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

What is WOW? Is that a successor to Icelandic? I can remember when Icelandic was the backpacker’s favorite way to go to Europe: cheaper, with free stopovers in Reyjkavik. I had a roommate who headed for Europe on Icelandic, stopped off in Reyjkavik, took a job as a jackhammer operator, and never returned.

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WOW sounds like Ryan Air, viking style.

Icelandic exists. This is Icelandic one further.

Tofu Village is now called Szechwan Cuisine (I think it’s the same people as in the original report, they just got around to replacing the sign). The shui zhu yu at lunch for $8.95 (includes rice, hot/sour soup, and a plate of room-temperature vegetables) is a generous and tasty portion.

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Pacific Lighthouse Restaurant (怡景麗宴) opened in Alameda. Official opening today. Banquet for 10 from $400 to $1400 for a table of 10. Any idea what they are offering for $1400?

Eden Silk Road (Uyghur, San Mateo). See discussion of fremont and upcoming sf branches.

Shanghai Bistro in Newark specializes in Sheng Jian Bao according to this thread

Skyiew Noodle & Tea in Pittsburg has what may be the Bay Area’s first taste from Anhui province.

Went to Shanghai Cuisine based on some positive reviews elsewhere on the web. Huge portion, cheap prices, but didn’t stand out amongst other Shanghai restaurants. The ‘chicken feather’ vegetable was good. The smoked fish appetizer, the sesame bread, and the fish gluten were alright. 10% off during grand opening. Its not distinctive enough, for me, to make a trek. (especially when Yum’s is nearby)

I was jokingly reprimanded for going by someone I know who is Shanghainese and cooks good Shanghainese food, who said that she knows who owns the restaurant (same as another place in Milpitas), and (because the Chinese name of the restaurant says Shanghai Private Kitchen) that I should just eat ‘proper private kitchen Shanghainese food’ from her. In her opinion, there is no good Shanghai restaurant in the Bay Area, though that’s for another discussion.

  • Taiwan Liu He Snacks (San Jose) is closed


  • Chef Hung Taiwanese beef noodle in Cupertino

  • Chili Boy (San Jose) has “mala hot pot.” The owners are Cantonese and they had a soft opening menu as of 10/7/16 when I stopped in.

  • Beijing Duck House opened a Milpitas location in the spot of a former Sichuan restaurant

  • Wu Bai (San Mateo) has knife shaved noodles and “handmade noodles”

  • Spices I closed in 2015, and Spices II is now known as Spices. The decor is updated, and there’s now a sign on the corner of 6th and Clement. There are a few Shanghainese items on their menu with the words “chef” listed next to them, Lion’s head meataballs, pork shoulder in garlic sauce, and black mushroom with Shanghai bok choi, and (maybe) the house special crab. Otherwise, the menu has been reorganized, but still has hot pot, stinky tofu dishes, and an excellent section for vegetarians dishes. How’s the food now?

Noodle Talk Chinese Home Cuisine (Los Altos) Homestyle Hunan

Chinese Szechuan Restaurant (Pleasanton) has had an untranslated Chinese Korean menu for several years.

We debated going there a few times already, each time deterred by the potentially high level of heat in their noodles…how spicy is their SV location?

T4 bubble tea joint in Oakland Chinatown is a “full-fledged” Taiwanese restaurant, per Luke Tsai.

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Thanks, @Souperman !

The SV location might be the better bet— as of a year ago, they listed things as having zero to 3 chilis, and the 2 chili mala beef noodle wasn’t very spicy (I can tolerate dry heat more so than that from fresh chilies and didn’t record either in my notes) . YMMV. They have lots of veggie appetizers which I don’t recall having chili heat. And one nice thing about a lot of hunan dishes is you can pick out the pickled chilies, and still benefit from their flavor without too much heat.

I wonder what Yelp’s source is for Uyghur Taamliri “closing” until July - did the family who runs the place update their Yelp page, or is this coming from somewhere else? I walked into Chug Pub in October and the bartender made it sound like the elimination of the Uighur menu was a permanent thing.

