R & G Lounge [Chinatown, San Francisco]

R & G Lounge, one of the more classic Cantonese restaurants that exists in Chinatown. Never really thought of eating here, but a friend really wanted to go so… well here we are!

Started off our meal with some double boiled chicken soup. It was a nice, but light broth. One of our guests thought it really didn’t have a strong chicken flavor, but they were comparing it back to well… China; not a fair comparison. I thought it was an enjoyable start to a cold wintery night.

I’ve never ever seen a place that allows me to order one and a half crab, but go figure, you can do that! We got their signature salt and pepper crab and it was a delightful dish. Nicely seasoned, crisp batter, and delicious dugneness crab at the right time of the year. I will say I was perplexed by the order of the dishes, as the crab came right after the soup…

We opted for their minced seafood in lettuce cups next. I thought they did a nice job here, with finely diced seafood mixed in with some pine nuts as well that gives it a fun texture.

Got a triple platter of their bbq dishes as well with some char siu, soy sauce chicken, and roast duck. I think they do a really nice job on their soy sauce chicken and char siu.

Honestly, the arrival of the dishes was all out of whack. Not sure what they were doing here, but uh… we preordered the glutinous stuffed chicken and it basically appeared right after our appetizers (yes, crab is an appetizer… I guess…). Nice crispiness on the outside, with some delicious glutinous rice on the inside. I still want to give props to Chef Yum though, think he did a better rendition.

Following that we got their special beef. I’m not sure the best way to describe it, its … interesting. The outside is somewhat crispy but the beef itself is soft. I thought it would be more savory, but it is a sweet dish.

After the beef, we got their baked black cod (I’m still not sure how this is not the baked sea bass). Soft and flakey in the inside, sweet and crispy on the exterior. Excellent.

Got the steamed clams with egg at the same time as the fish. Velvety smooth eggs and rather large clams. A nice homey classic.

After that, we had the vegetarian abalone with greens. At first I thought it would be those large mushrooms that use as a vegetarian substitute but these were more like the soy substitute. Very interesting, not sure what protein made it taste similar. Pea sprouts were nicely cooked.

Lastly we got the honey spareribs. I should have expected it to be more on the sweet note, but I was hoping for a splash of vinegar. Probably should’ve gone for the sweet and sour spareribs.

Overall I had a enjoyable time and thought the food was nicely executed. Price was… like 700ish which is high for my preference. I’d probably choose a few other places for that price but I can’t complain that the food is bad haha.


Thanks for the review, I like their crab a lot - the batter coating on the shell is really addictive.

The main issue for me is that I don’t really care for deep fried crab as much as the other preparations but this is their signature dish so I think we had to order it haha.

But they do a good job blending in that spice in the batter. I just found it really odd to have it served so early.

Oh quick note since someone asked, the glutinous rice stuffed chicken was preordered in advance. I saw it on the menu in their banquet ones, but not sure if that could be ordered on the fly.

I thought the same. I was a regular at R&G Lounge when I worked in SF 2006-2011 - that dish was the piece de resistance, and usually came out towards the end. I wondered if there was some mix-up of orders in the kitchen, and you ended up being served it too early.

R&G’s obvious forte’ is what we’ve thought of as an SF placeholder for an upper middle class HKG restaurant. Maybe suburban ? (It’s been a while and too long.) All that (and perhaps too much) said, we suspect that these days, the R&G “expediter” doesn’t always keep meticulous track of every table, or the kitchen has understandable lapses. It’s not a fair cop for us, because at evening’s end when we’re scooping leftovers into containers for a couple more days’ welcome memories, everything was delicious and we’ll eventually order almost everything again at some point.

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Hmm… we were one of the early parties at the restaurant so it wasn’t especially busy.

Now that I think about it, I think those dishes in the way I ordered them… but… you would think they would just rearrange the whole menu based on what was ordered so things come out in the more logical sense. Weird. Note, this is like my second time eating here … its been over fifteen years I think…

I’d say most definitely urban haha. But yes, I agree it was very tasty!

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