 AM

            The ST we had was not the hardcore authentic one though it sure sounds like the version being discussed here. That is nigh impossible to come by in my neck of the woods. But agree it was v. tasty. Now I have to get my google on and figure out where Newark is... branching out time?

            1. re: grayelf
              shanghaikid Nov 30, 2011 06:07 PM

              newark is on the other side of the freeway from fremont.
              newark was low industrial, single housing. now it's becoming vast acres of shoppping malls/shopping center.
              fremont and the surrounding area has had many openings of taiwanese, shanghaiese, and northern chinese eateries in this past year.

            2. re: escargot3
              abstractpoet Nov 30, 2011 09:03 AM

              My stinky tofu quest from a few months ago -- best I found was at Joy Restaurant, in Foster City. Haven't tried Happy Kitchen. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/796025

            3. moto Nov 29, 2011 09:11 PM

              thank you Shang hai gourmand. mi esposa querida is very fond of xiao long bao, dumplings, and hand made noodles so we will add it to the 'should try' list.

              1 Reply
              1. re: moto
                shanghaikid Nov 29, 2011 10:26 PM

                the entrees you mentioned are their best efforts:
                also tried:
                oyster pancake- miss
                peking spareribs-passable
                -black bean clams-huge order, needs jalepenos to spice up-passable
                northern dishes their specialty, taiwan dishes hit or miss.

              2. Melanie Wong Nov 29, 2011 08:15 PM

                Stinky tofu's not my thing, but I'm always delighted to hear about another source of shen jian bao. Are these juicy?

                Happy Kitchen
                39055 Cedar Blvd, Newark, CA 94560

                6 Replies
                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  shanghaikid Nov 29, 2011 10:04 PM

                  yes. my so is very picky. ahw thinks this is the best she's tasted in the bay area. huge too.
                  these shen jian bao are even better than Elite, fremont which are small and pricey.

                  1. re: shanghaikid
                    Melanie Wong Nov 29, 2011 10:34 PM

                    Not hip to Elite. If not for shen jian bao, what should one order there?

                    Elite Restaurant
                    4161 Cushing Pkwy, Fremont, CA 94538

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      shanghaikid Nov 29, 2011 11:11 PM

                      i only tried the braised pork belly which is very fatty(which it should be) and it's melt in your mouth quality. i was looking for blackened spareribs (wu xi pai gu) and they recommended this.

                      their menu is hard to read. meaning different names for dishes i'm usually familiar with.
                      menu kind of pricey.
                      best shangha around is Shanghai Delight , 218 barber court.milpitas. haven't tried shen jiao bao though
                      cheapest shanghai is hometown favorite, 43089 mission blvd., a few doors from dohatsuten.

                      these 2 used to be partners....

                      1. re: shanghaikid
                        Melanie Wong Nov 29, 2011 11:20 PM

                        I think I've been to Shanghai Delight. Hometown Favorite, no. Fremont is home to quite a few more Chinese restaurants these days.

                        Shanghai Delight
                        218 Barber Ct, Milpitas, CA 95035

                        Hometown Favorite Chinese Cuisine
                        43689 Mission Blvd, Fremont, CA 94539

                        1. re: shanghaikid
                          bbulkow Dec 1, 2011 10:28 PM

                          Wu Xi spare ribs ????
                          Do they have anything else Wu Xi style?

                          1. re: bbulkow
                            shanghaikid Dec 2, 2011 09:19 PM

                            it's not wuxi style. just the name of the dish.
                            sparerib meat is falling off the bone tender. even the cartilege is tender, edible.

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