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May 8, 2014 11:58 PM

Regional Chinese roundup 1.0 (early 2014)

With the recent addition of restaurants specializing in Xi'an, Guilin, and Northeast Chinese foods, now's an exciting time to be eating Chinese food in the Bay Area.

Here's a stab at characterizing the regional Chinese cuisines we have available to us. Please add restaurants I've overlooked or, even better, add regional cuisines that weren't included.

Caveat: It's rare for a Chinese restaurant to focus on one region's cuisine, and of course regions themselves don't live in a vacuum. Just do a search and you'll find lots of in-depth discussions of what characterizes these regional cuisines and/or makes these restaurants special.

I left out Cantonese and Hong Kong places because they are so numerous that they're better deserving of treatment by genre and quality. It would be nice to see that in a different discussion though.

The Bay Area has lots of weak spots. There's only a Yunnan or Fujian dish here or there, and nothing from Anhui. I couldn't find discussions of food from Hubei, Jiangxi, Qinghai, Ningxia, Henan, or Guizhou.

Here we go ...


= Xi'an (Shaanxi) =
House of Xian Dumpling (SF Chinatown)
Terra Cotta Warrior (SF Inner Sunset)
Xi'an Gourmet (SF Richmond)

= Shaanxi Biang biang noodles =
Imperial Tea Court (Berkeley)

= Hand pulled noodles (technique unknown) =
Mings Restaurant (San Bruno)
QQ Noodle (Milpitas, Cupertino)
Xi'an Gourmet (SF Inner Richmond)

= Shanxi knife shaved noodles =
Ancient Sichuan (El Cerrito)
Five Happiness (SF Inner Richmond)
Five Joy (San Mateo)
Sichuan Fusion (Richmond)

== TIBET ==
Cafe Tibet (Berkeley)
Tashi Delek (El Cerrito)

Some dishes available at:
Shandong Deluxe (SF Parkside)
Terra Cotta Warrior (SF Inner Sunset)
Xi'an Gourmet (SF Inner Richmond)

= Langzhou hand-pulled noodles =
Ark Restaurant (Alameda)
MY China (SF Union Square)

= Lagman hand-pulled noodles / Xinjiang Ban Mian =

Shandong Deluxe (SF Parkside)
House of Pancakes (SF Parkside)


= Islamic Chinese =
Chinjin Eastern House (West San Jose)
Darda (Fremont)
Old Mandarin (SF Outer Sunset)

= Beijing =
Beijing Restaurant (SF Excelsior)
Everyday Beijing (San Mateo)
House of Pancakes (SF Parkside)
Taste Good Beijing (Milpitas)

= Tianjin =
Tianjin Dumpling (Oakland, Chinatown)

= Hebei =
Yi Yuan (Millbrae, a Sichuan restaurant, but chef from Hebei)

= Other Northern and Jiaozi =
Dumpling Empire (South San Francisco)
iDumpling (San Mateo)
Kingdom of Dumpling (Outer Sunset)
Panda Dumpling (San Carlos, Redwood City)
Tianjin Dumpling (Oakland, Chinatown)
Town of Dumpling (San Mateo)

= House made bing =
Beijing Restaurant
House of Pancakes (SF Parkside
China Village (Berkeley, owner of Shandong heritage, Shandong dishes mainly by special order)
Great China (Berkeley)
Palace Chef (Fremont)
San Tung (SF Inner Sunset)
Shandong Deluxe (SF Parkside)
Shandong Restaurant (Oakland, Chinatown)
Tong Dumpling (Cupertino)
Shandong Mutton Restaurant (San Jose)

Chef Yu (Oakland, Temescal)
Koryo Jajang (Oakland, Temescal)
San Wang (SF Japantown)

Bamboo Garden (Mountainview
)Chef Xiu (Mountainview)
Dongei Mama (SF Inner Richmond)
Guan Dong House (Cupertino)
Little Shen Yang (Union City)

Bamboo Garden (Mountainview)
Bund Shanghai (SF chinatown)
Dumpling Kitchen (SF Outer Sunset)
Five Happiness (SF Inner Richmond)
Jai Yun (SF Chinatown; the chef is from Nanjing and only offers a multi-course menu)
Lily's House (Lafayette)
Little Shanghai (San Mateo)
Melin House (Milpitas)
North China (SF Inner Richmond)
Old Shanghai (SF Inner Richmond)
Rice Valley (SF Sunnyside)
Sha Bistro (Fremont)
Shanghai Bistro (Millbrae)
Shanghai Delight (Milpitas)
Shanghai Dim Sum (Cupertino)
Shanghai Ding Sheng Restaurant (Milpitas)
Shanghai Dumpling King (SF Outer Richmond and Sunnyside locations)
Shanghai Dumpling Shop (Millbrae)
Shanghai Dumplings (Saratoga)
Shanghai Flavor (Fremont)
Shanghai Flavor Shop (Sunnyvale)
Shanghai House (SF Outer Richmond)
Shanghai Restaurant (Oakland, Chinatown)
Shanghai Winter Garden (Millbrae)

