Regional Chinese roundup 3.0 (SF Bay Area)- April 2016 - December 2017 archive

A little late but perhaps useful for future- my wife and I enjoyed the jade tofu dish at Teo in a recent visit. @mzhu had a disappointing earlier experience though.

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Grand Hot Pot Lounge in the Richmond was started by the owners of D&A Cafe on Clement. Maybe they got a chef from Pot Sticker - but where did you come up with this connection?

The owner of GHPL’s sister restaurant, Hunan House on Washington St… told me.

IIRC there was a previous hint of a collaboration between the D&A/文記 group and the Pot Sticker Group when an East Bay 文記 branch showed up on the same business card as Spicy KIng, though I was never able to figure out the connection.

I started eating at GHPL shortly after it opened. It was being run by a young couple, and the wife (pregnant at the time) told me that her family had opened it, and that her Cantonese family were the long-time owners of D&A on Clement.

That’s the Kuang family. They started with restaurants in Santa Rosa and Novato, then build a chain of Cantonese cafes (including D & A) around the bay with differing names in English but all called 文記茶餐廳 in Chinese. At some point they saw the $$ in spicy food, and turned Washington Cafe/文記茶餐廳 in Chinatown into Hunan House, with hotpots on the second level before opening GHPL.

That makes sense. But I’m still not seeing where the connection to Spicy Empire / Spicy Queen / Spicy King comes from…

I believe hyperbowler mentioned a conversation on Chowhound with the Cantonese owner of Hunan House/GHPL who told him he had been affiliated with the Pot Sticker/Spicy King people; furthermore, his Newark Cafe somehow ended up in their hands. I’m guessing Louis Kuang may have been an investor/silent partner; he already had years of experience and owned several restaurants, while the server/cook couple from Z&Y took over The Pot Sticker on a shoestring.

In January, I’m going to making a post on trends in Bay Area Regional Chinese restaurants. For this round, I’m going to be focusing on SFBA geography, regional styles, naming conventions, and yelp ratings (I’ll be more surface level than @chandavkl’s in-depth article). If you have any suggestions for my analysis, send me a private message— I won’t be able to look at details like the frequency of certain dishes on menus, but I welcome such suggestions for future analyses.

New additions

  • Split off thread on Taiwanese fried chicken
  • Spicy Way (Milpitas) Sichuan. Best of luck to them— they are the fifth Regional Chinese places to inhabit 42 Dixon Road since 2010, which makes them the most cursed location on this list (at least in that time span)
  • Royal Feast (Millbrae) unknown
  • Boiling Point (San Mateo) Taiwanese Hot Pot adds to their Fremont location.
  • Papa Lin (Newark) Taiwanese
  • Cambowan (San Mateo) Taiwanese and Cambodian!

Full-service Taiwanese restaurants I missed

Be on the lookout
I’ve got a script set up to look for changes to California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) status at addresses of known Regional Chinese restaurants.

How could you not guess that English Rose Garden was a Taiwanese restuarant?

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Here’s an article about, and review of, Wenzhou Fish Noodles and More in today’s Mercury News.

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What’s the best way to add to or update this roundup list? Just put in new Replies?

Hi @tanspace!

Yes, please submit small updates as replies! If something is more discussion worthy, create a new thread. The organized list at the top of this post is set-up as a wiki and as of today, I’ve updated it 55 times! I’m pretty good about adding people’s tips as they appear on this thread or the SFBA board, but feel free to write @hyperbowler at the bottom of a message as a signal to add something to the list.

Just so you know, I have a few scripts that check for openings and closures on yelp and CA ABC, and make small updates to the top post. These don’t show up in HO’s list of “Latest Topics” but will be visible to anyone who visits this page. I hold off on giving a summary of changes I make until I’ve made a bunch and have had a chance to update the google map too.

So can I assume that the post on top is always “the latest”, and that if a place is not on there, then I may suggest adding to it, correct?

Yes! Have you come across something cool recently?

There’s a Boiling Point location in North San Jose (same mall as the original Gen BBQ) that’s not listed.

There’s also a new Sichuan hot pot only restaurant in Sunnyvale, NW corner of Homestead/Hollenback, called Jin Li Yuan. Actually there’s a couple of places in the same strip mall I didn’t find listed: The Bento Express (Taiwanese) and Noodle+ Mongolian BBQ.

Is Noodles+ really Mongolian? Even if so, Mongolia is not part of China.

Under Northern with noodle specialties:
Xiang Xiang -> Shanxi
Soong Soong -> closest to Shandong

Some entries from the Other Northern category:

Din DIng Dumpling House -> Actually Shanghai. They actually have one of the best XLB in the area now, with the closing of Hung’s Kitchen of San Ramon. (Another top contender is Chef Zhao’s in PA)

Fuji Huoshao -> Shandong
Tai Chi Jian Bing -> TIanjin

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No, it’s not really Mongolian, but rather the big round Mongolian grill type of place, and owned by Chinese.

Not sure the actual origin of mongolian grill, but I’ve read it’s a Taiwanese invention, so go figure.

So ends 2016. We netted the same number of Regional Chinese restaurants as 2015— 35 in total.

Added

Revisions

  • @tanspace, thanks for the suggestions! I followed your advice for Fuji Huoshao, Soong Soong, and Xiang Xiang, and added Jin Li Yuan and Boiling Point SJ see above. I moved Tai Chi Jianbing to Beijing because that is where the owner trained and the style he (said he) reflects. I haven’t eaten at Din Ding and found its menu, noteworthy XLB aside, hard to classify. I put it under Shanghai with a note about the XLB, but put a copy of it under “other northern noodles.” If there other Shanghainese dishes that distinguish it, could you please let us know on the Din Ding thread? BTW, Hung’s (RIP) will be replaced with an Indian restaurant.

  • Melanie Wong has been a fountain of Sichuan chef tips recently. She found out that Royal Feast is helmed by Chef Liu, formerly of China Village and Beijing’s Grand Hotel, and features Sichuan and Tanjia Cai (Tan Family Cuisine).

Closed

  • Shanghai Tapas (Fremont)
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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold