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Restaurants & Bars 3

The Kitchen, Millbrae - Report (longish)

KathySK | Apr 22, 200606:16 PM

Acting on previous posts that Seafood Harbor in Millbrae had re-opened as The Kitchen, we checked it out this morning.

First impression - it was packed, especially compared to last time I'd been there for dim sum when it was Seafood Harbor. The interior looks like it was given a good cleaning but mostly looks the same as before, they did knock out most of a wall that split off the side dining room from the main dining room to open up the space.

Unfortunately we were seated way in the back (in the same room that the Chowdown in March? was held in) which I think detracted from the number of carts we saw. Overall, I wasn't thrilled with the quality of the dim sum. They did have a wide variety, which was good, so maybe we just made poor choices. We tried:

*roast pork (good taste, but the top row was much nicer than the two underneath - the server when clearing the table later noted the bottom rows were almost all fat but he didn't offer to do anything about it)
*taro dumpling (not bad, but outside wasn't as crispy as I like and there was a little gristle in the filling of one)
*bbq pork in puff pastry (good)
*har gao (good, but wrapper a little thick)
*shrimp and scallop in rice paper (tasted a little off, we didn't care for this)
*chicken-filled steamed bao (got this thinking it was char siu bao, it was ok, but the chicken was tough/oversteamed)
*soup dumpling (oversteamed, no liquid left, but ok taste)
*baked bbq pork dumpling (overly sweet, but still great - I'm a sucker for this dish)
*egg custard tart (this was barely set, nice flaky crust and very eggy tasting, almost unsweetened, I'm still trying to decide if I liked this version; it was also the palest yellow I've ever seen for egg custard filling)
*sesame ball with red bean paste (good, still hot, outer wrapper was a little thick)

All in all, I think a lot of things suffered from being oversteamed - this might be a function of how far back in the dining room we were, or not. Right after we decided we were done we started seeing some more things come around that we would have ordered if they had shown up earlier (fried shrimp ball, chive dumpling).

I grabbed a paper menu on the way out - it looks like they may do checklist during the week. Prices are $2.40(small), $2.95(medium), $3.80(large), $5.50(kitchen/special).

I rank them around #4 or 5 on my personal dim sum ratings - with Mr. Fong's, Koi Palace and Fook Yuen higher on my list.

I'd love to hear what others think!


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