[SF Peninsula - Millbrae] Birthday Banquet suggestions

Hello all,

I’d like to host a birthday banquet for 8 people, preferably at one of the Chinese restaurants in Millbrae.

What do my fellow Hungry Onion community members suggest?

(Osho from chowhound, now here with my real name)

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Mmm… lunch or dinner time? Any specific type of dish/food?


I’m thinking pork belly, steamed fish, bok choy with tofu, giant prawns … that sort of spread.

If you really like the Person with the birthday, royal feast. If you like them just alright , the kitchen or Asian pearl will work. If you are just being polite, tai Wu.


Based on those listed items, I’m thinking you’re leaning towards a more Cantonese style seafood dinner, but feel free to correct me.

@boringusername has suggested a few places to eat but I would not lean towards Royal Feast if the birthday person is expecting the Cantonese seafood. I thought Royal Feast does a great job at times, but it wasn’t what my I would order based on your list. Also the restaurant is a little smaller and from the few times I’ve gone, their seafood tank is not always fully stocked.

I’ll just list off the top of my head the big banquet style restaurants in Milbrae (three were mentioned by boringusername) just alphabetically. Just note, though I have eaten dinner at most of these places, its usually just small family style and not banquet setting.

Asian Pearl - Pretty much a sister restaurant to The Kitchen (same restaurant group). I can’t really give much feedback as I haven’t actually gone here for a while for dinner. They definitely do have a seafood tank though.

Hong Kong Flower Lounge - One of the oldest of the HK style banquet halls, they have a pretty large restaurant (two stories + small parking) but the style of service/decor seems to harken back to the 90s. I have gone here towards the end of last year and thought they did a good job regarding their seafood items. They typically have a very good variety of fishes in their tanks but prices can be pretty high on certain fishes (e.g. coral trout…)

The Kitchen - Sister restaurant of Asian Pearl. They were one of the more recently remodeled of the banquet style restaurants so if you need to factor ambiance into the party that might help. I can’t say I had a relatively recent dinner there (year and a half maybe?) but I thought they had some different dishes (pork intestine wasabi chicken) and steamed pork patty with the steamed fish.

Tai Wu - Probably the largest out of all banquet restaurants and recently built, this three story restaurant has a large number of tanks, but last time I went, it seems it was mostly filled with (1lb ish) lobsters. Not sure why that was, but I had a good family dinner and had some … interesting dishes (ordered a steamed tomato with basically dried plum seasoning on it). The steamed fish we ordered was quite good and they had this stir fry with chives and the little fishies among other vegetables (had a great texture, as I was mostly expecting the traditional Chinese sausage and wood ear mushroom stir fry).

Zen Peninsula - I actually had a winter holiday banquet (two years ago) here with some friends so I really can’t give feedback on its current cooking ability but I can give some tidbits of our meal. It was for a party of 14 so I did preorder 2 items. The first was the wintermelon soup where they pretty much hollow out the interior of the wintermelon and double boil it. The second item I preordered was their deep fried glutinous stuffed chicken. I think Zen did a good job on both items though I’d still give a nod to Yum’s Bistro (with the old chef) for a better rendition (also note, I haven’t been back since Chef Yum retired). One other highlight of our meal and possibly Zen’s claim to fame around Milbrae is that they tend to have gigantic lobsters in the tanks (well over 5 pounds). So when push comes to shove… we caved and ordered a tenish pound lobster. That thing was huge, but we had it cooked three ways (steamed with ginger and scallions and vermicelli, deep fried with pretty much garlic, pepper, and salt, and lastly we had the tomale steamed with eggs). I will say, I was not a huge fan of the steamed eggs with tomale (got a little… fishy) so I’d say stick with steamed eggs with clams instead haha. Overall, I think they did a good job on the banquet.

In regards, I don’t think you can really go wrong with any of the places. I don’t think I’ve had a subpar meal (average maybe, but not terrible) at any of the restaurants around. I would ask if they do the birthday buns (the longevity peach things) at any of the places if the person likes that item. All of the aforementioned restaurants do dim sum in the morning so they highly likely will have it. If you have time I recommend just giving a look at the dinnertime menus and see if there are anything that you like (We had a little harder time ordering dinner at The Kitchen since some of the main dishes sounded odd to our family but some other friends liked the place so… dunno lol).


Fantastic @Night07! @boringusername

I’ll decide on one of these and report back with pictures.



Sounds good, though I think the main thing to avoid is having another large event occurring at the restaurant especially these upcoming months for weddings. I’d call and ask if there are any big parties and I say preorder some more interesting items might make the meal smoother.

How’s the banquet? Where did you end up?