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Over the last decade, some of the finest Hong Kong/Cantonese meals I've enjoyed have been prepared by Chef Bosun Yum at Yum's Bistro in Fremont
In early 2018, rumors were circulating that Chef Yum had retired. Very sad news indeed. Then later in the year, a close friend gave the restaurant a try and encouraged me to revisit. He said that the new chef had worked under Chef Yum for some time before the changeover and had mastered the signature dishes.
So on December 30, 2018 our family group of four headed to Fremont to check out the new chef. I had pre-ordered the chicken stuffed with sticky rice, the almond and egg white dessert, and had tried to order the watercress and gizzard soup but could not make myself understood on this one via phone.
The most critical indicator to me was the Chicken stuffed with sticky rice, $50. And this example was as good as I've ever had at Yum's. The non-battered, oil-dripped golden brown skin was wondrous. The stuffing had some of the diced chicken meat, nubs of sweet seafood, lotus seeds, and other goodies, and I almost wished for a bit more glutinous rice.
The Bei Fung Tong Crab w/ Deep Fried Garlic XO Sauce was excellent and up to par. The $68 price tag hurt though and it's my own fault that I did not notice the cost for a large sized Dungeness crab posted on the white board. This was during the high priced week between Christmas and New Year's. At least it was a big meaty crab and prepared well. We had no complaint in that regard.
Our server pushed hard for us to order a special appetizer, a creation of the new chef, he said. Attractively presented, blocks of buttery soft steamed eggplant were topped with seafood-pork forcemeat and served with a savory and slightly sweet sauce and gai lan. Priced by the piece with a minimum order of five pieces, this dish cost $15 and well worth it.
There were a couple disappointments in this meal. The Seafood and Bamboo Pith Soup, $13.50, had very little bamboo pith. And the special dessert, $16, was overpriced and relied too heavily on almond extract and sugar instead of real nuts for its flavor.
Still we were pleased to find out for ourselves that Yum's Bistro continues to be the place to indulge in some of the best crab preps in the Bay Area and that wonderful stuffed chicken remains the gold standard. Service was a bit difficult due to the language barrier but always well-intentioned. It was freezing cold in the restaurant and we ate with our coats on. There was no corkage charged for opening the bottle of Germany Riesling that I brought. Fremont is not convenient for any of the four of us, but we would still make a special trip to eat here.
4906 Paseo Padre Pkwy
Fremont, CA 94555
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