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Islamic Chinese?

Carrie 218 Dec 6, 2006 07:06 PM

I used to frequent Tung Lai Shun in the San Gabriel Valley down in L.A. and really miss it. Other than Old Mandarin Islamic (not the easiest to get to via bus), are there any other Islamic Chinese restaurants in San Francisco?

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: Carrie 218 Dec 6, 2006 07:20 PM

    Not that I've been able to find. There was another on Irving but it closed. There are a few on the Peninsula and in the South Bay--Darda, Fatima, Great Eastern--not very convenient by public transportation. This guide is usually pretty up to date:


    Old Mandarin is two blocks from the L streetcar.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      Carrie 218 RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 7, 2006 01:54 AM

      Thanks, Robert... Relatively new to the city and have pretty much confined myself to the 38. Need to learn more how to get around and will do so to try Old Mandarin!

      I've never been -- anyone know if they have goose entrails and duck tongues? (Two favorites of mine from Tung Lai Shun). Also craving those scallion cakes!

      1. re: Carrie 218
        Robert Lauriston RE: Carrie 218 Dec 7, 2006 04:23 PM

        They have a filled flatbread they call an onion pancake, and a beef version they call a beef pie. I found both greasy and bland. Same goes for their "stirred flour ball" gnocchi-like dishes. And they don't make sesame bread at all. Disappointing compared with the good wheat dishes I've had at other Muslim Chinese restaurants.

        I've had duck tongues at Old Shanghai on Geary.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 7, 2006 05:44 PM

          The beef pie is a must-order for me each time I've been to Old Mandarin. When they're rolled out and made fresh to order, the aroma of the pan-fried, flaky (and yes, greasy) dough is fantastic and tastes even better. I dab a bit of the table hot sauce on each bite. It's been a while since I've had the flour balls, liked them enough but I guess not enough to order repeatedly.

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Robert Lauriston RE: Melanie Wong Dec 7, 2006 06:09 PM

            I'd heard so many good reports on the "stirred flour ball" pasta that I tried three kinds, and they were all eh.

            Old Mandarin's beef pie reminded me of mediocre peroshki. It's basically the same dish as Diana's Meat Pie at the Hunan, right?

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              Melanie Wong RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 7, 2006 06:16 PM

              I'm not a big fan of Henry's Hunan, so have not had the meat pie in recent decades to compare them. (g)

              Old Mandarin's pastry is much better than any piroshki I've had, and I've plenty of mediocre ones and a few good ones. More layered, chewy, crisp, not as dense and heavy, and of course, the advantage of cooked-to-order freshness for the "xiang" scent. But reheated the next day, the bad, piroski, sodden character creeps in, I'll admit.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                Robert Lauriston RE: Melanie Wong Dec 7, 2006 06:18 PM

                I've only had it fresh at the restaurant.

    2. m
      mchan02 RE: Carrie 218 Dec 6, 2006 08:20 PM

      I've never heard of Islamic Chinese food - What's it like?

      9 Replies
      1. re: mchan02
        Melanie Wong RE: mchan02 Dec 6, 2006 08:26 PM

        Here's a recent post that describes Xinjiang food -

        P.S. Xinjiang is north-west, not north-east China.

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          mchan02 RE: Melanie Wong Dec 6, 2006 09:03 PM


          1. re: Melanie Wong
            usr.bin.eat RE: Melanie Wong Dec 6, 2006 09:15 PM

            You won't find Xinjiang food at Darda, Fatima, and Old Mandarin. The style is Hui (huhway), Muslims whose forefathers intermarried with Han Chinese hundreds to over a thousand years ago. Depending on the location in China, the original Muslims could be from overland or SE Asia or the Middle East. But the Xinjiang Uighurs are Turkic and are closer to Kazakhs than Han.

            I doubt that any of the food you can find here is halal. Anyways, a common dish is a warm/hot pot with lamb slice, sour cabbage, and bean threads served with sesame bread.

            1. re: usr.bin.eat
              Robert Lauriston RE: usr.bin.eat Dec 6, 2006 09:39 PM

              Per zabihah.com, Peking Eastern House in Fremont has a halal certificate on display.

              There are three Xinjiang dishes on the menu at Darda:


              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                usr.bin.eat RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 6, 2006 09:51 PM

                Stir-fried lamb with cumin isn't a Xinjiang dish per se because the stir-frying bit is a Han Chinese influence. Let's call it a fusion dish. I've had that dish at Darda and it's good. But I've asked for the most common Xinjiang lamb dish, grilled lamb skewers dusted in a cumin spice mix (yang rou chuar), and the waitresses have either brushed me off or don't understand.

                The Uighur run restaurants that I've gone to in China serve grilled/roasted and boiled dishes but I can't read enough or speak enough to understand the entire menu or to communicate with the waiters beyond the few food characters I know.

                1. re: usr.bin.eat
                  Robert Lauriston RE: usr.bin.eat Dec 6, 2006 09:53 PM

                  The server told me those three dishes were Xinjiang, I'm just repeating what she said.

                  1. re: usr.bin.eat
                    Melanie Wong RE: usr.bin.eat Dec 7, 2006 06:19 PM

                    China Village in Albany used to have the lamb skewers on the appetizer menu. Haven't ordered them in a long time, but they were very true to Uighur food on the streets of Beijing. Muttony-like intensity, crusted with spicy hot and cumin powder, charred edges on the thin strips of meat.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      usr.bin.eat RE: Melanie Wong Dec 8, 2006 09:22 PM

                      Good to know. Even though China Village is close to me, I haven't been in about a year. Never noticed it on the menu so next time I'll have to look at the non Sichuan items more closely.

                      1. re: usr.bin.eat
                        Melanie Wong RE: usr.bin.eat Dec 9, 2006 08:04 PM

                        I have my fingers crossed that it's still on the menu, still good, and didn't leave with the Beijing chef. Pls. let us know.

          2. chenyu768 RE: Carrie 218 Sep 24, 2007 01:27 AM

            Its not Islamic but has a lot of lamb and its actualy a franchise from China, its Little Fat lamb or little lamb here in America (what was "Fat" too controversial?). If you've been to China then you know what it is, its the best hot pot around here for sures. The lamb delicious, man all i need is a lamb skewer restauant then i'd be so content with America

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