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Chinese Restaurant Menus & Maps

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Melanie Wong Oct 9, 2000 03:26 AM

I've found a site that has menus, maps, hours of operation and contact info for many Bay Area Chinese restaurants. Not comprehensive by any means, but some of our favorites are here - Ton Kiang and DPD in SF, Little Sichuan in San Mateo.

Link: http://www.222.to/restaurant

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    Chandavkl RE: Melanie Wong Oct 9, 2000 11:39 AM

    Great find! I love looking for good Chinese food when I leave home (L.A.) but not having friends or relatives outside of Southern California it's hard to tell the good places from those that serve tourist cuisine. This looks like a good listing.

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      Barry Kaufman RE: Melanie Wong Oct 10, 2000 07:16 PM

      Melanie - As you know, finding good Chinese food is so much a matter of individual taste. I grew up in NY ---right outside of Chinatown - 20 years ago when I moved to SF, I was very disappointed with the Chinese restaurants. Where could I get snails in black bean sauce or or wor won ton soup or cha shu chow fun? Most non-asians really don't know what good Chinese food is like. I send people to very authentic places and for the most part they say didn't like the food. The also don't know how to order. How to keep a balance of dishes - seafood, pork, noodle, vegie,poultry - and a balance of sauces,and methods of preparation. And of course most people don't know the proper etiquette of family style dinning - small amounts on the plate with rice. Most people just pile on all of the dishes. By the way in NY, rice and tea is always free. You can have all the maps and guides in the world - bottom line, most non-Asians just don't get how to order and eat chinese food. My SF favorite is still R&G Lounge on Kearny and in the East Bay- Sun Hong Kong in Berkeley and Oakland Chinatown.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Barry Kaufman
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        Melanie Wong RE: Barry Kaufman Oct 10, 2000 11:02 PM

        Is individual taste in finding good food limited only to Chinese restaurants? Doesn't this apply to food of every kind? I can't tell you what you like or what doesn't taste good to you.

        The website link I provided is not a guide - no reviews are provided and being included is not an indication of quality. Not all of the restaurants serve Chinese food even. Probably the common thread is that the restaurants are interested in reaching a Chinese-speaking audience. I'd think that looking at the menu and prices for a particular place in advance could help people decide whether it's the type of food and price range they'd like to try. Someone could get a translation of the Chinese characters for dishes not listed in English. Or find out what specialties need to be ordered in advance. That's all it is.

        Do restaurants really charge for rice and tea? I've noticed a price on the menus but never have it added to my bill except for take-out.

        BTW, I would NEVER put rice on my plate.

        1. re: Melanie Wong
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          Barry Kaufman RE: Melanie Wong Oct 10, 2000 11:20 PM

          check out http://pluto.ucsd.edu/jsze/food/food-...

          1. re: Barry Kaufman
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            Melanie Wong RE: Barry Kaufman Oct 11, 2000 02:23 AM

            I've looked at it, but what was I supposed to see? The reviewer doesn't give much guidance on what dishes are good or what to order.

            I disagree with his rule that the best restaurants are packed with Chinese. The very inexpensive, but not necessarily good quality, restaurants are often filled with Chinese patrons who are very cost conscious.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
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              Jim Leff RE: Melanie Wong Oct 11, 2000 12:12 PM

              "I disagree with his rule that the best restaurants are packed with Chinese. The very inexpensive, but not necessarily good quality, restaurants are often filled with Chinese patrons who are very cost conscious."

              Exactly right. And many of them have no idea what's good, anyway. The idea that people of a given ethnicity are well-versed (and have good taste) in their cuisine is fallacious. Denny's and Kentucky Fried Chickens are FULL of happily scarfing Americans...does that mean they're the best representation of American cuisine?

              Most people aren't chowhounds, and the same is true all over. The best selling beer in Germany is the relatively insipid Warsteiner. There yuh go.

              ciao

              1. re: Jim Leff
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                Chandavkl RE: Jim Leff Oct 11, 2000 12:28 PM

                It's true that a Chinese restaurant full of Chinese diners isn't necessarily a sign of the quality of the food. I made that mistake in New York Chinatown when I found a restaurant packed with Chinese that was very average except for the fact that the portions were twice the normal size. However, the average Chinese person is more food conscious than the average non-Chinese. With all of my Chinese friends, food is probably the first and most frequently discussed topic, while I seldom talk food with non-Chinese friends. And while not conclusive, the presence of many Chinese patrons is generally a good sign.

                1. re: Chandavkl
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                  Melanie Wong RE: Chandavkl Oct 22, 2000 02:26 AM

                  I do think that food has a more prominent place in the Chinese psyche, and it's interesting to hear this from someone else. On one of my business trips to Taipei the country manager suggested we go to lunch at Pizza Hut. I protested because I loved the little noodle bars and lunch places near our office. But he insisted that Pizza Hut was a different animal in Taipei (he'd lived in LA for a year) because Chinese are pickier about their food. And, it was indeed much better than the product here.

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        Alexandra Eisler RE: Melanie Wong Oct 11, 2000 05:43 PM

        Hey Melanie-thanks for the great link!

        I really miss Oakland Chinatown now that I'm in downtown SF. I just opened the menu from my favorite corner spot and it brightened my day!

        BTW, I printed out your SF Chinatown recs from a few weeks ago and look forward to finding some new haunts.

        Thanks again.

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