  • Oh no, Made in China (SF Parkside) is reported on Yelp as closed! Be on the lookout for where their Hunan and Northeastern Chinese chefs turn up. Their menu was a unique combination of those regional cuisines and shao kao (skewers). The brother of the Shenyang-born owner owns BBQ King in San Bruno, and there’s some overlap in their Dongbei dishes. It’s bad news for Hunan fans in SF— besides the special Hunan menu at Henry Hunan in Northbeach, SF’s remaining Hunan-named restaurants are mostly Chinese American. For Hunan dishes in SF, your best bet is at Sichuan restaurants. Made In China’s liquor license was suspended a year ago. Any word on what’s replacing it?

  • Muslim Eastern House (Fremont) is closed. That leaves three Islamic Chinese places.

Made in China’s liquor license was only suspended for 15 dys (for serving alcohol to a minor) and is still active through March of next year, per the ABC databse

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  • The second location of ChongQing Xiao Mian opens in the old Muslim Eastern House location in Fremont. They’re an offshoot of the Spicy King empire, which includes Spicy Empire (San Mateo) / Spicy King (SF Chinatown) / Newark Cafe (Newark) / and Spicy Queen (SF Inner Richmond). That group ran defunct Pot Sticker, whose kitchen was led by a former Z&Y chef. Hunan House in Chinatown and Grand Hot Pot House in the Inner Richmond was started by someone who split from Pot Sticker. Based on some menu similarities, I suspect that Spicy Garden in SoMa might also be a former employee of the Pot Sticker group

  • T4, (Taiwanese, Livermore) the Oakland location of which Luke Tsai recommended the food, opens its second location in Livermore.

  • Hong Kong Banjum 0410 (Santa Clara, Korean Chinese) This chain from Korea has a few locations in Southern California. See review

  • New Ming’s Restaurant (Sichuan, Soma) This is mostly a Chinese American place, with a lunch buffet, but I noticed several Sichuan dishes when I walked in for a menu. Looking at yelp pictures, they’ve had these since 2013, perhaps earlier. 7x7 included their “Chung Qing wings” in the 2014 Top 100 list (maybe that inclusion led me to ignored them earlier…)

  • Tang collection replaced Made in China. Yelp lists it as Sichuan-Asian fusion, but there were no menus in their window on Nov. 18th and there was a sign saying they were still remodeling.

  • Homey skewers a San Jose shao kao restaurant. They have fried chicken rack, which is currently only available at BBQ King in San Bruno.

ICYMI, Roads and Kingdoms just posted an excellent feature article on Chonqing xiaomian (the dish, not the restaurant), which provides a good perspective on this specialty.

Chongqing’s Number One Noodle Obsessive

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Some more updates.

For the cursed location files, Village Garden opened at 1708 N. Milpitas Blvd. in Milpitas, where Shanghai Kitchen, Melin House, and Shanghai Restaurant used to live. They’re serving a few remaining Shanghai dishes, as well as handmade noodles, Northeastern and Sichuan dishes.

Some cursed location trivia— only two other SFBA locations have housed four different non-Cantonese Regional Chinese restaurants since 2005— 189 El Camino in San Bruno (BBQ King<-Smiling BBQ<-Sunny Shanghai, Shanghai Town) and 1773 Decoto Rd in Union City (Shanghai Cuisine<-Alike BBQ<-Sha Bistro<-Little Potato)

Some other news:

  • Shao Mountain San Jose is now called Hunan Impression, same owner.

  • Shao Mountain Fremont is closed.

  • Taiwan Taste has been open since 2012, and I previously missed it.

  • Chef Z’s (San Jose) takes over the former Sichuan Chili / Chef Ma spot, and continues the Sichuan theme

Not quite the same, but 420 Judah has had 5 separate incarnations ovr the same period as:

Shanghai Restaurant
Dragonfly (Pan Asian)
Dash Cafe (HK STyle)
Alice Chinese Bistro
Taste of Shandong

901 Kearny (now Kobe Bento) has gone through at least 8 transformations (all Asian including Shanghainese) since I’ve lived in San Francisco, but that’s over 50 years

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Can anyone recommend a really silky and satisfying hot tofu dish for lunch today?

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr