San Mateo: best Chinese near 92 & El Camino after 9pm?
- Robert Lauriston Mar 4, 2014 05:12 PM
Any of these stand out from the crowd?
I've been to Little Shanghai and Silver House. Little Shanghai is excellent and consistently so. It can be hard to get in. If it's available, be sure to order the Ji mao cai, as this is not available elsewhere. You'll find positive several reports here. It's been four years since my last time at Silver House. It was good enough to return, but the Hong Kong places in Millbrae are much better. However, you might luck out and be there on a night when it has razor clams as a seafood special. Haven't had a chance to check out Spicy Empire yet, but I want to, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7592...
Little Shanghai is closed for vacation until April 3 (and closes at 9:30 when they are open)
Gau Poang was the WORST Americanized tasteless food I have had in years (went with friends who think it is wonderful - never again)
Silver House is best when you order from the Chinese white board (not the English one) or the other menu (not the main one). At least the house soup of the day is included with the meal (as with dessert which does not stray from either red bean or taro with sago). That would be my pick from the lot.
Or just drive further and hit up Cooking Papa in Foster City if you want congee, noodles, cheung fun, roasties, stir fry, they close at 9:30 pm (but try to get there before if possible). No house soup of the day in the vein of Silver House (if going to seafood restaurants in Millbrae or even ABC Foster City, they charge per pot of house soup of the day), no free dessert, but quite versatile otherwise in what they do.
Then there's Town of Dumpling further south on El Camino real, within 10 mins. The owner is the brother of the guy who owns Kingdom of Dumpling. They close at 9:30 pm as well....fantastic value and tasty food. The orange table side chili sauce is very addictive on dumplings, buns, appetizers (even scallion pancake), even though it is on the runny side.
Cathay....no recent experiences but according to trusted family member experiences, they've been inconsistent. I'd avoid Gau Poang.
re: K K
I'll second the recommendation for Cooking Papa. It's not the same style as the other spots, but the food's consistently good.
Silver House wasn't as good on a return visit a year or two ago when we tried the things they used to be good for. The surf clams (which were oddly charged by the pound rather than each) were overcooked, and the ja-jee-gai (crispy chicken) was dry/overcooked. Other dishes we had that day were only OK. It's a shame because this place was previously pretty good for cheap Cantonese fare in the area.
Drove past Gao Poang yesterday evening, a tad past 7 pm, and it looked pretty empty and sad. If you are already driving that distance it is not that much further to downtown San Mateo....not that there are more choices or better for Chinese, but at least there is Everyday Beijing, and China Bee if their style floats one's boat (not mine), and four to five izakayas that open till 11 pm or midnight, with Kagura serving the best shoyu and Hakata style ramen in the area (not a fan of Dojo, Santa, Parlor, Himawari). Then there's Yu-raku for Japanese style Chinese/Chuka Ryori, but some dishes might be a tad heavy on MSG....expensive but can be fun with a Yebisu beer and their ramen is not bad.
In the spot next to Lee's Comics was a Cantonese stir fry/noodle/congee shop called Yummy Yummy....now they are Fortune Star Chinese Restaurant. May be worth checking out.
Silver House is a bit rough around the edges once you get so used to a place like Yum's Bistro... and the prices are nearing Millbrae level seafood restaurant in some aspects, but they do maintain some baseline level...on some days it can be really good, and on others, just for sake of curing hunger.
Are you dining by yourself? If so, I've never had a problem getting into Little Shanghai between 8pm and closing.
The East Bay seems better for late night Chinese than the Peninsula. I'm assuming you didn't mention (10pm closing) Little Sheep or Spices because you've eaten there before.
Your placement on the peninsula might be an opportunity to hit up Beijing Restaurant in the Excelsior. Late hours except Mon and Tues and a post-9pm trip would only add 10-15 min to your ride home to Berkeley.