Beijing restaurant (SF Mission Terrace/Excelsior)

A late night staple when I lived nearby, I returned last Friday to find an updated menu and cooking potentially better than I remembered. The owner said that new menu items are courtesy of her trips back to Beijing, where her family owns a restaurant. Newer entries include BBQ whole fish and kung pao BBQ whole fish, and two dishes with wide hand-ripped noodles: big plate chicken (dapanji) and beef stew.

Fennel dumplings were small for jiaozi, and the filling was herbaceous and struck me with the vegetal rather than anise-y dimension of fennel.

Really nice Zha jiang mian with chewy hand-made noodles. Celery cubes supplemented the typical cucumber, and both made the dish a perfect complement to the fennel dumplings, and added a fresh balance to the large salty pork cubes and soy sauce tinged fermented paste.

Not a Beijing specialty, but it was pleasant to see a good preparation of garlic pea sprouts here.

Anyone else been here in recent years?

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I usually order delivery from them! I used to really enjoy the cumin lamb, but it’s not as good as in the past. Also had the spicy beef noodle soup last time too. It wasn’t spicy or flavorful as I remember from before either! Also had the scallion pancake & it too wasn’t great this time.
Otherwise, I usually really like most everything else I get, like the beef pancakes & other Beijing specialties!

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Keep up in the loop as you order more (I may take your lead and get delivery sometime soon)! I recall them having consistency issues in the past. I wish restaurants would post their chef’s calendars online :slight_smile:

:rofl:

I’ve been back twice more. The wrappers have been inconsistent, but each time I’ve enjoyed the fennel dumpling fillings. Pancakes, like the meat-filled jing dong pancake, have always been a strong-suit here, and continue to be greaseless and high quality. Some new to me dishes:

House special beef slices were delightfully seasoned with a soy and garlic dressing.

Beef stew with hand pulled noodles had a generous portion of very long, wide, and tall pulled noodles and lots more greens than pictured above. Good elasticity and texture to sop up the savory stewing liquid. Server warned the meat might be too chewy for my kid, but it was juicy and all the connective tissue entered the jiggly phase.

Yeah, I know, my first try of BBQ whole fish should have been at a Sichuan/Chongqing specialist, but I never manage to order it. The fish, so big its ends popped out the chafing dish, was immersed in a seasoned oil topped liquid, fragrant from lightly blackened chilies, cumin, and green Sichuan peppercorns. I wish I’d had a chance to ask how it was prepared—- the fish appeared to have been deep fried from the head down. The seasoned oil clung to the starch dusted skin and succulent flesh, and the flavors carried more than is typical for filets in a Sichuan dish like water-boiled fish (I’ve not had their version, but it’s frequently on other diner’s tables ). Immersed tofu, wood ear mushrooms, baby corn, straw mushrooms, and broccoli also picked up a lots of flavors. Below the neck, we thought the dish was great, but the head was incinerated, even the cheek meat a goner.

The preparation was very different from recipes for BBQ Wanzhou style (Chongqing) fish I’ve found online, in particular the quantity of oil was similar to “water boiled” dishes. Is this a common Beijing interpretation or a different named Sichuan origin dish? How do local Sichuan/Chongqing places make this dish? They also have a Kung pao version.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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