Regional Chinese roundup 3.0 (SF Bay Area)


Shang Cafe opens a branch in Cupertino. How’s their food in Fremont?

BestNoodle opens in Milpitas.



It sounds different than the “Asian Cajun” served at Rockin’ Crawfish and Queen’s Seafood in Oakland:

About seven years ago, the “Asian Cajun” phenomenon moved west, when a Vietnamese couple from Arlington, Texas, opened the Boiling Crab restaurant in Orange County’s Little Saigon. Within weeks, the nautical-themed seafood shack was wildly popular, and a crop of SoCal competitors soon sprouted up. One of these, a Westminster spot called the Rockin’ Crawfish, opened a second branch in Oakland last year.

“This is the first uniquely Vietnamese-American style of restaurant,” Vietnamese food writer Andrea Nguyen told me. “It’s not pho and it’s not banh mi . The new generation has created something all their own.”



Huh, there’s a place in Cupertino called Crab Lover and one of the yelp photos has a page that’s visually identical to Yummy Crab’s, and has Sichuan dishes, dry pot, and Wuhan duck. It’s been open in 2017, which means it has eluded our list for 2 years! I know that crawfish has been a trend at Chinese restaurants for a few years, in particular at dry pot places, and when I have a chance, I may see if this is a broader category for which there are multiple restaurants we’ve not identified. Also on that note, I’ve been thinking about, and will soon ask for community feedback on, how this list should grow in light of the growing number of restaurants that don’t fit into a clear regional category, and in a different way than employing chefs from two regions (e.g., Sichuan + Shanghai) or China’s greatest hits style menus.

Yummy Crab’s crawfish offerings look like viet-cajun, with the exception of 13-spice crawfish, which I’ve seen at a few places, including on a sign in Z&Y’s window (I tried ordering it, but they said it wasn’t available). Sidney C. H. Cheung has an academic essay on Chinese crawfish called “From Cajun Crayfish to Spicy Little Lobster: A Tale of Local Culinary Politics in a Third-Tier City in China”, readable on p. 209 of this pdf, that discusses "Xuyi Thirteen Fragrance Little Lobster”, which originated in Jiangsu, with mala influences from Sichuan. That book also has a chapter on how Shanxi noodles went from being an obscure regional dish before the 90s, to acclaim throughout China and the world. TLDR for now…


  • Arzu Uyghur Cuisine (Newark) appears to be the first local Uyghur place to have house-made bread, the kind with the stamp patter in the center, and also the only current one to use fresh dough for the samsa. Yelp photos also show a whole roasted lamb.

  • The Duo Entourage (Burlingame) has “pan-asia” offerings, with a good representation of Taiwanese dishes.

  • Halal Chinese Indian Fusion (SF Tenderloin) Desi-Chinese from the owner’s of Gorkha Kitchen in the Inner Sunset according to Hoodline’s “Veteran Hoodline Tipster Al M.” (does Al post here? He’s the bread and butter of Hoodline, even the main course given their current AI bend).

1 Like



  • South Legend Fusion (Milpitas) Sichuan
  • Xiang Xiang (Cupertino) Shanxi


  • Xiang Home Kitchen 家湘 (Milpitas), presumably Hunan in the former CBI space
  • China Taste (Oakland Chinatown) opens in former Spices III space (Spices III moved across the street). Cantonese. Chinese name refers to Huadu district of Guangzhou if I’m not mistaken. Interesting because it seems uncommon for a Sichuan restaurant to be replaced with a Cantonese restaurant these days! Yelpers mention two dishes with “hand-pulled noodles”, but no mention on menu and that label is often misused. TBC…

(Gary Soup) #331

Halal Chinese Indian Fusion --new in the Tenderloin, er, Union Square area.

No, it is NOT a delivery only restaurant. Don’t know how that got embedded in the link. Has momos!

1 Like


A yelp page opened for Dumpling Specialist. Small menu of soups and xiaochi, which according to Hoodline is a venture of Rebecca Yu, owner of recently closed Shanghainese Dumpling Kitchen.


(Gary Soup) #333

Ding! It’s been in the works for a year and a half, which is probably par for the course when it comes to change in use.

1 Like

  • Dalian Club House (Pleasanton) in Pacific Pearl mall, same as Yummy Chengdu, Mumu Pot. and Beijing Chef, has what look like translucent XLB, seam side down SJB, dumplings, noodles. No menu posted yet. Business owner posted some nice interior shots, edison bulbs and wood.

split this topic #335

A post was split to a new topic: Obsessed: Guy Has Eaten At Over 7,000 Chinese Restaurants [David R. Chan - chandavkl]



This seems to be a good place to ask this. A neighborhood Cantonese place has gone through many owners and styles (most recently, quite good on a few dishes). But when I went by the other day, it was closed, and the sign had changed–it’s apparently becoming a Vietnamese restaurant. But all the signs are still in Chinese. I’m wondering what the characters in this sign say.



