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Where is this, Five Spiced Roast Chicken?

Sixy Aug 4, 2006 03:00 PM

I like to check out this SF Food blog, because it has great pictures, trouble is it is written in Japanese which I don't understand. Every now a word or two of English is included to tempt me further. In todays entry it says:
"Possibly the best chicken you will ever have outsaide of Vietnam"
1547 Calfornia St San Francisco

I tried doing some google searches, but couldn't find anything. Does anyone know where it is that is being talked about and if so - any opinions on the food, especially the aforementioned chicken?



  1. a
    Agent 510 Aug 22, 2006 08:56 PM

    It's available not only at Slanted Door, but at Out the Door, the Slanted Door's take-out outlet in the Ferry Building. It's actually a sandwich there. Haven't tried it though, but that's one way to try the Slanted Door's version without having to get a reservation.

    1. b
      blissdish Aug 22, 2006 08:23 PM

      I meant $3.75, of course

      1. b
        blissdish Aug 22, 2006 08:23 PM

        I haven't lived in SF for almost 5 years, but my favorite 5-spice was at "Vietnam Restaurant" on Broadway between Grant and Stockton. A tiny closet of a place, but at the time, a delectable 5-spice and rice was $3.75! (Don't eat the lettuce garnish)

        1. Gary Soup Aug 8, 2006 03:20 PM

          Hmmm, I can't stop wondering which came first/ The five-spiced chicken, or the five-spiced egg?


          1. b
            BlaineResident Aug 8, 2006 02:15 AM

            Yummy Yummy at 10th/Irving has delicious 5 Spiced Chicken. You will not be disappointed...

            1 Reply
            1. re: BlaineResident
              Windy Aug 8, 2006 02:59 AM

              Plus a lot of other good stuff. Had an excellent banh xeo there yesterday.

            2. m
              Meredith Aug 5, 2006 06:50 PM

              I actually have really loved this chicken. I get my hair cut across the street and twice stopped by and drawn by the smell, waited anxiously for it to open. The first time I just got the chicken and rice and it was amazing. The chicken was flavorful and tender and I craved more when I was done. The second time was just as good and the deep fried spring rolls were also fantastic and I thought I found my new favorite place.
              Then I took a friend there to grab dinner around 7pm one night. The spring rolls had turned that combination of tough and soft that you have to almost tear with your teeth but then it sticks to them. The chicken was dry and jut not very good in comparison.
              Maybe the best thing is to be there RIGHT when the open so you do have the freshly cooked everything.
              My hairdresser moved so I haven't tried out that approach again, but now that I am thinking about it might do this week.

              1. s
                Sixy Aug 5, 2006 12:52 AM

                hey everyone - thanks SO much

                like Melanie I rarely order chicken or even eat it at home,
                but I was intrigued by the
                "Possibly the best chicken you will ever have outsaide of Vietnam"
                Perhaps chicken in Vietnam isnt so great after all?

                In a bun sounds good though - maybe I should try and get over to PPQ and try it out.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sixy
                  Windy Aug 6, 2006 12:07 AM

                  It's not in a bun, though--bun is rice noodles with cucumbers and carrots. PPQ is a fine place to try it although I prefer the pork.

                  you can get a chicken bahn mi on a bun, though

                2. DezzerSF Aug 5, 2006 12:16 AM

                  I like the 5 spice chicken bun at PPQ on Irving/19th. Deliciously moist chicken breast with a perfectly crispy skin.

                  1. Melanie Wong Aug 4, 2006 10:26 PM

                    Any ideas on where we could send Sixy in SF to get a GOOD version of 5-spice chicken?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      rworange Aug 4, 2006 11:20 PM

                      Well, probably as good as you'll get is at Slanted Door.

                      I went on this quest a couple years back and got the 'skip Cordon Bleu' lecture. At that time no one came up with an alternative. Does anyone really like this dish?

                      I wasn't wowed by Slanted Doors version. In fact, I'd have to go back and search to find out what I thought about it a the time ... but ... hmmmm ... there WAS someplace recently where I was saying to myself that I have to try the five spice chicken ... if I remember I'll post, but its probably in the East Bay.

                      1. re: rworange
                        chaddict Aug 4, 2006 11:32 PM

                        According to menupages.com, Mangosteen has it. But their menus have so many mistakes. Call first.


