Grand Palace [South San Francisco]

Hey everyone,

Just had a little jaunt at Grand Palace this past month to try their dim sum and dinner. Located right on Grand avenue in downtown South San Francisco, this is one large banquet seafood restaurant that routinely does wedding venues in the area. Also a good location if you’re around the biotech area of the oyster point region. In any case, I tried out their dim sum lunch and dinner and if you’re too lazy to read whatever I write afterwards, I’m more impressed with their dinner than dim sum.

Lunch time:

We ordered a smattering of items, but to start it out from the top left and going clockwise:

  • Steamed radish cakes (a little more on the dense side for me but alright).
  • Steamed phoenix scallop dumplings (I think they add maybe a spring of cilantro with this dumpling but I’m not sure if the open top dumplings are that great compared to the regular enclosed ones where it traps more juice.)
  • Shrimp dumplings (Okay, not super juicy but not bad)
  • Siu mai (more on the denser end, doesn’t feel hand chopped)
  • Yuba lined beef balls (on the par with most dim sum places, I always liked adding the Worcestershire sauce but personal preference)
  • Steamed mushroom buns (I first recall seeing these in HK but now they appear to be popping up all over the place. I think a thin layer of cocoa on top of the bun to give it the shitake look, but pretty good bun overall).

Baked BBQ pork, was pretty good as well, though I prefer the crispy or pineapple bun top on these. Mushroom bun with the stem in the back.

Rice noodle roll medley (BBQ Pork, shrimp, beef, and vegetarian in one order). The rice noodles were pretty smooth though I thought the BBQ pork had too much gristle.

XO stir fried rice noodle rolls. I wish they had a little more crisp stir fry on the rice noodles (bit soft) but the XO still had a nice bite to it.

My dad went and ordered the XLB but I still prefer the ones made by Koi Palace/Dragon Beaux for XLBs ordered in dim sum restaurants. The meat just felt solid and the skin was a little bit thick.

A personal favorite of mine, the dumpling soup (where I think originally, the soup was actually contained within the dumpling…). A sizeable amount of broth is surrounding the dumpling, but alas like a lot of the meat dumplings everything felt a little too solid and dense.

Overall, decent dim sum if you’re around the area but I think dinner is a better choice.


Woo hoo! Promotional price of 40 dollars, I was expecting more of a tiny winter melon soup. Nope, this thing is huge!

Also not recommended to order if you only have three people eating (oops).

In any case, the wintermelon soup was quite nice. A bit heavier on the shaoxing wine fragrance, but a nice broth. Ingredients include crab meat, conpoy, duck, ham, chicken, springs of carrots and ginger. I’ve always loved wintermelon and I think Grand Palace did a good job (not as good as Yum’s… but I don’t think I can ask for his version anymore).

We also noticed on their special page about a yuba braised black bass and that seemed like a good choice. Personally don’t think the shine is on the fish’s flesh but the brown savory sauce covering the entire dish. Not too salty, but goes great with rice.

Thinking it was a small wintermelon, we decided to order the pea sprouts with abalone mushrooms. Nice and tender, no super stringy bits. However, the gigantic wintermelon soup pretty much predominated our meal so we didn’t have much headway into this dish.

Not pictured was the clear broth with beef stew. I forgot to take a picture and pretty much started eating it before really thinking. I wouldn’t order this dish for my next visit. The beef was okay, but a little tough and stringy. The radishes were just semi-hard and did not have that soft bite that you would expect. And for personal preference, the clear broth was not too my liking (maybe a little much on the star anise?).

Dessert was red bean with tapioca (super hot which is a delightful sign, but I … don’t really enjoy the dessert soups). The coconut mochi had a nice chewy bite. I’m not certain the reason why we got this dessert, usually its only the soup but I was happy with its inclusion.

Overall, I found dinner to be much more enjoyable than lunch. I saw a huge clay pot brought out to another table and we asked the server what that was. Apparently they do the pepper pig intestine with gingko soup. I recall having that in Vancouver, so I think we’ll try to preorder that soup the next time we come around!


