Hong Kong Restaurant Review, Palo Alto

Reviewer: Foodnut.com

Hong Kong Restaurant

3691 El Camino Real

Palo Alto, CA 94306


650-251-9029 (Fax)

Hong Kong Restaurant Palo Alto exterior decor

Why did we dine here? – Hong Kong Restaurant opened in 2012 in Palo Alto, where several restaurants including a Thai one had come and gone.
Over the last couple of months, it has established itself as the go to Chinese restaurant in this area. We have eaten there for dinner as well as for a for a fixed menu meal. Our last visit was in February 2014.

Insider Tip – Come for dinner, there is no dim sum

Cuisine – Chinese Cantonese
Location – Palo Alto
Opened – 2012

Hong Kong Restaurant Palo Alto interior decor

Service – Hong Kong Restaurant was reasonable and slightly better than what you would expect at this type of restaurant.
Verdict – Hong Kong Restaurant serves up solid Chinese food in Palo Alto, and at reasonable prices. This is the best bet in this area. You would have to drive north to San Mateo to find better Chinese. Keep in mind that they do not serve dim sum at lunch time, but have a usual lunch rice plates.

Hong Kong Restaurant Signature Dishes – Peking Duck, Sea Bass

Hong Kong Restaurant’s Menu is a pretty typical Cantonese Chinese menu, with all the classic dishes. There are options for vegetarians.
You do need to order some special dishes in advance. This includes the crispy chicken stuffed with sticky rice ($36) and the smoked snow cod ($38).

Hong Kong Restaurant Food Picks:
Steamed Surf Clams (Giant Clams) ($7 each) were on the menu at one time. Steamed with soy sauce, these clams showed off their freshness.

Roast Pigeon ($11) was cooked just fine, not as good as Asian Pearl, but passable.

Hong Kong Restaurant Palo Alto salt and pepper eggplant

Salt and Pepper Eggplant ($8.50) was a deep fried plate full of tender eggplant that was recommended by the waitress and turned out well.

$338 Banquet Menu (per table of 10 persons) $30 more in 2014.

Sauteed Cuttle Fish with Chinese Chives included lots of fresh scallops, making this a nice kickoff dish. Snap peas were fresh and crisp.

Hong Kong restaurant Palo Alto scallop with preserved vegetables

Scallop with Preserved Vegetables – a must for Chinese New Year, Fat Choy is a lucky dish. They switched it out in 2014 for the House Special Beef Fillet with broccoli. A good dish, but not stellar.

Shark’s Fin Soup with Crab Meat made us wonder if these guys were in tune with political correctness. It got switched out in 2014 for Abalone Seafood soup.  Solid flavors, lots of crab and abalone.

Hong Kong restaurant Palo Alto salt and pepper crab

Live Crab Wok-Baked with Chili Pepper Salt, egg battered Aberdeen style is another dish that reminded us R&G Lounge. Not as good but still acceptable.

Hong Kong restaurant Palo Alto baked lobster

Maine Lobster Baked in Supreme Broth was very good, consisting of two medium sized fresh lobsters cooked just right and cracked in the right places. Messy but worthwhile

Hong Kong Restaurant Palo Alto Peking duck

Deep Fried Chicken Stuffed with Sweet Rice (Whole) was replaced with Peking Duck. Their duck is a signature dish and a must order for duck fans. In 2014 we got the Deep Fried Chicken Stuffed with Sweet Rice. It is excellent. Crispy outside and chicken meat along with long steamed glutinous rice.  A Must order.

Black Mushroom Braised with Sea Cucumber was decent but not excellent. They could have selected fresher greens. The mushrooms were pretty huge. In 2014 this morphed into Mustard Greens with sea cucumber and slice abalone.

Hong Kong restaurant Palo Alto smoked snow cod

Smoked Snow Cod was excellent a must order. This reminded us R&G Lounge in San Francisco. A bit fishy in 2014.

Fried Rice with Dry Scallop and Egg White hit the spot. Frankly we had eaten so much already, this became a left over. You can alternately get Special Yi Mein

Complimentary Dessert of the Day ended up being a sweet red bean soup. Not too sweet, with small tapioca pearls.

OK: (Order if you like this dish)

Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)

Hong Kong Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Map:

Hong Kong Restaurant Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

Come Back?

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

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

Alcohol:Beer, Wine

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  • Karen M.
    April 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Interesting that you have had such excellent food, etc. at this restaurant. Totally the opposite of our visit…

    We went for dinner about a month after they opened. To say that it was a miserable meal/experience would be an overstatement. We were a table of 10, 7 were Chinese. At least 5 of the 7 speak Cantonese and/or Mandarin.

    Mgmt/server were rude and the food was just barely passable. Questions posed about what fresh veg were avail etc., were met with sort of “what ever” type responses. We definitely got “bad vibes”.

    We’ve never been back, but based on your review, perhaps we will have to give it another try…

  • Foodnut.com
    April 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Sorry to hear of your encounter. We’ve been there twice in 2013 and it was fine. We’d stick to the type of dishes we ordered.

    Service at almost any Chinese restaurant around here sucks unfortunately. Visit Hong Kong, Canada, and China and you’ll be amazed!

  • m.w.
    April 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I am interested why you described the location as “where several restaurants including a Thai one had come and gone.” The Thai restaurant had been there since we moved to the Bay Area (1990), so I would hardly classify the location as having several restaurants and being cursed.

  • Foodnut.com
    May 4, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    That is how we remembered the location. It has nothing to do with whether Hong Kong Restaurant will succeed or not. As we said, there really is not another reasonably price Chinese Cantonese restaurant near it.

  • Dave
    October 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Not a new restaurant in 2012. Been around since at least the late 90’s, just at a different location a mile or so down El Camino in the San Antonio Inn. Moved because the building got torn down.

    Very good for a mid-range Hong Kong-style restaurant. Particularly like the salt and pepper crab and the chinese mushroom with tender greens.

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