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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Couple brings Chinese zongzi to Mountain View

Uploaded: Jul 10, 2019
A Fremont couple who drew a local following for their homemade zongzi, a hefty bundle of sticky rice stuffed with savory or sweet fillings and wrapped in a bamboo leaf, has opened a bare-bones storefront in Mountain View.

Eng's Zongzi opened recently at 855 W. El Camino Real. Owner Pa Eng said they used to deliver to customers in the Mountain View area so decided to open up shop here.


Eng's Zongzi serves homemade Chinese zongzi and dumplings. Photo by Elena Kadvany.

They serve several kinds of fresh zongzi: pork, mushroom and peanut; pork and egg yolk; vegetarian; adzuki, or red, beans; and Chinese dates. The pyramid-shaped rice dumplings are enclosed in the bamboo leaves, secured with string and then boiled or steamed. (Zongzi are often described as Chinese tamales, though one customer pointed out to me that tamales could just as easily be described as Mexican zongzi.)

All of the zongzi are $3.25 each except the pork-egg yolk, which costs $3.75.

Eng's Zongzi also sells frozen meat, fish and vegetable dumplings (each bag has 50 dumplings) and shrimp and pork wontons.

There are four tables, two inside and two outside the small space, but it't primarily a takeout operation. Bring cash; they don't accept credit cards at the moment.

Eng's Zongzi is open from 1-8 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and closed Monday.
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Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Corrie Sid, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jul 17, 2019 at 2:54 pm

But are the Zongzi any good? Just knowing about it is one thing, but let us know your opinion on how they taste?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by member, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks,
on Jul 17, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Personally, when it first showed up on the menu I wasnt at all enticed. When the waitress or server, suggested them I had dismissed the offer the first few times we went to eat there. Then I went one LAST time and believe me or not, as much as I enjoyed the wontons, I gave it a shot, but never finished the meal, in fact I got a little ill and wished we went to this new little Indian Restraunt, but theyre always just too busy. I knew those carbs were ruining my diet anyways so after that I never went back. I kinda threw up a little just talking about it now. Wouldnt recommend.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mary Lee, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 28, 2019 at 10:11 am


About Eng's Zongzi -

The first (and now also the last) time I visited Eng's Zongzi, its meat zongzi won me over right away. So I decided to bring some back to Florida to share with my good friends. A couple of days later, I placed an order by phone for 15 meat zongzi and told the owner that my son would come pick them up right before our flight. After we flew back to Florida with all the zongzi (in carry on, not checked luggage) and got ready to deliver them to my friends, guess what? All 15 (yes, all 15) of them turned out to be “broken zongzi", with rice bursting out from gaps in the leaves. Due to improper binding, these delicacies apparently boiled open in the cooking process. The invading boiling water diluted the flavor, the rice became loose (not firmly sticking together), and on top of that, several of the zongzi had significantly less meat than the others. The taste was far from great, to say the least.

At best, Eng's Zongzi shop has inexcusable quality control. At worst, they despicably tried to take advantage of inexperienced zongzi buyers, like my son (an American born Chinese), by unloading a whole batch of substandard “leaked“ zongzi on him. Whether by gross negligence or cunningness, their awful service has permanently lost my trust and respect , and I will never go back again!


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??? ????????? “?????" ???????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?? ????????? 15 ??????? ????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????
???????????????? ABC (American-born Chinese? ???????), ???????????ABC ?????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????
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 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mary Lee, a resident of Los Altos,
on Jul 28, 2019 at 10:18 am

My comments in Chinese are not shown on my previous page, instead, it turns out to be all question marks. The picture I took on the “broken Jongzi" is not shown either. Sorry about that.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chinese girl, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jul 29, 2019 at 4:32 am

I first read about this place on Palo Alto Online a couple of weeks ago and became intrigued. First off, this is a homemade delicacy that requires a great deal of time, work, and love to put make. This is only offered at my mom's house once a year (typically during the early summer) due to the effort involved.
Secondly, since this is a Chinese homemade delicacy, how could they appeal to the masses?
Finally, at only $3.50 each, how many could they sell to afford the rent in Mountain View--off Castro Street no less!
I finally got around to trying it this evening. I arrived at 7:00pm, about an hour before it closes. There were four others ahead of me and a few more started to trickle in behind me. Word of mouth is spreading and this couple has certainly made a name for themselves.
They were out of the Pork with salty egg yolk ($4.00) so I ordered two of the Pork with Mushroom, and peanuts at $3.50 each. When I received it a minute later, both were hot (probably had just came out of the steamer/water). I wanted one to eat right away and the other cold to save for tomorrow's lunch so the gentleman took one back and returned with a cold one.
The Joong/Zongzhi/Chinese Tamale was delicious and offered a generous portion (mom makes it a bit smaller);texture of pork was perfectly cooked--soft and flavorful. I enjoyed it very much.
Also they were sold out of dumplings. Either these little dumplings are popular or they couldn't keep up with the demand?
@marylee Next time, ask for cold ones to take on the plane. It honestly sounds like they gave your son the ones that just came out of the pot. Not sure if the altitude had anything to do with the rice bursting out of the banana leaf but things do expand in the air. In any case it could be worth another try. Probably best to eat it while fresh.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by dlee, a resident of Mountain View,
on Aug 7, 2019 at 6:08 pm

I purchased two of them - the pork, Mushroom and Peanut Zongzi and the Pork and Egg Yolk Zongzi.

Both had mushrooms and peanuts.

The egg yolk one had a lot of pork in it - I do mean a lot

The other one only had a couple of pieces of pork

These zongzi are the Taiwanese version since they have soy sauce in the rice

Plenty of rice

Weight for them were 13 and 14 ounces

They were tasty - but eating one would be very fulfilling.

The prices have all gone up $.25 each



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