Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ma's Restaurant: San Jose, CA

My parents are so cute. They LOVE Chinese food and eat it for practically any occasion. Whether it be a casual day or celebration- it's never really a debate over which type of cuisine we will eat but rather what type of Chinese restaurant we will be hitting up.

In usual fashion, my parents chose to celebrate their wedding anniversary by have lunch at Chinese restaurant. The place they had intended on going to was closed that day so they looked around in the same shopping plaza and Ma's Restaurant caught their eye. This places serves up Islamic Mandarin style Chinese food which they had never tried before so they decided to give it a shot. Turns out they really liked it and the whole family went out to lunch there the next time we were all home.

I was actually surprised that my parents had chosen this place to celebrate their anniversary. I should have taken a picture but the decor doesn't exactly scream romantic as do most Chinese restaurants. It was clean but very plainly decorated and terribly loud with the lunch crowd pouring in. We were seated, glanced over the menu and agreed that getting a set family dinner/meal would work best for us. We ordered a family meal meant for 3-4 people($48.00) and it turned out to be more than enough food. The meal also comes with steamed white rice in case you're wondering.

1st course: lamb(or beef) with pickled cabbage warm pot
We chose lamb for this dish. The soup arrived promptly and the waiter portioned it out into soup bowls for us. He was a little sloppy- there was soup dripping down the side and noodles hanging over the sides of the bowls. Oh well, I won't be too picky... a multi course lunch for 6 people at $48.00 isn't bad at all. The lamb was very thinly sliced and tender. The cabbage didn't taste too pickled at all. It had been stewing in the broth which tasted lightly acidic probably from the pickled cabbage. I could have used a bit more tofu wrapper and a little less rice vermicelli.
2nd course: beans with salted vegetables and tofu wrappers
There's that tofu wrapper again. Despite the name this dish didn't taste very salty at all. It was a nice medley of flavors but didn't really stand out to me. Not a star but was a nice back up to the other dishes with some rice.
3rd course: lamb or green beans
The lamb in this dish was quite tender like in the first dish. I thought this dish could have used a little crushed black pepper and a little less green onions. Nice job on cooking the green onions though... I didn't find it slimy tasting like I usually find cooked green onions to be.
3rd course: fish with chili sauce
I didn't really taste any chili but I found this dish very enjoyable. The breading on the fish remained quite crispy despite the sauce. I found myself picking at the dish very often. Didn't care very much for the mushrooms but the zucchini and carrots went very well with the crispy, slightly sauced fish nuggets.
4th course: house special dough slice chow mein
Turns out they make their own noodles here. The noodles looked rustically cut and had a nice bite as well as flavor to it. I didn't find the dish too oily ... overall a very balanced dish not needing any additional seasoning.
5th course: scallion pancake
I had really high hopes for this dish. I saw several tables ordering this and I enjoy it very much myself. The 5th item in the meal was actually suppose to be scallion pie but I was very interested in seeing how this would pan out. I unfortunately found this too dense and lacking in the scallion flavor. What I was looking for was something less bread like... more crispy and a little more oilier. More oilier? Yes... I felt that the sesame seeds were robbed of their natural oiliness and thus the outside of the bread tasted terribly dry. My family agreed with my disappointment of the pancakes...we didn't even get through 1/4 of the serving.
dessert: soft serve ice cream
Ma's offers a complimentary soft serve for dessert. I thought it was a cute idea.
However, as you can see ... they weren't kidding about the "soft" serve. It was terribly drippy right after I took this photo and couldn't really enjoy the vanilla soft serve for fear most of it would end up on me instead of in me.

Ma's Restaurant
1715 Lundy Ave. #168
San Jose, CA 95131
(408)437-2499 or (408)437-1683
M-Th, Su: 11am-2:45pm and 4:45pm-9:30pm
F-Sa: 11am-2:45pm and 4:45pm-10pm


  1. sesame pancakes rock my world. next time you're in NY, don't miss dumpling house. (search the name on my blog for further info) - best sesame pancakes ever!

  2. Linda,

    Thanks for stopping by! I haven't been to NY yet but this place will be on my my to visit list when I'm in town. Thanks!


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