Beyond Cafe - SF

Hong Kong style cart noodles and cafe.

I had the noodle soup with options you can see in the photo (if only I didn’t have to share…).
My gf’s wonton noodle soup was really good though. I don’t know exactly what HK-style means (seen it used all over the place for different things) but the broth had a dried shellfish funk to it (you smell it walking in) and the noodles were good. The wontons were one nice and snappy shrimp with some pork. Really good bowl of noodles and wontons.

And a cute place with kids and people writing on the wall.

Oh, ya the mala was really mild in both mala and chili spice.


Do you mean HK style wonton? If it is referring to wonton, then it is a subtle difference. Hong Kong wonton tends to have a higher ratio of shrimp to pork in the filling. Main Canton wonton tends to have higher ratio of pork to shrimp ratio in the filling. This is not a black and white, hardline difference. There are sufficient overlapping. There are other small differences too.

To most outsider, the difference is so small that they don’t care. I hate to say it… it is like people talking about New York style pizza vs California style pizza. For people who cares about pizza, that is a huge deal. For a lot of people, they don’t care.



Just in general. I feel like I see “HK style” and then different styles from different places. I could also just not be paying attention enough since I just order what I like at different places.

But, thanks for the info, and based off that, these were def “HK style” wontons as it was basically just a whole shrimp with a little bit of pork.

(As to NYC pizza I have a couple strong opinions. But not the place here or really even care to have that conversation for the 5000th time lol)


Oh ya I think I read that the place is actually named after this group/song. They were for sure playing Cantopop.

Just project that feeling as to why some people seems to make a big deal out of Hong Kong wonton vs Cantonese wonton or Taiwan Oolong tea vs Fujian Oolong tea. Thus why people advertising like that. It does not in any way proof they are correct

The wonton noodle soup looks good- broth, wonton, noodles, condiment. If I have a small gripe, they could have layered the noodles on top of the wonton to keep the noodles firm for longer. But that’s nitpicking. If its really as good as the good ones in Hong Kong and Vancouver, then that’s great news. I don’t think I have had a bowl here that is anywhere near the best ones I had in Hong Kong. My bar is set low. If someone gets two components out of four right, its a win for the Bay Area.

Cantonese folks don’t eat very spicy so that’s probably the reason why the mala isn’t very strong.

I would love to try the beef brisket hor fun. I want to ask them whether they have specific cuts of the brisket such as 坑腩 (boneless short rib) or 爽腩 (skirt steak) like the brisket specialists in Hong Kong.

Now, onto the band. Beyond is really Canto-rock versus Canto-pop. That’s the reason why they were one of a kind in Hong Kong in the 90s. Because everyone else was singing canto-pop love songs composed by someone else while Beyond was a band (very rare) that composed songs themselves. Chem posted the clip above of the song where the lyric was highlighted on the restaurant wall. Unfortunately, their lead singer, the one who was singing in the clip, fell off a stage in Tokyo and passed away, leaving his younger brother and two other bandmates to carry on. The first part of the Chinese name of the restaurant is the name of that song.

Their song for their fallen bandmate:

I am curious though why the owners locate a VERY Hong Kong restaurant in a neighborhood not particularly known for food from Asia. Is it getting good business?

Would love to try them next time I am in the city.


They actually do come out like that (I thought that might have been the HK style part of it) but my gf pulled them to the top for whatever reason.

Thanks for the info on Canto-rock, I obviously know nothing about Hong Kong music (in the 90s or anytime really).

I am curious though why the owners locate a VERY Hong Kong restaurant in a neighborhood not particularly known for food from Asia. Is it getting good business?

I’m not sure why he opened there but it was an Asian restaurant before called SO. I think it was an offshoot of San Tung, or the kid ran it or something. It had a decent following but I never really cared for it.

And ya, they were doing good business on a Thursday at 1230pm.


Just stopped by Beyond Cafe.

I ordered a hot lemon tea and the wonton noodle soup.
The lemon tea has a lot of lemon. It not bad. My criticism is this hot lemon tea is not hot at all, not even lukewarm. Room temperature.

The wonton noodle soup is best I have had in SF. Hands-down better than Hon’s Wun-Tun or Yin Du in my opinion. The closest competitor is Noodle Village in Manhattan Chinatown. Beyond’s wonton noodle soup has nice broth, noodle and wontons. The broth is clear and has a distinctive dried flounder ( 大地魚) flavor. This means they put in a good amount of dried flounder and not cook the broth to death. There is a good amount of yellow chive. My only criticism is that I cannot taste the buddha fruit – which I could taste from Noodle Village. The noodle is thin and also very al dente - cooked to perfection. The wonton is nice too. It has added shrimp roe in the wonton.


One more thing to add. Noodle Village wonton noodle soup is $7.95 for small size and $9.25 for large size. Beyond Cafe wonton noodle soup is $12.50. I guess rental and wage must be more expensive in SF than NY? Again, Beyond’s wonton noodle soup is still the best I have had for a long time including many other famous places in in SF or in LA…etc – only Noodle Village in NYC can rival it.

Coincidentally I also had lunch at Beyond Cafe today after a Costco run. I figured it would be better than a Costco hot dog.

I also had the HK Style Wonton Noodle Soup, which was very good. I’m not as versed in Hong Kong wonton noodles as others in this thread but I have had it a few times in Hong Kong, though my last visit was back in 2018. Anyway I thought the wonton noodles at Beyond Cafe compared pretty well to what I remember from HK. The broth was quite flavorful and the wontons were mostly shrimp with a nice snap to them and like @Chemicalkinetics I also thought the the thin noodles were nicely al dente.

Condiments on the table - chili oil, red vinegar, ground white pepper.

I also had an order of the beef brisket appetizer, which I mostly saved for dinner. A good amount of brisket and beef tendon, on top of some lettuce and with some broth, which had a lot of gelatin as it solidified into a big gelatinous piece in the fridge. The brisket was not quite falling apart tender, there was still a good bit of chew to it. The tendon on the other hand was almost meltingly tender. Quite good.

And a HK Style Milk Tea (hot), which came unsweetened along with a sugar dispenser to adjust to your liking.


Finally came here. I came here for the wonton noodle because I love wonton noodle and would go to any lengths to find a version that compares to the top wonton noodle in Hong Kong. But I found their beef brisket and tendon noodle to be the star instead. Pleasant surprise indeed.

The wonton noodle. They got three out of the four components of a wonton noodle right. The egg noodle, which was perfectly al dente. The soup, which was deeply satisfying with a taste of tile fish. The yellow chives- none of the green onion or green veggie nonsense. The wonton was, surprisingly, mediocre. The pork was very dense. Maybe get the noodle without the wonton instead. Still, three out of four was very hard to come by in the Bay Area. I’d even settle for two out of four. So Beyond Cafe did good. But the fourth was rather forgettable. They should really work on it.

Cart noodle. Self selected components. Its ok.

The beef brisket and tendon noodle soup was so good we got a second bowl. I think we got rice noodle for one bowl. Well marinated. Good tendon and brisket. Good noodle. I think they mixed the wonton broth with some beef broth, and the resulting soup was very satisfying. Drank them all.

I asked the server where the chef cooked before. And she said that he wasn’t in the restaurant business previously. Good entry into the business.