Regional Chinese roundup 3.0 (SF Bay Area)- November 2019 - April 2021 archive

The Regional Chinese Roundup 3.0 thread got too long, so old responses now live here.

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Openings, with an international chain theme.

  • Shancheng Lameizi Hot Pot (Milpitas) international Chongqing hot pot chain
  • YH-Beijing (SF Lower Haight) in the former Chinese American Wonderland space. Yelpers say it’s a collaboration of Wonderland owner,
    who is still there. Beijing dim sum (is this sourced from Dim Sum USA or made by a former Chili House Chef?), a variety of XLB, and Beijing roast duck “coming soon”
  • Eden Silk Road international chain has opened a more casual style Oakland location (previously reported by @zippo1)
  • Guilin Rice Noodles [edit: not affiliated with chain elsewhere in SFBA]

Closed:

  • Alley House (Shanghainese, Inner Richmond) has been replaced with Wei Guo Kitchen. No word yet on when they open or format.
  • England Rose Garden (Taiwanese) at 640 Barber Ln Milpitas

Openings:

  • Grand Hotpot (Pacifica) is owned by long-time restauranteur Louis Kuang who we’ve previously discussed as owning Cantonese and Sichuan restaurants and owns Grand Hot Pot Lounge in Inner Richmond among other places.
  • In the former Eden Silk Road space, Chef Sha (San Mateo) has hot pot, shaokao (skewers), and 江湖菜 (“river-and-lake cooking”) which refers to a genre of Chongqing cuisine .. Fuchsia Dunlop’s “Food of Sichuan” says it is the “kind of rough, generous, spicy food enjoyed by laborers eating by the riverside” and “you can tell you’re in a jianghu Chongqing restaurant when you have to pluck small morsels of chicken or eel from a colossal pile of chilies and you’re surrounded by noisy, laughing, red-faced people.” A few localrestaurants use this term, e,g., Chef Zhao in San Mateo’s “Boiled fish fillet with flaming chili (river and lakes boiled fish) 江湖水煮魚“.

Anyway, the liquor license indicates Chef Sha refers to Huiru Sha. I found someone by that name. in public records for Little Lamb Mongolian Hot Pot in San Jose and there’s overlap in the menu too. Incidentally, the Little Sheep Hot Pot next door is temporarily closed. Chef Sha menus (excluding hotpot) below:

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  • Bao Chinese Eats (Willow Glen, San Jose) has closed
  • Preeti Mistry plans to open Juhu Chinese Menu with Desi-Chinese / Indo-Chinese foods
  • Dumpling Time Express (SF SoMa) Dumpling Time sister restaurant Restaurant also has Shaanxi boiled dumplings. A venture by Kash Feng, Shaanxi born owner of Michelin starred Omakase
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Openings:

  • Heypot (San Jose) Taiwanese hot pot
  • Wei Guo House (Inner Richmond) is one of those rare occasions nowadays when a Cantonese restaurant replaces a Shanghainese! (looks good, but not in the scope of this list)
  • Pan Kee Food (Foster City) replaces Dim Sum USA, and appears to sell frozen/takeout dumplings, buns, etc. like its predecessor

Just now noticing:

  • China Garden Restaurant (Brentwood) has been open for years, and I’m only now noticing the menu is near identical in content and layout as that of Maple Restaurant (Outer Mission, SF), the latter of which Melanie Wong reported in 2015 has a chef from Tianjin who specializes in Sichuan cuisine.
  • Red Dragon (Concord) has a Sichuan menu of some sort
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I already see “Kung Fu Noodle” listed under Chiu Chow. Pretty astute observation as it hasn’t been “kung fu noodle” for quite some time now and is in reality, a reincarnation of Golden Island, a chiu chow restaurant that used to be in the plaza but closed a while ago.

So, it serves goose slices, chiu chow style appetizers, the chilled crab, oyster pie and other dishes that are tricky to find elsewhere.

