Our party of ten met for dim sum Friday at Zen Peninsula and enjoyed some very good food. The early arrivals were shown to a rather dark private area separated from the rest of the main room by high wood dividers but we moved out to the more pleasant main room where we could see the trays going by. Since it was a weekday there were very few items on trays and we ordered all but one of our dishes from the menu--
Golden kabocha fries
Fried shrimp mango crepe
Steam tofu skin with shrimp and pork
Chayote with minced pork
Shrimp dumplings (har gow)
Conpoy (dried scallops) with pea sprouts rice crepes
Turnip and Chinese donut rice crepes
Zen’s roast pork (peanut sauce)
Fried egg yolk shrimp balls
Salt and pepper calamari
Green tea sesame mochi
Sweet taro buns
Everyone seemed happy with our menu choices but we made a mistake by handing in a single order form with almost everything we wanted for the meal and assuming the restaurant would space the dishes. After the first couple of dishes most of the rest were served all at once in a big rush. I had anticipated a leisurely meal with ample time between dishes to savor each dish, enjoy the conversation and eagerly anticipate the dishes to come. Instead we had a choice of eating quickly or eating cold food. Not exactly the most civilized yum cha experience but at least the quality of the food was very good.
I’ll save most of my comments on the food until others have had a chance, but here are a few highlights for me--
The kabocha fires were probably my favorite taste of the meal-- great flavor, soft inside, nicely fried with a thin crust and no oiliness. I also really enjoyed the conpoy with pea sprouts crepes- they were generous with the dried scallops and the pea sprouts were delicious. It was not so good after it got cold. The very small fried egg yolk shrimp balls were very good when eaten plain and even better with the sweet mayonnaise sauce that came with them.
Many of the dishes had very generous portion sizes, and it was a lot of food for $18 per person with tip.
Thanks to pilinut for organizing us again! It was nice your Mom could join us.
Next time we’ll know not to order all at once.
1180 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030