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Dim Sum or good Chinese in San Jose Area

My mother-in law is having her 80th birthday and we are looking for a special restaurant to take her and her friends. She is originally from Shanghai and want this to be great. Anywhere from San Jose to Palo Alto is fine with us. There are going to be 12-15 of us celebrating. Does not have to be fancy, just really good food.

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  1. I haven't been there in a year but Shanghai in the Cupertino Village shopping center was very good.


    1. I have had decent to good dim sum at The Mayflower in the Asian market complex on Barber Lane in Milpitas. I haven't been in a while, but they often had a large groups there.

      428 Barber Lane Milpitas, CA 95035
      (408) 922-2700

      2 Replies
      1. re: KatoK

        Is Mayflower better than ABC these days? Haven't been to either lately.

        1. re: vincentlo

          i was at ABC last week. the dumplings and porridge are fine. everything else, like the noodles and other dimsum, are somewhat pedestrian.

      2. If you're looking for good South Bay dim sum, Joy Luck in Cupertino Village is a very safe bet. (I go there almost weekly)

        Try to reserve for that large of a party, or get there before 11 AM (assuming it's a weekend).

        4 Replies
        1. re: Jon914

          Joy Luck is good. The place can be confusing as it has two dining rooms (one nice, one relatively funky), with entrances on opposite sides of the building, connected by a narrow hallway that doesn't look like it goes anywhere except the bathrooms. The first time I went there I went in on the funky side and it took me a while to figure out that the people I was meeting were on the nice side.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Oh, really. I think I went to the funky side and wasn't too impressed. I found the food a bit on the greasy side with a lot of flavor (grease == flavor). Is the menu on the 'nice side' different - price wise, or item wise?

            1. re: bbulkow

              Looked to me like the same carts served both sides but I don't know, I've only eaten on the nice side.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              The two sides are different restaurants. As is the case with high-end HK-style restarants, they have a regular banquet hall where they serve dim sum and dinner in nicer settings and then a stripped down cafe-like setting that serves BBQ, congee, rice plates and wonton noodles. For the latter, Cooking Papa (which interestingly enough is opened by the ex-owner/chef of the now defunct San Mateo Joy Luck), is far better for that sort of thing and just a 10 minute drive away.

              Dim sum is never carted on the cafe side, though you are allowed to order some dim sum from that side if you ask.

          2. The Grand Fortune Seafood restaurant is an overlooked hole in the wall in South San Jose that is situated in a strip mall plaza that also houses the excellent Mariscos La Costa taqueria, a TK noodle and Marina Foods. The place is usually empty at lunch but don't let that fool you. The staff bends over backwards to accommodate the needs of the clients and the dim sum is high quality with ample fillings and especially sweet and fresh tasting seafood.

            Grand Fortune Seafood Restaurant
            4100 Monterey Hwy
            San Jose, CA 95111

            1. I'm a Chinese myself and used to live in the area for several years. A good Dim Sum/Seafood Chinese restaurant is just diagonal across the streets from Ranch 99 in Cupertino (see below for the address for Ranch 99)

              Sorry that I canot recall the name of the restaurant. It's east of Wolfe Rd. and north of Homestead Rd, which is just off I-280.

              Ranch 99 Market
              10983 North Wolfe Road
              Cupertino, CA 95014

              Julia Wong, Show Host

              5 Replies
              1. re: ChineseHomeCookingWN

                I see a building on google where you describe, and zooming in it looks like a restaurant, but google doesn't know the name of the restaurant either.

                Is it:
                New Port Restaurant
                1686 S Wolfe Rd
                Sunnyvale, CA 94087

                Yelp says they are _MUCH_ better to people who speak chinese.

                1. re: bbulkow

                  for some reasons, no Chinese restaurant shows up at that corner when I did a google maps search around Ranch 99.

                  The restaurant is a larger Chinese one and faces Wolfe. It's been in business for a long time. There is only one or two restaurants at that corner.

                  Per the address your provided, I took a look at the picture of the builder on google maps and I'd say it is the one with 99% confidence.

                  Sorry that I cannot even recall the Chinese name,let alone the English name, which has no connection with the Chinese name.

