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restaurant 168 brunch report

miles | Jul 14, 200310:14 AM

this is the taiwanese restaurant in the 99 ranch plaza in richmond. some people wanted to try some chinese breakfast street food items, so we almost ordered everything they had on the menu.

started with some fresh juice. the ones with milk are highly recommended, especially the papaya and milk which is a classic. mango juice was excellent cause they used real mangos and nothing else.

cold dishes. spicy tripe, tea smoked duck, jelly fish and radish and tofu thread noodles. the tripe was excellent it was drenched in a very spicy oily chili sauce. the cold duck had a very good tea smoked flavor. jelly fish and radish was okay. the tofu thread noodles were not so good, no flavor.

ordered some dumplings before we sat down, which you have to do if you don't want them to come last. and they came first which was nice.

xiao long bao, excellent when first arrived. good soupy milky flavor.

pan fried pork buns. basically the same filling as the xiao long bao but with a thick bun shell pan fried. also very good.

house special leek cake. like a big leek potsticker with glass noodle, leek and pork filling. pretty good but not praise worthy.

sesame chicken cold noodles with cucumbers. pretty good although there were almost no cucumbers. but the chicken and sauce was flavorful.

sacha beef noodles. pretty good satay sauce and they used some hollow center vegetables which were good, but points off cause they didn't use the homemade noodles they use for their beef noodle soup which is excellent.

oyster omelette. pretty good, but ours was over cooked so the starchy gooey part was completely cooked lacking the runny goopyness it should have. the table next to us looked like it was done right, so it must have been a fluke.

shrimp roll and chicken roll. seasoned minced shrimp and seasoned minced chicken with onions rolled in bean curd skin and deep fried. very light and crispy and good.

sticky rice pot. this is almost the same as the bamboo leaf wrapped sticky rice with ground pork and mushrooms but with a bit more intense flavor because they use five spice soy stew to cook the sticky rice in the pot. the rice was firm and chewy and sweet. highly recommmended.

taiwan meat ball. this is probably the best version the bay area. which i suspect they order it from this lady in la who sells them for $1 each. steamed thick rice skin with bamboo, sliced pork and mushroom fillings. the skin was very light and chewy and the filling very flavorfull. and they dress it with both a soy and sweet garlic sauce.

deep fried silver thread bread. very well fried with a thin crispy golden skin and light and fluffy threaded sweet bread on the inside. it's like a fresh fried donut but much better.

fish ball soup. very good because they only use seaweed and chinese celery to season the soup.

pork gua bao. this is classic street food and highly recommended if you've never had it. they use the same bun that many places use for peking duck but much larger. then they fill it with five spice soy stewed pork belly, pickled cabbage, crushed peanuts and cilantro. some places that serve this will forgo the phonetic name and just call it a chinese hamburger.

our adventurous item for the day was the sesame ginger kidneys which were very dissapointing. the kidneys were way over cooked so they were tough and chewy. the flavors were excellent but i would only order it again if i were sure the chef wouldn't over cook it.

nobody had room for shaved ice, but it was mostly a very enjoyable meal, especially for those that had never had any of the stuff before, which was everybody. total including tax and tip for seven was $140.

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