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Currently, what is your single most addictive chinese dish to order in SF?

Am visiting SF in a week with the family. We usually end up at Hunan or Brandy Hos (just because of convenience, staying at downtown hotels), which I know receive reasonably mixed reviews on the Board. Am game for any region, etc.

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  1. The Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung.

    4 Replies
    1. re: scarmoza

      Me too, and their pork dumplings are my fav in SF.

      Also soup dumplings from Shanghai Dumpling Shop in Milbrae. Wet chow mein also. Wet meaning extra gravy.

      Shanghai Dumpling Shop
      455 Broadway, Millbrae, CA 94030

      1. re: Keesey

        am i the only one who prefers the flounder filets or the prawns at san tung to the chicken wings? same preparation, different ingredients...

        1. re: Dustin_E

          Hmm I have never had their flounder filets! Sounds great though. I do enjoy their fried calimari. And yes they serve it with the same sauce as the wings. We can literally get dry-fried everything from San Tung and be happy with the meal.

          There used to be a Taiwanese restaurant on Irving and 24th called Golden City or something. They served a dish called Princess Prawns (deep fried battered prawns in a sweet/savory garlicky sauce). If it were still there, it'd kick San Tung's sweet/spicy concoction's butt.

          1. re: Keesey

            looks like golden city is no more: http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francis...

            i'll have to try their calamari -- i've never had that before.

    2. The General's Chicken (extra crispy) at Hunan Chef on Cortland.

      Hunan Chef
      519 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1 Reply
      1. re: CarrieWas218

        Seriously?? I'm intrigued. I've never met anyone in my neighborhood who's actually eaten there.

      2. I come from Vancouver to get the deep fried pork knuckle at Shanghai House. Unspeakably good but you have to pre-order it.

        Shanghai House
        3641 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

        1. Soup dumplings at Yank Sing.
          They are addictive.

          1. Clay pot eggplant at Z and Y. Silky tofu with the crunchy little fried mung or soybeans.

            4 Replies
            1. re: jason carey

              Hot and sour chicken at Henry's Hunan. But I like those suggestions for the Dry Fried Chicken Wings at San Tung and the XLB at Yank Sing too!


              Yank Sing
              49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

              1. re: jason carey

                At Z&Y, I always see several tables with the fried chicken nuggets w/ sichuan peppers and the spicy fish soup with the peppercorns on top.

                1. re: baron45

                  Well those are good too.. however the most crack addicting dish for me is the claypot eggplant.. but the dan dans are pretty smart here as is the cumin lamb ..

                  1. re: baron45

                    i LOVE those nuggets, and the fish soup. My favorite at Z&Y, tho, is the cold spicy pork dish - thin slices of fatty pork, almost like bacon, in a really garlicky sauce.

                2. I'd say crab in season at either R&G (salt and pepper) or Yuet Lee (Cantonese prep). Crab season is Nov-Feb/march...but you can still get crab but it's from Washington state and a bit higher.

                  Other thing to look at but it's a walk-by/snack...egg tarts at Golden Gate Bakery.

                  Golden Gate Bakery
                  1029 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                  1. Shrimp with string beans at the Henry's Hunan on Sacramento Street. The shrimp is never overcooked.

                    1. for the adventuresome, would recommend duck chow fun at sam wo's.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: shanghaikid

                        Adventuresome because of Sam Wo's or the chow fun(not really adventuresome)

                        Sam Wo Restaurant
                        813 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

                      2. Toss up between the Pumpkin Strips with Salted Egg Yolk at Hakka Restaurant or the Lamb Ribs at Old Mandarin Islamic.

                        These also happen to be my two overall favorite Chinese restaurants in the city.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: benv

                          Ah! Forgot about the kabocha fries at Zen Peninsula. IMHO they are even better than the pumpkin fries at Hakka Restaurant, and are one of the most addictive dishes I have ever eaten. Zen Pen is not very consistent, however. But Zen Pen is not in SF so I guess they don't count. The ones at Hakka were very good.

                          Zen Peninsula
                          1180 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

                          1. re: charliemyboy

                            Oh those kabocha fries w/salted egg - have to be one of my all time favorites - whether at Hakka or Zen Pen...

                          2. re: benv

                            Have you tried the same pumpkin dish at S&T on Noriega? We get it sometimes for dim sum.

                            I like it better than Hakka's version.

                            S&T Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant
                            2578 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                            1. re: benv

                              Ohhh, forgot about Old Mandarin - the Parsely Bean Curd! fluffy like scrambled eggs, light and refreshing, absolutely addictive with the Extremely Hot Peppers.

                            2. are we gonna make an MSG and non-MSG category?