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  • A yelper reports that Spicy Queen in Inner Richmond is closed. It has several Chongqing style sister restaurants in NE SF as well as San Mateo and in the east bay owned by Chef Yiwen “Truman” Du and Jenny Wu* . Their ABC license is active until the end of the year

Combing through ABC archives, here are some ownership factoids I wasn’t previously aware of (assuming same names are same people):

  • An owner of Desi-Chinese Red Hot Chilli Pepper in San Carlos is an owner of Cal-Indian August 1 Five (SF)
  • Dongbei Yang Dumpling (Fremont) has the same owner as Chef’s Yang BBQ (Cupertino), which serves skewers
  • Customize Malatang is owned by the owner of Tianjin/Sichuan specialist Golden Garlic
  • SF’s Beijing Restaurant and iPot have owners with the same name (same person?)
  • Boiling Pot (Fremont) shares an owner with the Mumu Hot Pot mini-chain
  • Beijing Restaurant (Santa Clara) shares an owner with Paik’s Noodles
  • Two owners of Shang Cafe (San Jose) used to own Shao Mountain, and one of them also operates Hunan Impression
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more from Clarissa at Goldthread on Regional Chinese food -

from youtube:

Sichuan is known for its love of spice. It’s the birthplace of mala hot pot, mapo tofu, and dandan noodles—all made with copious amounts of chili and peppercorn. How did this region come to fall in love with spicy food, and what are the core ingredients?

This is the fifth episode of our 13-part series on Chinese food called Eat China. In the next episode, we’ll go on a food tour of Chongqing and hit up three Sichuan restaurants you have to try.

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Closures

  • The Mountain View location of Chef Zhao Bistro has closed. The San Mateo location still remains.

Openings

  • Bamboo Steamer (Hayward) a former Dublin Koi Palace chef and his father started this restaurant according to the server, and it appears to be independent and not use foods supplied by KP’s commercial kitchen like Stick & steam or Dim Sum Corner . Spacious, mixture of contemporary bao and dumplings, noodles & rice, XLB, sheng Jian bao, Peking duck sesame shao bing.

  • 110 Shabu Shabu (Dublin) Hot pot (unknown or non-specific region)

  • Suzhe Eatery (Palo Alto) Shanghainese, in the old Su Hong space, opened by former Su Hong staff according to Elena Kadvany.

  • Shangri La Organic Kitchen (San Rafael) Tibetan thukpa and momos

  • Red Hot Chilli Pepper (Fremont) Indian / Desi Chinese

Upcoming:

  • An owner of Noodles Fresh has a pending liquor license for Noodles Fresh at 2430 SHATTUCK AVE , BERKELEY, CA, 94704
  • An owner of Cantonese seafood and dim sum Fusion Delight has a pending liquor license for Kai Xin Dian 2460 BANCROFT WAY , BERKELEY, CA, 94704
  • An owner of Beijing Duck House has a pending liquor license for Zest Food at 10881 S BLANEY AVE , CUPERTINO, CA, 95014.
  • An owner of Milpitas’s Jiuding Flavor (or someone with the same name) has a pending liquor license for Dumpling Home at 298 GOUGH ST , SAN FRANCISCO, CA, 94102

Hmmph. That’s why there is this Grand Reopening banner outside the restaurant. When I drove by and noticed it, I thought the banner was from years ago when they moved to this location. Didn’t realize they have reopened.

‘The menu is largely the same but Shi said he’s using new meat, seafood and produce suppliers to bring in more fresh products. He’s going to Chinatown in San Francisco every other day to pick up fresh, not frozen, meat and seafood.’ If the food improves because of this, that’s good news. Jiangnan food really needs fresh produce and it makes a huge difference. We used to go to Su Hong when it was at the old location and there were a few dishes that were quite elegant and subtle. Quality went downhill years ago and we haven’t been back. Perhaps we’ll give the new joint a try.