                  If all failed, you would have plenty of good back-up options in the Ranch 99 plaza though parking can be difficult on the weekends.

                  Good Luck!

                  Julia Wong, Show Host

                  1. re: ChineseHomeCookingWN

                    ChineseHomeCookingWN, what did you like at New Port? What style was the food? What dishes did they excel at?

                  2. re: bbulkow

                    That address was previously home to Sam Kee, then Pan Tao, both moderately pricedm, relatively large Cantonese places with dim sum service.

                    I'd go to Joy Luck instead in the shopping center.

                    One place that hasn't been mentioned yet in this litany of dim sum places is Hong Kong Saigon Harbor Seafood in Sunnyvale.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      Which is a place I have actually had good dim sum although it was 2 years ago. Really good squid, 3 kinds of chicken feet, good chive dumplings, fried taro things, Really noisy.

                2. Celebrating 80th or any milestone birthday is a real big deal in Chinese culture. Dim sum is typically served during lunch and while can be a fun family affair, doesn't hold as much weight as a full onslaught of a dinner feast/celebration (where the food tends to be better and more extravagant). For that reason alone, and this is just my opinion, separate the dim sum from the actual dinner celebration, or skip it entirely in favor of a more lavish dinner.

                  For dinner, consider Liou's House in Milpitas.

                  If your spouse can speak Mandarin, call ahead and reserve some banquet style special dishes in advance, and ask what's available and the price.


                  Here's an older report with a photo of the special preorder menu


                  The honey ham dish, winter melon soup, shrimp and cruller lettuce wraps, crispy 8 treasure stuffed duck, are great banquet pre-order dishes at Liou's (amongst a few others), as well as Ti Pang, a Shanghainese themed stewed pork dish.

                  While the style is a cross between Hunan and Taiwanese approach to regional Chinese, it's typical of of dinner banquet food is like in Taiwan, which may suit your mother in law's tastes more. The other option could be the Shanghainese restaurant in Cupertino Village, but I haven't been there before, and that place can also do Peking Duck apparently as well to make things more interesting.

                  If you prefer Cantonese, then Joy Luck Place in Cupertino is probably a decent bet. Should you end up doing dinner there, ask the restaurant for the dinner banquet menu on milestone birthday celebrations (usually those are pre-set and sometimes not necessarily the best value). The vital item is the "peach bun" 壽包 at the end to signify a birthday and longevity.

                  Here's Koi Palace's Golden Birthday banquet for reference that serves a similar purpose

                  http://www.koipalace.com/blank.html?d... src=images/goldentabletop.jpg>

                  The braised efu noodles replaces the typical fried rice at the end, and re-named longevity / long noodles.

                  Pix: http://www.flickr.com/photos/81226325...

                  The other option is that you and your spouse figure out entrees to pre-order that the guests would like, and custom order peach buns at the end.

                  1. Thank you for all the responses. My Mom in law wants Dim Sum or making it a luncheon of some sort. Joy luck is certainly a possibility especially the nice side. Of course the noodles are very important for this occasion.

                    1. Anybody have an opinion on Dynasty v. Joy Luck v. New Port. These seem to be the three in contention after consulting friends up there.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: steveburstein

                        I've never been to New Port, but if it's between Dynasty and Joy Luck, Joy Luck handily wins food-wise.

                        Their siu mai, steamed beef balls, spareibs, tripe, pea shoot dumpling, chicken feet, and char siu puff pastry are particularly strong.

                        Overall, it's a consistently good performance and selection. I wouldn't dine here weekly if it weren't the case.

                      2. Can't believe I'm sharing this, but the good people at Ocean Delight deserve to be on this thread. Dim sum all day everyday, along with other Chinese cuisine. Very good assortment of seafood offerings but its the destination dishes like salt and pepper tofu and scallop dumpings along with their 'best in area' sticky rice and lotus buns call to me.

                        It's 60 a minute drive for me that I gladly make. Maybe not all of the creative dishes you might want...but then again, ask and you may receive. They are always doing new things ar Ocean delight.

                        5400 Monterey Hwy, San Jose · (408) 281-3838