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Excellent szechuan in San Ramon

kungful Jul 9, 2012 08:32 PM

I was given a tip when I was jonsing for dan dan noodles after my go to place ( Chili Palace in San Leandro) stopped serving it.
A newish place in San Ramon named Yiping.
We tried the crispy stuffed eggplant appetizer, dan dan noodles (of course), cumin lamb, and garlic pea shoots.
All were excellent, the noodles were outstanding, perhaps the best I've had.

The place was well decorated, much nicer than the generic chinese restaurant. The service was very good, but there were only a few tables at 7pm on a monday.
They comped the appetizer for a check-in on Yelp.
The whole meal was $45 including rice, tea, and beer.

Yiping Restaurant
2416 San Ramon Valley Blvd
San Ramon
925-838-7188
http://yipingrestaurant.com/

  1. s
    shanghaikid Jul 9, 2012 09:05 PM

    hello! san ramon isn't santa rosa, i found yiping just average flavorwise, actually chitshy, great service/ambience. substandard food..

    11 Replies
    1. re: shanghaikid
      Melanie Wong Jul 9, 2012 09:11 PM

      What have you ordered?

      Here's the link for the Sichuan menu (.pdf), in English and looks quite authentic.
      http://yipingrestaurant.com/menu/sich...

      1. re: Melanie Wong
        s
        shanghaikid Jul 9, 2012 11:17 PM

        "stir fried prawns, scallops, fish, with mushrom & fried tofu" in a sizzling clay pot.
        -yep. food all cooked in a wok and place into a sizzling clay pot. 100% true
        starter: 6 wontons in garlic sauce
        -problem: filling bland, had gristle inside, no shrimp. who cares about the sauce?
        "hot & sour soup"
        sour yes, not spicy, lacked black/white pepper.

        in chinatown, this style/methodology of cooking (regardless of region) is called: "shought lo fan" (cantonese)-cheating white people.

        1. re: shanghaikid
          Melanie Wong Jul 10, 2012 12:02 AM

          Hmm, not from the Sichuan menu. Those don't sound good at all. But I will mention that Sichuan wontons in red oil would not have shrimp in them although it sounds like you got a different dish.

          I'm particularly curious about the Sichuan menu. Kungful's meal included selections from that side. Also, China Village's Sichuan cooks must be working somewhere else while the restaurant is closed for repair and I'd love to find them.

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            s
            shanghaikid Jul 10, 2012 12:16 AM

            believed china village's cooks were cantonese, southern people. cooks at yiping looked tall, northern stock.

            1. re: shanghaikid
              Melanie Wong Jul 10, 2012 12:22 AM

              Albany's China Village has cooks from Sichuan who prepare the Sichuan specialties. Mr. Yao, the owner, is a chef himself and is from Shandong. He has other cooks from parts unknown who take care of other dishes.

              And I just read the piece in the local Patch that said that he's paying his cooks during this time off and they'll be back. So maybe they're all on holiday now.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                s
                shanghaikid Jul 10, 2012 12:31 AM

                cool!

                playing devil's advocate. we all know know chinatown cooks terrible hunan/sichuan food, yet it's still on the menu. has anybody else tried the szechwan menu at yiping? responses would be helpful.

                probably the non-szechwan dishes here should be avoided.

      2. re: shanghaikid
        kungful Jul 9, 2012 09:13 PM

        Oops,
        Fixed the title.
        Thanks

        1. re: shanghaikid
          Ruth Lafler Jul 10, 2012 09:46 AM

          What's "chitshy"?

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            s
            shanghaikid Jul 10, 2012 02:58 PM

            chitsky= small, lacking in something(of value, important) is how i use the word.

            1. re: shanghaikid
              wolfe Jul 22, 2012 08:17 AM

              Are you sure that is not a mondegreen for chinchy?
              chinchy
              adjective, chinch·i·er, chinch·i·est. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.
              stingy; miserly; cheap.
              Urban Dictionary:Less than the amount ordered or expected
              Or.
              chintzy
              Stingy; miserly.

              1. re: wolfe
                s
                shanghaikid Jul 22, 2012 07:29 PM

                whatever the spelling, either meaning would fit.

        2. Melanie Wong Jul 10, 2012 12:40 AM

          Just noticed on YiPing's website, the welcome is from Allen Shi. Mr. Shi is the owner of Sichuan Fortune House in Pleasant Hill, which serves quite authentic Sichuan food. And I found this article from China News Center.

          http://www.chinamedia.com/news/2012/0...

          12 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong
            g
            goldangl95 Jul 10, 2012 09:19 AM

            Word - I've always enjoyed Sichuan Fortune House, I will have to try this new place.

