Fuji Huoshao in San Jose - Report

Tried this place tonight for the first time, and we enjoyed the meal. We had the following:

Beef huoshao - These are baked meat dumplings, and they were excellent. We only tried the beef variety, which were filled with a salty and firm beef patty. The pastry around them was really good! Flaky with visible layers, just the right balance of chewiness and crispness. We ended up ordering another batch of these.

Cucumber salad - Very good, fresh.
Cold Bean curd sheet - Simple and plain. Only a tiny bit spicy.
Egg drop and seaweed soup - Warm and mild, neither good nor bad.

Lamb dumplings - Not bad, but not as good as some of the places that make them in SF (for example, House of Pancake)

Noodles w/ meat sauce (zha ziang mien) - The noodles were a bit overcooked and I wasn’t sure if they were housemade. Meat sauce was fine, but meat was ground somewhat finely which I don’t prefer. Also, there wasn’t quite enough sauce for the amount of noodles.

They sell both fresh and frozen dumplings for very reasonable prices. Very friendly service, but a very small place.

Overall conclusion: go for the huoshao!!!

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Thanks! How do you compare the dumplings with places like Dumpling Kitchen (SF)?

Looks like the dumplings are made to order.

Looks like a trip is needed to give the huoshao and dumplings a try. Any idea where the chefs are from?

I would say that the dumplings are almost as good, but not quite as good, as Dumpling Kitchen. However, I only tried the lamb dumplings so I can’t compare the other fillings. It’s hard to pinpoint why they weren’t as good though…so I think it was fairly close.

I don’t know where the chefs are from, but maybe someone else does because I thought I read something about this somewhere…

The chef is from Liaoning. Huosho and Cucumber and wood ear were great. Memory is fuzzy about the noodles. I didn’t care for the eggplant appetizer.

Their dumplings are a bit different from e.g. Dumpling Kitchen. The dumpling makers have good skills as every one of the dumplings come out shaped exactly the same. They have thicker skins, likely because the chef’s from the Northeast as Hyperbowler pointed out.

We tried two types of dumplings- three deluxe (pork, chive, shrimp) and pork with cabbage. The three deluxe was the clear winner, with the chives adding much fragrance to the pork meatball and a little bit of shrimp adding a bouncy texture. They also had a tiny bit of soup inside the dumpling. There were two people making dumplings at the counter facing the dining room. The pork with chive was fine, with the pork to chive ratio much lower than the three deluxe and thus tasted more bland.

We bought a bag of 50 quick frozen three deluxes home One can also buy them fresh.

We also had the server-recommended zhajiang mian, as well as the obvious beef huoshao.
Not being much of a zhajiang mian person I found it adequate but not memorable. Perhaps somebody from the Beijing area can comment on its quality. The huoshaos were also pretty neat, though we preferred the dumpling to their huoshaos.

I had donkey meat huo shao (驴肉火烧) recently in Shanghai. At a chain called “Donkey Daddy.” They use a rectangular “bun” which is baked almost to a crisp, then split and stuffed with spicy donkey meat.

Interesting. Taste like beef, goat, or something in between? Like to try sometime.

In the sandwich it was difficult to tell from beef, chopped fine and sauteed with veggies and spices as it was. I also had it in soup, though, at the same establishment. It was sweeter than beef, perhaps a bit barnyardy, and surprisingly soft in texture.

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Donkey I don’t recall seeing. Would think good in stew. I enjoy barnyard taste, goat, mutton, etc…

Have had horse sashimi last few times in Japan. First time was very tender and sweet tasting. Subsequent four or five times good, but not game changing. Want to try cooked next time.

THe Montreal fast food chain Frite Alors! used to have horse tartare on the menu but it seems to have disappeared. Maybe @Oliverb can confirm whether it’s still available off menu. I had cooked horse (medaillons?) in Montreal at a pub called Le Petit Moulinsart long ago but was too drink on Belgian beer to recall how it tasted.

Note: for those looking for a donkey sandwich in China, Donkey Daddy has over 6.000 locations.
https://goo.gl/gXhYmZ

Not sure about Frite Alors but tartare and even bavette de cheval are not that uncommon in Montreal. I used to see it on menus often; less so these days. I’ve recently seen it at Joe Beef and Liverpool House, though I’ve never had any interest in ordering it myself.

What was startling was that Frites Alors! was basically a beer & burger chain and horse tartare was part of a pretty small but Belgian inflected menu. FA seems to have expanded its menu in a more family-friendly direction , and perhaps thought that horse on the menu turned away more people than it attracted.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold