Chef Zhao Kitchen
2180 W Bayshore Rd Suite 120
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Soup Dumplings! Why did we dine here? – Chef Zhao Kitchen is a Shanghai Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto, near 101 and Embarcadero. This is a sister restaurant to Cupertino’s Shanghai Garden.
Confusing things, Chef Zhao Bistros in Mountain View and San Mateo are unrelated both cuisine-wise and with owners. This restaurant has been getting some good local buzz, so it was time to check it out.
Insider Tip – Go early, the wait starts around 6.
Cuisine – Shanghai Chinese
Location – Palo Alto Near 101
Opened – 2016
Service – Chef Zhao Kitchen is pretty much like any other Chinese restaurant drop and go.
Verdict – Chef Zhao Kitchen is one of the best Shanghai Chinese restaurants in this area. The next best one up north is Little Shanghai, San Mateo. Prices here are reasonable and the food very good.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Maybe. 1 Hour? No.
Chef Zhao Kitchen Signature Dishes – Steamed dumplings, Pan Fried Buns, Noodles, Rice Cakes
Chef Zhao Kitchen’s Menu is pretty standard with the usual Shanghainese dishes along with the usual Americanized fare.
Chef Zhao Kitchen Food Picks:
Scallion Pancake ($4.95) were greasy, crispy, and pretty darn good.
Juicy Pork Buns Steamed ($7.95) or Shanghai Steamed Dumplings (XLB) has 6 medium sized dumplings full of soup. Slightly bigger with a large top, compared to Din Tai Fung. Pretty good, but not as good as Din Tai Fung.
Juicy Pork Buns Pan-Fried ($7.95) are surprisingly good. Very difficult to find decent versions around the SF area. Shanghai Flavor Shop is still the current reference spot. These are hot, full of juice, a bit salty and a think bun. If you ever visit Shanghai, go to Yang’s Fry Dumplings, they are on another level. We still dream of them.
Shepherd Rice Cake ($10.25) are a classic and done well here. Tender rice cakes and just enough shredded pork.
Vegetable Salted pork fried rice ($10.25) is also a dish we love. Done pretty well even though it lacked much pork. The rice was cooked perfectly.
Sauteed Baby Bok Choy ($11.95) were thin shredded bok choy with lots of garlic.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Sweet Rice Red Bean Paste ($9.95) was huge, but a tad under cooked.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?