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Aug 20, 2013 09:30 AM

The Pot Sticker in Chinatown [San Francisco]

I know this place has gotten a lot of mixed reviews... went there for the first time this past week and just wanted to report that I had a really nice shui zhu yu (or at least I think that's what it was). It was really good. The fish (catfish I think) was perfectly tender and flavorful. I left with a burning tongue and numb lips. All in all a great meal. I didn't have much of a chance to sample other things, but my fish was lovely.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up on good waterboiled fish near where we usually stay! That is prolly my favourite dish of all dishes Chinese, in any style. Did it have either noodles or beansprouts at the bottom?

    1 Reply
    1. re: grayelf

      friends of mine just went here last week when they couldn't get into Z&Y, and loved it.

    2. This really looks good and I do like hot and spicy, what price range are we looking at? And are there other spicy meats other than fish?

      2 Replies
      1. re: bobsleaddretired

        I walked by here a few days ago and picked up a paper menu. It looks very interesting -- much more interesting than the on-line menu.
        You can get hot-pots with a choice of several different "flavor bases" and add ingredients as you wish.
        Many offal dishes on the menu. If you're looking for "other meats" you'll find many parts of various animals offered.
        Some dishes are listed as "Rural Fence Basket."

        1. re: bobsleaddretired

          if I remember correctly, the price range was in mid-point for Chinatown restaurants. A little more expensive than your average place, perhaps but by no means outrageous. I think the shui zhu yu was ~$16 if I remember correctly. So definitely reasonable.

        2. Curious to hear if anyone else has any reports on this place. Might check it out this week, and would be great to know about other good dishes to order besides the water boiled fish.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Dave MP

            You could order Guilin noodles and tell us how the dish compares with Oakland's.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Huh, I had no idea there was a place with Guilin noodles in SF Chinatown. I wasn't reading CH San Francisco in 2010 or 2011, so I missed this!

              1. re: Dave MP

                Yes, thought I'd surprise you with that one! My recollection is that its version is not that different from the Yunnan crossing the bridge noodles at Z & Y.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  If so, it's really a different dish from the Guilin Mifen served at Classic Guilin Rice Noodles in Oakland (if that's the place you were referring to above).

                  1. re: soupçon

                    You can see the photo and description in the link provided in my earlier post, as well as a question from you.

          2. They changed the name to "Hunan cuisine." In terms of dishes, The menu posted outside looks identical to the last takeout menu I took from potsticker around a year ago.

            I'm not sure what's going on, but there was a handwritten sign today directing people to the Spicy King, down the street (same owners).

            5 Replies
            1. re: hyperbowler

              Not only the same owners at Spicy King (a.k.a. Szechuan Cuisine Uncle Cafe), but identical menu too. Branches in San Mateo and Newark, too, under different names.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                So Pot Sticker is now called Hunan Cuisine, but the menu is the same as Pot Sticker (i.e. szechuan, with a bunch of american crowd pleasers thrown in for the masses)? And they also have another restaurant called Spicy King around the corner, which has branches in San Mateo and Newark. And all four of the restaurants have the same menu? Sorry… just trying to understand this. :)

                How is Spicy King? Is the San Mateo branch good?

                1. re: adamclyde

                  These guys have a pattern of changing the format of places and taking a long time to change the name.

                  The one in Newark is called "Newark Cafe" and it's in the same complex as 85°C Bakery Cafe. The menu in the window was identical to the one I saw at Hunan Cuisine in Chinatown. I don't who owned the place at the time, but I read that Newark Cafe was more a Hong Kong style eatery until a year ago.

                  1. re: hyperbowler

                    and I love (hate?) that the Pot Sticker, now Hunan Cuisine, keeps making their name into something that they think will attract the masses, while masking the fact that they are a more-than-adequate sichuan restaurant. Makes me wonder why they don't just claim their sichuan heritage and go with it… Interesting.

                    1. re: adamclyde

                      I'm guessing they're still plying their Union Square hotel tourist delivery trade for which Hunan Cuisine might be a better fit than something Sichuanese.