We were in San Mateo and found ourselves running late to meet up with some friends for Lunch. While we had some lunch suggestions from everyone on FTC ready to suggest, our friends (who weren’t foodies) suggested “a Dim Sum place close-by” so off we went.
Walking in, you’re greeted by a wall of Live Seafood tanks (albeit a bit run down and dirty). After being seated we found out that Hong Kong Flower Lounge was serving Dim Sum by carts, old-school style.
Steamed Scallop and Shrimp Dumpling:
Over-steamed, the Dumpling skin was a bit mushy. The filling was fine, but the Shrimp and Scallop tasted pretty average / muted.
Chinese Broccoli in Oyster Sauce:
The best dish we had on this visit: Nicely poached / boiled Chinese Broccoli, with a nice snap, but cooked all the way through.
Siu Mai (Shrimp & Pork Dumpling):
Sadly overcooked. Lots of Pork Fat chunks mixed with the Ground Marinated Pork and Shrimp filling. Definitely not as good as Dragon Beaux.
Steamed Chicken Feet in Black Bean Sauce:
Solid. Familiar, savory with a touch of sweet. The Steamed Chicken Feet were very soft.
Steamed Fish Ball:
This was fine. Relatively lighter in texture and flavor than Beef Meatballs, it was a nice break from the usual dishes.
Steamed Vegetarian Dumplings:
This Dumpling Skin was a touch on the thick side, but otherwise the filling of Chinese Chives, Mushrooms and Vermicelli was tasty.
Deep Fried Tofu in Special Sauce:
One of our friends really wanted Tofu, so we ordered this off of the dinner menu. This was Deep Fried Tofu, of the firm variety, then marinated / drenched in a Light Soy Sauce-based Sauce. It was rather sparse, but had decent flavor.
Fried Rice with Vegetables:
This Fried Rice was too wet and on the oily side, with no Wok Hei (Breath of the Wok), a far cry from the wonderful, soulful version from Dragon Beaux.
Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings):
Over-steamed as well. The skins stuck together and tore apart as we tried to take a piece out. The Shrimp chunks within were pretty mediocre, tasting like typical frozen Shrimp.
Steamed Beef Tendon with Satay Sauce (No Pic):
We forgot to take a picture of this, but thankfully this was the 2nd best dish of the lunch meal. The Beef Tendon was steamed to a pretty tender consistency and had a nice Satay flavor infusion.
Baked Egg Custard:
Served cold (off of the cart roaming around, probably sitting in there for a while), it was a pretty mediocre version of the Hong Kong Egg Custard Tart.
Service for a cart style place was actually far worse than usual (worse than most restaurants we’ve tried in the San Gabriel Valley). Servers never came by to refill Tea or replace dirty plates. They never came by even once. We had to get up and track down someone to get the bill.
Hong Kong Flower Lounge is noteworthy in that this is the first truly mediocre restaurant we’ve visited in the SF area. Clearly, it’s a bit skewed because when we visit SF, we already have an itinerary planned out and thanks to all our FTC’ers with great recommendations, we always have something tasty lined up.
Sadly for this one meal, we left it open given our schedule and meeting up with some non-foodie friends in the area, and this is the result. Mediocre, passable Dim Sum that would be a touch below many of the places in L.A. And definitely the opposite end of the spectrum to SF’s Dragon Beaux.
Hong Kong Flower Lounge
51 E Millbrae Ave.
Millbrae, CA 94030