                        1. re: rworange
                          Melanie Wong Aug 4, 2006 11:35 PM

                          I like 5-spice chicken, but rarely order chicken anywhere when I go out, so I'm not current on who's good now.

                          It's ubiquitous at Viet restaurants, often as part of a rice plate. Personal recs based on experience, folks, please.

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            rworange Aug 5, 2006 12:22 AM

                            Yeah, turns out the place I wanted to try is in San Pablo ... and it was five spice beef, not chicken. FWIW, here's my ancient post about the chicken at Slanted door ... didn't have enough spice ... with links even OLDER five spice chicken comments ... down to an old review from you on Cordon Bleau where somewhere along the line you called the chicken 'suck-y' ... but that was long ago.


                            I hope Sixy gets some good recent recs. I STILL want to try a good version of this dish. It's just that the SD was SO uninspiring it is not the first dish I want to order at Vietnamese restaurants.

                        2. re: Melanie Wong
                          susancinsf Aug 7, 2006 07:08 PM

                          I am fairly sure that there is 5-Spice chicken on the menu at Lotus Garden, but I don't think I've tried it yet..

                          1. re: susancinsf
                            vespaloon Aug 23, 2006 02:01 AM

                            their version IS really good, but mostly because the chicken is VERY plump and moist. the flavors are right although not as strongly "spicy" as some I've had. That said, I would recommend Lotus Garden's. Great as part of the rice place with the fish sauce/dipping sauce.

                          2. re: Melanie Wong
                            blissdish Aug 22, 2006 08:22 PM

                            I haven't lived in SF for almost 5 years, but my favorite 5-spice was at "Vietnam Restaurant" on Broadway between Grant and Stockton. A tiny closet of a place, but at the time, a delectable 5-spice and rice was $3.75! (Don't eat the lettuce garnish)

                          3. e
                            Earl Grey Aug 4, 2006 05:03 PM

                            I used to love it in the late 1970s, if that matters!

                            1. s
                              Sixy Aug 4, 2006 04:59 PM

                              thanks for the info! Hmm, chaddict and melanie are putting me off.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Sixy
                                chaddict Aug 4, 2006 05:14 PM

                                Eh, get the chicken and plain rice and you should be ok. Demand you get freshly cooked chicken.

                                1. re: chaddict
                                  psb Aug 5, 2006 01:22 AM

                                  I think in price-performace terms Cordon Blue does ok.
                                  The few times I've gone there there was some meat
                                  that was over cooked or somehow flawed but it was
                                  certainly edible ...

                                  I personally think more in terms of "i feel like spending $8 on dinner after seeing something at the lumiere" rather than "i'd like the best 5spiced chicken within 50 miles and i'm happy to go to either pay for slanted door or cordon blue".

                                  Doesnt CB have some kind of deep friend spring roll?
                                  I seem to remember that was pretty good.

                                  note for people who have not been there:
                                  it is really, really small. you probably cant eat there
                                  with a party of 4. with 3 people, that limits you either the
                                  1 or 2 tables they have. most people end up at on the counter.

                                  some people bitch and moan about smelling like smoke after
                                  a korean bbq trip ... i imagine this athmosphere in CB is
                                  equally lingering.

                                  1. re: psb
                                    moto Aug 8, 2006 11:25 AM

                                    hello, in the early 70s cordon bleu was my first experience of Vietnamese food, specifically their box takeout lunch with 5 spice chicken, seasoned rice, and spring roll for 4 or 5 bucks,thought it was great. The taste memory is partially maintained in a jerk-style grilled chicken I created. have fun

                                    1. re: psb
                                      P. Punko Oct 17, 2006 02:56 AM

                                      I've only been 2-3 times, but it has been good every time. It is more just nice to sit at the counter and chat. The fried spring rolls are excellent, and very large. The chicken was juicy both times I had it. Pork chop was good, kebab (their version of marinated sliced meat) was even better.

                                2. Robert Lauriston Aug 4, 2006 03:28 PM

                                  Used to be reliably good once upon a time, but I've heard very mixed reports in recent years. Maybe the chicken can be good when it first comes off the grill but more often than not it's reheated and dry?

                                  Negative reports here recently:


                                  1. kimchee Aug 4, 2006 03:22 PM

                                    I found it: Cordon Bleu Vietnamese
                                    1574 California Street
                                    Tue-Sat 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
                                    Tue-Sat 5:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
                                    Sun 4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m



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