                              1. Cumin Lamb at Beijing Restaurant
                                Pork and Spinach dumpling soup with hand pulled noodles at King of Noodles

                                King of Noodles
                                1639 Irving Street, San Francisco, CA

                                1. The Fu Qi Fei Pian (couples lung slices) at Z&Y. Nearly everything is good there, but I couldn't dine there without ordering that dish. . Xiao long bao at Shanghai Dumpling King. The Salmon fried rice at Washington Bakery is pretty addictive

                                  Washington Bakery & Restaurant
                                  733 Washington St, San Francisco, CA

                                  Shanghai Dumpling King
                                  3319 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

                                  1. Baked chicken bao at Blossom Bakery in Chinatown. And it's like only 80 cents. However unless you get there right after they open at 7 am you may be out of luck.

                                    Blossom Bakery
                                    133 Waverly Pl, San Francisco, CA

                                    1. Coconut Tarts at Golden Gate Bakery.

                                      People line up for the egg tarts, but if I'm in town, I'll gladly brave the lines for the coconut tarts, and even some of their coconut mochi balls.

                                      Golden Gate Bakery
                                      1029 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        ...and Golden Gates coconut macaroons....crispy and then chewy...perfect textural combo! (also love the Coconut tarts and the egg custard is still in a class by itself!)

                                        1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                          This may be a bit off-topic, but does anyone know where to get a good Chinese potato salad sandwich in SF (either Chinatown or in other whereabouts around the city)?

                                          Y'know, one of those sandwiches made with potato salad that's slightly sweet made with copious amounts of tangy mayo that's probably got a good bit of MIracle Whip genes in it, all stuffed in a soft doughy bun? Basically a big carbo bomb held together by spoonfuls of hydrogenated fats.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            I had to retrace my footsteps, but I think I finally figured it out. I had the potato salad bun at the Sheng Kee branch in Cupertino Village, near the 99 Ranch Market. Don't know if they still have it, or if other Sheng Kee branches carry it. My guess that chances of finding that item in the City itself might not be that good, as SF bakeries focus more on traditional dim sum than the modern variations than those in the SGV. Of course LA has very few SF style dim sum bakeries, so it's a trade off.

                                            99 Ranch
                                            4299 Rosewood Dr, Pleasanton, CA 94588

                                      2. I crave the pork shu mei at Good Luck Dim Sum. Just $1.60 for three. Grab them to go and head to GG Park.

                                        Good Luck Dim Sum
                                        736 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                        1. My very favorite Chinese chef, David Deng, (former owner of Wild Pepper in the Mission) has JUST opened his new restaurant, Crazy Pepper, at the Balboa Park station--a very transit & parking friendly location. It's on San Jose at Geneva, easy on & off 280. I was thrilled to see him again--he took an extended trip back to China for family visit & culinary research--and his food is even better. We dined there tonight--and OMG, the Szechuan Grilled Butter Beef is utterly out of this world! It's my new favorite dish! Crazy Pepper only seats 36, and they do a lot of take-out to the Muni employees at Balboa Park, but when word gets out, the line will be around the block!
                                          Check it out, hounds! David is passionate about food, and is a wonderful chef! (also a really nice guy). No beer/wine license yet, but in the works . .

                                          Wild Pepper
                                          3601 26th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: plainfood

                                            when did he leave wild pepper? i ordered from there a few months ago and was very unimpressed (first time)

                                            1. re: vulber

                                              Apparently around July of 2010. That's when the Fictitious Business Name registration was transferred to another owner. Deng also was running a sushi joint (Matcha Sushi) on Kearny St. which burned down last fall.

                                              1. re: soupçon

                                                David told me they are opening/have opened a sushi place like Matcha near Golden Gate on either Hyde or Larkin. Hope the electrical's better than the place on Kearny St (and the parking!). I never tried Matcha (don't care for sushi). But I'm mad for his Chinese dishes!

                                              2. re: vulber

                                                He left wild Pepper in August. You must try Crazy Pepper--it's crazy good! I want to have my birthday dinner there, it's that good! No beer/wine yet, but soon. He always has a good list of well-priced wines perfect with his food, not just "red" or "white."

                                            2. Fish fillets in Flaming Oil at Spices :)

                                              294 8th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                              1. Soup Dumplings at Kingdom of Dumplings... and their delicious green beans.

                                                Kingdom of Dumpling
                                                1713 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA

                                                1. Yee's Restaurant on Grant, an inexpensive, old school Cantonese place, hole in the wall atmosphere with roasted meats hanging in the front of the house.

                                                  The dish I love is a clay pot rice dish with char siu (roast pork), lup cheong (chinese sausage) and choy sum (green vegetable similar to bok choy). Protein, starch and veggies all in one. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook, comes out of the kitchen piping hot with a small bowl of light soy to drizzle over everything. Pair that with some roast duck and I'm in heaven!

                                                  I don't think it's on the menu, it's written in Chinese characters on one of the many paper sheets that line the walls. I have a photo of it at home, if I can find it I'll post it later.

                                                  1. I have two:
                                                    1) Salt and pepper chicken wings from Capital in Chinatown
                                                    2) Cumin lamb pot from Spices 1

                                                    1. Shanghai soup dumplings at Shanghai Dumpling King or the cumin lamb at Spices II.

                                                      Spices II
                                                      291 6th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                                      Shanghai Dumpling King
                                                      3319 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121