Today 10 chowhounds answered the call to check out the dim sum action at the newish Hong Kong Saigon Seafood Harbor restaurant in Sunnyvale.
Image of HKSSH entrance -
Our co-host Peter Yee had made a reservation for 11:30am and our table was ready at the appointed hour. We whisked in past the throngs clamoring for tables. The server overseeing our table asked if we wanted ice water, which is a very rare occurrence at Chinese restaurants. This was a much appreciated gesture of hospitality toward our non-Chinese dining companions and all the more unexpected since there were few non-Asian faces in the crowded room.
Rolling carts bring plates of dim sum tableside. The system here seems to have fewer carts in circulation with each of them carrying a larger assortment leading to some lulls between decision points. I was impressed by how hot and fresh most things were, especially the steamed dumplings, although our sampling of the fried items suffered from temperature problems.
Cary was our point man, poised on the aisle to signal to the cart ladies when we were ready for the next round, and did an excellent job of sussing out what looked the most delicious. A dish would then pass to ahclem's side of the table to be photographed for posterity. We adopted a strategy of ordering less than one dumpling apiece for most dishes in order to try more items. Ruth Lafler brought her dim sum tool kit and her experienced hands ably dissected, snipped, sliced, and divided items that were large enough to share. This was a well-oiled dim sum eating team!
In addition to dishes from the carts, we also ordered a couple barbecue items (and were most disappointed to learn that suckling pig was not available today), a dish of greens and one claypot from the laminated specials card. Unless I've miscounted, we assembled a tasting menu of 24 different flavors to touch the heart. This included:
Teochew fun gor
Shrimp fun gor
Steamed Chinese chive dumpling
Steamed spareribs with black beans
Scallop har gao
Siu mai topped with roe
Beef rice crepe
Shrimp rice crepe
Sticky rice chicken in lotus leaves
Hainan chicken plate with rice and soup, $6.75
Jelly fish with Japanese-style baby octopi
Cantonese-style roast duck (half), $9
Ong choi with fu yee and chilis, $12
Pan-fried turnip cakes
Fried taro root dumplings
Honey-glazed baked barbecued pork buns
Salt and pepper calamari
Hom sui gok (fried football-shaped dumpling
)Braised frog, eggplant and pate de foie gras claypot, $15
Water chestnut gelée (coined by ChewChew)
We didn't get around to exploring the soup/jook cart, and had no more room for mango pudding. Next time.
When the final bill was presented, I whispered to ChewChew that I thought it would be $200. But I was way off on the actual cost for stuffing ourselves to the gills with extras to take home. Peter announced that it was $16 per person or $160 inclusive.
Now, let's hear from the others about the food and any other impressions, please.
Hong Kong Saigon Seafood Harbour [South Bay]
Lakewood Shopping Center
1135 N Lawrence Expressway
CYL's lunch post -
Silicon Valley Chowdown Group -