A couple of fellow chowhounds have recommended Fatima Seafood Restaurant. Thanks, now this restaurant goes on my favorites list. I had the delight of exploring muslim chinese food at Fatima's San Mateo restaurant. The freshness seems to burst out of the food.
The knock outs that we ordered included the lamb with leeks (also starred pressed marinated tofu), sesame pancake (which is shorter than the sesame bread, which is also offered. It has a dense satisfying consistency and is 100% encrusted by sesame seeds. Our waiter suggested the pan cake for newcomers and the bread for our next visit), soft home made wheat noodles (soft, chewy, comfort food), tofu wrapper and cabbage (fresh, sparkling baby bok choy and ivory colored tofu wrapped like elegant knots), and red bean pan cake (dessert; red bean paste enveloped in a thin wheat wrapper, lightly sauted).
The prices were very reasonable - $14/person. Service was friendly and fast - all but one dish arrived within 5 minutes of the order. (This kitchen sure knows about process flow and execution). To add to this efficiency, we parked right in front of the restaurant, feeling like vips. The restaurant is very clean and tables are wide apart, allowing comfortable conversation. Fatimas is at 1208 S. El Camino Real (at 12th avenue), San Mateo, 650 554 1818; 650 554 1701. The second Fatimas is at 1132 #A De Anza Blvd., San Jose.