Tai Pan – Palo Alto, CA

taipan

I have been to Taipan about 6 times over the past year for dim sum. Taipan offers Hong Kong style Cantonese cuisine and have an extensive lunch and dinner menu. They also have a pretty impressive bar for a chinese restaurant.

Dim sum is served till 3 pm everyday. Here are the menus:

Dim Sum Menu

Soup Salad Menu

Rice Noodle Dessert Menu

Seafood Menu

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We ordered

Chicken Ginseng soup $6

2 orders.

I tried this in past visits. Although it is light and refreshing with a lot of herby flavour to it it tasted quite elementary. Something anyone could whip up at home.

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Fish Maw and crab meat soup $11

This soup had great consistency and generous amounts of crab meat and fish maw. It was a little bland but nothing that can’t be solved by a little red vinegar.

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Pork Ribs in black bean sauce $3.50

This was ok. Not as prominent in black bean flavour as I would like but not bad.

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Taro & Meat Dumpling $5.80

This was quite disappointing. I like the airy fluffy taro with very crispy skin but this was a little dense and they definitely skimp on the meat filling.

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Peashoot dumpling with prawns $5.80

I liked this dish. The skin was really thin and the pea shoots gave it more flavour than your typical har gow.

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Shrimp dumpling $5.80

The har gow in this visit was better than the first few visits. The skin is noticeable thinner and the shrimp had just enough seasoning. Not bad.

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Shiitake mushroom Sui Mai $4.80

Sui mai has always been my go to dim sum item. I always make a point to order a couple orders each visit. The sui mai here is good but kinda odd at the same time. It seemed a lot sweeter than most places and has more shrimp than pork (which is good to some). Not bad.

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Soy Sauce Tofu $7

I didn’t try this because I am not a tofu fan but the other diners loved it.

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Pan fried turnip cake – $3.50

This was tasty as well. A lot softer than what I am use to but it was a nice almost gooey texture with bits of seafood, daikon and etc.

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Crab Claw $8

One of my favourites. I feel that is is quite pricey for $8 and a tad greasy. But there was a huge chunk of claw in the middle of the shrimp and fish paste ball.

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Peking Duck with bun $8

Pretty sad looking

I would never order this again. For $8, you get two measly buns that do not look properly made (flat and cut apart, rather than fluffy) with a tiny piece of duck with barely crispy skin.

I would rather pay $32 and get the whole peking duck at R&G Lounge in San Francisco.

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Snow Bun $5.80

I always order this when I am there. It comes w taro filling and a sweet baked bun. :)

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Rice roll with pork $7

We make a point to order one rice roll and they are pretty good here. reminds me of the type you get in HK where the skin is so thin it is see through and falls apart. The char siu rice roll had a good amount of meat filling. :) The shrimp rice roll is fairly generous with the shrimp as well.

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Total damage : $120 (includes drinks & tax & tip)

Note: There is a charge of $2 per person for tea

Overall personal rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Good)

Everydish was delicious and was average to above average, nothing was bad BUT it is hard to justify the prices that we were charged. My friends from HongKong swear by the authenticity of the dim sum items, and liked the quality of the food so were not phased by the price. Personally, I believe there are places in San Francisco with dim sum just as good for half the price.

The dim sum items is about $2-$4 dollars more than any average dim sum place. So have a go if price is not a factor for you because the food is good, otherwise in terms of value for the food – it might not be worth a visit.

Service is usually slow as you order and they send a dish as it is prepared. No dim sum cart here. Almost at every visit, one dish is forgotten.

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Taipan

560 Waverley St
Palo AltoCA 94301

(650) 329-9168

Tai Pan on Urbanspoon

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