Yu's Idea Cuisine (Oakland Chinatown)

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Yun’s Idea Cuisine is in its first week of a soft opening at 366 8th St. in Oakland Chinatown, the former location of Hot Pot Factory and before that, Chilli Padi Malaysian.

From the menu, it looks like a little bit of everything but according to Janelle Bitker in the East Bay Express, the owners “… brought on a chef from Shanghai to specialize in Shanghainese cuisine.”


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Prawns with dragon fruit? Is that a common Guangdong dish? I guess I had lobster with dragon fruit, in mayo, in Singapore and hadn’t contemplated it beyond a house special.

Fogua foo young with broad beans appears to be chayote and fava beans foo young.

Are other Cantonese dishes atypical of the SFBA?

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here’s a link to a slideshow with a few more photos, some repeated:

I learned tonight that Yu’s Idea Cuisine’s chef used to work at a Shanghai location of Xiao Nan Guo, a large Shanghainese chain with restaurants throughout China and in Hong Kong. The chef, via a server who translated, said he cooks in a lighter, more modern, style and has been a chef since the 90s. Is anyone familiar with Xiao Nan Guo?

Some other stuff I learned:

In the Guangdong section of the menu:

  • “Akagos” is asparagus.
  • “Qiongshan tofu”, so named because it physically resembles tofu, is a Hainan specialty made from eggs and seafood
  • Sautéed prawns with red dragon fruit also contains peeled asparagus and ginkgo nuts

The untranslated item listed under vegetables are rape greens.

In the Shanghainese section, the “Chinese Long Doughnut” with triple delight pan are you tiao segments meant to be dipped, or smothered depending on preference, in a bowl of seafood soup.

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Does it mean the Sichuan and Cantonese menus are there to get the bases covered and that we should just ignore them and go straight to the Shanghai menus?

I didn’t inquire about the Sichuan part of the menu. if I understood correctly, the chef trained on Cantonese dishes from Hong Kong teachers in Shanghai, so his dishes may be prepared though a different lens that is typical in the Bay Area.

Googling ingredient translations with the server, and asking questions with the subtlety of an entitled blogger, I’m sure I lost any pretense of “just walking by”. With that in mind, here’s a picture of the shrimp with dragon fruit

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from another table?

Is it just me, or is it all fruit but little shrimp?

It looks even more extreme in the photo than reality, but you are correct this dish is more about the fruit than shrimp. Eating this by myself, I thought the ratio of everything worked well, and the dragon fruit more flavorful than typical in CA

The fruit additions are really interesting. Does any other restaurant do this? There is also a strawberry with prawns and a yam with blueberries or cherries under the cold dishes.

I don’t know about the others, but blueberries with yams is at a few Beijing-style restaurants.

Yu’s Idea was dark today round lunchtime and a handwritten white paper sheet was taped to the locked gate in front which said “Remodel” in red letters.

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