[SFBA, Fremont] Yum's Bistro- crabby feast

Dungeness crab season means cheaper, fresher crab at Yum’s. Time to return for a feast at the crab master.

Previous discussion on Yum’s at Chowhound including chef Yum’s credentials from K K.


Crab shrimp fish garlic steamed glutinous rice 魚蝦蟹糯米飯 (Preordered). Steamed in a large bamboo steamer, with the crab on top and the rice layered underneath soaking up all the crab juice and the minced garlic flavor. The tomalley was saved in the shell. Shrimp and fish were token dried ones and the highlight is definitely the large dungeness.

The view from above:

Scallop egg white crab with yolk 賽螃蟹 (Preordered)- excellent prep with the crab fried and egg white seasoned with dried scallop, green onion and salt with a yolk in the middle ready to be mixed into the egg white.


Pigeon lettuce wrap (Preordered)- lettuce leaves (not pictured) used as wrapper to create a minced meat, green bean wrap with the savory filling contrasting with the cool crunchy sweet lettuce. Of course the pigeon was good too.

Shrimp roe abalone sauce noodle: sauce- the abalone sauce was aromatic and sweet. Combined with the shitake and shrimp roe, they contributed lots of unami to the al dente wide egg noodle that had plenty of surface to soak up the sauce.

Steamed farm raised chicken with fish maw and chinese ham- Its impressive how the chef was able to get so much flavor into the chicken, which was the bony flavorful range chicken not with a ton of meat, chopped in small pieces, steamed with fish maw, shitake, goji berries, chinese ham, and green onion. The fish maw and shitake did a great job in mopping up any chicken flavor that went into the juice.


Potato leaves, dried shrimp in broth. Great broth infused with dried shrimp sweetness. Drank the broth.

Almond egg white dessert (Preordered). A creamy luscious dessert with an intense almond flavor, slightly sweetened in a egg white base.

Sauteed pea shoots. Good season for pea shoots. Tender.

Sauteed crab with ginger and green onion. This was good, but couldn’t quite compete with the two previous outstanding crab prep. (Unrelated- their under the bridge typhoon crab is great)

Sauteed oysters.

Deep fried crispy pumpkin with stir fried egg yolk and garlic.

8 adults, 6 kids. $45/ adult all in excluding drinks. Great price for a mouthwatering banquet feast. The crab dishes were $46-53, with the large sized crab used. The meal was a lunch so didn’t preorder more time intensive preps like double boiled soups and certain fowl dishes.

Continuing the discussion from Question about Yum's Bistro's ostrich dish that's not on the menu any more (Fremont, CA):



Edit: Chef Boson Yum is retiring. Yum’s Bistro has switched to new management in 2018. Word is that the chef is staying on for another two months training the new chef. The food is already cooked by the new chef.

Wait what!? I just ate there last week! Ugh.

It’s really sad. When other restaurants close, at least there are alternatives and the chefs move on to other places. Boson Yum is a one-of-a-kind- I don’t think there is a comparable replacement in the Bay Area.

At least you got a last meal there. I don’t even have a chance to do that. Did you see Andy Wai while you were there?

Yes this bit is sadly true. It’s dark dark times for Cantonese in SF Bay Area.

I knew about this less than 2 weeks ago (day after he supposedly signed).

Though to be fair, we were living on borrowed time anyway, it was not news that he wanted to sell for some time. As much as I will miss his legendary cooking, the man deserves to live the rest of his retired life well, given his years of service and cooking delicious Cantonese. It’s a damn shame nobody learned the ropes under him.

How’s the food under the new chef? Jason and Mrs Yum still there?

Nope, I didn’t see Andy Wai this time (I think he’s usually there during the weekdays).

I don’t know if the new cook was cooking at that time. I definitely saw Chef Yum as we were leaving after our meal. Jason was there and I didn’t pay too much attention to Mrs. Yum.

True, the chef was supposed to be in retirement anyway. In a way, we are lucky to be able to eat his food for 8, 9 years.

Even though in the back of my mind I’ve always known he could go back into retirement any time, for some reason, perhaps because he looks somewhat young, I was secretly hoping that he’d go on for a while.

I don’t know how he is as a teacher, but I suspect that the type of time consuming cooking that he does may not be that popular with the younger cooks, especially here in the Bay Area, if I may say so, the standard for Cantonese is lower. The demand for high level Cantonese chef is likely much lower. Probably easier to earn a living in the larger Cantonese kitchens around the Peninsula than it is to apprentice in Yum’s kitchen. Who’s that cook in his kitchen? I’ve always under the impression that he plays a relatively minor role in the food so he may not be the right candidate to ‘carry the mantle’.

Any idea the credentials of the new chef? I hope the new chef picks up some skills from chef Yum, but I feel two months is far too short of a period to pick up meaningful techniques, especially if the new chef’s baseline skill level is much lower than Yum’s. The new owner/ chef may get the recipes, and they may do a decent job making, e.g. soups. But other dishes that require precise cooking technique may not carry over that well. After all, lots of Cantonese restaurants make e.g. the same crab dishes in the Bay Area as the chef, and not everyone does it as well as the chef.

