Eight Tables (San Francisco)

Well Bauer obviously thinks Chinese should be cheap and continue the stereotype. I’m just so miffed that he doesn’t get it at all with Chinese food. His assertions are off-based at best and frankly doesn’t even get the ingredients right. The luxury ingredients which I alluded to in my previous posts was an ‘olive branch’ to the western cuisines so we add more caviar, truffles, lobster, Iberico pork, Bottarga, than any of the current Michelin ***'s in the Bay Area…and yet he says the opposite. The techniques are steeped in ancient Chinese traditions and we also incorporate new cooking methods like a touch sous-vide, dehydration, spherification, etc to show we are current with world trends. Overall it is the most focused, detailed cooking with the best ingredients one can source and we don’t even have a freezer! One man’s opinion shouldn’t matter but he’s been in that catbird seat for 23 years. My gloves are off now as no more deferring to critics and we will cook what we will and the public to date have loved it!

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I don’t think anyone who knows and loves Chinese food would pay any attention to Bauer’s recommendations or lack thereof, when it comes to Asian food in general but especially Chinese.

But you have to remember, the glory days of Hong Kong chefs emigrating and opening the first regional cuisine restaurants was back in the 1980’s. Critics weren’t paying much attention to any Asian food except for Barbara Tropp’s China Moon Bistro.

And once the regional restaurants were sold to second and then third new owners, after the dot-com bust the cooking just slowly deteriorated into cheap slop again.

It’s going to take time and effort to get SF diners to break through the stereotype. Look at Thai food - even Lers Ros and Daughter Thai Kitchen barely approach the original Khan Toke/SF (no relation except in name to the one there now), but these days you can get sugared-up cheap yellow Thai curries all over the Bay Area.


thanks for the encouragement. i think this is a story that still rings true in today’s america!

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“Authentic” “luxury” would be more like bear paw or shark fin. Handwringing over “luxury” in this politically correct era of concern over inequality seems so 1980s when one supposedly “could have it all”.

We know of brothers whose illiterate grandfather bought his way out of his indenture cooking in California, returned, learned five languages, traded currencies and commodities, and eventually made a decent fortune in soybeans.

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I am curious, who did Bauer come with during his meals?

Michael Murphy twice and another female Chronicle associate we think on the second visit.