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

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.

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XLB happen to freeze well, as do most dumplings and dim sum type items. Even high end places like Yank Sing use pre-made and frozen items, it’s a simple matter of logistics.

Good frozen XLB, even from commercial food manufacturers, are better than some housemade XLB. Carefully prepare some from produced by Prime Food (嘉嘉, no relation to 佳家 :wink: all the way over in Brooklyn, NY and you’ll be s pleased as you would be in most restaurants serving them.

XLB from Prime Food:

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Thanks for the advice so far. On top of some missed places, I’ve incorporated hot pot places into Sichuan, Taiwanese, and an uncategorized section, which also includes other snack shops that are pending classification.

TLT BBQ (San Mateo) is closed.
Sichuan Chili (San Jose) is closed.

Wow, how did you fit 14 XLBs in one basket?!

I’ve bought bulk bags of frozen XLBs at Kingdom of Dumpling on Taraval. I haven’t compared side by side, but prefer them to the ones I’ve bought at supermarkets. One time they were out of frozen and I got fresh ones, but that did not work well with my driving habits: the plate tilted and it was very difficult getting them unstuck from one another 30 minutes later. http://www.kingofchinesedumpling.com/english/contact.htm (“wholesale” location)

Not me, but my wife. She grew up in Shanghai when 16 dumplings per steamer was the rule at the Nanxiang Xiaolong Mantou Dian and its imitators. It’s now 12 dumplings per long at Jia Jia Tng Bao, Shanghai’s current XLB king.

Care to share which one of Prime Food products? Tried “MINI PORK BUN WITH CABBAGE.” Nothing to write home about.

I was specifically referring to the “mini soupy pork bun.” For the jiaozi like the ones you refer to you can do as well or better with the Wei-Chuan label (which are made in Hayward) or SF-made frozen ones from Kingdom of Dumpling and its various outlets or house-made ones from Shandong-style restaurants. Depending on where you live, though (and we are close to Chinatown) the convenience of Prime Food’s supermarket products offsets the travel across town for the SF-made products.

Has anyone come across Wenzhou food here in the Bay Area? I know many from that region migrated to NYC. But wonder if any appeared here.

Open:

  • Teo Restaurant and Bar (SF SoMa, Chaozhao/Teochew) HO
  • Happiness Noodle and Dumpling (San Jose, Shandong and handmade noodles)
  • Din Tai Fung (Taiwan and Shanghai, San Jose) CH

Forgot to include:

  • Soong Soong (San Jose, Taiwanese and Northern dishes) HO
  • Let’s Jam Cafe (SF Tenderloin, Mongolian) HO

Closed:

  • Dragon Garden (Cupertino, Sichuan)

Not sure Mongolians would consider Mongolia a region of China :wink:

Doh, thanks for pointing that out! What the boundaries (cultural, ethnic, or geographic) for this list should be, I’ve been iffy on, but that’s a pretty clear case. I’ll fix the categories in the OP tomorrow.

Now we just have to find some Inner Mongolian food.

Just want to note that Hotpot First’s hotpot is Chongqing hot pot.

it looks like this (Picture from Yelp) (#1, the Chongqing ma la hot pot):

Fondue Chinoise looks a bit different (Picture from Yelp):

So I don’t know if there is a regional hot pot difference within Sichuan

Chef Zhao kitchen in Palo Alto shares the same owner as Shanghai Garden, is open.

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

― Jonathan Gold