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Sep 9, 2001 10:59 AM

Searching for Chow Fun on the Peninsula

  • m

Anyone out there know of a great version of these fantastic wide noodles with little oil and a great selection of veggies and other goodies?

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  1. In SF, you might want to try the Singapore Malaysian restauarant at Clement and, I think, Tenth or the (not quite as good) version at Tracy Garden (on Judah and 48th). The Singaporean version is smoky and slightly charred without the gloppy sauce of the Cantonese versions.

    8 Replies
    1. re: damon

      Undoubtedly, there are many bad versions of chow fun out there but any correct version of chow fun, Cantonese or Singaporean, should have that "wok breath" (smoky) that you mention. Most of the newer Chinese/Hong Kong restaurants should be devoid of that "gloppy" sauce.

      1. re: gordon wing

        Actually, I'm told that the wet style of chow fun with gravy is au currant in Hong Kong. I much prefer the gaun chow (dry sauteed), smoky style myself and always specify it that way. Have been surprised too many times with sup chow (gravied) plates.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I, too, favor dry chow fun (slightly burned in the process). Unfortunately, it is hard to get in many Chinese places. My all time favorite is at a Chinese-Thai restaurant (not both cuisines, but ethnic Chinese from Thailand). Referred to on the menu as broccoli, rice noodles and shrimp in thick soy sauce. Actually, it is not the traditional thick soy like Chinese, but mushroom soy. The restaurant is the Racha Cafe, Eddy st near Polk. (or is it Ellis ?). When I worked in the area, I had this great dish twice a week. They do have a soupy version for the purists.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Everything old comes around again, I guess. Thanks for the update on the latest Hong Kong style. When my Grandmother came from HK many years ago (1970?) she used to make a dish she called "slippery rice" - rice with a lot of gravy and vegetables, meat, etc. It was more a style than any particular recipe.

            1. re: gordon wing

              The other thing I've heard about from Hong Kong is wet fried rice. It requires stirring over the cooktop, risotto-style. My Auntie Frances made it for us recently. While tasty, we weren't wowed by the method.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                Mmmmm....wet fried rice -risotto style. Fusion gone awry? Should have stopped with the mayonnaise in the walnut prawns.

          2. re: gordon wing
            Shep aka 2Cheap Hungry Guys

            Right on, Gordon. The dry version is easier to eat cold the next morning.

            In the West Bay, we get that good-time smoky taste at Mariposa Cafeteria, 26th and Tenessee, off Potrero Hill. Strictly lunch-ish hours, like 10 to 2, so time it with care.

            In the East Bay, King Wah on 9th between Franklin and Webster in Oakland has good smoky chow fun, lots of onions which I appreciate.

          3. re: damon

            Since you are interested in Chow Fun on the Peninsula, here are a few places I know: one of my favorite Singaporean dishes is Char Kway Teow (I think I have the spelling on that more or less correct?), which I think of as basically Chow Fun-ish. I think the version at Shiok, which is a very pleasant Singaporean restaurant in Menlo Park, just off Santa Cruz Ave., is quite good. There's another Singaporean place which just opened in Mountain View, a block away from Castro just off of Villa (right around the corner from Fiesta del Mar 2). I had this dish there too and it's also pretty good, though Shiok's is definitely better (and the ambience is about 300% better there too). I don't know the place on Clement St. in the previous post (though I think I'll have to make an expedition there soon!), but I was in Singapore a few months ago and Shiok's food is definitely on a par with the decent (not necessarily the best) food I had there. It's a good restaurant, so try it and let us know what you think.

            As for non-Singaporean Chow Fun, one standby luncheon spot in downtown Palo Alto is China Delight, which is simple and though variable in quality is often quite good. Their Chow Fun is basic but good.

            I love this style of noodle dish too and would love to hear other people's recommendations. I've had great Chow Fun at a few of the restaurants in the Pacific East Mall in El Cerrito too.