Saturday, July 29, 2006

liou's house

Continuing our Saturday night dinner series, Joy, Mike, Lisette and I headed to Milpitas to visit Liou's House Chinese Restaurant. Liou's House is not well known outside of the Chinese community. There are no Yelp reviews and the only Google search results just list its name and address. But, trust us, it is worth making the trip to 680 and Jacklin Road.

Liou’s House is run by a famous Taiwanese chef and it specializes in hard-to-find dishes that need to be ordered a day in advance. There is no website, and this part of the menu isn’t translated, but if you call and describe what you want they will be happy to prepare it for you.
delicacies from Liou's House in Milpitas
The special items are:

buddha jump over the wall
soup inside winter melon
beggar’s chicken
baked cod
premium sea cucumber
honey ham
napa cabbage with dried scallop
Dongpo pork
spare ribs in pumpkin
grilled prawns
crispy squab made with 8 other ingredients
lobster cooked with ginger and green onion
sharks fin soup

Each that we tried was quite large (designed for 6-8 servings) so you should be cautious in ordering and you should bring friends. Being greedy, we over-ordered.

We started with winter melon soup (top left). Served inside a perfectly cooked winter melon, the soup contained prawns, chestnuts, ginger, mushrooms, chicken, pork and all of the winter melon your ladle could scrape without damaging the structural integrity of the container.

Next up was the honey ham (2nd from top). A bit drier and more seasoned than the spiral cut ham you might have tried, it comes with lotus seeds, honey molasses and little pockets of thin bread you can use to make mini-sandwiches. Delicious!

We selected one item from the regular menu, Chinese squash (loofah) with bamboo fungus (3rd from top). I’m not sure that I love the bamboo fungus (although I concede that this was a minority opinion at our table) but the loofah was excellent.

Perhaps best of all were the spareribs in pumpkin (bottom photo), little riblets cooked until extremely tender inside of a tasty Chinese pumpkin. We were all extremely full, but there were scant remains of the pumpkin when we were done eating.

To complete our meal, the attentive staff brought us green bean tapioca. I was it a bit skeptical, but one taste erased my doubts. Like everything we ate tonight, it was wonderful. I am anxious to return to Liou’s House to sample more dishes, so let me know if you want company for your next visit.

Liou’s House: 1245 Jacklin Rd, Milpitas, CA (408) 263-9888 (closed Monday)


At 7:09 PM, Anonymous joy said...

far be it from me to criticize your excellent blog entries (particularly the food-related ones)! but i feel compelled to say that my opinion of liou's house is a little different than yours.

i *loved* the spareribs in pumpkin, and the Chinese loofah was good (though standard). i found the winter melon soup a bit on the bland side despite its many additions, though, and the *extremely* sweet honey ham rather dry and tough. (i did like the lotus seeds.)

nor would i precisely call the waitstaff "attentive". it is, after all, a chinese restaurant! ;) but at least they were friendly. no real complaint there.

if i went back, i would love to try the sticky rice in bamboo. and you wouldn't want to get between me and the spareribs in pumpkin!


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