Made in China Restaurant - San Bruno, and maybe opening in SF?
- Dave MP Feb 24, 2014 02:12 PM
Walking along Taraval this weekend, noticed that a new place is opening up next to the big hot pot restaurant, on the same block as House of Pancakes. The window sign said it's going to be called "Made in China" and I'm wondering if it's a branch of the restaurant by the same name in San Bruno.
Has anyone been to this place in San Bruno? Looks like a hot-pot and Chinese BBQ focused place.
It's very possible that there's no relation between the San Bruno place and what's opening on Taraval, so I'm just wondering if anyone has the scoop.
According to ABC licensing data, Made in China, San Bruno is a goner. Its beer and wine license was transferred to "Ninja Sushi and Tofu," same address, on Jan. 16 of this year, so it could be a move.
However, the name that was on the liquor license is not the same person as the nominal principal of the corporation behind Made in China on Taraval. That doesn't mean much, as the latter could be an agent or attorney for the actual owner.
This place is open now on Taraval and I got the menu. It smelled good when I was in there—like charred meats that were being grilled!
There's an entire section for "Northeast Shenyang Tasty BBQ", a section for Dongbei classic dishes, a Northern style hot pot section, a Hunan section, a Teppanyaki section, and a House Special.
Some dishes have intriguing names, others are just poor translations of who-knows-what! For example: "snow cotton hummus" in the dessert section.
Anyway, I will hopefully try this place soon and report back, but if anyone has been, I'm curious to hear reports
1003 Taraval St.
Very exciting! The English menu is online:
Snow cotton hummus appears to be a deep-fried dessert with whipped eggs on the outside and red bean paste in the center:
The "onion fried egg" is a Dan bing which, according to another thread, is pretty much the same thing as jian bing. It is the only bing on the menu and it cost $8.95. Aside from a number of other items on this menu which appear to be unique in San Francisco, this one item might make a lot of people happy.
re: Dave MP
THAT would never be $8.95. I got hold of the bilingual takeout menu and the full Chinese name is 葱煎鸡蛋饼 (cong jian ji dan bing). An image search on Baidu.com revealed many varied interpretations of this dish.
Guess we'll just have to order it to see what we get. I was actually going to check out the restaurant today (at least the cold Shenyang noodles and a couple of chuanrs) but got there just as they closed for the break between lunch and dinner. I did get the menu and scanned it as a set on flickr.
It's off to good start. The restaurant menu has some more pinyin items and a few mis-translations that are corrected on the takeout menu. I suspect the mis-translations are from google translate.
Anyway... the chef is from Hunan province. Hunan dishes can be found in the House Special and Hunan Dishes sections.
岳陽姜辣鳳爪 A10. Yueyang Ginger Spicy Chicken Claw : I think the restaurant menu accidentally called these "legs" (same as google) but the server clarified for me that these are claws. Whole dried chilies and some kind of "hunan sauce" infuse the chicken claws, the meat of which chews off easily. Sauce by itself unpleasantly burns, but is tolerably spicy amongst the gelatinous claws. Enjoyable dish that smells identical to a Sichuan dish that eludes me.
韭菜攸县香干 B13. Leek Youxian Xianggan : garlic chives with slices of smoked/spiced tofu, flavored with black beans and fresh chilies and garlic. The portion of garlic chives looked small for the amount of tofu, especially since "leek" is the only translated word, but it was actually the perfect amount for the tofu. Very good.
萝卜干炒吹肉 D5. Fried Radish Blowing Meat : lengths of preserved radish and cured pork (belly?). Salty, fatty, and very good.
烤馒头片H25. Baked Bread Pieces : I got these after spotting them on another table. They're chewy ovals of white flour bread that's caramelized with sugar on the outside and topped with chili powder and cumin seeds. Kind of look like bars of soap. Very tasty and different--- I'm not sure what role they're supposed to play in a meal. They're the last item on the Northeast Shenyang Tasty BBQ menu and you get three for $2.58. They take 10 minutes to make.
A group of 5 gathered at Made in China and navigated their extensive, oddly translated menu. On hyperbowler’s previous visit he gathered the chef is from Hunan, not NE China as might be expected from the Dongbei, Shenyang, and Northeast sections of the menu.
From the receipt, we ordered (menu number from the takeout menu scanned above is also included)
I25 Yanjing Sumio (beer)
I38 Beijing yogurt
A5 Majiahe small goat chaohei
A15 Spicy pan fish
I enjoyed the goat dish quite a bit. It was mostly goat with bell peppers and cilantro, with the heat coming from the chili oil scattered with dry chilies. This might have been the spiciest dish--I found the spice level to be right on for me, spicy enough to be noticeable, but not so spicy I couldn’t taste the subtler flavors, like the meat.
