When we are California, we almost try to have at least one dim sum meal. They're a heart's delight of numerous and highly varied little treats bought to your table. A dim sum meal is best shared so you can sample more varieties of these dainty, savory and sweet little "dot hearts". While a Cantonese specialty, other regions of China also make them a treat.
In Spanish, they might be equated to "antojitos", or "little whims". But they are almost unknown in Mexico. On the San Francisco Peninsula of California, the challenge isn't finding a dim sum restaurant, rather to choose one from the long and tempting list of dim sum parlors.
We'd been fond of Fook Yuen, in Millbrae, CA, an old favorite of Dim Sumness. But I read that Fook Yuen had been closed and perhaps replaced by Asian Pearl Peninsula. There was the very fancy, Chinoiserie decor of the Hong Kong Flower Lounge. The Zen Peninsula was a new one for me.
I spent a great deal of time searching the Internet for the top spot for a Sunday dim sum brunch with our friends Bridget and Derald.
What determined the final decision were the Xiao Long Bao at Sunny Shanghai Restaurant, in San Bruno. Devoid of dragon gates, glitter or gongs, it's a simple Mom and Pop place with a few tables. However, posters on Chowhound.com and the blogger FoodNut.com rated the Xiao Long Bao at Sunny Shanghai as the best in the S.F. area. The restaurant is small, but the talent in the kitchen is large.
|Fans gather to enjoy dim sum at Sunny Shanghai|
|Xiao Long Bao|
Here's what we choose:
Hot Salty Soybean Milk. (There's also a sweet version.) This was pretty good, but not like that we'd had decades ago at Foo Loo Soo Restaurant, in Campbell, CA.
|Hot Salty Soybean Milk|
Scallion Cake, one of the favorites of Doña Cuevas and me.
I will try to provide a recipe for these. The Sunny Shanghai Scallion Cakes were flakier than the one layer example we'd had late last winter, at Mojing Comida China, in Mexico City.
|Scallion Cake at Sunny Shanghai|
|Fried Pork Buns|
|Slide Rolls/Ribbon Rolls|
|Wor Wonton Soup|
|Spicy Pork with Smoked Tofu|
We were amazed when we got the check. If I recall correctly, the total bill came to $57. That included several pots of tea (probably complimentary) and two glasses of wine.
Major credit cards accepted, and they were kind enough to split the ticket and charge to two, separate cards.
Now, the ratings.
Service: **** (one waitress and an occasional helper. Our hostess trebled in waiting tables, hosting/cashiering and washing dishes.)
Price: $1/2 A super value!
Ambience: Simple decor.
Restroom: Dark, a bit dingy. Needs work.
Kitchen hygiene: if you scare easily, please don't look in.
Would we return? In a San Francisco Peninsula minute.
189 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA