Here is a list of my new favourites in SF Bay Area during my visit a couple of weeks ago in no particular order:
1. Mango Mochi – Creations Dessert House, San Francisco, CA
This was one of the most unusual desserts I’ve ever eaten. I was not expecting to find fresh mango inside the mochi. I liked that the mochi was not overly sweet. It tasted very fresh and tropical. I could easily eat half a dozen of these mochi balls.
2. Sautéed Taro Root Cake - Hong Kong Lounge, San Francisco, CA
This Sautéed Taro Root Cake is prepared Chiu Chow style. The taro cake is cubed and dusted in a light flour batter before being fried. It is topped with scallions and dried shrimp. There are not many places that serve Taro Root Cake Chiu Chow style for dim sum. I’ve only ever had it at Koi Garden in Dublin, CA. Apparently, its sister restaurant Koi Palace in Daly City, CA also serves it. I was about to make the trek to Koi Palace when I came across a post that said this preparation of taro root cake was even better at Hong Kong Lounge.
3. Eclairs – Tartine Bakery & Cafe, San Francisco, CA
These Eclairs were filled with vanilla custard cream and topped with a Valrhona chocolate glaze. They were absolutely heavenly. I liked that they were not overly sweet or heavy. The vanilla custard was just right and complemented the chocolate well. Normally, I’m not even a fan of eclairs and probably wouldn’t have ordered it but we were feeling adventurous that morning. Boy am I glad we did! This Eclair is on par with our other favourite dessert from Tartine, the Coconut Passion Fruit Lime Bavarian Cake, which made it on to my list of Best Things I Ever Ate… last year. I’m not sure which is my favourite now as I love both of them and can’t wait to go back to Tartine Bakery again.
4. Prosciutto Pie – Pizzeria Delfina, San Francisco, CA
The pizza from Pizza Delfina is probably the best thin-crust pizza I’ve ever eaten. I’m so impressed with how light the crust was. The Prosciutto Pie was topped with arugula that has been tossed in olive oil. The prosciutto was very tasty without being overly salty.
5. Smoked Duck appetizer – Canteen, San Francisco, CA
This Smoked Duck appetizer was the most memorable dish I’ve tasted in a while. The slices of Smoked Duck breast were served with lentils, mustard, sweet and sour cherries, and julienned celery root. All the flavours worked together in perfect harmony. I loved the crunchiness of the celery root and the tartness of the cherries against the smokiness of the perfectly cooked duck breast.
6. Passion Fruit Green Tea – Tea Island, Fremont, CA
I’m usually not even a fan of bubble tea but my friend really wanted me to try this bubble tea place inside Marina Foods called Tea Island. At first, I wasn’t even planning on getting anything as we had just finished dinner and I was really full. The girl behind the counter at Tea Island suggested I try the Passion Fruit Green Tea. She assured me that it was not going to be overly sweet and she was right! At Tea Island, the drinks are freshly made to order and are completely customizable. Best of all, they are made with real brewed tea. Upon the first sip, I was amazed at how tasty the drink was. I could taste the underlying fragrance of the green tea through the passion fruit. If bubble tea always tasted like this, I’d be drinking it all the time. Unfortunately, it is not that easy to find a place that brews real tea for the bubble tea.
7. Aloha Salad – Denica’s Pastry Cafe and Taco Lounge, Dublin,CA
This salad doesn’t look like much but it is the best tasting salad I’ve ever had. The mangos were very sweet. The mixed greens and romaine lettuce were very fresh and crisp and lightly coated in a passion fruit vinaigrette dressing.
Creations Dessert House
5217 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94118
Hong Kong Lounge
5322 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94121
Tartine Bakery & Cafe
600 Guerrero Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
3611 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
817 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
46196 Warm Springs Blvd
(between Brown Rd & Fulton Pl)
Fremont, CA 94539
Denica’s Pastry Cafe and Taco Lounge
6058 Dougherty Rd.
Dublin, CA 94568