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Nice meal at Yuet Lee - Chinatown, SF

Had a visit from a friend from Massachusetts this evening and got taken out for a nice meal at Yuet Lee. Now that I have done a search, it seems that Yuet Lee has lots of positive mentions on this board, but I had never heard of it before tonight.

The only table left when we got there was right by the door. It was a bit chilly but fine. We started with the Seafood and Tofu soup....mild broth, nice scallops, shrimp, squid and fish with nice large chunks of tofu. Served with soy/chili sauce which added some nice spice. I'm looking at the takeout menu now and don't see this soup on here. Hmm

We saw nice looking clams with black beans on the next table, so we got those too. Seemed like at least half of the tables had them. They were quite good, definitely up to par with every other version of this dish I've ever had. Clams themselves were tender and tasted fresh. Sauce maybe could have been slightly less goopy.

Also shared the flounder fillet with sweet greens. This was very good white sauce with tasty bok choi, carrots, a generous amount of boneless flounder, lots of ginger and lots of garlic. It hit the spot.

Overall a great meal, I'd definitely go back for more seafood. They're closed on Tuesdays, but open till 3 AM on all other days. Awesome. Any other good things to try here? Congee? Noodle soups?

That's about all for now,

Dave MP

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  1. One of the dishes that they are known for is the Salt & Pepper Fried Squid. It's very crispy and grease free.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gordon wing

      I second that; add some dipping w/ jalapeno + sauce to make it tastier.
      Their crab (when in season) is great also. I think you can't go wrong with Yuet Lee;
      Try to avoid the downstairs dining room, I can't stand the enclosed space, prefer the street level.

    2. My favourite dish here is the Salt and Pepper Shrimp. Heads on shrimp, crispy yummy shell and a soy/jalapeno garnish that brings the heat. Their noodles are also good, the thin ones, forget what they are called...
      The clams are also a good choice, and the crab, when in season, is always very fresh. I can't think of a dish here I haven't enjoyed, although I am a far way from having ordered the entire menu.
      Don't forget a cold beer.

      1. I've been eating at Yuet Lee for nigh on 20 years (and I'm 34 years old). For a while, Yuet Lee was where my family ate our Thanksgiving meal (I'd much rather have steamed whole catfish than a dry flavorless turkey!).

        I strongly agree with rabaja about the salt and pepper prawns. They're a must-have. I've tried them numerous other places, and no one matches Yuet Lee for the flavor, crispness, juiciness.

        We always get a steamed whole fish (usually catfish, sometimes snapper), usually in black bean sauce. Over a bowl of rice it is divine.

        I'm a fan of their beef with ginger and green onions.

        Their staff, though seemingly brusque, can be quite friendly if you give them a chance. Allow them to make suggestions -- they've never steered us wrong.

        1 Reply
        1. re: peterme

          I third the recommendation for the salt and pepper prawns with a side order of stirfried watercress (the only place in town that makes it that i have found)

        2. My longtime favorites at Yuet Lee are:

          salt-and-pepper squid
          fresh and dried squid
          clams in black bean sauce
          mussels in black bean sauce
          catfish hot pot

          I'm not sure fresh and dried squid is on the menu any more but I still order it and they still make it.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I did see the fresh and dried squid dish on the menu last night and wondered about it....what's it like?

            1. re: Dave MP

              Pretty simple, just sauteed fresh and dried squid and some vegetables. The combination of flavors is very nice.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              That would be green-lipped NZ mussels, right?

              The HK-style mixed seafood chow mein and the dry-fried beef chow fun are good too.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I've had that with regular mussels. The first time I ordered it 20+ years ago I don't think the NZ mussels were available.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Actually that prep at Yuet Lee was my first ever encounter with New Zealand mussels. That was in 1985 or 1986.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    I'd been eating there for about five years by that time.

            3. I like the Won Ton Soup there - particularly the broth. It is tastier than most.