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

banner on Golden Mountains says a Filipino Eatery will open soon. didn’t catch name. was driving by.
end of month timeline. should be open now. saw this last month…

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Xi’an Kitchen menu looks petty hard-core. Interesting coinage, “beef rouburger.”

I’ve seen the beef/lamb rouburger nomenclature elsewhere, as well as beef/lamb roujiamo. Odd at first since ròu means “pork”, but then again, it’s not like hamburgers have ham in them :wink:

IANAMS (I am not a Mandarin speaker), but I think ròu just means “meat”, with the default being pork. Hence niú ròu, “cow meat”, or beef. It’s still odd to say “beef rouburger” if lamb is meant (probably should just be “yangburger”).

Thanks for the correction! (And a good community reminder for me to restart and finish those Intro To Mandarin audio books)

  • Little Shen Yang (Unions City) is closed

  • Happy Sichuan in Millbrae’s liquor license is being taken over by Hu Bei Restaurant and Lounge. Keep and eye on it.

  • Not sure where on the list to put Dumpling Time (SoMa), which has an owner from Xi’an and features a variety of Xiao Long Bao, including and XXL XLB and a Tom Yum, a pork and a vegetarian Xian dumpling, noodles, dim sum items, and Japanese dumplings. I may add this to an “eclectic” category that includes China Live and MY China.

Jiangnan Cuisine (outer Richmond) just opened. That makes 3 SF restaurants with Jiangnan in their name.

The Chinese name (Su Wei Guan) indicates it features the flavors of Suzhou, in case you want to parse it that fine.

Thank you! I was wondering if the permutations of restaurant names including “Shanghai” were exhausted :slight_smile:
If they distinguish themselves in some way, I may highlight it being a Suzhou Restaurant, but let’s see the menu and taste the food first.

Looking at a picture of Jiangnan Cuisine’s menu on Yelp, I notice that despite their “Su” name, they specifically identify several dishes as Wuxi style. I don’t really know the distinction between Suzhou and Wuxi cuisines (other than Squirrel Fish and some some noodle soup protocols which are associated with Suzhou); the two cities are adjacent and both border Lake Tai.

On my recent Shanghai trip, I ate several times at a venerable “Suzhou style” chain (Caixiansheng) and the food seemed similar to Wuxi’s (the provenance of my wife’s tastes and cooking style). I’ll have to pay them a visit and find out if they are Suzhouren or Wuxiren

Note: I retried FEY in Menlo Park and it is still disappointing. Great menu, nice interior, moderate to mediocre food execution. Sigh.

Wuxi uses more sweetness. Think of the famous Wuxi ribs, which are nearly encrusted in sugar, where the Suzhou take a more moderate view of sugar. Wuxi-style dumplings are also sweeter than any I’ve had in the greater shanghai area. For this reason, I think Wuxi is looked down upon somewhat. It’s a little crass.

Even my girlfriend prefers straight shanghai to wuxi-flavors, where I rather like the “succeed through excess” view and look for Wuxi stylings where I can find them. I don’t know anyone making Wuxi-flavor soup dumplings in the bay area.

In fact I’ve never had Wuxi soup dumplings anywhere but in Wuxi (and the frozen ones my inlaws would bring back to Shanghai every Qing Ming). The Suzhou style dumplings are quite prevalent in Shanghai and are midway between Wuxi style and Shanghai style in both size and sweetness.

The Wuxi ribs you get in restaurants are meatier and less sweet than the ones sold everywhere “to go” (including airports and train station) which use sugar as much as a preservative as a flavoring agent. I suspect the latter are the original form.

To me the hallmark of Wuxi cuisine is the use of fried gluten puffs known as you mianjin, which my wife like to use (both stuffed and in casserole-type dishes). Neither Jiangnan Cuisine nor Taste of Jiangnan offer these, though I think Bund Shanghai does.

Shanghainese like to say “The people of Wuxi are very clever; they can sell you meat that is all bone [ribs], dumplings that are all air [you mianjin], and teapots that are made of dirt [Yixing tea pots].”

Interesting about the gluten puffs! I didn’t notice them when I was there. I’m sure you’re right — I’ll keep an eye out for them.

Two new Taiwanese places:

Chef Cho (Fremont)
Mom Dumplings (Milpitas)

General update. Over 25 new restaurants have entered this list since the beginning of 2017. Nothing in Oakland/Berkeley, and, generously, three in SF— China Live and Dumpling Time, which have regional specialties but don’t focus on a region and have California touches, and Jiangnan Cuisine.

Na Na’s Kitchen (Brisbane) added a small number of Sichuan items to a separate menu, including noodles.

Happy Sichuan (Millbrae) closed, and as per ABC records, a Hubei restaurant may take its place.

Sama Uyghur Cuisine opens in Union City. This is the first, presumably, independent Uyghur brick and mortar in the Bay Area (Eden Uyghur is a chain, and Uyghur Taamliri was a popup)

Two places I learned about on Chihuo:

  • Fire up hot pot (Daly City)
  • A Yunnan rice noodle restaurant in the former Papa Lin space 39185 Cedar Blvd, Newark, CA 94560

Newly opened:

NE style dumpling in Fremont:

Shanghai Cuisine in Alameda is an outpost of the same restaurant in Sacramento:

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I wish that sign said “Yang’s Fry Dumpling.”

San Dong Best on Geary has closed. It’s been sold according to Chowhound. (Yelp incorrectly lists Alice Taste of Shandong as closed)


Chef Li’s Cafe hot pot in Portotla, SF

Hu Bei restaurant opens in Millbrae.