I think you were there before the new chef and owner came in.

I wasn’t quite sure which Yum’s Bistro thread to toss my pictures in, but this was one of the more recent ones. I just wanted to throw a little bit of nostalgia (well… maybe not nostalgia if it was what, four months ago?), but just more of a nod to the deliciousness at Yum’s. Has anyone gone back to see how it is now?

In any case, this meal was just before the end of 2017 and it was a get together with friends.

Starting off our meal, we had the double boiled chicken soup with watercress, dried scallops, and duck gizzards. I thought it was a quite soothing soup, with conpoy giving that dried seafood flavor and the duck gizzard rounding out the chicken broth. The watercress was a little more towards the falling apart side, but still had a little bit of texture to bite on.

Nice up was our appetizer, the lettuce wraps with squab meat. I enjoy the squab meat more than your typical lettuce wrap dishes, as the meat was still springy and juicy.

One of my favorite dish served at Yum’s is their soy sauce supreme (twin) lobster with garlic. Though the twin lobsters look a little less impressive than the huge lobsters, the taste was still there. Just highly aromatic when you take a bite and lick the shells, you can just imagine what the wok has done to transform the soy sauce and garlic and infuse it into that lobster. Delicious.

Just to detach ourselves from the savoriness of our cuisine, we got the sweet and sour pork with pineapples. Neither cloying sweet nor extremely sour, the sauce was very well made as it coats the crisply fried pork.

One of my favorite vegetables is the somewhat terribly named hairy melon. Within this claypot filled with choysum and hairy melon, the meatballs themselves contain a little secret–each meatball has a little bit of sea cucumber within. The braising sauce is fantastic as well though this time, they burnt the vegetables just a little, giving the dish a smoky taste (which was an interesting touch actually).

A little more on the family side of cooking, but we ordered the steamed farm raised chicken with chinese ham and fish maw. Honestly, it doesn’t look like much, but the chicken was smooth and extremely flavorful. I presume the ham is a Virginian style country ham (I don’t believe you can import Jinhua ham), but in any case went very well with the dish. The shitake mushrooms ended up soaking up the ham and chicken flavors, delish.

One of the most delicious crab dishes I can recall is the steamed dungeness crab over glutinous rice. The crab juices just drip onto the glutinous rice and infuse the rice with a bit of crabby goodness (The rice underneath the crab also had some dried shrimp, and diced up Chinese sausages). Excellent, and hopefully this isn’t the last time I’ll be eating this dish.

Yes, vegetables are important and thus, we got some pea sprouts served with supreme broth. I wanted a little more lite style cuisine (“ching”) for our meal, and preferred this soup style over stir fried with garlic. In any case, the pea sprouts were cooked quite well while the broth and ham provided a comforting umami flavor.

A little more home style for our end of the year meal, but I ordered some large clams steamed in eggs with Shaoxing wine. The Chinese egg custard or chawanmushi of sorts. In any case, the large clams were a delight to eat and the entire dish was not overcooked. Eggs velvety smooth and no rubberiness from the clams, coupled with just the right touch of wine and soy sauce. Easily eaten even without white rice (though that would be excellent as well…).

For the coup de grâce, we got the shrimp roe with abalone sauce over noodles. I’m sure @sck has mentioned how delightful the dish was when he ordered it, so I don’t really need to describe it too much. In either case, very well done as we were probably about to burst.

Last but not least, the almond broth with egg white dessert. Smooth but intense almond flavor that isn’t too sweet. The egg whites I presume also helps out with ensuring that the dessert soup remains smooth. Very well made.

All in all, I really wish I found the time to go back to Yum’s more often with family and friends. We weren’t too far away but the place was just a little bit inconvenient. Service was on the slower end, and great dishes often had to be preordered (who has the time to plan? I can barely figure out what I want for breakfast…). I think I had at least 8 meals here, and each time I went, I always wanted to try a few new dishes but keep a few old dishes as well. Well, eight meals are not enough for Yum’s as most would agree but I’ll treasure the experience nevertheless.

I’ll give the new Yum’s a try in the future, and I hope there’s some magic passed down.


I was secretly hoping that you would say that you successfully tempted chef Yum out of retirement…! But, reality is what it is.

I never had the Shaoxing clam / egg dish, but that looks lovely. The timing it takes to steam the clam perfectly! Does it mean the egg also have the shaoxing taste? With or without the clam shells?

Ha, I doubt I have any of that star power. I think K K might do better (I also thank K K cause he helped give suggestions on what to eat at Yum’s) than me.

Mmmm at home, I don’t really have the clams with it, occasional century egg or salted egg inside, but I was never a fan of those. But yeah, the shaoxing wine is actually on top of the clams, and from the recipes I don’t think the clams were ever marinated.

Has anyone given the new Yum’s a try?

Nope not yet, but my dad somehow found this blurb/ad on Epoch Times:

Per his quick reading, supposedly his disciples might be doing good and stuff. Someone with better Chinese reading ability should give this a shot, I’d just toss this into the google translator machine… xD

From the pictures, I can’t tell if some of those are new items or not, but I see that glutinous stuffed chicken is still there!

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