Restaurants & Bars

San Francisco Bay Area Palo Alto

Taipan(Palo Alto) and China Village(Albany)

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Restaurants & Bars 3

Taipan(Palo Alto) and China Village(Albany)

Trill | Jun 4, 2006 05:00 AM

I tried Taipan (Cantonese Chinese) out of curiosity this Wed night. The food was surprisingly pleasant and reasonably priced.

We shared two appetizers and two entrees.

Apps
-salt & pepper seabass
-string beans with pork

Entrees
-beef sautee with black beans and pepper
-Fujian style fried rice(a misnomer because the dish's overall consistency/texture is more like that of a risotto)

The salt & pepper seabass was fried in a very light & crisp batter - not greasy at all and just the right flavor pairing for the delicate fish. The string beans were so so - crispy but too salty. The sautee beef was really tender but again the flavor was average/a bit on the flat side (all I tasted was salt). The Fujian style rice was the star of the evening - the rice was very lightly fried, if at all, then topped with a roux-like sauce made with seafood and greens (shrimps, scallops, mushrooms and various greens). I usually get dish at the Joy Luck place, and Taipan's version was delicately flavored by the excellent sauce. I'll go back for this dish alone.

I can't vouch for the depth of the kitchen since we didn't try a lot of dishes, but the menu was fairly extensive esp in regards to seafood. One thing worth noting was the Jasmine tea they served along with our dinner. Taipan charged 2.00 for the tea, but it was freshly brewed and a nice accompaniment to our meal.

Total cost for two people with leftovers + tip was 42 and the service was spot on. Taipan had a whole section dedicated to a wall-length ceramic sculpture of deities crossing the sea, we were seated across from this and I was happy to enjoy the view througout the meal.

Taipan probably has the best service and ambience
in comparison to other South Bay places like the Joy Luck Place, Dynasty or HKFL in Milbrae, (although I'm curious how service holds up on busy weekends). The prices were comparable and the food so far decent. The Joy Luck Place has been going downhill for me lately, Dynasty is uneven and HKFL is quite a bit up the peninsula so I'll be back for other visits to investigate the menu.

there aren't that many mentions of Taipan on this board, I'd love to hear what other hounds think of
this place.

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We also visited China Village this week - this restaurant has been covered so much so I'll be brief. We had the fu qi fei pien (beef & tripe in chili oil), the seafood hotpot and the sesame flatbread. The chili oil in the fu qi fei pien was fantastic and the beef was great also, however the tripe was still defrosting when we bit into it! the seafood hotpot was good - just the right combination of spicy numbness for the mouth. Unfortunately the sesame bread was flavorless with little texture.

Service was great and really accommodating - we had a ton of questions for our server and she graciously answered them all

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