South Bay: Gourmet Hut (Revisited)

I'd debated with myself over the desirability of double posting...I mean, who wants to read about the same restaurants over and over? But then I figured, what the heck. It's my blog. If I find something worth sharing about the second or third time I go somewhere, why not post about it?

So here's round 2 of Gourmet Hut.

The minute I got picked up from the San Jose airport, I was ushered into our family van and whisked off to Gourmet Hut for lunch with the grandparents and my visiting cousin. I always complain about how there's a lack of good Chinese food in Chicago, so there were no complaints from me.

Instead of ordering off the lunch specials as we did last time, we wanted a full on multiple course meal off the regular menu. My parents especially wanted me to try the Peking duck and the duck tongue, both of which they couldn't stop talking about.

Here's a perk of knowing the owner: we let him order for us. All we told him was that we wanted the duck tongue and the Peking duck...everything else was up to his discretion. And boy, does he know what's good in his own restaurant.

We started off with some duck wings with duck bills (tongue included):



Next came the duck tongue with peanuts that my parents couldn't get enough of:



The tongue had a nice, chewy texture and the chili oil drizzled on top added a little kick at the end. I could see why my parents love it so much.

After the appetizers came the mustard greens in shredded dried scallop sauce:



If only I had a bowl of rice. I would've gone to town with the sauce. Then again, maybe it's a good thing I didn't have rice...

Because we didn't order rice, we got a beef pan fried noodle instead:



If you've never had noodles this way, you should give it a try. The noodles are crunchy, but soften a little after soaking up the sauce.

Helloooooo deep fried tofu in magic sauce:



The tofu was exceedingly firm with a crispy exterior. Fried firm tofu is my favorite kind of tofu. Just sayin'.

My favorite dish of the meal had to be the smoked sea bass:



I love sea bass. Period. I don't think there's any way to screw up sea bass. (Knock on wood.) But this smoked stuff? Brilliant. The flesh was tender and juicy and MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. And the fish skin....ooooooh, the fish skin. Crunchy, flavorful....I got the whole strip. And don't get me started on the sweet mayo. Mmmm....

Another of my favorites was the "house special delicacy combo platter":



Three types of Chinese sausage and smoked duck, whoa baby. The dark sausage was my favorite. Turns out it was some kind of liver...who knew I could ever enjoy liver?

Finally, the Peking duck arrived:



I've honestly never had a juicier duck.

I usually prefer crepes over buns when it comes to Peking duck wraps, but none of that factory-made, bleached white stuff here! Oh no...handmade buns, yo!:



Okay, so maybe they're not perfectly uniform in shape and maybe they're not perfectly white, but these buns were FABULOUS. They're slightly salty and slightly more dense in texture than typical buns.

Here's the finished product:



Each piece of duck skin came with a delicious layer of juicy DUCK FAT. I think I ended up eating 3 buns and who knows how many more pieces of duck.

We were all almost painfully full by then, but we still gamely tied to do justice to our last dish of stir fried seafood and veggies:



At the very end of the meal, my dad joked with the owner's wife about the possibility of dessert and immediately these red bean jellies were brought to the table:



Not my favorite dessert, but a nice end to the most satisfying meal I've had in a while all the same.

My winter break certainly is off to a good start. If things continue like this, I'm going to return to Chicago the size of a blimp. They're going to have to roll me off the plane...


Gourmet Hut
550 Barber Ln
Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 922-6882

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