Koi Palace at Serramonte Plaza
365 Gellert Ave
Daly City, CA 94015
Web Site: http://www.koipalace.com
After getting off a five and a half hour plane ride from Newark and arriving at San Francisco, I got the rental car and picked up my colleague, Cheryl, also just arriving from Cleveland, who would be joining me that week for training in the Silicon Valley area. Both of us were absolutely starving. It was only 4PM, but for us, it was dinnertime.
Knowing that we had at least an hour or so drive ahead of us driving down to the Morgan Hill/Gilroy area south of San Jose, we wanted to get a good meal in before hitting any potential traffic on the 85/101. I knew exactly where I wanted to go the second I landed in San Francisco. Koi Palace.
I had eaten at Koi Palace about three years earlier, and was introduced to the incredible dim sum that the restaurant offers. During the daytime and on the weekends, Koi Palace serves upwards of 100 different varieties of yum cha. The restaurant seats upwards of 300-400 people at a time — usually close to capacity — and looks like something out of the crazy fight scenes in Kill Bill or the luxurious residence of an Asian James Bond villain, with its huge vaulted ceiling and fish ponds in the middle of the main dining room. Admittedly, we have some pretty good Hong-Kong style restaurants in New York City’s Chinatown and in the Queens and New Jersey suburbs, but nothing even close to this. I mean, LIVE Alaskan king crabs? Where the heck do you find those in New York?
View of the restaurant from the parking lot at 4:30PM. This is as empty as most people will ever see it, as during prime dinner and lunch hours, this place can get packed and frequently you have to wait on line to get in. So go early.
A partial view of the cavernous main dining room.
Are you ready for some serious Hong Kong-style Seafood? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Oh we got crabs!!!!!
Live abalone! Don’t these things look like the creatures from that old Star Trek episode that flew through the air and got stuck on Spock’s face?
Koi Palace is also known for its banquet menus as well. These are priced for a dozen people.
Prized shark fins on display.
Gotta start out with some Jasmine tea.
Peanuts with little fishy things in it.
A plate of Chinese pickles.
Hot and sour soup for 2 with dumplings. Probably the best hot and sour soup I’ve ever had. Nice sour bite, plenty of “stuff” in it and not at all gloppy. The addition of dumplings really makes the dish too.
Hot and Sour soup portion with dumpling.
A small plate of fried dumplings. We couldn’t resist.
The piece de resistance, the Malaysian Curry Crab. This is an entire locally-caught Dungeness crab in a spicy Curry sauce. Its very messy to eat, you have to do it with your hands.
A closeup of the Malaysian Curry Crab with the carapace removed.
We also got some of these live, freshly steamed “L.A.” prawns. These guys were absolutely huge. They were served with a simple soy/scallion/ginger dipping sauce.
Cheryl is utterly freaking out over the size of these shrimps.
Prawn closeup. Many of these also had roe attached to them, which is a Chinese delicacy.
Dessert, slices of orange and orange gelatin. A nice simple and refreshing end of an amazing Chinese seafood meal.