I ventured into San Jose’s Japan Town last week. While wandering around looking for a place to eat, I remembered an article I read sometime last year about San Jose’s China Town. The article stated that there was only one remaining restaurant from San Jose’s China Town and that the owner’s renovated at some point last year. So that led me to check out Wenzhou Fish Noodles & More since it is the last business remaining of China Town San Jose. It is on the edge of San Jose’s Japan town on North 6th. It is easy to miss if you go to Japan town, but worth checking out if you are in town.
I went by myself so I only tried one item. I ordered the Wenzhou silky knocked fish noodle soup. It is a fish soup with various veggies, noodles, and fish. The fish however, was not the winner of the dish. The fish did not have much flavor, but the broth was very good. They give you complimentary salad, which is very small. They also give you a cup of jasmine tea. They give you a secret sauce with your soup. I was not sure what type of sauce it was, but it was spicy. Maybe a spicy peanut sauce, but again not sure. If it was peanut sauce, it would be nice to warn people in case they have
So I had Hot Pot Garden last night. Got there right when they opened at 5:30pm. Best time to get there because the parking after they open is horrendous. You could find yourself circling the block a few times. Hot Pot Garden is Cantonese hot pot. When you walk in the door they have this wall to the left with tons of beers on tap with a nice bar counter. They have a small glass viewing above the taps that allows you to see the kegs in the back. Very aesthetic. So we got the all you can eat hot pot which will run you about thirty bucks a person with a 90 minute limit. Note that they also have an all you can drink option, which we didn’t do because we were sick :[.
We ordered two broths, spicy miso and tamarind. The spicy miso was perfect broth for a flu bug although I liked the tamarind more. I love meat so I ordered several orders of American Wagyu beef, beef rib eye, lamb and pork belly. All the meats are thinly sliced so that they cook quickly in the broth. We only ordered one round of vegetables which were enoki mushrooms, baby bok choy, lotus root, spinach, and potato. I followed up with some delicious calamari. The calamari comes with tentacle and body. I found that the ramen noodles paired well with tamarind broth. The Chinese Doughnut paired pretty well too. They gave us complimentary tea in a nice white pot with lines around the sides.
On our second round of meat we noticed out broth was not steaming anymore. We asked the server is our grill had gone out. After several attempts to revive the grill they decided to move us to another table. They helped us move everything, but did not turn our grill on. We did it ourselves. We asked for water two to three times and had no such luck. Bad service, but great food. Would maybe recommend it if you live in the city and don’t feel like driving to Irving. Eating in San Francisco is a nightmare if you have a car because of the parking. That’s why driving to Millbrae may be a better alternative for food.
In honor of Chinese New Year, one of the places we ate at was Tai Wu. This place is a traditional Cantonese restaurant. When yo u walk in you see these chandeliers on the ceiling. They have a massive painting about 10-15 feet tall with a large lotus flower on it. Below the painting is a statue of Guan Yu and Zhang Fei with fruits. The tables are large and round with white table clothes for a large family gathering. The waiters wear a white dress shirt and a black bow tie.
We are brought a silver tea pot with jasmine tea and some salted baked peanuts. We ordered crab meat fish maw soup, Dungeness crab with minced garlic and vermicelli, deep fried salted egg yolk Dungeness crab, pork tongue dried oysters and fat chow, yu choy, honey walnut prawns, fried rice, a whole chicken, and fish. Our family says it is important that we order a whole fish and a whole chicken. The chicken symbolizes unity and family whereas the fish symbolizes abundance. We also ordered my favorite dish; Peking duck with steamed buns and hoisin sauce. We finished up our meal with a mango pudding dish with condensed milk. One of my favorite desserts to order at Chinese restaurants (If they have it).
I would recommend Tai Wu to anyone who loves traditional Chinese food. Not Panda Express… This place is family owned and speak Cantonese and Mandarin. Places like this get bad Yelp ratings by Yelpers who come here with one or two people and expect some extravagant experience. You go to Cantonese restaurants for the food. Not the service. Our service was excellent.The best dish we ordered was the Peking Duck. I am biased. I love Peking Duck. I like to take the crunchy skin with some meat, smear hoisin sauce on the steamed bun and eat it like a little taco.