Palace Chef (Xiao Shandong) in Fremont
Remembering an ad I saw a long time ago, I went to look for the Palace Chef Restaurant in Fremont. It turned out to be a pretty hole-in-the-wall place located in a small strip mall on Thorton Ave.
The place is very small, with the largest table able to fit may 7 or 8 folks, and probably less than 40~50 seats total. I was in the mood for dry noodles, and I was surprised that the menu actually listed “Gan” Zha Jiang (Triple Delight Kan Cha Jang on the menu) as well as the more common regular Zha Jiang Mian. The place is definitely “authentic” as far as menu items.
After a short while the noodle arrived. I noticed that the sauce, which is in a separate bowl than the noodle was much more oily than normal. Another thing is the noodle was topped by a pan-fried egg along with the usual julienned cucumber. The egg is a very homey touch not usually found in restaurants.
I mixed the sauce with the noodle and started eating it. The noodle was definitely homemade and had very good springy-ness. The sauce however was not as good as normal. Besides it being overly oily, it also tasted a little blander than usual. The addition of some carrot and one other veggie which I can’t remember right now is unconventional – though they did not enhance nor reduce the overall sauce. The seafood ingredients consisted of some shrimps and small pieces of scallops – so I guess I got the Double Delight instead of the Triple Delight.
Overall, I was disappointed in this dish. It was ok but nothing to write home about, there are better versions elsewhere. Next time I would probably try the Chao Ma Mian (Listed as Cham Poong on the menu)
I noticed one other table did order the Gan Pong Chicken. It was on a fairly large plate. I asked the waitress and she says they use chopped drumstick meat, so it is not boneless. I may also give that a try. Unless Han beats me to it. I hope some of the other dishes will turn out well, then I’ll have a closer place to cure my noodle cravings.
BTW, they do have two menus. However, both menus have English names, and the noodle menu has Korean on it as well.
This post was recovered from backup and originally appeared in 2003.