949A Edgewater Blvd
Foster City, CA 94404
Why did we dine here? – Cooking Papa is a popular Hong Kong style casual Chinese restaurant with locations in Foster City and Santa Clara. We have dined at the Foster City location several times. There is a line much of the time, a testing to the popularity of this restaurant. People typically wait at least 30 minutes during peak times. Our last visit was in the fall of 2017
Insider Tip – Come early to avoid the lines.
Cuisine – Chinese Cantonese
Location – Foster City
Opened – Late 2011
Service – Cooking Papa had fair service for this type of restaurant. We had to flag down the waiter to get things done, as they look like they’re running around like they are slurping Red Bull. No wonder the Yelp reviews are fair.
Verdict – Cooking Papa serves up reasonably priced casual Chinese food in decent surroundings. The food quality here is solid, but not exceptional.
Signature Dishes – Hong Kong style Egg Puff, steamed Shanghai dumplings, Won Ton Noodle soup, clay pot rice.
Cooking Papa’s Menu has a wide variety of items from noodles to porridge to rice dishes to clay pots. Some items on their Private Kitchen menu need to be ordered 3 days in advance. Prices have gone up significantly over the last 3 years.
Cooking Papa Picks:
Sweet Corn and Chicken soup ($10.25) was solid. Lots of ingredients and decent flavors. Good enough for four people.
Glutinous Rice stuffed Chicken ($45) in on their pre order Private Kitchen menu. Wow this is a must order. Crispy chicken stuffed with sticky rice. Crunch and chewiness in every bite.
Roast Peking Duck ($10.95 for half, $23.50 for whole) was surprisingly very good. Very nice quantities, more than our recent meal at R and G in San Francisco. Crispy skin, and tender duck meat. The usual soft white buns.
Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($5.75) was also very good. Tender juicy meat inside a thin coating.
Braised Beef Brisket Noodle Soup ($7.25) was a solid version of the classic although the tender meat did not possess much flavor.
Rice Noodle Roll with Shrimp ($3.95) was well done with ample amounts of shrimp.
Clay Pot Rice with Chicken & Shitake Mushroom ($8.50) took about 15 minutes to arrive. A good amount of tender chicken and mushrooms topped this dish, although it could have used a little more soy sauce.
The restaurant located across the street from San Francisco’s Chinatown fire station, makes a far superior version.
Fish combo rice noodle soup ($7.75) was a good sized bowl of hot fish based broth along with some nicely done noodles.
Roast duck over rice ($10.45) was a bit skimpy on the amount of duck, but the duck’s quality was very good. You definitely need to supplement this dish with an appetizer. This dish is good enough for lunch. Consider ordering a plate of roast duck ($10.75 for half) and a side of rice instead.
Fried Rice with Chicken and Salted Fish ($9.25) provided a nice alternative to plain rice. Good quantities and strong flavors.
Sauteed Diced Chicken, Tofu, Salted Fish ($13.50) was also a large claypot. It hit the mark and was not too salty.
Eggplant with basil claypot ($12) was cooked just right and pretty huge. Lots of diced pork in a slightly sweet sauce.
Sauteed tender greens ($11.85) did the job.
Hong Kong Style Egg Puff ($4.25) is there famous dish that is a must-get. Hot out of the frier, and full of air, almost every table orders one.
Black Sesame Sweet Soup ($3.00) was ordered because we saw a video running showing that they made it from scratch. Not too sweet, potent flavors, not for everyone.
Red Bean Ice Drink with Black Grass Jelly ($3.95) was topped off with a bit too much ice, but still satisfied our drink needs. No ice cream is available.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
BBQ Delicacy Four-Treasure Rice ($8.95) had overly-salty BBQ pork and roasted pig. The roast duck was decent.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Shanghai Steamed Dumplings ($5.75) were over-cooked, lacked much soup. Only order this dish at a Shanghai Chinese restaurant, not a Cantonese-Chinese restaurant.
Glutinous Rice with red bean paste ($3.25) was mushy, took forever, and comes with Honey.
2830 Homestead Road
Santa Clara, CA 95051