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Dec 16, 2006 08:25 AM

Looking for authentic Chinese food in Bay Area

I've just returned from a quick business trip to the Guangzhou area. The local food was nothing less than spectacular...but I'll be darned if I know the correct name of anything we hosts did all the ordering. But I'll rattle off some descriptions for you in the hope it will register with the experts here....

Tofu balls stuffed with egg....lightly fried balls of soft tofu stuffed with soft boiled egg, served with a tasty meat sauce.

Diced lamb cooked with chili powder and spring onions, served with pancakes....tasted rather Chinese fajitas

Finger-long shell-on shrimp cooked with a lot of tea leaves. Tea leaves cooked to a crispy consistancy.

The food was so different from anything I've eaten stateside, but not anything beyond the reach of any good restaurant. It was such a refreshing change from the standard fare. Is such food available in the Bay Area, or perhaps my problem is that I don't know how to order Chinese. ;)

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  1. hello, since I haven't had the food in situ as you have, cannot attest to 'authenticity', but you might try China Village in Albany (not Guangzhou food, their menus represent a few regions incl. szechuan). In each of our visits we over the past few years we've been very pleased with how different the foods are than 90% of the other Chinese places, and the Szechuan dishes have the 'ma la' complexity I first experienced in a Chengdu granny's home cooking. There is also a place in SF I have not tried that is tiny and only does the chef's set menus. enjoy your quest

    2 Replies
    1. re: moto

      The tiny, set-menu place you're thinking of might be Jai Yun, in SF Chinatown.

      1. re: moto

        Since your reply, we've been to China Village four times, and I agree with you...the food is very good and stands apart from 90% (or more) of other Chinese places I've been to in the Bay Area. They're certainly not bashful about piling on the ol' chiles in the traditional Szechuan dishes. A most excellent recommendation. Thank you.