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Nov 20, 2000 04:11 PM

Thanks for the tip about Dragon River

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Five of us wanted to go out to dinner in SF and we were casting about for ideas. My solution was to log on to a friend's computer and call up the Chowhound message board!

We opted for Dragon River on Geary near 15th and had an absolute feast. One expert diner ordered the bitter melon soup -- which was mostly seafood, but she assured me that the bitter melon was very healthy and good for the digestion (it wasn't bitter, by the way.) Also on our big lazy susan was: rock cod in black bean sauce, clay pot bacon (actually a metal pot, tasted like the best short ribs), pea sprouts, and a few other dishes that were very good but don't need to be immortalized here. I loved the shredded ginger and garlic in oil that they put out as a condiment. We added it to soup, mixed it with rice and pea sprouts. I think I'll try making it at home.

Most main dishes were about $8, so we stuffed ourselves for about $60. Forget the turkey, I'm going back to Dragon River. It's Hakka cuisine, or "farmer food" as one person put it.

The next place I want to try around there is Chapeau. Thanks for the tips everyone.

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  1. I'm jealous. I've never been able to order the bacon dish that you describe, because there's usually one or two or more in my crowd that's freaked out by the lard content.

    P.S. Some Chinese call that bacon "three layered meat" for the skin, fat and meat. I've never heard that term used in the U.S. though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Limster

      Are you talking about kow yuk, with a bronzed thick rind, layer of fat and streaky pork? This would be browned then braised and served with fat choy (the black hair-like vegetable).

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        The term I'm refering to is "sam zam bah" ("sam" = 3, "zam" = layer, "bah" = meat), which I believe is Hokkien. I'm not familar with Cantonese at all but based on your description it sounds right. Haven't had it with fat choy though. Come to think of it, haven't had fat choy in ages. Used to have fat choy during the Chinese New Year, but I haven't been home for Chinese New Year in ages.

      1. Did you notice that Wednesday's SF Chron reviewed Dragon River? It's been covered much more thoroughly on these boards, imo.