Hang Ah Tea Room -- Has anyone been there lately? [San Francisco]

Munchies has a nice piece on this venerable spot. It spotlights the current owner, who has only had it for three years, but doesn’t mention what steps he my have taken chef-wise. I’ve avoided this place for decades on account of its food’s reputation and I don’t think I know anyone else who has been there (other than David Chan, who has been everywhere, of course).

I’d love to hear that this place suddenly has excellent dim sum, since it’s such a quaint spot. Has anyone been there since Billy Lai took over?

I haven’t been. But it is kinda amazing how little press this place receives considering its almost 100 years old.

I share your exact phobia of going back to Hang Ah. I hate to use the “Y” word, particularly in light of my denunciation of Yelp’s Chinese restaurant ratings. However Yelp is useful for raw data, and in perusing the reviews it’s clear that the place is full these days, and mostly with tourists as opposed to locals. Consequently at this point I still see no reason to go back. Also the fact that they made somebody’s list of the 5 best dim sum restaurants in San Francisco is irrelevant. There’s a place in LA Chinatown that was named by Fox News as one of the 5 best dim sum restaurants in the United States. They’re more like the 30th or 40th best in Los Angeles.

So it seems like the new owners may be making good use of the lengthy history for tourism marketing.

I have not been to Hang An Tea Room in decades. I only remember the old style of dim sum service, waiters walking around the room carrying trays. It might be worthwhile to give it a try with new owners.

the pictures of dimsum on their website http://www.hangah1920.com/menu/ aren’t terribly inspiring (at least not to me). Perhaps if they brought back the old bubbly-skin eggrolls which we used to get on the East coast, i would go :wink:

The “Mince Pork Tamales” are nuo mi ji (chicken) in Chinese. :slight_smile:

It’s nice to see an old spot regain traction under a new owner.

I went there in late 2014, at noon on a Saturday, and had a steam custard bun, which was fine, but not an improvement over the takeout places in Chinatown. The place was empty, except for a table of college-aged Chinese speakers, presumably tourists.

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Joyce, Thank You for starting this topic! @Souperman, we didn’t ‘suddenly have good dim sum’, I would like to invite you over for a meal sometimes and give us your feedback so we can continue to improve.

@chandavkl, sounds like you haven’t been there for a while. I hope you can try it before u knock it. There are many locals and return customers to visit us and they’re the reason we still around. Of course tourism helps us as most of the Chinese don’t stay in Chinatown anymore.

We like to have more locals coming back to help us continue history, let us know what we can do to make you a happy customer, happy new year all!

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