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Apr 1, 2009 06:37 PM

dinner in China Town?

We're (six adults, two kids) visiting San Fran for two days and need a good Chinese restaurant in China Town. We wanted to go to Hong Kong Flower Lounge, however our hotel is right next to China Town. Any good recs? Love dim sum (we'd do lunch if need be).........please help...

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  1. Dim sum is only available for lunch. Do you want carts or do you want to order off a menu? There's another thread near the top of the board at the moment with some Chinatown suggestions.

    15 Replies
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Preferably carts, but we'd like a place that also has noodles, rice, and other entrees in addition to the dim sum. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out. Are there any places that you can recommend?

      1. re: candee

        I'd say Great Eastern on Jackson has the best combination of dim sum and other items.

        1. re: Chandavkl

          I'd agree, but they don't have carts, which is why I asked.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            Just heard that our friends can only do dinner, do you still recommend Great Eastern? How does it compare to Hong Kong Flower Lounge?

            1. re: candee

              Starting with the premise that the Chinese restaurants in Chinatown can't hold a candle to the best Chinese restaurants in the suburbs, I'd say Hong Kong Flower Lounge or the other Hong Kong style places in Millbrae, by a mile.

              1. re: candee

                Umm. Do you mean the HKFL in Millbrae? Because the HKFL in SF is long gone, replaced by the unimaginatively named Hong Kong Lounge.

                Great Eastern and R&G are considered the two main fine dining Cantonese destinations in Chinatown. Ordering can be tricky. With a party of your size I would seriously consider looking at the set menus, especially if you go to Great Eastern.

                Other choices are: Z&Y (Sichuan, may be too spicy for the kids) and Bund Shanghai. Another possibility that the kids in my family seem to like is Penang Garden, which does Singaporean with the waitresses in airline outfits.

                1. re: sfbing

                  which does Singaporean with the waitresses in airline outfits.
                  Not sure that is the best idea sfbing.

                  1. re: wolfe

                    No...more like Singapore Airlines with the traditional batik.
                    I think the kids like the restaurant because it is a little more laid back than Great Eastern with the goofy decor and costumes.


                      1. re: wolfe

                        I should add that the waitresses are perhaps not quite the iconic beauties one expects to find on Singapore Air. Not that the kids care.

                        1. re: sfbing

                          May I suggest you make your next reservation at Penang Garden under an alias.

                  2. re: sfbing

                    Seeing that OP wants dim sum, Great Eastern seems to be the only choice here. None of your other suggestions serves dim sum.

                    1. re: PeterL

                      Somewhere in the middle of this, OP concluded they had to have dinner rather than lunch.

                      1. re: sfbing

                        Yes, I was talking about the HKF Lounge in Millbrae. We have to do dinner (no dim sum...which is sad).
                        Now, I'm fascinated by the whole Singapore Airlines get-ups thing. What is the meaning of that? Is it kooky and fun or kinda weird n' creepy? Is the food good...or just so-so (i couldn't really tell if you were recommending the food, but my friends love kitsch). What did you mean by res' under an alias?
                        Help, I'm so confused!!

                        1. re: candee

                          So the way the cablecar is a symbol of SF, for some reason the flight attendants on Singapore Airlines are a symbol of Singapore. They wear a very traditional long dress with a batik print, which is sold in tourist shops everywhere. I guess to give the restaurant a Singapore feel, the staff wear those dresses. (The res' under alias was a joke-Wolfe was making fun of the fact that I implied that the waitresses weren't quite as pretty as real Singapore girls. But then again, who is?) The interior is pretty kooky--palm fronds, bamboo, etc.

                          Penang Garden is typically more heavily seasoned with spices, curry, shrimp paste than the Cantonese food typical of Chinatown. I admit I tend to give the place bonus points because it is so goofy.

                          If you are looking for a HKFL substitute, I would recommend Great Eastern or R&G.