Beijing Resturant (the Alemany location) - what is recommended? [San Francisco]
My husband has decided that we should go out for valentines day dinner (something we never ever do) and that we should bring the family with us, and he has requested that we go to Beijing Restuarant
So, here is my slight predicament, i am NOT a huge super spicy food fan (at least not with chinese food, i am ok with indian, thai, bbq, etc but for some reason, not chinese i feel like the chinese version of "numbing this" and "exploding that" seem to really dull down the flavor of the ingredients and makes it hard to taste ANYTHING for my palate. I have had meals at Spices and Z&Y and i can usually make it through half of a dish before i need to start re-finding my taste buds with something plain like veg or rice or soup noodles)
anyway, he has requested that we try the general's chicken, but is there anything else we shouldn't miss? I have done a bit of research and the spicy potato tower fried thing looks great, as well as the eggplant with garlic sauce, egg surface tofu and preserved vegetable shredded pork noodle suop; but i have seen a lot of stuff written up about westernized chinese food on their menu and how to steer away from that. i am not sure if these three items are part of that calndestine group ;)
Any recommendations would be helpful.
Thanks in advance,
Lamb with sour preserved greens : a broth-less version of their preserved cabbage (essentially Chinese sauerkraut) soup with lamb/beef/or fish. Great acidity to cut through the gaminess of the lamb.
Shredded potatoes with hot oil : The shredded potatoes have an almost radish-like crispiness, and are barely recognizable as a starch. They're a great vehicle for the hot oil.
Family style pancake : This layered crispy pancake has no seasonings of its own, but is instead indented to sop up brothy/saucy elements of other dishes. It's pretty good, but for the money, I'd prefer to get one of their various flavored pancakes (e.g., green onion, beef, etc.).
Some other dishes I like:
Had a good meal at Beijing restaurant last night. We had:
Jian bing - I had been wanting to try this for a while, and I liked it quite a bit. It could have used a bit more bean paste in the middle, but otherwise it was a pretty good version. I am attaching a picture
Eggplant with shrimp - This also seemed to contain chicken. This was basically a version of Eggplant with basil, which was on the sweet side, but good. The addition of shrimp and chicken seemed a bit unnecessary to me.
Stir-fried Chinese pancake w/ pork - Pancake is cut into noodle-like pieces, and sauteed with pork. Not that far off in taste from pork chow mein. Good, but not that interesting.
Chinese "hamburgers" - We ordered three of these....they're warm bread filled with a mild pork filling. Pretty tasty, but the flavor is subtle.
Cold cucumber salad - Good version, and nice for the hot weather.
The restaurant was filled with families on a Tuesday early evening, but the food still came out pretty quickly despite how busy it was. There are lots of interesting things to try on this menu, so I will be continuing to go back!
The cumin lamb is very good. It is heavily spiced, but I wouldn't call it spicy hot.
The beef pancake is very good. I would get some version of Beijing dumplings.
I have not had the noodles there but I imagine they would be good. Their warm pots are also good if you want soup -- I think I had sliced fish warm pot last time which I liked.
There's nothing there spicy the way some Z&Y dishes are spicy.
Two nice things about their menu are that it's picture heavy and that things are grouped into sections like "Beijing specials" and "Beijing dim sum." There are some spicy dishes, all of which are marked IIRC, but they're infrequent in comparison to the Sichuan style food you'll find at Spices or Z&Y.
Worth getting are the dumplings and the noodles (they're hand cut and great, and listed on a different part of the menu than the chow mein). I really liked the intense and salty pork bits in their version of zha jiang mein, Beijing Style Noodles with Brown Paste.