Yummy World – San Mateo
There’s no shortage to great Chinese restaurant in San Mateo. Any quick search on Yelp will yield over a dozen result in the 3rd street, San Mateo downtown area alone. However, one of the best Chinese restaurant in the city isn’t in the downtown strip, but a couple miles away on the side of El Camino, where traffic is fast, and parking is painful.
What is vastly different about Yummy World versus most other Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood, is the modern decors and open kitchen. Since most Chinese cuisine, especially the stir-fried variety, are usually cooked with high heat, the resulting oil smoke can be overwhelming (although personally, I just find it “homey”). Building a modern open kitchen with Chinese cuisine is no simple matter.
The result is a wonderful mixture of modern American feel, with high quality, traditional Chinese dishes. For example, “soup of the day” in traditional Cantonese cuisine is a blend of Chinese herbs and spices that may not always appeal to American taste, and when I ordered the soup with my non-Chinese co-workers, the waiter carefully explained each ingredient that went into the soup to ensure it wouldn’t be offensive to anyone at the table.
My favorite dish here is the “pork belly with preserved vegetable”, or what’s commonly known as 梅菜扣肉. The preparation of this dish is complex, involving soaking of the preserved vegetables, marinating the pork, stir-frying the pork, cooling the pork, cutting it into the appropriate slices, and then steaming the pork with the preserved vegetables over a long period of time. The result is the picture above, glistening, tender pork that melts in your mouth. What’s even more amazing is that Yummy World serves this dish as a lunch plate as well as a separate dinner item.
This restaurant is definitely one of the best in San Mateo, make sure you don’t miss it on your way through town.
Yelp link: Yummy World