Koi Palace – Daly City, CA

Dim Sum in the Bay Area! After the long trip back to Asia, I was surprised to find out I miss the dim sum here. There is no place for dim sum like Vancouver or San Francisco (well, other than Hong Kong). Neways, SK & A asked us to join them and 2 other friends for dim sum on a nice Sunday morning (ish). Koi Palace is notorious for the ridiculous long waits for a table but CP managed to snag a table at 12.30 pm for us. Score!!

The restaurant is huge, I can’t even guess how many it seats but even with such a large space there was a line out the door… It took us a while to find CP through the sea of people

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They don’t have carts, but they do have servers walking around with trays of food. After checking out the menu, we ordered:

Stuffed Eggplant $4.80

Pretty good. The shrimp paste was seasoned great, moist and delicious. The egg plant was a little too greasy but nice and soft the way I like it.

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Bee’s Nest Taro Puff (Wu Kok) $3.80

One of the best deep fried taro balls I have had. There was an impressive amount of flaky crisps (which is important especially for this particular dish). The taro was nice and soft in the centre (not at all greasy) but the meat filling was just ok.

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Pork ribs in Black Bean $2.80

Pretty good pork ribs, a little too fatty but seasoned well with a subtle black bean sauce. I liked it.

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Rice rolls in XO sauce $5.80

Pretty unimpressive dish. I am a big fan of the complexity of XO sauce – spicy, salty, shrimpy and just delicious. This dish was far from it. It was greasy and bland.

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Har Gaw $4.80

Most delicate har gaw I have ever had! The skin was really thin and silky. The shrimp filling was delicious and generous. Would order this in a heart beat.

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Chicken Feet (Claw) $3.80

One of the group’s favourite dish. The dish was sweet & salty, with nicely braised chicken feet. Most of the fat melted right in the mouth.

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Mushroom Dumpling (siu mai) $2.80

My old time favourite dim sum item, probably also the hardest to screw up. Nice and juicy, with a good amount of pork, shrimp & mushroom bits. Pretty good.

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Crispy glutinous pork balls $3.80

Nice, crispy fried chewy balls with a hint of sweetness. The filling was a little too skimpy but tasted fine.

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Shanghai Dumpling (Xiao Long Bao) $8.80

I am never a huge fan of soup dumplings but this was really good.

Each dumpling skin has a nice skin (not as delicate as Din Tai Fung, but pretty darn close) and great filling with a nice amount of soup. The soup was fatty and so flavourful that I did not even need the vinegar. Delicious!

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BBQ Pork Crisp Rice roll $5.80

I was pretty intrigued by this “special” rice roll.

It was a total surprise in the mouth! The centre was nice and crispy (they felt like tempura bits) with bits of char siew and rolled in the thin rice roll and sweet soy sauce. We polished this off in seconds!!

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Egg yolk Lava Bun $4.80

Another crowd favourite. The centre has nice creamy salty center.

As per usual, the centre is a little grainy from the duck egg (can’t be helped). The bun is pretty nice and fluffy with a hint of sweetness. Note that this has to be eaten warm, while the centre stays nice and molten.

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Black Sesame Ball $2.80

A nice way to end our brunch. These were nice soft chewy rice balls filled with tasty sesame filling. I liked the nutty “dust” that the glutinous balls are covered in.

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Deep fried dough balls $2.80

Another item that surprised me. These doughnut balls were like beignets but lighter, flufflier and eggier. Surprisingly not the least bit greasy and very very good.

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Extras:

Tea 6 @ $1 each

Coke $2

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Total Damage: $86 (including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 (Very very good!!)

The dim sum items were mostly above average in taste and quality. I don’t know if I would 1.5 hours to eat here again because honestly, there are other options of good dim sum around the Bay Area for a fraction of the price and half the wait time.

Service on the other hand was just ok. They are probably too busy but it takes forever to get anything. We wanted to order more items but ended up waiting over 10 minutes to get someone’s attention and in the end we just didn’t bother. Getting the bill took over 15 minutes as well.

That being said; if the wait time was half hour and disregarding the slow service,  I would definitely be back. Most of my favourite dishes were done really well.

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Koi Palace

365 Gellert Blvd
Daly City, CA 94015

(650) 992-9000

Koi Palace on Urbanspoon

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