The spicy pan fish was recommended by the waitress and was a catfish (possibly from the tank) served in a chafing dish with a thickened sauce. I’m pretty sure I remember the sauce on this one getting its heat from pickled (salted) chili peppers.
B13 Leek youxian xianggan
This was similar in preparation to the goat dish, but with leeks and pressed tofu instead of meat and cilantro.
C2 Shredded cabbage griddle
This was one of my favorite dishes. Griddle turned out to be a chafing dish, for reasons unknown. I assume it was just presentation, as I don’t see how low heat under a briefly-cooked cabbage dish might improve it. The flavor was great--not as much wok char as I’ve gotten from the cabbage at China Village, but the combination of garlic-chili oil seared cabbage with meat and black vinegar was quite tasty.
D9 Hometown Chairman pork
D2 Fried bacon carrot
I would have braised the Chairman pork belly longer, and didn’t find the braising liquid to be particularly interesting. The other dish, however, I really enjoyed. It was actually the dish hyperbowler pictured above--preserved radish with thin-sliced lightly cured pork belly. I really liked the texture and flavor of the preserved radish and the mixture is one that, particularly with the scallions and garlic, really goes together.
Northeast Shenyang Tasty BBQ
H10 In Particular fish skewers (squid?)
H5 Heart shaped string (chicken heart skewer)
H23 Yuba mushroom roll (skewer)
H12 White oil sausage (skewer)
H15 Croaker (skewer)
H25 baked bread pieces
The skewers weren’t my favorite part--the spice rub seemed to be the same for all of them, and added a gritty texture to the outside--it seemed to be more of a shaken on coating and less of a seasoning rub that marinates and penetrates them meats. It was cumin-forward, with a not too spicy dried chili, some sugar, and a bit of salt. I did like the flavor of the sausage and the fattiness helped absorb the dry spices.
G13 Acid droplets meat fried beans
I really enjoyed this version of fried rice. The pickled long beans were salt-fermented, and had a bit of a tannic taste--often tannic elements like grape leaves are added to lacto-fermented things to keep them crisp. I don’t usually like fried rice with a meal, but this version was light, not oil heavy, and the pickled beans added a refreshing element.
Northeast Tasty Desserts
G3 Snow cotton hummus
G4 Hawthorn sugar-coated haws
I didn’t care for the snow cotton hummus, but I don’t know that I’ve met a red bean paste dessert I have liked. The sugar-coated hawthorn was good--I think the sesame seeds coating the sugar layer were what made it interesting. I hadn’t tasted hawthorn until a few years ago when I got it in an ice cream at Nieves Cinco di Mayo. I like the flavor--like an apple with an herbal note, and wonder why I haven’t seen more of it.
It was a solid dinner, made more pleasant by the company and “A Bite of China” playing on large screen TVs. It is available online here in English http://english.cntv.cn/special/a_bite...
It was also nice to have a leisurely meal and not have to worry about the restaurant closing up. Currently, they are open to midnight and there were certainly some youngsters still there when we left just before 11. Prices are a couple dollars more than I would expect per dish, but not outrageous.
Thanks for starting the reports and for the link to "A Bite In China!"
I38 Beijing yogurt
Tart and with a wee less sugar than American yogurts (13g, IIRC), this helped keep heat in check throughout the meal. Tasty. Comes in the package with a straw.
A5 Majiahe small goat chaohei : the slices were thin and the texture tender. I wonder if the meat is pre-sliced for hot-pot. The spicing was good and not so aggressive that it would overpower the goat, something all to common in things like cumin lamb. I'm not sure I could tell the difference between goat and lamb.
A15 Spicy pan fish : catfish flavor was too strong for my liking
B13 Leek youxian xianggan and the D2 Fried bacon carrot were comparable in quality on my two visits. I like how both the bacon and radish have a similar textural give at first, but only the radish ends up with a crunch.
C2 Shredded cabbage griddle : delicious. tm's comparison to China Village's version is spot on, and I also agree CV's is generally better and has more char.
G13 Acid droplets meat fried beans : very good and not heavy. The pickled long beans reminded me of ones at Classic Guilin Noodles more than what I've eaten at Sichuan places: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9178...
D9 Hometown Chairman pork : the flavor of "spice" wasn't as interesting as a syrupy Shanghainese braising sauce or even what's available in trendy Western places. But the soft layer of fat and juicy meat made this dish one of the better pork belly preps I've had around here.
The identical spicing in the skewers got monotonous, and I still like the bread the best. The sausages had a similar dryness as lop cheong, and were also very good. Chicken hearts were too dry.
