experiences

Good Dim Sum Near San Francisco Airport

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There’s no denying that Jeanne & I, like View From the Wing and Hack My Trip are in love with Yank Sing for dim sum. But sometimes, like when you’re carless, working on East Coast hours and located in a hotel south of SFO, you can’t make the trek into the city just for some of the best dumplings in the world.

For those times, or times when you have a couple of hours layover at SFO, we’ve found a great alternative: Hong Kong Flower Lounge Restaurant. While looking up non-hotel restaurants for lunch, I stumbled upon rave reviews and decided maybe we didn’t need to give up the dim sum plan!

It’s about a mile from the nearby Aloft, Westin, and Marriott, basically walking distance. We showed up right as it opened and secured a table only minutes before a wait started. The fact that the lobby was filled with tanks of more exotic (to me) edible marine life and that it was clearly favored by the local Chinese community boded well.

It took about 10 minutes for the food to start coming out, we were right there when they opened, both on the traditional carts and on trays carried around. My first observation was that almost everything was super-sized, I’ve never seen such huge dumplings!

We got the usual Sui mai, abet massive, filled with shrimp and pork. A shrimp and pea shoot dumpling and pork with peanuts dumpling followed, both large, HOT, and so stuck together that our chopstick skills were nullified.

Next up I guessed wrong when getting what I thought was my favorite sesame bun. I’d picked the black sesame steamed bun, which although having an interesting peanut butter and brown sugar flavor, was not what I’d wanted.

After that was one of Jeanne’s favorites: BBQ pork puff pastry with sweet topping.

And we’d pretty much thrown in the towel when Jeanne spotted MY favorite – the glutinous pork dumpling. I made it through two and happily gave up.

Then came the check. On my first visit to Yank Sing when I indulged my every dumpling whim without awareness of price, the total for two was $75. Yikes! On subsequent visits I’ve managed to keep it down to $30-$40, still an indulgence. I’ll admit I was a little wary of this bill, since prices weren’t anywhere on the menu.

Wow! $23 for two (stuffed to bursting) people is an exciting value, and we highly recommend!

Have a layover? You have multiple options for getting Hong Kong Flower Lounge from the San Francisco Airport (SFO):

  • Take a taxi for about $15
  • Take the BART from SFO one stop to the Millbrae station and walk about 1 block to the intersection of Millbrae Ave and El Camino Real.
  • Catch the free shuttle from arrivals to the Aloft and walk the mile to the restaurant. Closer hotels, such as Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Dylan also offer a complimentary shuttle, but only upon request, which will get sticky if you don’t have a reservation.

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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

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