Regional Chinese roundup 3.0 (SF Bay Area)- December 2017 - December 2018 archive

The menu seem to be Teochew, and not so much Vietnamese Teochew. If you ever have the chance, can you ask them where they get their fish balls, cuttlefish balls, pork balls, beef balls? (and, see if they are any good.)

Yes, According to a (noisy) phone call, the chef is from China (I asked if Chaoshan, and he either said Chaozhou or I completely misheard him) . They are “experimenting” with beef balls right now, but don’t currently make the other stuff. I’ll doubtfully make it there anytime soon, so hope to hear from others!

They got another one now in Dublin.

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  • Xian Kitchen expands from their Milpitas location to Fremont

Su Hong is closing in 2019. Owner is retiring.



  • Hot Pot Fusion (Richmond)

  • Joy of Hunnan (San Bruno) From their yelp page, “We specialize in organic and authentic Chinese Hunan food. Our ingredients are flown in from speciality growers and trucked in from local farmers. Our 3 Chefs are from China and have over 40 years of experience. We offer upscale atmosphere and food for a great price.” The organic claim isn’t broadcasted on their lengthy menu, so I’m curious about its extent. Except for a handful of regional Chinese restaurants in the East Bay and Chinese American places , it’s not common for local Chinese restaurants to advertise organic ingredients, though greens and yellow feather chicken may be so anyway.

  • Li Lian Gui Xun Rou Da Bing Jia Chang Cai (Dublin) is a third location of the Northeast China chain from Northeastern China

  • Berkeleyside reports that Spices III moved across the street, which would mean that they’ve set up shop in the Hot Pot House (Oakland) space across the street that they own. I have many fond memories of the old space, including my first taste of hot pot, and the time a soused young woman walked in and plunged her hands into my mapo doufu.

I’ve incorporated various discussions, openings, closings, etc. since July into the original post. Also:

  • Tahe Foods (San Jose) bentos, bao, jiaozi. Some less easy to get items include Shepherd’s purse wontons, corn porridge, and Harbin sausage (Only other place I know of with Harbin sausage is BBQ King in Millbrae. Their resemblance to a Russian sausage is explained by the Russian presence in Harbin near the turn of the 20th century. I wonder if these are imported from Harbin, homemade, or they just pick up a similar product at Eastern European stores.

  • BentoLicious (Pleasanton) Taiwanese

  • Mumu Hot Pot (Sunnyvale)

  • Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks, known especially for G-pai Taiwanese fried chicken, opens their third location at SF Stonestown)

  • The Trick Dog team have opened Bon Voyage, a cocktail bar on Valencia in the Mission with a small menu of Chinese dishes. According to Eater the menu was created by Chef Wilder Marroquin who has collaborated at various George Chen ventures like China Live and Betelnut. XLB, shuijiao, lettuce cups, I wish them luck— the Mission’s friendliness to Chinese beyond takeout joints hasn’t had a success since Mission Chinese, which opened in 2010 and is admittedly Chinese-ish. Bon Voyages’ location was formerly Charles Phan’s short-lived Wo Hing General Store. The last two places near the Mission to make housemade XLB were Chino, the Tacolicious team’s effort, and Shanghai on Market in the Castro.

Luke Tsai in SF Magazine:

Chinatown’s Bund Shanghai Solves the Plight of the Solo Diner

At last: an individual-portion Dongpo pork.



At Bund Shanghai, the cube of pork belly—cooked to a burnished red sheen and quiveringly soft enough to eat with a spoon—is perfectly compact, the right size for a hungry lunch eater armed with a bowl of white rice to soak up all the savory-sweet meat juices.


Are Mama Ji’s XLB not housemade?

In fact, the “sampler portion” of Su Dongpo pork has been on Bund Shanghai’s menu for some time. Here’s a photo I took in May of 2014:


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As far as I know Mama Ji’s XLB are homemade—- They’re located far enough from the Mission that I didn’t consider them in my statement (defunct Shanghai was kind of on the border of the Castro and Mission).

Dumpling Time is relatively close to the Mission too, and I’d have eaten there this weekend if standing in line with the bad air quality weren’t an issue!

Since we’re finessing boundaries here, how about Heaven’s Dog? Seems like it was closer to “the Mission” than Shanghai on Market.

Well, if we’re gonna be technical Shanghai Restaurant was only 0.4 miles from Mission Dolores Basilica :wink:

Bon Voyage (which, FWIW, I’m mentioning here, but not listing in the Original Post) is reminiscent of Heaven’s Dog. I’m curious about BV’s business model— I recall Chino’s owners saying that labor and food costs were important in its demise. To maintain consistency, they’d be wise to invest in an XLB machine.

Yeah, imagine how profitable a restaurants could be without food and labor costs.

Better to find a good frozen XLB source. Well-made flash frozen XLB’s trump poorly-made fresh ones every day.

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  • Din Ding Dumpling House (Union City) the second location of the Fremont Restaurant known for their XLB and hand pulled noodles has opened. They’re closed on Wednesdays

Three closures:

  • A One Kitchen (San Bruno), which was open for only a couple of months
  • Northwest Noodle House (Cupertino)
  • Xiao Long Bao Kitchen (South San Francisco) sister restaurant to Shanghai Dumpling Shop


  • Fashion Wok (Sunnyvale), the second location of the individual hot pot restaurant
  • Pushcartfare(SF Mission) not in the scope of this list, but worth mentioning there’s a new small dim sum/snack place at 22nd and Mission, with dishes like mapo fries, Charcoaled Lava Salty Egg Yolk buns, and egg custard tarts. Janella Bitker has the scoop on Eater.
  • Bao Bao Noodle Bar (SF Outer Richmond) opens up in the old Shanghai Dumpling King space

Oh no!



  • Dynasty Pot (San Leandro) hot pot
  • 88 Bao Bao (Dublin) buns and dumplings
  • Bao Bao House (Millbrae)
  • Famous Dumpling House (San Jose) dumplings, noodles, Korean style zha Jiang mian and Korean style cold noodles (naengmyeon). Menu says in Chinese something like “Hometown wheaten food from Shandong”
“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2