[Daly City, CA] Koi Palace

(For the Horde!) #41

Excellent review. Recently, I had a few meals (lunches and dinners) there. I like the place.

Maybe it is just me, but I never like the idea of truffle in a highly mix dish. First, I think the truffle flavor will be highly undermined. I am pretty sure they use Chinese black truffle. I have never against Chinese black truffle. I have some at home. I just don’t think their flavor will come through. I think all the truffle dishes these days are just too much.

Second, I totally agree with you about the buns (sweet egg custard). They always give these out. I much rather they give out oranges or apples. I usually either tell them not to give me the buns… or if they already did, then I take them home for late night snack.


I suppose if I eat a live grouper or two they will upgrade the desserts… and like you I had the buns late night and lunch the next day. Got plenty of leftovers for every dish.

Anything in particular that you like or don’t from dinner?


Wow, the little wintermelon soup looks pretty good. Looks better than the half melon soup that we got haha. I just tried the steamed chicken with fish maw at yum’s recently so I’ll post a little thing later but still KP seems to have done a great job.

Ha, this reminds me of a restaurant in Toronto named O Mei. One relative ordered their uh super set (giant lobster or alaskan king crab) and got the works for desserts. Five different types of desserts and if you wanted more, just ask! When his friend went there for dinner and ordered the non-super set, got only one dessert soup. If you’re ever around, I’d say try their four/five way cooking for their giant lobster/king crab but mind you, its pricey (even adjusted to the USD exchange rate).

In any case, your post brought up a big meal I had at Koi (in which I’m terrible really at remembering to post my meals).

After eating dim sum, I was enamored by well… the XO sauce. Free XO sauce with purchase of the half set? I’m there!

I have never had poon choi before, and neither have my folks. Note, the meal is suggested for five/ten people. I do not suggest going with less people for the meal.

In any case, it turns out that the deal for the jar of xo sauce is when you order the to go poon choi. We dashed the unappealing thought of lugging a tub of cooked food back home, and instead, opted to go and eat in house (also went on a weekday cause its… well cheaper…).

Starting off our meal I’m delighted to report that you do indeed get XO sauce with the poon choi (also smart move to ask them to get a to go container when you leave with those delicious dried scallops).

This thing is pretty impressive. Just on top, there were large shrimps, goose feet, chicken, duck, abalone, beggar’s purse tofu, fat choy, shitake mushrooms, sea cucumber, dried scallops/conpoy, and well broccoli. Underneath all that, there were two additional types of tofu (stuffed with fish and the egg tofu), roast pork, napa cabbage, pork (I presume more like the pork tenderloin), radishes, pork skin, dried mussels, and bean curd while swimming in this delicious umami-filled well… brown sauce. That sauce is delicious and the napa cabbage and radishes underneath soaked it up! I’m probably missing an ingredient or two, but in any case, KP has a good variety of stuff.

For dessert we had a pipping hot almond milk with a black sesame tong yun. Not too sweet, but it was difficult to finish this after our meal.

Additionally, as you two mentioned… those custard buns that no one can possibly eat after dinner.

For five people, this meal would be more than enough. For three people this is definitely overkill. We had four boxes of left overs and made a great lunch/dinner the next few days.

(For the Horde!) #44

Whenever I go to Koi Palace for dinner, I ordered mostly steamed fish, fish with two preps (魚兩吃) and geoduck clam with two preps (象拔蚌兩吃). To be honest, I don’t really dislike anything from them. I find that the simpler the preps, I better I like them. For example, I like blanch geoduck more than stir fry geoduck. If I have to pick one thing I don’t like about their dinner, then it is the free milk custard buns. What’s up with that?

(For the Horde!) #45

I bet if you push a little more you can get the jar of ox sauce to go. XO sauce isn’t even that much. Moreover, they are giving you the sauce anyway, it is just in the form of a jar.


Haha likely, but we had a good bit of xo sauce left over from our container so can’t complain too much.

(For the Horde!) #47

Is it good XO sauce? Or just kind of average? I mean. How do you compared to the typical $10-20 jar of XO sauce from supermarkets? Or do you feel the Koi Palace ones use better/high ratio ingredients? Maybe a lot more conpoy (dried scallops)?

Maybe I should make some XO sauce on my own. I do have a lot of good quality conpoy…etc.


I thought they did a good job. Nice mixture of conpoy and spiciness. Though I really don’t eat XO sauce too often to do a fair comparison.

