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Orchid Bowl Cafe (authentic HK Cantonese food) in Richmond Plaza

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Orchid Bowl Cafe (authentic HK Cantonese food) in Richmond Plaza

KK | Apr 25, 2004 06:07 PM

We spent the whole day in Berkeley yesterday then ventured over to Richmond Plaza where Daimo and 99 ranch are located.

After coming out from shopping at the 99 ranch we saw a new restaurant right across the 99 ranch entrance inside the complex. It used to be the space for the Sheng Kee Bakery's restaurant. Perhaps they did better with bakery items than serving cooked food?

The restaurant is called Orchid Bowl Cafe. You can't miss it because it has a bunch of potted flowers outside with "grand opening" and best wishes type messages on them in Chinese characters laying outside the restaurant.

We took a look at their menu before going in.
They have a wide variety of dishes, though not as many as Broadway Bistro's in Millbrae (impressive nonetheless). The appetizers section alone was interesting which including some oddball items such as blanched sliced ostrich, but also sported some intriguing items which I didn't try, like salmon with starch sheet noodle. Something to try next time might be the Chiu Chow Style marinated duck. They also have a lot of chinese deserts including steamed egg white or egg custard, sweet tofu (tofu fa), grass jelly, mango with sago/tapioca, steamed bird's nest. For congee they have some exotic variations, including crab or lobster congee in clay pot (seasonal price) and chiu chow style congee with clams and minced meat.
Then there are the noodle soup and lo mein dishes, fried rice and noodle, sizzling platters and clay pots/casseroles, and also a variety of clay pot rice items.

For dinner I had the shiu gow noodle....not just your average shrimp dumpling, but it had black fungus, bits of shark's fin, crab meat, and mushroom inside. Unfortunately there were only 3 of them, but it tasted quite good. Their wonton should be just as nice. Their soup of the day (served in a small round porcelain container with a lid) is very tasty (yesterday's choices were shark meat + bones with pork, or black chicken) and the black chicken soup was very tasty. We finished off with the lotus root with pork tendon casserole which was very well done (the sauce was not thick, but had a slight hint of sourness to it). The tendon seemed to be fried first, then cooked with the lotus root (which was crunchy yet juicy).

For those of you who are looking to try something adventurous in Cantonese cuisine, want to taste something that's not quite street food (though includes those types of dishes) but also not upper class seafood restaurant style, Orchid Bowl Cafe would be worth checking out.

My relatives were in town visiting my aunt's side of the family in East Bay, possibly San Pablo or Richmond Area. Apparently there is a really good Cantonese restaurant hot spot with a Chinese name similar to "New" or "Young" followed by "Hong Kong". Anyone been?

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