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Restaurants & Bars 4

Back to Hui Lau Shan (Milpitas)

Melanie Wong | May 30, 200405:21 PM

Last Sunday my sister and I took a rest break at Hui Lau Shan on our way back from Salinas. Mangoes are so good right now, it seemed like the best time to enjoy the mango specialties here. Previously with my brother we’d ordered to-go, this time I wanted to try eating in. However, we found the traditional rosewood tea table seating quite uncomfortable. The unpadded barrel-type wooden stools sans back support weren’t much relief after a long drive, and the tables were too high. It was nice though to enjoy our drinks from real glassware. Stephanie said that next time she’d get her order to-go and sit on one of the benches outside.

Last time I had ordered a drink with harsmar blended in it, but didn’t really get a sense of its taste. This go-round, we ordered a dish of sago in coconut milk topped with harsmar, $4.15, so we could taste it straight. Yet, i still don't know what it tastes like as this was mildly spicy as if it had been flavored with ginger plus an earthy, musty flavor. We figured it must be mostly something to be enjoyed for its jelly-like texture and because it’s supposed to be good for you. Interesting, but I’d get this same dessert plain without the harsmar next time.

Better was the hot snack of radish cake, $2.25, made with lo bak (Chinese white turnip, daikon). The square slices were well-browned and crusty. Breaking into them, we were happy to see actual shreds of juicy lo bak. While fairly plain with just a little scallion and even fewer bits of meat, these had the flavor and texture of lo bak. The sriracha and oyster sauces for dipping helped set off the flavors.

For drinks, Stephanie had the mango and coconut milk with sago, $3.25, and I had aloe jelly with mango and coconut milk, $3.25. They’re very pretty layered parfait style in the slim, tall glasses and the mango bits were exquisitely soft and ripe. I don’t “get” aloe jelly either and preferred the sago version.

Hui Lau Shan
680 Barber Lane


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