Sorry for the late response and thanks for all the great feedback!!!
I’ll just respond to everything in this post…
We love Dragon Beaux for dimsum (hands down favorite within city limits) but haven’t been for hotpot yet. We can only do lunch because my BIL is driving up north somewhere and just stopping in SF for a couple of hours, so dinner menus and dinner hours are not option.
BIL is from Orange County btw… My wife’s a California girl through & through!
The very first meal that I ever ate with my wife (before we were even dating!) was at Jai Yun. It was literally the night we met. I think it since moved locations but it would still be fun to go back sometime and see what it’s like. It’s not a lunch choice though.
As far as Chinatown crawl… it sounds like fun and my wife and I have done that before (we’re on Van Ness and Clay so it’s a stone’s throw) but I’m not so sure that would be my in laws speed; at least not for this quick visit.
I have to say that I probably won’t ever go back to R&G though. I had the house special crab last winter and I never got so immediately sick from eating out before. I couldn’t even make it home on the bus; we had to hop off because I was feeling too nauseous. I could still taste it, ugh. It could’ve just been the heavy fried batter and oil. Maybe I’d go back but I would never touch that crab again… or anything fried for that matter.
Z&Y is always good, we’re regulars although my wife thinks its gone downhill in the past couple of years. She likes spicy but tones it down. My one main hang up with Z&Y is the amount of cilantro they dump in everything, even when I request them not to. I know its part of Chinese food culture but its also public enemy number one in my culinary book. Anyhow, I find Z&Y, like most SF Chinese, can be really good if you order selectively and really bad if you don’t. Our last visit we had a really disappointing Peking duck.
Chili House - ordered lunch there the other day! I got tantanmen, prok mapo tofu, and their spicy + Beijing dumplings/potstickers. Everything was pretty good for a delivery order and I’d definitely like to try it in person.
Mr. Jiu pretty sure is dinner only and I could be mistaken but I was under the impression that it was pretty expensive/fancy… not that there’s anything wrong with that, but we’re going to be down in New Orleans next month, so I’d prefer to not splurge on this meal. I’ve heard good things about their cocktails though and I’ve been meaning to just swing by their bar w/ my wife on a Sunday evening when it’s not too busy.
BTW, I LOVE Cantonese Lobster w/ ginger shallots… it’s the only truly good thing about Chinese in Montreal! Well, that and late night dining!! My friends who now all live in Toronto --which I agree has far superior Chinese and Asian food in general compared to MTL-- used to have a loft space on St-Laurent and they’d screen 16mm films on weekends. We used to regularly stumble over to Keung Kee (Cantonese upstairs above Beijing Rest-old Chinatown institution) at 1:00 in the morning when it was just the staff lounging around the dining room and order lobsters and beer!
There’s supposed to be a new hot spot for Chinese pancakes in MTL these days, although I’m not all that inclined to to go for Chinese when we visit. I was surprised to find that Ottawa actually has pretty good Chinese. My wife and I drove down for something a few years ago and had some really kickass dimsum in Ottawa’s one and a half block stretch of “Chinatown”. I forget the name of the place but it was a real cramped, greasy hole in the wall and some of the dishes rivaled the best we’ve had in SF!
OT but is there any place that does Cantonese lobster sauce (and does it well?) in this city? It could be served with shrimp or whatever.