Last week, we stopped in Daly City for a dim sum lunch at Tai Wu/Mr. Fong on our southbound journey home to Salinas. We arrived about 1pm and the room was nearly full. The gilt and crystal decor is typical for a high-end Hong Kong-style restaurant, in marked contrast to the homely concrete jungle of a shopping center outside.
We ordered via a check-off list. But in addition to that, a tray with plates of char siu and suckling pig passed by. We snagged a small plate of the roast piglet, as shown here.
Seasoned and roasted beautifully with bubbly, crunchy skin, this baby pig was a wee bit older than used at benchmark Koi Palace across town. Maybe this is just a batch difference and not typical. But this meant that there was a bit more fat and the flesh was not quite as silky smooth. Yet, we still thought it was very good and second only to Koi Palace.
Mom had checked off one of the $5.50 special dishes on the list, ordering prawns with walnuts.
We were impressed by the serving size for that price. The honey-glazed walnuts were halves plus a couple wholes, and freshly roasted, making them some of the best around. Though I wiped off some of the excess mayonnaise, the prawns themselves were otherwise faultless in their preparation. Good-sized, sweet and fresh, delicately crusted with a tender bite, the prawns with walnuts here is a very good version.
The cold jellyfish cut into thick strands had great texture. However, the flavor was a bit flat. We took this home with us and it was much better after my mother doctored it with lemon juice and a little sugar to round out and highlight the sesame notes.
Fried items didn't fare well. The wispy taro root dumplings had little meat filling and tasted rancid. Mango and shrimp rolls wrapped in rice paper and fried were greaseless, but also mushy and sour.
We thought the steamed black bean spareribs were quite good. These had a bit of firmness that yielded to tenderness. Salty black beans and fresh chili slices contributed spice.
The two types of steamed dumplings were tried were top notch. The chiu chow dumplings had delightfully chewy wrappers and were over-stuffed with a mince of crunchy peanuts, salty veggies, pork, and briny dried shrimp. The har gao, made with whole shrimp, were a bit heavy on white pepper and salt, but were otherwise very good.
My parents were happy with their meal, and my mother liked it enough to want to return for dinner. We'll be returning soon to try more.
Wendy-san's Tai Wu dinner report -