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What to eat at House of Nanking?

It isn't my idea to eat there and gentle suggestions that the organizer check on CH for better choices, but this is where the group is meeting. I'm willing to go along even for mediocre food but if there's anything that's better, please give me updated list.

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    1. re: wolfe

      owWW! I searched but somehow missed this. Guess there's no one on chow hound who has a dish here to recommend. Think they'll mind if I bring in ma po tofu and crab from China Village and some A vegetables?

      1. re: rccola

        Without disagreeing with most of the nay-sayers, I have always been partial to the Nanking scallops. Fried sweet potatoes (or yams, depending) and string beans (or pea pods or sugar snaps, depending), scallops and that same damn sauce (whatever it is) all over it. Does't even need rice on accounta the spuds. That said, everything else there tastes just like it.

    2. Steer the organizer to R&G Lounge. If you need some kind of rating -- go to yelp and compare the two.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ML8000

        Despite my earlier recommendation, I should add that of course ML8000 is correct. Everything is better at R&G. Esp. fried crab.

      2. The only thing I like here are the vegetarian dumplings; order enough so you can get a good share to fill up on. (Comes with a dipping sauce made with peanut butter.)

        1. Well, we ate and let the bossman serve us what he wanted to--just as he insisted on doing after hearing it was our first time there. Wasn't authentic but wasn't bad. In fact, I'd have to say it was excellent Americanized fake-Chinese.

          4 Replies
          1. re: rccola

            So, the question is....did everything have the same sauce as is frequently mentioned on this board, or was there variety? Were there dishes you or anyone else could suggest? Was anything worth going out of the way for?

            Thanks...

            1. re: ChowFun_derek

              They had mushrooms with basil he brought out, and the fried calamari was pretty good (though I'm not a calamari fan) and the shrimp with spinach was pretty good. A chicken dish was made more interesting with sliced yam and winter melon--I'd never had yam in chinese food before. That was in a sticky red sauce but not too too sweet. There was beef wrapped in too thick and too cold moo-shu pancake wrappers I didn't like at all and no one liked the steamed pork dumplings (shaped like potstickers) in a slightly burnt-tasting dark brown sauce. A few other dishes weren't memorable. It wasn't that bad but I don't think I'd eat there again. Also it was so noisy I couldn't understand a thing our honored guest said--a heavy accent didn't help. And though we asked repeatedly for chopsticks, we were admonished in not too nice a tone to be patient. They never came. When we slowed down in our eating they suggested we leave. It was sort of an "Olive Garden" Chinese restaurant experience. Tasty enough for what it was but only if Aunt Maude's in town and her hearing aid has new batteries.

              1. re: rccola

                The staff is nice to you at Olive Garden. Thanks for reporting back.

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                House of Nanking
                919 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94133

            2. re: rccola

              The funny thing is I find that most folks enjoy their first visit to HNK, which is probably why it makes for a good tourist destination. However, repeat visits and everything tasting the same wares off its uniqueness, which is probably it's most attractive attribute.

            3. No need to order. The guy who runs the place will get you the right things at the right time. Just let him work his magic. It is always so hard to choose from so many things, but its actually pretty amazing to just have it picked for you.

              1. Thanks to everyone who helped with suggestions. I didn't like much leaving it up to the owner to suggest. He made the immediate assumption that we didn't know anything and brought things I'd never order and never got in restaurants in China.

                1. Whether you want to or not you'll be eating a lot of yams.

                  (Yams seem to show up in every other dish.) In other news, the veggie dumps are pretty good.