G3 Snow cotton hummus : sweet red bean paste is wrapped (unevenly) in dough and deep fried. Very dense and meh. I'm not a fan of them either, but Shanghai Dumpling King's egg puffs are a similar and lighter way to end a meal.
I'm interested to hear reports of other Hunan dishes. The flavor profile was very similar across all the dishes, and I don't know if that's like saying "all Rock and Roll sounds the same" or if we just just didn't order a diverse enough selection. In either case, the flavors were more diverse than at Henry Hunan.
You'll find them on every street corner in Shanghai, but I've never seen them in a restaurant there. They'd be laughed at as mere street food. Maybe other restaurateurs can't make the leap even over here from street food to a restaurant dessert though expat Chinese (especially with kids) would probably welcome them enthusiastically and the rest of us would seize on them as exotic.
Very disappointing meal for me. Had the Huxiang boiled fish (a Hunan dish) the boiled chilis in oil (which were green bell peppers, I think,not chilis), the leek youxian xianggan and the cold needle mushrooms with tofu.
Perhaps not the best combination of dishes, flavor-wise. The fish, while itself cooked perfectly, was in a sauce that wasn't very good and almost tasted like spicy dirt and overwhelmed the leeks, which were tasty but nothing special. The green peppers ("boiled chilis") were good too, lots of garlic and black beans, but again nothing special and a bit too salty.
I've had much better food at House of Pancakes on the next block.
Also, Shandong Deluxe across the street was very busy with a line outside, although a very different crowd ( 50% white American vs 99% Mainland Chinese at Made in China).
They're open till Midnight 7 days a week, so they were a savior for a late-night meal on Monday, when lots of other late-night spots close early.
D11 湘味梅菜扣肉 "pickled pork" (Hunan flavor mei cai (dry pickled mustard steamed pork) : there's a similar preparation at Hakka Restaurant that was bold, and for which I was surprised to see friends not too familiar with Chinese food devouring the thick pieces of pickled mustard. Made in China's version is kind of meh. Thick cut pieces of pork belly are (presumably) steamed, taking on a texture a bit like brisket. The thick sauce has some heat and earthiness from the mei cai. And some black beans--- they're in a lot of dishes here....
B15 "sautéed kale" (sautéed gai lan (chinese broccoli) : the pieces are cleaved along the long axis so that they cook evenly. Very good-- crisp and not too oily.
F3 沈阳拌花菜 "Shenyang cauliflower" (Shenyang mixed cauliflower or Shenyang mixed flower vegetable) : worst translation ever. There's no cauliflower--- it's a cold salad of shredded carrot, shredded potato (initially mistaken for daikon or papaya), cucumber chunks, yuba, bean curd sticks, and peanuts in sour dressing of vinegar and chili oil. I was surprised not to see something like this on the menu, so I was very happy to find it--- it's brightness balanced out the meal.
H25 Baked bread pieces : these continue to please me, and even stayed tasty for an hour or two afterwards.
went with a big group last night and ordered a lot of food. all-around good, with some great. no duds.
trying to recall from memory:
fish head with chiles: excellent, almost as good as what i had in china.
dry fried green beans: this isn't the type of dish that will ever blow you away, but it was quite good.
lamb skewers: pretty good, could have used more seasoning
"griddle lamb belly": one of my favorite dishes. hard to describe, but quite tasty
griddled frog: quite good, and also a new dish for me. seasonings were good.
whole fish: one of hte standouts of the night. fish was impeccably fresh, and not flavored with much more than cilantro, garlic, and ginger.
scrambled eggs with peppers: very much a homestyle dish, very good.
leek stirfry: good.
enoki mushroom skewers: different. good, but i always forget how weird the texture of enoki is.
squid skewers: had never had this before; no real basis of comparison. not sure if i'd order again.
beijing yogurt: was excited about this, but wasn't all that great; likely purchased at the safeway across the street.
while they have a dedicated hunan section, this is definitely more pan-chinese. menu is enormous; will be curious to see how long they can maintain quality.
restaurant was about half-full, all chinese families.
Stopped in last night and had the "Hunan sauce pork" with the bread pieces. "It's very spicy," warned the server. It turned out to be a dish of thinly sliced pork slices that were almost bacon-y in consistency, though not in flavor, covered in blistered jalapeno slices and a liberal amount of barely softened garlic and black beans. Missed the part of the post below that mentioned that the bread contained sugar, so was a little unprepared for it to be sweet, somewhere between bread and pastry. Tasty though.
Main complaint about the place is that there are few obvious good choices for solo diners. The Shenyang cold noodles seems like the only halfway complete one-dish meal (passed on it because I wanted something hot). Everything else appears to be sized and priced to be shared along with several other dishes.