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Chow King – Filipino in Vallejo

Melanie Wong | Feb 29, 200405:57 PM

Located in the redeveloped shopping center with Seafood City supermarket, the Vallejo franchise is the first location in Northern California for this chain from the Philippines. Under the same corporate ownership as Jollibee’s, Chow King has many branches in SoCal and will soon expand in Sacramento. The offerings are Filipino-Chinese snacks in a fast food setting. Posters promote that the food is prepared fresh each day on premise. The food is surprisingly good for the price.

Bola-bola siao pao (steamed chicken bun), $1.85 – ground chicken forcemeat seasoned with ginger, two big chunks of Chinese sausage (lop cheung) and a whole quail egg, very light and fluffy bread dough, really enjoyed this

Asado siao pao (pork steamed bun), $1.85 – lovely, tender and juicy chunks of braised pork in a sweet savory sauce and the same fluffy bread outside, liked this a lot but had a slight personal preference for the chicken one

Chicken Chow, $5.50 – half a small chicken, marinated and simmered in seasonings, then fried with a glassy crisp skin that’s the best part, a tad overcooked (pulling from the bone), but awfully tasty and love the skin, served with a rice bowl-size pile of steamed long-grained white rice and a tangy, zesty green papaya relish studded with red peppers and ginger that hits the spot

Sotanghon guisado (sautéed glass noodles), $3.95 – shreds of carrot, cabbage and wood ear with white meat of chicken and nubs of Chinese sausage with a big serving of seasoned cellophane noodles, decent but not remarkable

Hainan chicken arroz caldo (chicken porridge), $3.95 – creamier and more Chinese style of rice congee than the other Filipino places in town serve, intense flavor of fresh chicken stock but some tell-tale buzz of MSG, pools of chicken fat too, not as tender as Hainan chicken should be yet the couple drumsticks were succulent and smooth

Corned beef hash and fried rice breakfast, $2.99 – canned hash for sure with a comforting taste, fried egg cooked too hard but delicious with the asado sauce condiment and the slice of tomato, fried rice just okay with frozen peas and carrots

Pork siomai (steamed pork dumplings), 2/$1.85 – large scaled with nice textural contrast of chunks of pork and ground pork, good flavor even though too greasy

Buchi (sesame balls), 3/$1.50 – small (<2” diameter) crispy sesame-crusted glutinous rice balls filled with red bean paste, thin crust but too hard

Mocha shake – not so great, too sweet and the boba were soft and mushy

Taho shake, $2.95 – freshly made hot silken tofu flower, tender and barely gelled to be slurpable through a straw, jazzed up with brown palm sugar (?) syrup and mushy boba, my favorite thing here

Chow King
3495 Sonoma Blvd.



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