Sadly sometimes for our family, if there’s a “deal” we might jump on it even if its a terrible deal haha.

(For the Horde!) #49

I see. Me too. I like XO sauce, but I don’t use it very often… High five.


I had been wondering where I had this dish before as it seemed something I had eaten somewhat recently. Its Tasting Court in HK, without the stuff that I considered extraneous at Koi- foie, truffle. Obviously, the wok skills were better at Tasting Court too.

(For the Horde!) #51

I like Koi Palace, but yes, foie and truffle can be interesting, but most of the time distracting. These days people just put too many things to try to impress. It works though – to get customers excited.


I’d probably argue that in elevated cooking, what a chef leaves out is just as important as what a chef puts in.


Just a slight update on dim sum. I tend to go there early morning (right when it opens) so I actually don’t wait and this tactic still works! Even on weekends! Well… at least for small tables…

At any rate… I’ve noticed that Koi Palace is now displaying their specials now on the little receipt forms. That’s a nice update, though there’s really no great layout to indicate what you want (Put the number next to the item was what I did).

Decided to try an old throw back item and a newer rice noodle roll.

In any case, started off our meal with classic beef balls with a bit of yuba steamed on the bottom and a dash of Worcestershire sauce. As one of the “small” classifications for KP’s dim sum menu, I guess that’s a victory… In any case, I enjoyed them, still has a good texture to the bite.

We got the steamed daikon cake with dried shrimp and meat. I was pleasantly surprised to see it topped with XO sauce (no mention of that on either the Chinese or English portion of the menu). A nice little spicy kick that goes well with the daikon’s sweetness. Good strips of daikon were in the dish, so it wasn’t just steamed dough.

Next up was one of their special of the day. The wild yam fish maw with duck feet. If you can’t tell, all the aforementioned ingredients were wrapped in yuba skin and had a good braised sauce accompanying the dish. However, the yuba skin seems to have been steamed a little too long. I’m not a huge fan of duck feet either. I also have little idea how people ate this dish, I just unwrapped it and ate each item separately. The duck bones prevented eating it together. I believe this item is considered a more traditional/old-style dim sum. In any case, I wasn’t too interested in trying this dish in the future at KP.

Next up were the crab roe sea bass dumplings. Even though they had an open top, the dumpling was still quite juicy. The asparagus could’ve looked a little brighter, but the fish wasn’t overcooked so still quite enjoyable.

We got the siu mai next and mmm… look wise it could’ve been better. But eating the dumpling was still quite good. The meat still had a nice textured bounce that is chewable and not a solid puck of protein.

Next up were the XO har gow. I’ve always enjoyed them, and I still find them quite good. Wasn’t too pleased with the placement of the dumplings though, the wrapper were a little close to each other and they seemed to like sticking to each other.

I know… I know… not quite the same as the XLBs you’d find in Shanghai etc. etc. … but I still quite like them. I find them to have a good amount of soup and I find the soup more savory than sweet (I prefer savory over sweetness). The meat is a little more compact than I desire, as I recall hyperbowler linking it to the use of machinery.

Ah… the pumpkin rice roll with sea cucumber and seafood (and by seafood, mixture of scallops and shrimp couldn’t seem to find other items). Honestly, if you don’t add the soy sauce, it looks terrible…

There we go! In any case, couldn’t quite tell the sea cucumber apart as I tasted mostly the shrimp/scallop mixture. I still found it quite tasty. The pumpkin pretty much just made the rice noodles yellowy-orange and seemed to cause the noodles to lessen the stretchy/chewiness of the noodles. I think I prefer the regular variation more.

This item, the abalone and smoked ham dumpling soup) is still one my favorite items to order at dim sum restaurants (though usually its dried scallops and shitake mushrooms). Add a dash of the red vinegar to the soup, and it brightens the taste just a bit. Pretty much a buddha jumps over the wall variation, I think KP does a great job on this dish.

As one of the few deep fried things my family likes to order… we got the glutinous dumpling with diced pork. A nice crunch on the outside with a relatively thin chewy later in the middle, combined with the mushroom and diced pork filling in the middle makes this a delight.

Lastly to end our meal, we got the herbal turtle essence. Nothing too fancy about this, but the bits of syrup over the herbal jello has a nice cooling feeling-- a palate cleansing effect for me.