Ancient Szechuan (El Cerrito)
Chef Ma (San Jose, chef from Chengdu)
Chef Zhao Bistro (Mountainview)
Chili House (SF Inner Richmond)
China Village (Albany)
Da Sichuan (Palo Alto)
Da Sichuan (Palo Alto)
Fey Restaurant (Menlo Park)
Grand Hot Pot Lounge (SF Inner Richmond)
Little Sichuan (San Mateo)
Mama Ji's (SF Castro)
Mandarin Gourmet (Palo Alto, chef from Chengdu)
Sichuan Chong Qing Cuisine (San Mateo)
Sichuan Fortune House (Pleasant Hill)
Sichuan Fusion (Richmond)
Sichuan Home (SF Inner Richmond)
Sichuan House (Walnut Creek)
South Legend Sichuan Restaurant (Milpitas)
Spices / Spices II (SF Inner Richmond)
Spicy Empire (San Mateo) / SF Chinatown Pot Sticker and Spicy King
Yi Yuan (Millbrae)
Z&Y (Chinatown)

== HUNAN ==
Henry Hunan (SF chain/institution with a few Hunan dishes/ham, but mostly Chinese American stir-fries)
Made in China (SF Parkside)
Shao Mountain (Fremont)

== GUANXI ==
Guilin Noodles (Oakland, Chinatown)

== CANTONESE subsets ==

= Hakka =
Hakka Restaurant (SF Outer Richmond)
Ton Kiang (SF Outer Richmond)

= Chiuchow / Chaozhou / Teo Chow / Chinjiew =
Menkee Wonton (SF Outer Sunset)
Teo Chew Noodle Shack (Fremont)

= Vietnamese / Chaozhou =
Hai Ky Mi Gia (SF Tenderloin)
Lam Hoa Than (SF Sunset)

= Shunde =
Jade Garden (SF Outer Richmond)

Five Happiness (SF Inner Richmond)
Grand Harbor (Fremont)
Joy Restaurant (San Mateo)
Southland Flavor Cafe (Cupertino)
Spices I & II (SF Inner Richmond)
Spices III (Oakland)

== OTHER ==

= Vegetarian =
(trying to leave out places slinging fake meat + brown sauce)
Jai Yun (SF Chinatown; the chef is from Nanjing and only offers a multi-course menu)
Jyun Kang Vegetarian Restaurant (Ukiah)
Sogo Tofu (San Jose)

= Indian Chinese =
Red Hot Chilli Pepper (San Carlos)
Spice Kitchen (Newark)

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  1. They spell it Chow Jew, but Vien Huong (Oakland Chinatown) and VH Noodle (Pacific East Mall, Richmond) for Teochew. Also Thanh Ky in Oakland Eastlake for the same.

    2 Replies
    1. re: calny

      Aren't Lam Hoa Thuan and other similar "Chinese-Vietnamese" spots Chiu Chow as well? Was under the impression most places of this type fell under the Chiu Chow umbrella: (EDIT - my mistake, I missed that Chiu Chow and "Vietamese/Chouzhou" are listed as separate categories here. Curious how those two categories are differentiated though.


      Does Dragon River on Geary still serve Hakka dishes?

      King of Noodles and the other places owned by Kingdom of Dumpling should also fall under either the "Shandong" or "other Northern" categories.

      1. re: bigwheel042

        Dragon River's takeout menu lists 14 items under the Hakka section.

    2. Chengdu Style Restaurant (Berkeley) for Sichuan.

      I believe Hot Pot House (Oakland Chinatown) has a Sichuan chef. It's owned by the Spices people.

      Great China also serves Korean-Chinese dishes.

      1. Quite an ambitious undertaking, but all the best of luck to you.

        1. Thank you for a great and useful list, with a couple of places I wasn't aware of beyond driving by (e.g. Five Happiness).

          A couple of amendments:
          Terracotta Warrior, at 31st Ave, is most definitely not in the Inner Sunset. They also have hand-pulled noodles.
          Dongbei Mama has also been well known for its Sichuan food, actually the best of all in my opinion. Although their chef may have recently moved, they're still serving it -while good (still better than the overrated Sichuan Home) it's not as great as it was.

          1. That's a GREAT list. Here are a couple of additions:

            Little Szechuan in Chinatown/North Beach for Sichuan.

            Taste of Formosa in Outer Richmond for Taiwanese

            San Sun in Chinatown is Chaozhou Chinese-Vietnamese

            You could add a category for cold wheat starch noodles (liang pi / mian pi / fen pi) served at:

            Xi An Gournet
            House of Xian Dumpling
            Terra Cotta Warrior

            Also, Made in China's cold buckwheat noodles (and a couple of other dishes) qualify it for the Korean-Chinese category.

            M.Y. China also makes scissor-cut noodles.

            Xiao Long Bao (the restaurant) on Clement belongs in there somewhere (dumplings, bingzi....)

            I wouldn't omit what you call "fake meat" vegetarian. That's a staple of vegetarian restaurants in China and I can't imagine ANY Chinese vegetarian restaurants that don't serve some mianjin/seitan dishes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: soupçon

              San Sun has terrific noodles: #40 Combination pure rice noodles, #65 Chicken & Leek dumpling soup with vegetables, #94 Combination Fried pure rice noodles with fried egg, #115 Fish & Bitter Melon, #163 Pork Kidney with ginger & onion, #228 Salted Fish & Chicken fried rice. Four lunched together for $14 each, including tax and tip. Good portions, fresh ingredients, great friendly service.