Future openings:

  • Hunan Chef, which has been at 525 Cortland since 1996, transferred its liquor license to a new business at that address called “United Dumplings”. Any info out there? There are no northern dumpling specialists open during lunchtime in Mission or Bernal (Beijing Restaurant in Mission Terrace is best bet for Bernal proximity), so fingers crossed that’s what this is.

Openings:

  • Noodle King (Mountain View) Shaanxi 陕西 / Xi’an 西安
  • Qing Shli (San Francisco) either hotpot or malatang

In Taiwanese beef noodle news:

  • Chef Hung (Cupertino) is temporarily closed, and is scheduled to reopen on Feb 24, 2020 according to their yelp page.

  • There’a an active ABC license for Duan Chun Zhen Beef Noodle at 20343 Stevens Creek Blvd (Cupertino). Has this opened yet, and could this be the first US location of a Taiwan beef noodle chain, founded in Hsinchu, Taiwan in 2007?

  • Everyday Beijing (San Mateo) has closed according to yelp. The previous owners run Peking Alley in San Mateo.
  • San Tung 2 (Inner Sunset), essentially the overflow restaurant for the original San Tung next door, is closed according to Yelp and their phone has been disconnected. I’d noticed their ABC license was cancelled, but am surprised to hear this given their continued popularity.

Happy new year! I’ll post a year in review when I get a chance. Some updates:

  • Head on over to the Frozen shuijiao (water boiled dumpling) and XLB roundup (SFBA)

  • Millbrae’s Cafe Salina has closed, and will be replaced by a new venture from Noodles & Things (ed. called Porridge & Things). According to the owner Kevin Lu’s Facebook page, “We are pleased to announce Noodles & Things will be opening a new concept in the Bay Area on January 18 to welcome the new year. We will be serving Chiu Chow Sawo Porridge with live seafood.”

  • Jiangnan Delight (Fremont), which employed chefs from Jiangnan and Hunan, has closed

  • @bigwheel042 learned that Shandong Deluxe on Taraval has closed. It’s now Happy Family Gourmet. The Chinese name remains the same, and photos of a man and woman making noodles are identical to those used by Shandong Deluxe. Has anything besides the name changed?

  • I stopped by and confirmed that (Chinese American) Hunan Chef in Bernal closed. As I noted above, a business called United Dumplings is slated to take its place.

Renames:

  • Best Noodle in Milpitas has changed its name to Chef Chengdu

Openings:

Upcoming:

  • Dumpling Time, whose Shaanxi-born owner and Shaanxi dumplings are relevant to the list, has an upcoming third location in Chase Center.

The further popularization of Malatang (the choose your ingredients rather than the skewer type) and the mall-presence of spicy Chinese food might be the biggest trends of 2019-2020.

2019-2020 malatang openings

2019-2020 mall openings

Looking at Tang Bar’s website, “Fresh ingredients, slowly perfected broth, fully customizable options … Tang Bar by Dainty strives to bring the joy of Sichuan cuisine to our customers with every perfect bowl of malatang.” The logo has the same Tianfu characters used by Dainty, an Australian-based Sichuan brand with various restaurant concepts:

http://tangbar.us/jobs/
https://www.stonestowngalleria.com/en/directory/store_opening/

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What category does this new soup restaurant fall under? Not sure until we see the menu. Its located in the same mall as H-Mart in San Jose, right off 85. I’d be curious to know if they indeed focus heavily on soups.

Its Facebook page says it’s Taiwanese comfort food and it’s apparently a spinoff of Broth in Walnut CA (well covered by Yelpers).


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An update from the James Beard award -winning team of Hyperbowler and friends -

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Oooh, I’ve been waiting all day to read the updates!

Janelle Bitker lead this year’s efforts, and has reviews from original team members Momo Chang and Carolyn Jung. Chronicle staff Soleil Ho and Janelle also have reviews, a mix of surprises and tips from previous write-ups (I’m fan-boying it this year since I didn’t have time to participate)

For long for pieces, there’s:

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

― Jonathan Gold