Famous Food-- Tianjin dishes (Sunnyvale)

For the past three months, Famous Foods has been offering Tianjin specialties amidst their pan-regional Chinese menu. A tall gentleman who works with glasses helped navigate me through their specialties, which I didn’t have a chance to try this time around. They’re a small place and a few doors down from Shanghai Flavor shop, the Bay Area’s only purveyor of soup-filled Sheng jian bao. It would be worthwhile to this place out on a combo visit. Their specialties include:

Bean curd seafood and vegetables: listed in Chinese as eight treasures bean curd, this includes a mix of seafood and vegetables, including their stir fried squid rolls, and they plan to elevate the ingredients in different seasons.

Any of the clay pots are recommended.

Stir fry pork tripe with salt, which has lots of cilantro

Peking style shredded pork comes with a side of tofu skin for wrapping. This was the dish he was most excited by. I didn’t get a sense of how the sauce differs from the Beijing version of the dish.

Stir-fried pork liver and kidney

Fish flavored “yu xiang” pork is not listed on the menu. He said the Tianjin version of this dish is entirely different than the Sichuan dish (“fish fragrant” or “garlic sauce”) of the same name.

Untranslated on the menu:

Tianjin mantou ( filled steamed buns, I forgot to ask what they put in the filling )
Tianjin style zha jiang mian ( Bean sauce noodles )
Da lu noodles
Zha cai noodles (pickled mustard stems)
Lamb noodles (羊肉氽面 maybe like this recipe http://xiachufang.com/recipe/12870/ )

Famous Foods
872 old San Francisco road
(408) 738-3388

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Were the Tianjin Mantou not Gou Bu Li?

The untranslated item listed by hyperbowler as Tianjin mantou is actually Tianjin Huitou (天津回頭). It’s not a steamed bun but more like a potsticker filled with ground lamb. I have tried it and personally don’t recommend it, as the ground lamb was not prepared well (in my opinion) and had too much of that “smell of mutton” taste of lamb. It was also on the oily side, as are many of the pan-fried flour based foods at this place.

I however recommend the silky tofu soup (豆腐腦) (at the very bottom right, untranslated item on the 1st page of the scanned menus). It’s very different from the kind typically served at Chinese breakfast places. It’s basically made of silky tofu in the marinade broth of Da Lu noodle, topped off with sesame paste, chili sauce/oil, and minced garlic, a very unique taste combination that I have never had before. It’s only available on weekends though.

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Thanks for the tips! My love of lamb also tends to diminish with more muttony flavors, so I will stick with some of their other options.

Do you have any other recommendations for weekend specials in that area, Chinese or otherwise?

(Btw, welcome to Hungry Onion!)

Is Tianjin Huitou the dumpling served by Happy Dumplings (at Off the Grid and some Famers’ Markets)? It’s sort of a cross between a potsticker and a shengjian bao, with a “breadier” wrapper.

No. They look exactly like the ones in the picture here.


In addition to the untranslated breakfast items on the menu, Famous Food also serves an array of cold appetizers that taste quite authentic (msg and all) on the weekends. You will be able to get a full meal there.

I don’t know of any other special weekend breakfast places nearby. There is a highly rated taco truck that has some weekend only items. I have never sampled any of them though.