On Christmas Day, the four of us made a first visit to Bamboo Garden for lunch. I was happy to bump into Yimster with his family. He tipped us to the daily special, a whole poached chicken, for $9.99. This was the highlight of an otherwise lack-luster meal. The other thing worth eating was the shrimp-filled rice crepe.
Things to avoid are the siu mai (good flavor but dry and chewy pork), har gau (pasty shrimp), hom sui gok (greasy and no flavor), and taro dumpling (undersalted and meager filling). I thought the gai lan with oyster sauce was fine, but my mother felt it needed a few more seconds in the poaching liquid to be a little less crunchy. Mom had the last egg custard tart from Golden Gate Bakery in SF in a baggie in her purse that she had freshened in the toaster oven that morning. She pulled that out for us to share instead of trying any desserts here. By cutting short our ordering, our bill was only $44 including tax and tip, or $11 per person.
Service was slow and chaotic, even though the restaurant was less than half-full and there seemed to be plenty of staff on the floor. Id have to agree with Yimster that the dim sum chefs are weak here. The chicken plate, however, holds out some promise that the other cooks might have some talent.
Afterwards we swung by Cupertino for Mom to do some grocery shopping. When she realized we were at Ranch 99, she said, hey, why couldnt you take us to Joy Luck? I shrugged and said, now youll have more room for Christmas dinner tonight. My brother filled himself with a boba drink from Q-Cup, made with fresh kiwi that was pretty good.