Its just the Chinese name of the restaurant. Perhaps opened by Vietnamese who are ethnic Chinese.



The former site of Yu’s Idea at 366 8th Street in Oakland Chinatown now has a sign on it reading “Eden Silk Road” and a notice of change of stock ownership dated March 2019. Today I saw two workers emerging from the unlocked gate in front of the space and when I asked them when the restaurant would open, they replied that it would be soon, this month.

Here is a link to 9 photos taken today:

1 Like


I guess the owners of Yu’s Idea, who had two previous concepts at that location, finally called it quits!

Interesting to see Eden Silk Road expanding— adding Chaozhao hotpot and a few other random things, maybe to bank off neighboring Little Sheep, their San Mateo location seems to be having an identify crisis. Say what you want about the chain itself, the former workers have gone onto open Sama Uyghur and Kusan Uyghur.


  • Ten Seconds Yunnan Rice Noodle (San Leandro) Shi Miao Dao chain, specializes in Yunnan’s Crossing Bridge Rice noodles. The formula seems to be a soup (original crossing bridge, pickled pepper, etc.) accompanied by 10 small dishes (corn quail egg, pickled cabbage). They also have a dish listed as “Chinese Miao Style Beef” (Miao referring to the ethnic group)— I can’t recall any other menus with a similarly named dish.
  • Sarah Han at Berkeleyside reports about New Dumpling in El Cerrito, a jiaozi specialist owned by a family originally from Shenyang (kudos to Sarah for a very informative review, and heh, reporting on a restaurant that, as of last night when I checked, wasn’t yet on everyone’s radar via Yelp’s “Hot & New” feature. That may be the first time in the history of this list that a news site has done such a thing.)
  • Flaming Village Sichuan Cuisine (Milpitas) opened in the former South Legend space. They have separate Chinese language and English menus, which is atypical these days. In a cursory look may just be a space saving issue rather than having different content, but I note Jiangnan mentioned on the Chinese but not English menu.
1 Like


There were several Yelp reviews of New Dumpling as of this morning. I went there for lunch today, and it was ok. They’re still in “soft opening”, and it took a long time for the food to arrive.

1 Like

  • Lin’s Noodle & Skewers Bar (San Ramon), in the former Yiping space, has closed.
  • A few places have reported that Dumpling Kitchen on Taraval has re-opened under new ownership. There’s now a window where you see them make dumplings. Notably, unlike previous owners, their sheng Jian bao appear to be the less leavened, pleat side down variety that were only available in Sunnyvale’s Shanghai Flavor Shop a few years back, but all the rage at the newer Shanghainese places.
  • Joanna Della Penna at Berkeleyside reports that Easterly Hunan Cuisine will open in Berkeley in May. She doesn’t know yet whether they’re affiliated with Santa Clara’s Easterly (also a Hunan restaurant).
1 Like

(Gary Soup) #342

There has, in fact, been a liquor license transfer at Dumpling Kitchen to new owners under the same DBA name. To clear up any possible confusion, the ORIGINAL Dumpling KItchen moved and is now Dumpling Specialist.

“Pleated side down” now seems to be the de facto default style of SJB in Shanghai According to Shanghai’s most famous food critic Shen Hongfei (沈宏非) it is a style imported from Suzhou.



I’m so glad we’re moving away from the “no one will notice these are just pan-fried (possibly frozen) baozi” school of thought :slight_smile: For more info on SJB styles, see also Christopher St. Cavish guide.

Regarding my comment that Lin’s Noodle & Skewers Bar (San Ramon), in the former Yiping space, had closed, I just read in the 矽谷美食名嘴天團 SFhappyeaters Facebook Group that I-Shanghai Delight is opening their third location in that spot. If true, that’s huge news for the northern part of the 680 corridor, which is generally not competitive with the rest of the Bay Area.


(Gary Soup) #344

Ditto folks who say “sheng jian bao are a fried version of xiao long bao.”

Below is a link to my own gallery of the “real deal” from the streets of Shanghai (I couldn’t get the site to embed the slideshow) For the record, my favorites are from a place called "Xiao Xian, " slightly larger and slightly less wabi sabi than the famous Xiao Yang chain’s, but just as tasty.


1 Like

  • Easterly has opened [edit: see HO thread] on Center St. in Berkeley with a legit looking Hunan menu (and page of “Asian fusion” Chinese American stuff too). Menu symbol matches Easterly in Santa Clara (I thought there was supposed to be an Easterly in Fremont last year, but that I don’t believe that materialized). Anyone working/studenting at Cal is spoiled—- within walking distance are Shandong / Chinese Korean / all around star Great China, bubble tea and Chinese desserts galore and an 85 degrees and Shen Kee. Shilhlin Taiwan Street Snacks, wide torn noodles at Imperial Tea House, Chengdu Style, shaokao at a few places, various Hong Kong cafes, etc. Berkeley would be one heck of a food crawl, adding some digestion time hiking across Cal’s campus and a movie at the Pacific Film Archive.