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Feb 19, 2011 05:55 PM

Restaurant suggestions for 9 Course Dinner in SF Chinatown?

I am hosting a dozen business colleagues next month. Would like to host a traditional 9 course Chinese (Cantonese) dinner one evening. I know the better restaurants are not in Chinatown -- but my colleagues are staying at hotels on Nob Hill and Chinatown is most convenient.

Suggestions on Chinatown restaurants for a 9 course dinner? R&G Lounge and Great Eastern are already on my short list but I'm not blown away by either.

Thank you.

Great Eastern Restaurant
649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

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  1. I am afraid those are your two top choices for Chinatown Cantonese banquet type dinner. You are not going to be "blown away", but R&G is my usual go to place for Chinese in or near Chinatown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PeterL

      At R&G it seems like it depends on what you order...and probably some luck on the produce or seafood. Had a great meal there last summer...but it wasn't cheap. Close to $500 but that included two crabs and spot prawns. For a business dinner difficult to beat the upstairs.

    2. Kallani77, I've hosted two Chinese banquet style dinner at the New Asia Garden Rest. on 772 Pacific Ave. Warning, on certain nights they have live music, ballroom dancing along w. karakoke. Hence; holding conversation w. business people may be awkward. I've attended several events at Far East Cafe, on Grant Ave. for wedding banquets and red egg and ginger party. Far East may be a bit pricer. BTW, what turned you off from the restaurants mentioned in your short list? Good luck!

      New Asia
      772 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

      Far East Cafe
      631 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108

      1. R & G and Great Eastern are the tallest midgets in the circus (not to denigrate either of these restaurants) and everything else is below those. Of course if cost is no object, and food quality isn't either, you can go whole hog for ambiance at Empress of China.

        Great Eastern Restaurant
        649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

        Empress of China
        838 Grant Ave Ste 5, San Francisco, CA 94108

        1. Funny you mention R&G, I was there last night with friends/classmates I haven't seen in 20+ years and we splurged on Banquet menu C, and had a table upstairs. Yeah it's a little over $500, but it was mighty tasty.

          Granted I don't eat out as much these days, so any decent Cantonese I will be easily pleased with, but bottom line was that despite the commonality of the dishes (re: nothing innovative that would wow a Hong Kong foodie native), there was not a single bad item that night.

          Everyone loved the seafood, S&P crab, chicken, veg/mushroom, steamed fish dishes from beginning to end. Perhaps we got uber lucky, especially with the x2 side by side deep sea "mouse grouper", dead on nailed perfect steamed fish....juicy, moist, and perhaps the best I've had at R&G to date. The red bean soup dessert at the end was a bit of a let down, despite it being done well....would have expected something different at that price.

          A little background, we all went to high school in Hong Kong and 5 to 7 folks from the table go back to HK almost every year, some maybe as picky as I am. Two were British expats who probably don't eat Cantonese often, but even they enjoyed the meal.

          Upstairs R&G is definitely the place to be, although it is unfortunately no longer the more quiet place to dine, as the decibel level upstairs is as bad as the basement.

          7 Replies
          1. re: K K

            Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Looks like R&G is ahead.

            On a tangent, any hole-in-the-wall gems in SF Chinatown for a 2-3 person lunch? (I work in the financial district so Chinatown is walking distance for lunch.) My old standby is Hunan Homes but it seemed more tired than usual last week.

            Hunan Homes Restaurant
            622 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

            1. re: kalani77

              Maybe the new menu at Potsticker? I've pretty much stopped eating in Chinatown except for early morning bakery dim sum.

              1. re: kalani77

                Not hole-in-the-wall, but perhaps consider Jai Yun for lunch.

                Jai Yun
                680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              2. re: K K

                I've always found R & G Lounge good for banquets although it might cost more than places in Millbrae. It's not a place to get a rice plate for lunch. There are private dining rooms behind closed doors, if you need more privacy.

                R & G Lounge
                631 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Yeah very true. Upstairs is still much smaller than the Millbrae seafood restaurants, so the service is a bit more attentive. My impression is that the private rooms require a specific minimum order (and not cheap)....the price to pay for more quiet surroundings (although I don't remember seeing a private room visible when I went, and if so maybe there's only one or two tables tops).

                  1. re: K K

                    We had a chowdown in the room that seats 16 at one table some years ago. i don't recommend it as the food in the middle of the table is too hard to reach! I think that there's one big room that has a divider that can split it into two or be used as one room with two banquet tables.