Is that a Chiu Chow dish like pepper pig stomach soup? Did you see any other Chiu Chow items? If they have a specialist Chiu Chow chef there, I’d be interested to see what their repertoire is.

That’s some precariously-dangling crab meat and meat around the melon edge…! Is the soup warm enough to heat up the room temperature crab meat and meat?

Partially answering my own question. I found one page of dinner menu that has some soya marinated stuff from Chiu Chow.

They also got the Chiu Chow congee F108:

Looks like its not very extensive then, at least on the regular menu.

Their regular menu, all pages:

You know, I have no idea where that dish originates from haha. I recall having this soup in Richmond (British Columbia):

The chef hails from Zhongshan China and looking at the map doesn’t seem that close to the Chiu Chow area. However, I have no idea on the background.

Oh, they were already cooked (probably dredged up from the soup) and placed on top. I recall seeing a few places doing this presentation before, but the soup was very hot regardless.

And to be honest, I’m not that familiar with Chiu Chow cuisine. I tried the one restaurant in SF (Tēo Restaurant) and probably had a few dishes here and there but I probably lumped it all under the Cantonese umbrella.

Feels about right. They pick probably the most common Chiu Chow dishes and put them on the menu.

Ha wouldn’t surprise me. But if you’re ever in Vancouver, I suggest checking out Bamboo Grove for that soup. I thought it was quite delicious (big peppery kick but no off-smell from the use of offal parts).

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Just decided to check out Grand Palace again.

Got the steamed turnip cakes which were pretty good.

Steamed beef balls which were okay, there’s some yuba at the bottom as well!

The shrimp dumplings were okay, but I personally found the wrappers on the thick end.

We tried these phoenix dumplings which were… eh. These scallop dumpling (should have both dry and fresh I think) were just well… luke warm. They were cooked, just seemed barely reheated. Eh.

The classic siu mai! Well they’re pretty good just not spectacular.

One of my favorites, this dumpling soup was well done with a good broth, the dumpling meat wasn’t super packed into each other with good bits of shrimp and dried scallops as well.

Hot and crispy, a wonderful combination. Though I personally like a little thinner skin, these little fried and savory glutinous pork dumplings are quite nice.

Overall, I thought this quick brunch was good, but can still be improved. But! A little sign on the table caught our eyes.

Wintermelon soup for 40 bucks… the same deal as before!? Alright, I’m game. We decided to give dinner a go!

Oh yeah! This wintermelon soup hits the spot! You can see duck and crab meat on top, and within the wintermelon, ham, shitake mushrooms, lotus seeds, shrimp, and lean pork cubes were apparent. The broth was rich with a notes of shoaxing wine in the back. The only complaint was that the bowls used to serve the soup was on the smaller side…

Just a classic sweet and sour pork short ribs. The bones add a little be more insulation effect, and helps just a little with adding a bit more moisture to the nugget of meat. Not cloying sweet, with a nice sourness, I really can’t complain.

These are the pea sprouts with crab meat on top! A little like a soft scrambled eggs with crab meat was a nice

Following that veggie plate, we got bamboo pith and these deep fried egg tofu which were soft and pillowy, enjoyed that as well.

For dessert, some cute coconut and mango jello/pudding (still have never figured out why they call it a pudding…)

And dessert soup consisting of potato… eh haha.

Overall, think I enjoyed dinner more than lunch. Will definitely try going back for more wintermelon soup! There’s also some good week day deals like black bass for $12 a lb and so forth.


That winter melon soup looks & sounds great! Will have to gather a group & try it. Also, the steamed turnip cake looks really nice, rarely do I see it with the topping shown…

Or a to go container works quite well with excess soup…

I may or may not have had eaten only half the winter melon at the end of the meal.

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I really liked the soup last time, and thought what the hey, lets do it once more!

