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Jan 26, 2004 05:05 PM

chinese medicinal restaurant / Yunnan-ese cuisine

  • i

It's cold season: any place in the Bay Area that serves medicinal food from Yunnan province? I've seen restaurants like this in Asia -- foods with interesting herbs in their "steam pot chicken", etc.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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  1. We had a so-so dinner at 168 in the Pacific East Mall in Richmond (the mall with the 99 Ranch market in it).
    The name of the restaurant, again, is "168" and it has Taiwan specialties. We ordered a duck soup called "Don-Que duck" and were told it was medicinal ("You won't like it"). Well, with that challenge we ordered it anyway and it was OK. The clear, dark-brown broth was rich with some sort of cinnamon/cassia type of flavor, and the duck slices were pretty much boiled out into the soup. The waitress was not too forthcoming about the medicinal qualities -- the most she would say was that it would make us strong. Maybe she thought we were with the FDA. Anyway it was only about $6.

    1. Only Chinese medicinal restaurants I know of are down here in the Los Angeles area. Herblife in Temple City is exclusively medicinal in its offerings, while Nature Pagoda in San Gabriel is more into things like turtle soup and black chickens.

      1. Hi Isaac,

        Here's a link to an earlier post about Lee Hou Restaurant (332 Clement, next to Fountain Court). They're more HK, I think, than Yunnan, but they do have a few dishes with herbs, etc. From what I remember, most of the dishes are considered tonifying, which would probably be fine for prevention of a cold, but certainly should be avoided if you're full-blown sick.

        Canton Delights (10125 Bandley Dr., Cupertino, CA 95014, 408/777-9888 also used to have a $9 soup of the day, which would come out to the table in a large clay pot, probably enough for a few people. I haven't been there in probably two years, but the soup would often have herbs in it that matched the seasonal changes. Well prepared and tasty too.

        Another easy alternative to medicinal cooking would be to do it yourself at home. I mentioned a book in the other link, but forgot about a great book by Grace Young, called The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen: Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing ( The recipes are good and easy to follow, with informative commentary. What's relevant here are the herb recipes with general cautions about the appropriateness or dosage of the particular dish. While Chinese medicinal cuisine is relatively safe, there are guidelines to follow in diagnosing and prescribing.

        If you're really interested in Chinese medicinal dietetics, there are a few books at the bookstore in the Ranch 99 mall at Wolfe & Homestead in Cupertino. Also see ( note prices are in Singapore $). Information on the internet is scattered and difficult to find (

        Best would be to visit an acupuncturist during the changes in seasons, before/during/after sickness, especially an acupuncturist with knowledge/interest in herbs and dietetics.

        Let us know how it goes! I'm sure there are other restaurants with medicinal cooking hiding out there.