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Mar 4, 2008 05:04 PM

Chinese in Sunset District tonight?

I've never been to San Tung--worth trying?

Anything else in Avenues, Sunset or Richmond, but I'll be at Taraval & 25th.

Thanks for prompt advice!

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  1. This might be too late.

    San Tung is worth trying, though it's not all *that* good I don't think.

    But if you're already on Taraval, you should go to Kingdom of Dumplings. It's at Taraval and 28th. The lamb dumplings were great.....worth exploring the other dumpling and Shanghai dim sum items.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Dave MP

      We did end up at San Tung.

      I had read references to fried chicken and a few to wings, but was surprised and somehwat disappointed that only wings--or an unappealing dish of kind of unChinese-seeming boned poultry--were offered. To the health-conscious, it's bad enough to eat deep-fried but adding in the fatty wing makes the dish really off-the-chart unhealthy. We nonetheless tried the dry-fried wings and found them good-tasting and not noticeably greasy.

      The other two dishes, though marked with a pepper symbol to indicate "hot and spicy," were anything but: Noodles with Peanut Sauce was pleasant comfort food (though I declined to inquire about the origins of the various seafood items therein and hope they weren't imported!) one could feed an infant without concern; Pork with Hot Peppers was a real disappoinment--flavorless, tenderized-seeming strips of meat, onions, and long, thin strips of raw pepper in place of the touted jalapenos that had as much heat as bell peppers. What a rip!

      The kim chee was extremely good and the excellent staff generously refilled our serving twice.

      I haven't been to the House of Nanking in probably 25 years, but I was somehow reminded of it. Even though I saw a number of Asians, I still felt a certain inauthenticity at San Tung, perhaps an exaggerated desire not to intimidate the timid palate.

      True there was a small sprinkling of dried whole chile peppers in each item, but to my mind, those should be extras, and the heat should be cooked into the dish as an integral part.

      I will never understand why foods that say they're hot so seldom are. No one has the right to complain if he or she orders such a dish and finds it is what was promised!

      1. re: Fine


        San Tung Chinese Restaurant
        1031 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Yes, they give you kim chee as you are seated.

            Overall, I agree with Fine's assessment of San Tung - I like the chicken wings, but overall I think there is a lot lacking in the other food. I haven't been in a while, and I've been more impressed with Chinese food elsewhere lately.

            Dave MP

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Kim chee was a home staple in my Cantonese family's kitchen. It's also available for order at Great China.

              San Tung's is by far my favorite. It is slightly sweet with a bbq sauce tang and relatively mild, although the chiles do catch up with you eventually.

            2. re: Fine

              San Tung has good and not so good dishes. Our last family dinner we had these dishes and they were very tasty to us.

              Two sheets in the seafood section cost was twenty dollars a order but it was a high light of our meal. Full sheet of ming bean noodles with scallops, shrimp, BBQ pork, beef shank and lots of fresh vegetables with a hot mustard sauce

              Dry braised green beans

              The fried chicken wings

              A good cold Bon Bon Chicken (do not remember the English name)

              The Combination Seafood Chow Mien with house made noodles.

              Hot and Sour Soup.

              Dumpling lamb and shrimp and leeks and steam pot stickers.

              You have to select what you like and then Shan Dong is petty good.

              Yes Chinese have there Kim Chee in own style.

              Only a small gulf divides Shandong and Korean so they have exchanged food and other ideas with each other.

              Net everything is to write home about.

              1. re: yimster

                I really love San Tung's hot and sour soup - it's my favorite in the city. I also think the dumplings are unmissable and often go for the cold chicken on hot days. It really hits the spot.

                I've found their black bean sauce to be extremely bland and avoid the dishes it comes with.

                1. re: yimster

                  So San Tung is a Shandong place?

                  How does the mung bean noodles with hot mustard sauce compare with Great China's "double skin"?

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I have both the Great China and San Tung double skin within the last three months.

                    The one at Great China was presented better but was smaller with less goodies. Since the plate was not full to start so was able to mix well.

                    The one at San Tung was 50% larger and had a more ingredients but did not look as good after mixing since there was little room to blend everything well. It had a mustard/vinegar base sauce.

                    I liked the one at San Tung better. I did not get the price of Great China but San Tung was 24 buck or so.

            3. New Islamic Mandarin at 42nd and Vicente is worth a trip. Cold tofu and shredded cucumber, vegetarian stuffed pancakes, anything with lamb, hot pot if you have 4 people

              1. I don't know much beyond this post re: San Tung's history and dishes to try but my BF and I tried it last night, after having tried a couple weeks ago but went to Yummy Yummy instead due to wait.

                The standout dish to us was San Tung whole shrimp dish. Delicious, like candy pretty much with the caramelization. Yum. Any other places to try with dishes like this, we'd appreciate! We had the hot sour soup- my BF liked it, I would have preferred more tang. The kim chi is great.

                1 Reply
                1. re: rln

                  San Tung is a "non-official" pronunciation for the Chinese words for "Shandong". So, yes it is a Shandong style restaurant - with influences of Korean taste palette since it came via way of Korea. Hence the kimchee there is after the same Korean style.

                  I've not tried the double-skin (Liang Zhang Pi) there but many of their items have been Americanized (after being Koreanized). Some have found new audiences, such as the chicken wings (barely resembling its original dish Gan Pong Chicken).

                  The noodle dishes are good enough to try, but I'm hard pressed to recommend any other dishes there. I'm sure they do the simple items such as dry-fried four season beans or simple stir-frys well enough to keep folks from coming back.

                  For some more info on San Tung, please see my post below.