Friday, February 03, 2006

Sino Restaurant + Lounge, Santana Row

sinoWhen my sister and I walked by Sino the other day, we couldn't helped but be lured in by the beautiful design -- the water wall, dark wood furnishings, hip metal curtains, curved bar, deep red walls, leather seating.

The place is so gorgeous, we knew it would be tough for the food at this three-month-old modern Chinese restaurant to live up to the decor. And, it doesn't really, but it is still a perfectly good dining option in Santana Row (albeit pricier than your average dim sum spot).

Since we were there for lunch, we focused mainly on the dim sum menu; the only entree we ordered was the short ribs -- which were fine, nothing special. Like traditional dim sum restaurants, the servers here bring trays to your table (you can also order from the menu). We immediately picked up a bamboo steamer filled with tasty pork buns. It was a great way to start off our meal.

Everything that followed was pretty good, although there were a couple of missteps with the service/menu: The Shanghai Dumpling, although listed as a ground beef item, was actually made with ground pork. Weird. And the waiter presented us with what he said were Scallop Mushroom Dumplings, but they turned out to be the Shrimp & Chive Dumplings. Not a big deal... Except we had also picked up a plate of the Har Gow (steamed shrimp dumplings).

Since we're both big fans of mango, we ended our meal with the Shrimp & Mango Roll (plump shrimps and slices of mango in a rice-flour wrapper); and the Mango Pudding. Since the roll was deep-fried, the mango was warm and I just couldn't get over/used to that so I only had one bite of it. The pudding, however, was fantastic. Its delicate texture was derived from the combination of mango ice cream and gelatin -- making it lighter than your usual puddings.

Since the menu is so extensive, there are plenty of options to choose from here. So I'm sure we'll be back to sample some of the other dim sum offerings... and order that Mango Pudding again.

Sino Restaurant + Lounge
377 Santana Row
Suite 1000
San Jose, CA
(408) 247-8880