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

Almost ten years ago a renown civil engineer took us to one more for your collection:

Then (and maybe still) there was a freezer at the reception counter holding popular items to add to the containers in the pink bag.

Thanks! I’ve added them to the list. If someone could start a new thread, I’d love to hear a recent review — the pics online of their Shanghainese dishes look great, and their big sesame bread (zhima da bing) looks excellent too.

SG was good 15~20 years ago when choices were VERY limited, especially in EB. I wouldn’t go out of my way to SG today. Cooking is too sweet for my taste.

Great and very helpful list. Thank you. My recent accidental discovery of Shanghai Tapas in Fremont is worth some ink. Genuine Shanghainese cooking, not overly sweet. We tried a new-to-me fish gluten dish. Delicate and very good. Made with fish, no wheat. (i.e. gluten free?)

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InsideScoopSF’ Jonathan Kauffman has a nod to this topic (h/t Melanie at Chowhound):

It includes a dig at CH: “It took 18 months for version 3.0 to come out, after many of Chowhound’s prolific, opinionated contributors stormed off the site en masse last year after a round of major changes”

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Everything is integrated into the original post, but for record keeping, here are restaurants that opened in 2016. Please start a report if you’ve been to any! In 2015, 5 restaurants opened and subsequently closed, and 40 opened and are still open.

Hunan Cuisine (Fremont)
Ping’s Bistro (Fremont)

Hunan noodle
Yum Noodles (Santa Clara)

Kyrgyzstan cuisine has some overlap with Uyghur
Silk Road (San Francisco)

Jin Jin Gourmet (Sunnyvale)
Shanghai Cuisine (Union City)

Shao kao / skewers
BBQ Alley (Newark)

Pop Pot (San Mateo)
Golden Mountan (Hayward) (used to be Cantonese, w/ Hakka specialties)

Sichuan dry pot
Sizzling Pot King (Sunnyvale)
Celestial Flame (San Francisco)

Hi Pot (Cupertino)

Lollipot at 19th and Taraval is described as Taiwanese by Yelpers.

Fondue Chinoise in the old Helmand space on Br\oadway is described by Hoodlnies as traditional Sichuan Hot Pot.

Thanks! I can start adding subsections for Sichuan hot pot and Taiwanese hot pot for places that self-identify, and don’t have a big enough menu to fit in the general categories.

Hotpot First is a Sunnyvale location of a Chongqing restaurant. I’ve kept track of a bunch of others, and will sort through them before integrating.

Guidance would be helpful in general categorization for this, especially if folks have been at particular restaurants.

Yes, Cross the Bridge noodles is the Yunnan dish I was referring to.

There are a few places with Yunnan Mixian, and other places that tout Yunnan noodles. However, the lack of other Yunnan dishes on their menus makes me skeptical, for example Sweet Cafe.

Minor quibble. Spices Fremont is labeled as Taiwanese Sichuan. But I believe that they call themselves Hunan. Same general ownership as Spices I, II, III … but chefs and cuisine are definitely different. Had 3~4 dishes at Spices Fremont, spicy hot as hell! I wondered where they source their variety of spicy hot peppers from.

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I had it in the canonical place in Kunming and didn’t really get the fuss. I think it’s dish kind of like the burrito or NY Slice that’s a great comforting every day dish that can be stellar due to fundamental balance, but doesn’t elevate particularly well.

Please ignore my poor searching, maybe you’ve got it and I can’t see it, but

Peking Duck Palo Alto is still chugging along. I honestly can’t figure out their region, because the non-duck dishes are closer to shanghai, but I had the same experience in Beijing a few years ago… a duck place I went to seemed to have a regional chef from somewhere closer to ChengDu so there were some very good dishes that had nothing to do with the main thrust of the restaurant. In particular I remember a duck preparation where the thing was reduce to all skin and jerky with blazingly hot spice. My chinese friend wouldn’t touch it, too spicy. Mmmm.

On a related note, I keep wondering about Hangen in Mountain View. It seems like there are often people in there. Given the sky-high rents, they must own their own building, but … is the place actually good? Would appreciate a report ( although when I’m feeling the Szechuan I’m down to Chef Zhao more often than not ).

I’ll admit to loving that :slight_smile: Again, there are times I’d like to be a fly on the wall at the Monday morning staff meeting :slight_smile:

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Thanks! Peking duck Palo Alto has a 300+ item menu that covers a lot of territory. Amidst the cluttter, there does seem to be a Shanghainese theme (chicken feather vegetable, malantou, Hangzhou lion’s head meatballs, etc.), so I’ll categorize it as such. They also have a dish or two labeled Tianjin. As you suggested, other than Peking duck (do they do a traditional prep?), their Beijing offerings aren’t differentiated from a general northern Chinese restaurant.

Oh and I’ll think about putting a link to Beijing duck places if we can think of about places that do a traditional prep.

I’m interested to hear reports too! I grabbed a menu from Hangen a few weeks back, and they have nine untranslated items (some intestine dishes and two dry pot dishes for example). “Firecracker chicken” seems to be boneless Chongqing chicken. According to yelpers, you have to tell them that you want particular dishes “Sichuan style”, otherwise they get toned down. If that’s true, it sucks that there’s no indication of a two-tiered system on the menu. Such is life— there is often a clash between what chefs and restaurant owners want to make and what their customer base desires (see the movie Big Night).

What I like about many of the newer Sichuan places is they’re upfront about what they cook and may even have photos on the menu (albeit misleading photos at crappy places ). You can gain valuable tips from people on Hungry Onion, but a well organized menu makes exploration that much easier.

Beijing Duck
10883 S Blaney Ave, Cupertino, CA 95014

I haven’t tasted, but the place LOOKS really traditional. Has the picture of the chef just like an actual place in beijing. Not sure if you get the soup made of the duck’s table-side.

Sichuan is so trendy ( like XLB ) that it’s pretty common to see some very reasonably made sichuan dishes ( like 1000 chili chicken ) even when it’s not the chef’s home territory. Crazy, huh?

Oh yes— I listed that above as Beijing Duck House. They serve duck soup and, even better, fried duck bones. I haven’t heard reports for about a year:

@Fattydumplin posted a downhill report on the duck a few months ago. Not sure if they recovered. Check if other tables are getting ducks before ordering them.

It’s great to see Sichuan dishes spread to non-Sichuan places beyond Kung pao, mapo, garlic sauce (yu Xiang, fish fragrant), and dry fried string beans. I hope the demand for 1000 chile / Chongqing chicken causes places to use higher quality Sichuan peppercorns- most taste like sawdust, even in lower quality Sichuan restaurants.

The spread of XLB is crazy. Many places use frozen XLB, either locally made or mass produced, and that can be a good or bad thing depending on the source. Some higher end places use machine made XLB.

Rice Valley in Sunnyside has become Pho Dong Huong overnight.
And between Won Kok across the street and Dong Treatment Center on the other corner, I would implore anyone planning to open a business in the Sunnyside neighborhood to use a less phallocentric name.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold