The secret is out... Chef Andy Wai's own restaurant in San Mateo
Someone let the cat out of the bag already, so I might as well steal the exclusive here...
Chef Andy Wai, former executive chef of Harbor Village, East Ocean in Emervyville (short stint) and just recently departed Tai Wu in Daly City has opened up his own restaurant in San Mateo aptly named Chef Wai where he is owner and executive chef, replacing the now defunct Iron Chef across from Draegers (which was not a great place to begin with).
Cantonese food fans already know about this place as there were reports of long lines. If you know him personally he'll even customize some dishes for you, a practice that has been frowned upon by all the restaurants he used to work for (stick to the regular menu, experimentation is costly and might not cater to everyone).
A bit of background: Chef Wai writes regular columns (or used to?) for Sing Tao HK Chinese newspaper SF Bay Area edition. I think he still writes freelance articles for certain publications, and the most recent one is EastEats gourmet magazine which the first issue was published by the Cupertino Village mall group. I also recently learned he was an apprentice to one of the top acclaimed chefs at Hong Kong's premiere seafood restaurant, "#1 Abalone" many years ago.
To say he's the Einstein of Cantonese food might even be an understatement.
I have yet to go, but I'm sure it will be very interesting.
Ahhhhh, thanks for the heads-up!! I walked by there a couple of weeks ago and noticed renovations in progress, and was curious what was going in. I have a friend in the neighborhood, so I'll check it out sometime soon.
The buzz among my mom's friends (all chinese group) is the service is lacking, they had to wait quite a long time for their food, aparently they are still working the bugs out. This was last week.
Yes, Chef Wai took over the spot that was Iron Chef (same owners as its prior incarnation as a Malaysian restaurant, which I thought was pretty good to begin with, and once they converted to Cantonese food it went downhill after that). Before the Malaysian restaurant it was uhmm...Fung Shang Cafe or something like that?
I wonder if Chef Wai (the restaurant, not Andy) will be offering dim sum during lunch (Andy himself does not do dim sum), but even if not, Joy Luck is going to have some stiff competition nonetheless.