Asian Pearl Peninsula
1671 El Camino Real (Near Park Place)
Millbrae, CA 94030
One of the better Chinese restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area… Asian Pearl Peninsula in Millbrae was at one time, part of the same Culinary Wonderland group that owned the highly rated The Kitchen in Millbrae, hence the same menu. We’ve been to this location a couple times and have found it to offer very good Cantonese Chinese cuisine, in face some of the best in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Richmond Asian Pearl has also served up very good Chinese food. This place stays open till 1am. Our visit was for dim sum lunch. Asian Pearl Peninsula has a separate Asian Pearl Peninsula dinner review. Our last visit was at the beginning of 2011.
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Decor, Vibe – Big seafood tanks by the kitchen. Fancier interior with big decorative light fixtures and recessed ceiling. Same large food photos seen at the nearby The Kitchen. Loud, busy, lots of large table get-togethers. Majority of folks were Asians. It was still packed around 1:45pm.
Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)
Asian Pearl Peninsula’s lunch Menu is pretty extensive, they have all the classic dishes along with a couple of more exotic offerings. We’ll list the item number of each item below.
1. Steamed Shrimp Dumpling ($3.95) or Har Gow were 4 delicate pieces full of delicious fresh shrimp and just out of the steamer. Lots of shrimp and very well done.
28. Steamed Chao Zhou dumpling ($3.20) were three very large dumplings possessing a spicy flavor and filled with pork, scallions, tofu, peanuts and other vegetables.
31. Pea sprouts dumpling ($3.95) had three large dumplings filled with pea shoots and a little bit of shrimp. This was almost a vegetarian dumpling but still managed to hit the spot.
7. Shark Fin Soup Dumpling ($5.80) is totally not PC but a reference test dish. First class broth with a slight mediciny hint and some Cheung ho fa herbs. Dumpling was full of chopped shrimp and sharks fin. This too a long time to arrive but was well worth it.
13. Fried Stuffed Dumpling ($2.60) or Ham Sui Gok were hot out of the fryer and perfect. They looked pale but the crunchy texture and meat filling made up for the look.
20. Dried Scallop Turnip Soft Cake ($3.20) were pretty big. Lots of chunks of white turnip and classic flavor.
23. Steamed Pork Spare Ribs ($3.20) was one of the best. Hot out of the steamer, it contained lots of pork, black beans, and some lango. Greasy but super flavor.
34. Shrimp Rice Noodle Roll (3.95) was excellent. Very smooth, not too greasy, and sauced so it was not too sweet.
40. Fresh Mango Pudding ($2.60) was top notch. Lots of real mango chunks, egg to make it fluffier, and not too sweet.
17. Sesame seed ball ($2.60) were warm and decent. Larger than most, and possessing a thicker skin, but still very good.
29. Sticky Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf ($3.95) was solid but not amazing. Slightly hard rice but a good amount of meat filling.
32. Shanghai style steamed buns ($3.20) had minimal soup and were simply dismal. Order this dish at nearby Sunny Shanghai instead.
They have some carts circulating during the weekends, but most items come from ordering off the checkoff menu. The food came fast and out of order, desserts first, so try to order multiple times to space things out.
Service was decent with some flagging down of the server required. If you are looking for high quality Chinese Dim Sum cuisine on the Peninsula, Asian Pearl Peninsula is on our short highly recommended list. Frankly, we feel that their food during dinner is superior to their dim sum lunch. The Kitchen is also on the list and slightly better in quality. Hong Kong Flower Lounge is a step down. Koi Palace in Daly City is one of the few Chinese restaurants that is better locally. Check out our reviews from Hong Kong to see the best in dim sum.
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