2014

Koi Palace Dim Sum Daly City Review

Posted by Foodnut.com

Reviewer: Foodnut.com

Koi Palace

365 Gellert Blvd

Daly City, CA 94015

Koi Palace Website

Koi Palace Daly City interior decor

Koi Palace is a popular Cantonese Chinese restaurant in Daly City. The Peninsula is ground zero for some of the best Chinese food in the San Francisco Bay area. It has been around since 1996 and specializes in wide selection of Dim Sum for lunch and special dishes for dinner. They also have locations in Dublin and at the Thunder Valley Casino. Koi Palace Dinner is reviewed separately. Dragon Beard candy creation is covered too. Our last visit was in the fall of 2014.

Be sure to read our Introduction to Chinese Dim Sum.

Koi Palace has a printed menu that you can order on, plus a number of carts, servers carrying dim sum around. We had to order only a couple items via the printed menu. On a visit midweek, we had to order most items from the menu.

This place is a very busy and a super noisy Chinese restaurant with lots of families and friends eating together at Koi Palace Dim Sum. Above average decor for a place like this. Wish the bathrooms would be as clean. People have trouble aiming here. Lots of flat screen TVs, big tanks of seafood by the entrance. Their tanks are not as well stocked as in days gone by. You see some dead fish these days.

On one occasion, We arrived on a Sunday at 10am, and had to wait 30 minutes to be seated. Parties of 2, seemed to get seats fast. Come toward the end of lunch to get in quicker. Coming late may make them freshly steam or fry items for you!

We came right before the Autumn Moon Festival on one occasion, so they were selling lots of moon cakes. Koi Palace had an expert hand making Dragon Beard Candy.

While we went for Koi Palace Dim Sum lunch, they also have extensive, fancy, and expensive dinner menus with meals for tables of 10, at prices up to $678. You’ll get top notch ingredients in your meal, but won’t get service like Gary Danko.

Koi Palace Menu pics (Click to zoom in on ANY picture)

Koi Palace Website menuFull Picture Menu Set

Not all items come on the carts, so you need to check off items you would like to order on the menus. This is especially true in the afternoon around 1pm. Dim sum prices are on the high side, priced from $2.95 (Small) – $5.80. (XL) BBQ $6.90.

Koi Palace Food Picks:

Koi Palace Daly City Sugar Egg Puff

Sugar Egg Puff ($4.95) – A signature dessert here with powered sugar on top. Crunchy and fresh out of fryer. A must, so save room for it or just order it first! These are freshly made, so do not order them until you are ready for dessert.

Koi Palace Daly City durian puffs

Durian Puff Pastry ($6.90) still possessed that fragrant odor that some call stinky. This pastry was quite crispy as it was freshly fried. Must order if you love durian.

Koi Palace Daly City birds nest tarts

Bird’s Nest Egg Custard Tart ($7.80) was something that we tried recently at Cuisine Cuisine in Hong Kong. This version was not as good, were you surprised? Probably worth saving your money for your trip.

Koi Palace Daly City Dim Sum spinach dumpling

Spinach dumpling ($3.80) featured a sticky glutinous wrapper along with some nice fresh shrimp inside. A nice change from the usual shrimp version.

Fish Balls ($5.50) has lots of fish balls, daikon, pork skin, and other goodies. Pretty delicious.

Koi Palace Daly City coffee ribs

Espresso Coffee Ribs ($7.80) are done well here. Freshly fried with a medium strength coffee flavor. The portion size is a lot more manageable compared to dinner’s huge plate.

Shredded Duck Burrito ($6.90) was a unique Northern style dish, essentially Peking duck with cucumber put in a scallion Tortilla. Good quality ingredients, could have used more duck though.

Koi Palace Daly City Crispy Glutinous Puff

Crispy Glutinous Puff (Ham Soi Gok) ($2.95) – What a translated name. Fresh and hot out of the fryer. Crunchy, not as big as other places. Good meat filling. Best version we have had around the SF Bay Area. Better than Zen Peninsula.

Koi Palace Daly City shrimp rice roll

Shrimp Rice Roll (Shrimp Chung Fun) ($4.95) – The noodles were pre-chopped into many pieces, huge fresh shrimp, not too oily. Most restaurants use cheaper and smaller shrimp. Top notch. Lots of a slightly sweet soy sauce.