Round two! This time around, we got a wider more squat winter melon as the tureen. Same ingredients as before and still just as delicious (plenty left over as well!)

I liked the bamboo pith with fried tofu and got it once more, and well, its more of the same and I still like it.

Next up for something different, we tried out the Wu-shek style spareribs. The spareribs were pretty big but the meat was quite tender. The sauce wasn’t too sweet and had an aromatic onion smell (as you can see the onions), but I’m not certain on how to best describe it. A little bit of vinegar, a dash of savoriness from soy? I’ll have to look into how they prepare this.

For a side of veggies, large abalone mushrooms over pea sprouts.

Not something I normally order but family wanted to try it out. We got the sea cucumber and mushroom with duck web. The dish is quite savory and packed with collagen. The sea cucumber with its soft gelatinous texture and the shitake mushrooms simply absorb the savory sauce. The skin of the duck feet was easy to separate from the bones but I personally don’t really care for duck feet or sea cucumbers… oh well, sauce was good!

And to end our meal, we ordered the stir fried glutinous rice with lobster. The rice was quite good, a dry stir fry. The lobster meshed quite well with the rice. I don’t think I ever posted about it before, but I tried the steamed lobster with glutinous rice and that was… a little bit more watery.

As our meal came to a close we got two desserts. The first one was this coconut mochi item. Not too sweet with a nice coconuty chew.

And the final dessert item is the pomelo, mango, sago dessert with a slight twist. Not too sure why pineapples were in it, but it gave it an interesting twist. Otherwise a nice refreshing dessert for summer (ignore the fact that its around 55-60F outside…)

Anywho, I’m finding Grand Palace to be a pretty solid dinner option in the Peninsula!


Nice. This has been recommended to me by my hairdresser recently. Though I don’t head out to SSF much. Glad to hear they are doing solid dinner.

Yeah they’re doing a good job so far. Decided to go this past Thursday to catch a dinner special (Empress/Surf clams for 7.95)

Anyways, started off the meal with a pound of steamed ridgeback shrimp!

Sweet shrimp without a massive amount of shells and still probably a vector for the spicy, savory soy sauce (I uh… didn’t take a picture).

Opted for the old fired soup this time around (the winter melon soup deal is still going though! Saw another table order it), and it was also winter melon haha. I thought it was well done, with a good savory tone.

We were going to order pea sprouts for our veggies tonight, but the waiter mentioned they had a special veggie dish. Turns out it was ice lettuce (! I don’t recall really it being sold in the west coast in regular grocery stores so this is a big surprise for me. The way this dish was served was chilled with sesame seeds on top and there was this other sauce that came along that was a sesame/mayo thing. I rather enjoyed the ice lettuce (very nice crunch!), but probably would prefer it served hot (Tycoon Tann 大官廰 (Hong Kong, Hong Kong) had it served with superior stock) . Regardless, definitely intrigued that I was able to find it in the bay area.

We ordered two empress clams, served steamed with garlic and vermicelli. I didn’t think the soy sauce was really that needed, as the garlic and salt added a nice hit and the vermicelli absorbed some steamed clam juice. The empress clams were rather large as well.

A nicely steamed mouse grouper. Classic steamed preparation that I can’t fault. Though this fish did have a bit more tiny bones so just watch out.

Lastly for our non-seafood protein of the meal, we got this smoked prime rib that was flash fried with a taro breading. The meat was quite tender and the taro added some extra textural elements. Quite good!

It was served with this black pepper/pepper sauce of sorts that wasn’t quite needed but had a nice aromatic savory dash.

Dessert was black sesame dessert, mango/coconut pudding and some coconut mochi. Wasn’t a huge fan of the black sesame as I thought it was on the sweeter end but other three items were nice and adorable.

Overall, I really like the direction of Grand Palace so far for dinner! They have a seasonal menu booklet that we ordered a few things from (and I happen to forget to take a picture…) and I’m interested to try a few more items in the future.