Frank Fat's Sacramento Reviews
Best Upscale Chinese Mar 25, 2008
Although I've been in Sacramento for a year now and heard rave reviews about this restaurant, I've never had the occasion to dine here. Today I ended up on a business lunch and I am so grateful he recommended we try this restaurant.
The history behind the restaurant is endearing alone, but the food is phenomenal! I was not quite sure what to expect but this place did not disappoint in any respect.
Frank's is located in the older typical downtown type neighborhood and is completely unassuming from the outside. As with most downtown areas, parking is available in the pay lots (one right next door). Once inside, there is no mistaking this is a classy place. NOTE: There is a dress code - business casual.
Since I had never been before and my attorney had been coming for years (not to mention working there at one point during law school) I let him order for us. Since there's usually a ban on cameras at court, I did not have one with me today....truthfully, I probably wouldn't have whipped it out anyways since my attorney would've thought I was nuts!
While we were waiting for our appetizer to arrive, I learned a little history of the family and restaurant itself. Frank Fat opened this restaurant in 1939, where it has remained since (oldest dining establishment on record in Sacramento). Frank Fat was once a penniless immigrant and dishwasher from China, but obviously found his gold mine in Sacramento! It is down the street from the Capitol and typical diners include governors, US Senators, lobbyists, legislators, and many of the rich and famous. It is rumored that the restaurant was known as California's "Third House" as landmark bills were drafted in the back booths and tort reform arose out of a famous "napkin deal".
Frank's features authentic dishes from all four provinces: Canton, Szechuan, Peking, and Shanghai. They also have steaks on the menu and apparently with a day or two notice, they can prepare and dress fresh game brought in by customers (up to 40 persons).
The appetizer we started with was the Yu Kwok ($8.50) which is Frank's special fried dumplings and they were utterly amazing! They bring you all the sauces (apricot sauce, chili oil, a cocktail sauce of sorts, and hot mustard). I tried them with the apricot and then the chili oil with the hot mustard - thought the apricot was the better match. For the first entree, we shared the Szechuan Shrimp which is not on their menu but they made special for us which had broccoli, carrots, onions, mushrooms with the shrimp. Our second entree was the Chicken Wingo ($13.25) which is grilled medallions of chicken with zucchini in black bean sauce. Steamed rice is extra ($1.95 pp).
Everything was delicious and as I am slowing down, he tells me I must save room for either the banana cream pie or the chocolate cream pie. Good grief, why didn't he tell me before I chowed down the whole bowl of rice!! LOL.
Anyways, I tried the chocolate cream and he had the banana cream. Oh my gosh! That was without a doubt the BEST cream pie I've ever eaten. The cream top was very different than the usual meringue type. I was told Thursdays are the best day to come as that is when they bake all the pies! The banana cream looked fantastic as well with fresh sliced bananas in it. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell you their other desserts or prices as we never actually saw the dessert list.
I was not disappointed in any aspect of the meal and will be interested to check out the family's other restaurants in the area that bear some part of the "Fat's" name. In addition to the Fat's Asia Bistro and Dim Sum in Roseville and Folsom, they have eateries in the Indian casinos throughout California, a Kung Fu Fat's Express on the Sac State campus, and even a Fat's BBQ in the Westfield Shoppingtown Downtown Plaza. There is even a location in Southern California, Fat City Steak House in San Diego.
If you are passing through Sacramento, I'd definitely recommend trying them for a nice lunch or a romantic dinner...and obviously don't eat all the rice so you save room for the cream pies! :-)
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