Koi Palace Daly City Sticky Rice with meat

Sticky Rice with meat ($6.80) – Came under one big glass bowl with decent tasting pork, dry shrimp, eggs, and other goodies. Frankly, the lotus leaf sticky rice is better.

Wild Mushroom Stuffed filo threads ($4.50) was a weird looking dish.   The outside was full of super crispy filo threads, the inside had a mushroom spring roll.  The internal dough was also fried.  Could have been better but still worth ordering, especially if you are a vegetarian.

Lotus wrapped Sticky Rice ($4.80) had two good sized portions.  It was hot out of the steamer and perfect. One of the best around here.  Rice, meat, mushrooms, egg were all fully cooked to our liking.

Koi Palace Daly City har gow shrimp dumplings

Shrimp Dumpling – Har Gow  ($4.80) were four medium sized shrimp dumplings. Perfect wrapper and filling. Top notch bite sized morsel, making it a must order item. On our last visit, it was too hot and lacked the delicacy of the past.

Sea Scallop Dumpling ($3.80) were filled with half shrimp and half scallop. Nicely done,  a nice variation on the har gow.

Sharks Fin Dumplings ($6.50) is not PC these days, but this one was very good.  Large piece of real sharks fin, huge dumpling with shrimp, mushrooms, and more.  Excellent broth.

Fried Twisted Dough Bun (Man tauw) ($4.30) – Deep fried bun with sweet condensed milk for dipping. Awesome dish, very good when fresh and hot.

Fresh Mango Pudding ($3.60) – 4 little pieces. Another good dessert with condensed milk on the side. Not too sweet, good mango flavor.

Shangxi Style Dates cake ($4.50) is not found on many menus up here. We had some at the excellent Sea Harbour in Rosemead. Jiggly brownish slices of slightly sweet jello-like dessert.

Manila Clam Congee ($15) was a huge bowl enough for 4+ people. Great jook flavor, reminding us of the stellar porridge in Hong Kong.  This gets you close. Lots of large clams too.

Yau Tiu ($2.80) – Chinese deep fried doughnut is usually eaten with congee. This one was freshly fried, piping hot and really good.

Crispy fried tofu skin ($5.80) was a good-sized plate full of thinly layered deep-fried goodness. Not for everybody. Some people might prefer the salt-and-pepper version.

Steamed Daikon ($4.50) – We ordered this by accident but found it pretty good. More of a hot daikon pudding than the traditional pan fried cake form.

Diced pork & Peanut filled Dumpings in the Chao zhao style ($3.80) featured 3 large dumplings filled with peanuts, cilantro, pork, and a slight zest. One of the better versions around. Hard to remove intact.

Koi Palace Daly City egg tarts

Egg custard tart ($2.95) included 3 tiny but tasty tarts with a flaky pastry shell. Not as good as legendary Golden Gate Bakery in San Francisco, yet extremely good.

Egg yolk lava bun ($4.80) were very good and pretty big. Their buns utilize a harder texture surface than others.

Pork ribs in black bean sauce ($2.95) was a decent dish, a bit on the greasy side but reasonable quantities of tender pork.

Koi Palace Daly City Sesame Balls 2

Sesame Balls ($2.95) – Warm, not straight out of the fryer. Thick skinned, filling not too sweet. A pretty good version of the classic with a crispy shell. On another visit towards end of afternoon, they were hot and excellent.

OK:

Diced Pork and Peanut filled Dumpling Chiu Chow style ($3.95) had four medium sized dumplings that were all stuck together initially. These were OK, not particularly great.

Steamed Shanghai Dumplings or Xiao Long Bao ($4.50 for 4, $8.80 for 10) were 4 tiny but decent dumplings. These little balls were cooked in a silver foil wrapper, keeping the internal juice from leaking out – Cheating! The large meat chunk was also tasty. Not an authentic dish nor was it as good as dumplings from a place like Shanghai Dumpling Shop in Millbrae. The ones in China or at Din Tai Fung in Bellevue are not this big.