Overall, I still think Koi Palace does a great job for dim sum and I’m always happy to see variations in dim sum (feels like they’re trying to stay relevant and not rest on their laurels). Could things be better… well… yes, what can’t? But I don’t think Koi Palace is falling from the bay area’s dim sum ranking (I also have no idea how the Daly City version compares to the Milpitas or Dublin versions but I would like to think they’re very comparable).

(For the Horde!) #54

The Siu Mai usually look much better than this in your photo. I do like their Siu Mai. I tried the pumpkin rice rool with sea cucumber too. I didn’t hate it, but also didn’t like it. What I am told is that the Koi’s herbal turtle essence uses real turtle shell (most places do not ). Thanks for your update.


Yeah, not sure what happened that resulted in that appearance. They tasted just fine though lol.

Huh, wow that’s news to me. Glad to see they still incorporate that.


Went to Koi Palace for an early dim sum lunch. First visit for me in a long time. We got there early at around 10AM and were seated right away. It was probably a good idea to go a little early as when we left there were a lot of people waiting for a table. We had:

Coffee Pork Ribs ($8.80)

One of the dishes that KP is known for. My first time trying it. Slightly crispy ribs in a sweet slightly bitter coffee glaze, topped with a little sweet whipped cream. Pretty good, but I wouldn’t rush back to re-order it.

Har Gow ($5.95)

Very good, lots of shrimp. Wrappers were thin but a little too thin as they were tearing apart a little.

Ja Leung ($5.95)

This is basically a youtiao stuffed in cheung fun wrapper, served with sweet soy sauce like cheung fun. Pretty good rendition. It had I think some hoisin and sesame paste on the side for dipping.

Pig Feet ($7.95)

First time having this dish. Quite good. Served cold. Gelatinous skin with firm meat. The marinade gave it a sweet and savory taste. One of those things where you can eat one and be done with it though.

Suckling Pig ($22)

Great! Worth the $22. Delicious crispy crackling skin, not super fatty, just the right amount of fat. Served on top of a bed of beans, with a sweet sauce on the side.

Pork Buns in Clay Pot ($6.50)

I forget what this was called, it was going around and resembled shenjiang bao. In a clay pot with some onions on the bottom probably to keep the buns from sticking to the pot. A little wine(?) was poured into the pot, which sizzled and generated some steam to ostensibly give it some more flavor. Wouldn’t get these again, they were very bread-y and the pork filling wasn’t very juicy.

Fried Daikon Cake (Lo Bak Go) ($5.95)

Fried turnip cake arranged like a game of Jenga, served with a spoonful of XO sauce. Pretty good.

Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Beans ($4.95)

I’m not a big fan of this dish in general and only had a bite. It was fine.

Deep Fried Glutinous Rice Dumplings (Haam Seui Gok) ($5.95)

Delicious, nicely fried mochi like wrapper. Could have maybe used a little more filling though.

Xiao Long Bao with Crab ($9.90)

The bill listed these as made with Maine crab which was interesting. These were really delicious. Lots of broth inside with crab and pork. Good textured wrappers.

Tripe and Things ($8.80)

Forgot the actual name of this dish, but it was mostly tripe with some daikon and some other organ meat. I only had a piece of tripe, which was good and clean tasting, with good flavor from the broth.

Almond Cream Filled Buns ($5.95)

Dessert. Very nice textured bun dough, with a crispier layer on top. Almond cream filling had a lot of almond flavor and wasn’t too sweet.

A good meal overall - highlights for me were the crab XLB, haam seui gok, the suckling pig, and the almond cream filled buns.

(For the Horde!) #57

Nice. I am eating there. The Dim Sum is as good as always. Well, the funny thing is that I still enjoy their standard dim sum more. I ordered a few from the special menu. While they are interesting, they are not amazing.

Of the one you have above, I would say I usually enjoy their shrimp dumplings the most. The suckling pig, pan fried daikon cake, pork ribs and tripe and things are good too.


“Tripe and things” is the dish typically known in the Bay Area as “beef haslet”, no?


That term is new to me - in Cantonese I believe it is called ngow jaap, which translates to beef organs or beef tripe.

(For the Horde!) #60

Actually it just translates to “beef mixture”, so in a way “things” is not a bad translation.

By the way I had some shrimp dumplings from Koi (since we last communicated). They are not as good as before. The wrapper is a little thin and it is a little gummy too. I think they used to be better. I still love their steamed BBQ pork buns. The various steam rice rolls are great.

Had a crab on Sunday. It was good too. I meant to have a fish, but people arrived before me took out all the fishes I want – you probably ate one of them, I bet.