[Milbrae, CA] Tai Wu

Weird, I could’ve sworn I wrote something about Tai Wu. In any case, this is a relatively huge Chinese banquet restaurant with 3 stories in the suburb area of the Bay Area. I recently ate dim sum here so here’s a quick run through of what I got:

We had this crispy shrimp wrapped rice noodle roll. The rice noodle rolls were pretty good with a little bit of bounce and nice smoothness. The only odd part of this dish was the hoisin-like sauce on top of it. I would have preferred it with just soy sauce (not poured yet) than the tanginess of the sauce. Shrimp was nice and crispy.

Next up were these dace fish balls/paste with poached lettuce. I thought they did a good job on these dace balls as they weren’t super dense and still springy. The lettuce was uh… poached nicely? Dunno, not too much to report but still had a nice crisp.

On the picture of the dim sum menu, these were suppose to be uhm… birds. Not too sure on that, but these buns had wintermelon as its filling and was relatively similar to the filling found in wife cakes. Not too sweet, but the buns remind me more of some sort of misshapen rams or something…

We also got the odd looking custard buns and they tasted well… like custard buns haha.

Following the buns, we got a more traditional looking siu mai. They are relatively sizeable but I thought they did a good job on the filling. The meat didn’t seem to bind together in a dense puck, but relatively minced.

After that, we received some steamed turnip/radish cake and it was… mm… okay. A little too much on the flour imo and not enough radish made the item on the denser end.

As if the fish balls weren’t enough, we also got the beef balls. I thought they did a good job with the beef as well, as it had that soft but bouncy texture that wasn’t too dense.

On to the soupy items! This was the dried scallop/conpoy dumpling in soup. One of my favorite dim sum items, pretty much a large dumpling of conpoy, pork, and shitake mushrooms floating in superior stock.

I also noticed a kitchen special for the Buddha jumps over the wall dried scallop dumpling soup. I definitely want to compare it to the regular scallop dumpling soup, but the main difference is that it had an additional slice of jinhua ham, abalone, and sea cucumber. I didn’t think it made too big of a difference as such I’d just stick with the regular version.

Following the soups, onto the deep fried pork dumpling. Sadly, this deep fried wasn’t as delightful if it is not freshly fried. The skin had a good chewy texture, but the crispy crunch from the exterior was missing as it sat out for a little long. The fillings were the standard pork and shitake mushrooms.

A special item I didn’t think I would see. This is a pan fried lotus leaf wrapped rice with a little bit of egg. If anyone bothered following me in the Boston topic, that was the first time I’ve encountered that dish (Heading to Boston for a few days late October, any recs?) anywhere, but hey, we have it in the bay area as well (@barleywino)! Anywho, its pretty much as you would expect, the lotus wrapped rice has a nice crunchy exterior though because it was pan fried its a little dryer than the steamed variant.

Ending our dim sum meal with a little bit of tofu pudding. The tofu was soft and smooth though I wish they used a little shallow pudding scooper item rather than a ladle…

At any rate, I think Tai Wu does a good job in the Milbrae dim sum scene. They have some interesting variants that I normally don’t see in other dim sum parlors such as a half spicy half normal siu mai for instance.