            1. re: goldangl95
              Melanie Wong Jul 10, 2012 09:46 PM

              Would love to read a comparison from you. I haven't been to Sichuan Fortune House for ages.

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                Maple Jul 16, 2012 09:10 PM

                We went to Yiping to give it a try since we like Sichuan Fortune House a lot. It was rather disappointing in that while it had some of the sichuan specialties, the flavors were average at best - does not have nearly the level of complexity of real sichuan places, some dishes had an unpleasant Americanized sweet undertone, and the red oil in dishes like Hong You Chao Shou was very subpar. In addition, the servers all looked like high school kids and did not know the food - we ordered the chili fish soup - you know, China Village's specialty - and the server did not know to scoop out the chilis before serving - Allen the owner was there and truly horrified :-) and scooped out the chilis himself with the server girl standing there watching him.

                I asked him how the business was going etc, and he said Sichuan Fortune House's chef is calssically trained in Sichuan cuisine and he also implied that the chef has an equity stake, so the restaurant is stable and does not need much oversight from him. The San Ramon place has much higher cost structure and the chef he hired for the time being is Cantones (? Can't remember exactly) and the flavors are good enough for the San Ramon clientele but not what he would choose to eat as a Chong Qing native).

                Our conclusion was that for us, there is no reason to go to Yi
                Ping over Sichuan Fortune House.

                1. re: Maple
                  Melanie Wong Jul 17, 2012 05:39 PM

                  Hey, girlfriend, as always, good to see a post from you.

                  Rather odd that the owner would choose to highlight a Sichuan specialties menu then fail to deliver the goods. I had read elsewhere that the executive chef was Cantonese, but I figured that somebody else in the kitchen must have some Sichuan chops. Guess not.

                  Where else you been eating these days?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    Maple Jul 17, 2012 07:20 PM

                    Weelll but does one really need Sichuan chops in San Ramon?

                    Have been slurping noodles at Noodle Theory and eating momos at Hamro Anagan courtesy of the board - in other words enjoying a lazy summer!

            2. re: Melanie Wong
              e
              elliora Jul 20, 2012 05:41 AM

              Interesting, I was wondering if there was a connection when I first saw this post. Also interesting to note that another new Sichuan restaurant has opened in these parts. Sichuan House replaced the Chinese restaurant that had been in Countrywood shopping center in Walnut Creek for at least the last 15 years. Someone on yelp claims it is the same owner as Sichuan fortune house, but I would find it odd that that Allen would open two new restaurants at once. The similarities of the names of the two restaurants I'm sure will only help Sichuan House, since it will surely pop in a google search of Sichuan Fortune House.

              1. re: elliora
                Melanie Wong Jul 20, 2012 07:53 AM

                Thank you, so curious even at this hour. Liquor license solves the puzzle. Zhang Shao Bin is the chef/partner at Sichuan Fortune House and owner at Sichuan House.
                http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSData...

                I'll be in East Bay today and will try to be there for lunch. Anyone who wants to meet up, pls email me (address in profile).

                1. re: Melanie Wong
                  e
                  elliora Jul 20, 2012 08:43 AM

                  Interesting, so all three are connected. Which one are you lunching at today?

                  1. re: elliora
                    Melanie Wong Jul 20, 2012 08:57 AM

                    Lunch today at Sichuan House, 2064 Treat Blvd, Walnut Creek.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      e
                      elliora Jul 20, 2012 09:16 AM

                      I work today in Danville, otherwise it would have been fun to join you. I am looking forward to hearing your report. I would highly recommend going afterwards to Guanatos Ice Cream. It is on the opposite end of the same shopping center, very very good ice cream, it would be a shame to be so close and not go!

                      1. re: elliora
                        e
                        elliora Jul 21, 2012 03:14 PM

                        I finally had time to take a closer look at the Yelp page of Sichaun House. The pictures show that it does appear to have identical menus from Sichuan Fortune House. The interior appears the same as it was with the former restaurant but it literally looks like they just grabbed extra menus from Fortune House. Yiping while having a similar Sichuan menu has a very different lunch menu.

                        1. re: elliora
                          Melanie Wong Jul 22, 2012 12:27 AM

                          I did make it over there on Friday. I've been wanting to go to Guanatos and adding Sichuan food to the plate was enough to make me drive to Walnut Creek. Ice cream after lunch was the perfect combo. Heard from several 'hounds who were interested but couldn't join me on short notice. I've started a new thread for Sichuan House here,
                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/859779

              2. s
                shanghaikid Jul 19, 2012 07:20 PM

                livingsocial has a $10 for $20 coupon on now. good for 3 months?

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