Koi Palace Daly City Roast Duck

Hand Roasted Duck ($5.50) was and ok dish. Quantity was ok but the meat did not taste special, pretty average.

Steamed Daikon Cake ($3.60) – A good dish, not a lot of meat mixed in with Daikon. Did not taste home made.

Pan Fried Pumpkin Cake ($3.60) had 4 very sweet and sticky cakes with pumkin flavor and very sweet insides.

Steamed BBQ pork buns ($2.95) were average mainly because they featured shredded pork interiors of average quality.

Koi Palace Daly City pork pastry

Ginger egg barbecue pork puff ($4.80) was an interesting deviation on the classic pastry. If you like Ginger, give this a try.

Sesame oil flake cake ($3.80) is an interesting name to a black bean filled, supposedly Mochi dessert. What we got was unexpected but okay.

Pans:

Crispy pork ($18) was expensive and had a nice crispy skin, but the meat was pretty bland and ordinary.

Koi Palace’s service was a little better than average for a place like this. Servers were patrolling more often, so refills came often, although you still had to bark for a server to order. The breath of items was excellent, more extensive and more inventive than nearby places in Millbrae. Asian Pearl Peninsula and The Kitchen are the other restaurants that comes close.

Koi Palace has high quality dim sum and a superb choice for lunch, but there are some items that are just average to slightly above average. Go early, right when it opens or around 1:30pm, as this will reduce your wait time. You can also call ahead and get a number by phone.

If you do not know what to order, use our pictures as a guide.  Check out our Lung King Heen, Hong Kong to see how the next level of quality and inventiveness in modern Chinese dim sum looks like. Service outside the US is one another level, that top Chinese restaurants abroad. Vancouver, BC Canada in Southern California’s Sea Harbour also surpass Koi Palace.

Be sure to try the fun Moonstar seafood buffet located almost next door.

Koi Palace on Urbanspoon

Koi Palace Overall Rating: (Excellent 3)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Excellent)
Service Rating: (Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Very Good)
Value Rating: (Very Good)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Full Bar
Attire:Casual
Hours:M-Th 11am-230pm. 5-930pm. Fri 11am-230pm, 5-10pm. Sat 10am-3pm, 5-10pm. Sun 9am-3pm, 5-930pm.
Parking:Lot
Reservations:Yes
Prices:$2.95 - $32
Posted on October 20th, 2014
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25 Responses to “Koi Palace Dim Sum Daly City Review”

  1. Diamond Harbor Seafood Restaurant Review, Foster City, 94404 | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] is similar to Hong Kong Flower Lounge. While the food is solid, they do not have exotic items. Koi Palace and Zen Peninsula have better dim sum and a much wider variety. Entertainment Book 2 for 1 […]

  2. ABC Seafood Dim Sum Restaurant Review Chinese Food 94404 | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] the workers for most requests, but they did refill us and change our plates. While the food is ok, Koi Palace, Zen Peninsula, and Joy Luck Place all have better dim sum. ABC Seafood is located at 768 Barber […]

  3. Shanghai Dumpling King Restaurant Review, San Francisco, 94121 | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] around and ask if you want them. How can you say no. Fluffy and hot out of the fryer. Better than Koi Palace’s more expensive […]

  4. Dynasty Chinese Seafood Restaurant, Cupertino | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] restaurant and wonder how dinner would be. The dim sum is some of the best in the SF Bay Area, but Koi Palace still ranks higher. Hong Kong is home of the […]

  5. Hong Kong Saigon Seafood Harbor Dim Sum Restaurant, Sunnyvale | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] be had with early lunches, and when the place is crowded and has a lot of turnover. Top notch spot, Koi Palace, starts fulfilling individual orders rather than dish out product that has sat. We would still […]

  6. Champagne Seafood Restaurant, Lunch, Dim Sum, San Mateo | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] Super Egg Puff ($3.50) is not as nice as Koi Palace’s but still excelled with good crispiness and sweetness at a lower […]

  7. Koi Palace Restaurant, Dinner, Daly City, 94015, Chinese Restaurant | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] in Dublin and at Thunder Valley Casino. We came for dinner and have previously reviewed their dim sum lunch. Our return trip was in late […]

