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Dec 31, 2006 05:41 AM

Recent Chicken Finds

I thought I'd jot down my two most recent and treasured chicken finds (since I'm a huge fan of that lovely fowl)

1) Hainan Chicken Rice for $6.50 @ ABC Bakery in Chinatown. I wish I discovered this years ago. For the price you get delicious flavoured rice, a quarter free-range (yellow fur) chicken, and soup. Its so good I ate it twice in two nights. The Wonton Noodle soup is miserable (okay not quite that bad but I exaggerate) but the Hainan Chicken Rice is fantastic .... not as good as that you can find in Singapore or HK, but pretty damn good considering it doesn't involve an airplane ride.

2) Salt Water Chicken (Yeem-Shui Cantonese) (Yen-Swei Mandarin) @ Porridge King @ the Ranch 99 Mall in Daly City. I adore this. This is my favorite chicken in the entire Bay Area. Poached ever so delicately, served at room temperature with a slightly gelatinous texture, and with that ginger/scallion sauce. I adore this chicken. I ate it every Thursday night for the past 12 weeks in a row at 9:30 pm, I love it so much. So tender. Its not free range chicken, but its so delicious; and ever so slightly pink @ the bone.

Thought I'd share these two secrets....

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  1. Sounds like you are on a roll. Better hit that Sogo while you still have a hot hand!

    Is the yan shui chicken salted a day or two in advance and then steamed?

    1. These suggestions are great....I was going to post separately about chicken, but I'll do it in this thread. I have a friend in town now who really likes chicken (he does not eat fish of any kind, or any other meats besides turkey and chicken). so I'm looking for great chicken places to bring him.

      He's staying near Embarcadero. A few nights ago we went to Sai's Vietnamese in Financial District for dinner. The meal wasn't too impressive, but fine. We had the lemongrass/chicken clay pot and the chicken w/ three mushrooms. Both were a bit oily but good nonetheless.

      Last night we went to Z&Y restaurant for my first time. I wanted to get the Yunnan style steamed chicken that Melanie Wong recommended, but I think we ended up w/ something different instead.... We ordered special steamed chicken w/ chinese herbs...this was actually a soup with a very nice chicken broth, tender pieces of chicken on the bone, lots of strong herbs (not sure what they were, taste was bitter but enjoyable, reminded me somewhat of carrots and artichokes, but nothing like either of them in terms of shape, texture or bitterness). We also ordered scallion pancakes which were not too impressive...pretty thin, not very flavorful. Our other dish was Homestyle tofu. This consisted of fried tofu in a spicy/oily sauce...I wouldn't necessarily order this dish again since it wasn't too interesting for me, but it was well prepared and good. I want to go back to Z&Y soon, but I think I need some guidance about what to order before I go again. I'd also like to go back w/ others to try some meat and/or fish dishes.

      Back to chicken friend is here for another few days and I would love more chicken recs. ABC Bakery's Chicken rice sounds good, maybe we'll give that a try. I'm also thinking about Cordon Bleu ("quite possibly the best chicken outside of Vietnam") and San Tung in Sunset for chicken wings.

      My friend and I have a preference toward Asian food, but non-Asian chicken recs would be great too!


      Dave MP

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dave MP

        I love the dry fried chicken wings at San Tung, but my favorite go-to place for chicken is definitely Il Pollaio in North Beach. They offer a few other dishes on the menu, but chicken is their speciality--it's grilled very simply, which brings out the chicken-y flavor of chicken. The fries and mixed bean salad are nice accompaniments.

      2. Go to Zuni Cafe tomorrow for a mid afternoon lunch and order the chicken for two - a definite winner.

        Then on Monday evening, take him over to Il Pollaio on North Beach for some good value priced grilled half chicken.

        1 Reply
        1. re: poulet_roti

          Zuni's roast chicken is out of this world, but they are unfortunately closed on Mondays.