On Labor Day Monday we stopped at Fook Yuen in Millbrae for lunch before heading back to Salinas. Arriving at 11:45am, we had about a 20-minute wait for a table for 3, passing up a couple openings for the second floor.
From start to finish, the dim sum was lacking in so many ways. I'd not been here for about 3 years and it has gone waaaaaay downhill if this is typical.
We tried seven items, starting with a plate of pan-fried turnip cakes with a golden brown exterior. Well, that was on only one side, the other was white as snow. These had a decent amount of char siu nubbins, but oddly, little flavor.
Next up was the fried taro root dumplings. Somewhat oil-logged, but we were hungry and needed something quick. Despite a good touch with the real taro (chunky and flavorful) on the outside, the inside was mostly gravy and had little flavor. Switching back to steamed, I opted for the Teochew fun gor. The wrappers were not chewy, but soft and flabby. The filling was bland as can be -- where's the chili, peanuts, dried shrimp, etc.?
My mom's favorite, hom sui gok, came by and we tried an order of those. While golden brown in color, they were soft and watery, as if they'd been microwaved to reheat them! And, again, the filling was underseasoned and meager.
At this point I changed strategy and switched to braises. No better luck with the black bean spareribs which hadn't been cooked long enough nor the suen jook guen that had an off and sour flavor as well as mushy filling.
Mom and I wanted to leave at this point. But my father hadn't gotten his har gao yet, so I asked our waiter to bring an order from the kitchen. Here's the real insult, as you can see from this photo. Stiff and cracked wrappers, these had been reheated and maybe frozen more than once. The shrimp inside were mushy and iodined.
Image of bad har gao at Fook Yuen -
This lunch cost us $27. My mom's still grumbling about the "non-lunch", and probably will for a long time.