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Guan Dong House in Cupertino Village is now a Hunan restaurant

K K Jul 26, 2011 10:17 AM

In the vein of Chandavkl style reporting...

Was at Cupertino Village the other day and saw Guan Dong House. Then noticed they changed their Chinese name. The sure fire character "Xiang" 湘 meant they morphed into Hunan. Chinese name before the changed was indeed Guan Dong (which referenced NE/Dongbei style food). Still called Guan Dong House in English.

Grabbed a takeout menu to peruse, but don't have it with me now. It appears that they relocated from Fremont (or are opening up a new location).

Also, Szechwan Era nearby has the Chinese characters "Yunan Crossing Bridge Noodles" plastered on the window.

Szechwan Era
10971 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

Guan Dong House
10851 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

  1. Chandavkl Jul 26, 2011 02:14 PM

    I'm sure that comment flew over everybody's heads on this board. This change seems surprising as I thought they were doing quite well in their previous incarnation.

    1. yimster Jul 26, 2011 06:37 PM

      I was there less than a couple weeks ago it seem to be doing a good business. Will have to try the next time I am down in the area. Were you able to see inside and see if the steam table was still there. A good for take out pick three items for about 7 bucks plus tax. Not you normal steam table Chinese food actually petty decent.

      4 Replies
      1. re: yimster
        K K Jul 26, 2011 08:39 PM

        Nope, did not go inside other than to grab the takeout menu on top of a cabinet looking block that obstructed further view of the interior, which was just a meter beyond going past the entrance. The place looked very quiet with almost no customers at around 6:30 pm last night.

        1. re: yimster
          Melanie Wong Jul 27, 2011 12:00 AM

          The steam table is still there; 3 items for $6.95 + tax.

          The restaurant offers two menus. One is the Dongbei-focused one we're familiar with at Guan Dong House. The second one is all Hunan, and the cover says Gu Xian House.

          Not sure I got the story entirely straight due to language barriers, but it seems that the Fremont and Cupertino locations of Guan Dong House were owned by two partners. The one that was operating the Fremont one now owns both and introduced the Hunan menu in Cupertino six months ago.

          The place was full tonight after 7pm.

          Guan Dong House
          10851 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

          Guan Dong House
          46875 Warm Springs Blvd, Fremont, CA 94539

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            K K Jul 27, 2011 07:15 AM

            Maybe Monday nights are slow. Interesting...they only offered the Gu Xiang House menu on the to-go, and did remove the Guan Dong House Chinese name entirely from the signage...quite misleading from the outside :-)

            Guan Dong House
            10851 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

            1. re: K K
              Melanie Wong Jul 27, 2011 11:31 AM

              We were the third table in the place at 6:45 and I was a little concerned that the Hunan food wasn't selling well. It soon filled up afterwards.

              The other dish that the owner said was one of his favorites is Celery & Dry Bean Curd with Shredded Beef, $7.99.

              In the "Chicken" and the "Preserved Meat" section of the take-out menu, there's something called "cucumber skin", what is that? Also worth noting that the in-restaurant version of the menu has more dishes than the to-go menu and a different numbering system.

              On the Hunan menu, here's the set dinner/banquet section,
              The pricing is the same as the set dinners on the back of the Dongbei menu but the dishes are completely different.

        2. j
          jman1 Jul 26, 2011 11:35 PM

          In general, are the restaurants in Cupertino Village still have high quality?

          1. Melanie Wong Jul 27, 2011 11:25 AM

            Reading KK’s news of Hunan offerings, my brother and I headed there for dinner last night. We were offered two menus, one for Dongbei food and the other strictly Hunan.

            Finding the Hunanese menu rather formidable and foreign territory, I asked for explanations of certain dishes and our server steered me away from them, even from the section of house specials shown here. For example, we were interested in either of the two whole fish dishes in the “Specials” category, and were instead pointed to one in the “Steamed” section.

            Eventually the owner came over to answer our many questions and helped us to order. He was quite frank in telling us when we picked a dish that he didn’t like personally. He also tried to dissuade us from ordering as much as we did, but we assured him that we didn’t mind taking food home. With each selection, he queried, “Little spicy?” and we said, “Yes.” Each dish had some of what appear to be the same cross-cut dried red chile pods and hit a mild to medium heat level.

            First dish up, from the “Preserved Meat” section of the menu, Lettuce with preserved meat, $10.99.

            Made with cross-cut celtuce (wo sun, lettuce) stems, the waxy, smoked bacon-cut preserved pork was sautéed with minced garlic, dried red chiles, and a glaze of saucing. The disks of celtuce had a firm, almost semi-dehydrated texture, but tasted of neither salt nor pickle curing. This was William’s favorite dish of the meal and close to that for me too.

            Next, Hunan beef brisket in hot pot, $10.99, including meaty chunks, fascia, tendon, and fatty connective tissue in a slightly sweet, savory and piquant ruddy brown sauce with red and green peppers. Very rich and satisfying in a comfort food kind of way.

            Then my favorite dish of the night, Sauteed lamb, $9.99. Very thinly shaved slices of gamey lamb (with the fat and gristle) tossed with fragrant and tender cilantro, red chile pods, and garlic in a simple, but so good, little stir-fry. Maybe it could have had more searing, but there’s no faulting the proportions and balancing act of strong lamb taste held in check by the fresh herb and seasonings.

            Served up next, Hunan style pig feet meat, $14.99, from the “Specials” menu and pretty as a birthday cake, rimmed with halves of Shanghai cabbages and scattered with bright red chile pods.

            The equivalent of what seems like a little more than one pig’s foot and a good portion of the shank was presented under the cover of the jelly-like skin with the meat on the bone flattened out underneath.

            Looking at it from another angle, this view shows the pig toe bones and the meat from the shank. William liked this more than I did though he would prefer the rind cooked not quite so soft. I found the sauce too similar to the beef brisket dish although certainly even richer braised with pork. But if we’d not ordered the other dish, I probably wouldn’t have objected.

            And finally, the last dish, the owner’s favorite, Hunan style whole fish with chili (steamed), $13.99. Made with wu kuo yu (tilapia), our server pushed back the chili sauce coated surface so I could see the skin marking when I asked what type of fish.

            William liked the skin better than the flesh because it soaked in more of the delicious pickled chili saucing. I found the skin too rubbery, but the perfectly on point soft white flesh was great once swathed with the juices. Till now, my eating experience with tilapia has been fried, but now I’m a fan of steaming.

            The dessert menu includes “fried honey” banana, taro, sweet potato or pineapple. I was really keen to try them, but we were so full at dinner’s end, that will have to wait for another visit.

            With just the owner and one waiter on the floor of a full house, plus customers coming in for take-out from the steam table, the service could only be perfunctory. Yet, the owner did manage to check with us twice on how we liked the food and the waiter boxed up our leftovers for us. Prices on the menu seemed a tad high on first look but the portion size is quite large and all of the dishes were more than satisfactory. With tax and tip, the bill was $80 and enough to serve four or five people.

            Guan Dong House
            10851 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

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