Northern China BBQ (SF SoMa)

Late-night skewer (shaokao / chuan’r) specialists have become fixtures around the SFBA, but conspicuously absent from northeastern SF. Enter Northern China BBQ at the corner of Folsom and 9th, which the former owner of the Outer Richmond’s Top SF recently opened. Currently open till 11:30pm, with lunch hours too.

They use gas here instead of charcoal, so no dieselly notes. I found the seasoning lighter and the meat less oily than some other places.

The owner is from northeastern China (Jilin), but I didn’t see any tell tale signs of northeastern food other than (possibly) a seaweed dish resembling something similar at Tasty Place.

Lamb leg (small or large) is one of the few items that seem uncommon elsewhere and the small lamb leg was substantial. The seared exterior, crisp in parts, was delicious on its own and some unrendered fat sopped up the dry side dip (sesame seeds, chili flakes, cumin, and a miniature seed with the texture of coriander). Not sure I’ve had something similar since Sama Uyghur closed.

The server was spot on in recommending the pork ribs skewer and the cilantro with tofu skin skewer. Pork meat had a touch of sweetness; and the fresh mixture of crisp cilantro with scallion contrasted nicely with the drier, elastic tofu skin.

The server said the following are worth trying on my next visit: steamed chicken with chili sauce (山城棒棒鸡, whose names refers to Chongqing bang bang chicken) and the deep-fried fermented tofu.


Great Photo, looks delicious.

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