  8. Zen Peninsula Lunch Dim Sum Restaurant Review Millbrae, 94030 | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] This high quality dim sum, this is a very good choice for lunch.  Asian Pearl Peninsula and Koi Palace better Zen Peninsula’s quality. Call ahead and get a number, this will reduce your wait time. […]

  9. Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant Restaurant, Richmond | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] eating. The dim sum here was fantastic, unlike anything we have in the San Francisco Bay Area like Koi Palace. Everything was hard out of the kitchen, even towards the end of lunch. The next increment up would […]

  10. Yank Sing, San Francisco | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] with lots of English speaking servers. I would rate the food below places on the Peninsula like Koi Palace, Asian Pearl […]

  11. Foodnut.com's Introduction to Chinese Dim Sum at a Chinese Restaurant for Lunch | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] are some of Foodnut’s Favorite Dim Sum restaurants around the world – Koi Palace, Daly City, California – Sea Harbour, Richmond, BC Canada – Lung King Heen, Hong Kong, […]

  12. Lung King Heen, Hong Kong | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] of this caliber in the US, the closest in North America are located in Vancouver, BC like Kirin. Koi Palace is about as good as it comes in San Francisco. Be sure to check out our Hong Kong reviews of Lei […]

  13. Yan Toh Heen, Hoi King Heen, Tao Heung, Manor Sea Food Hong Kong Restaurant Reviews | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] Kong is a world class city full of great food. Most of the Chinese food was superior to that in the San Francisco Bay Area and even Vancouver, BC […]

  14. The Kitchen Lunch Dim Sum Restaurant Review, Millbrae, 94030 | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] also not extensive. All in all, the food was of decent quality although the dim sum at places like Koi Palace is […]

  15. Asian Pearl Peninsula Dim Sum Restaurant, Millbrae | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] Asian Pearl Peninsula is on our short highly recommended. The Kitchen is also on the list. Koi Palace in Daly City is one of the few Chinese restaurants that is […]

  16. Great Eastern Dim Sum, San Francisco | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] Chinatown and continue to be. The food was very good. While places like The Kitchen and Koi Palace on the San Francisco Peninsula offer top notch food with many exotic specialties, Great Eastern […]

  17. Hong Kong East Ocean, Emeryville | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] dishes were good but better quality can be had in Oakland’s Chinatown or in San Francisco. Koi Palace remains our reference Chinese dim sum restaurant in the Bay Area. They have a limited wine list. […]

  18. City View Restaurant, San Francisco | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] Eastern. You can find cheaper dim sum but the quality and service will not be as high. Head to Koi Palace in Daly City for the better stuff and a bigger […]

  19. Dragon Beard Candy - Koi Palace | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] had a fun time watching this chef at Koi Palace in Daly City make Dragon Beard Candy in celebration of the Autumn Moon Festival.  This candies […]

  20. Great Eastern, Chinatown, San Francisco | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] to be. The food was very good and even the service decent. While places like The Kitchen and Koi Palace on the Peninsula offer top notch food with many exotic specialties, Great Eastern continues to […]

  21. R & G Lounge Restaurant, San Francisco, | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] to other top notch places like Koi Palace in Daly City, R & G Lounge offers competitive cuisine with Koi Palace perhaps edging them out […]

  22. Hong Kong Lounge, San Francisco | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] really cheap but marginal Good Luck, touristy Ton Kiang. Yank Sing, Cityview. Great Eastern. Koi Palace. Asian Pearl […]

  23. Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant, Rosemead, CA | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] The dim sum here was fantastic, slightly better than our top pick in the San Francisco Bay Area, Koi Palace. Everything was hot out of the kitchen, even towards the end of lunch. The next increment up would […]

  24. Koi Garden, Dublin - Koi Palace at Dublin | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] did we dine here? – Koi Garden also known as Koi Palace at Dublin is the East Bay outpost for Koi Palace, arguably the best Chinese restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. We were in the area and had to […]

  25. MY China, San Francisco | Foodnut.com Says:

    […] China is the long awaited restaurant from TV Celeb Chef Martin Yan and the Koi Palace folks. It is located on the 4th floor of the San Francisco Centre shopping mall, right under the […]

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