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2014 regional Chinese roundup

h
hyperbowler May 8, 2014 11:58 PM

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 ...

== SHANXI AND SHAANXI ==

= 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)

== NORTHWEST / UIGHUR / XINJIANG ==
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)


== NORTHERN ==

= 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 =
see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892914
Beijing Restaurant
House of Pancakes (SF Parkside
)
== SHANDONG ==
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)

== SHANDONG &/or CHINESE KOREAN ==
Chef Yu (Oakland, Temescal)
Koryo Jajang (Oakland, Temescal)
San Wang (SF Japantown)

== NORTHEAST / DONGBEI ==
see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7659...
Bamboo Garden (Mountainview
)Chef Xiu (Mountainview)
Dongei Mama (SF Inner Richmond)
Guan Dong House (Cupertino)
Little Shen Yang (Union City)

== SHANGHAI / JIANGSU / ZHEJIANG ==
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)

== SICHUAN (SICHUAN and CHONGQING) ==
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)

== TAIWANESE =
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. c
    calny RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 12:17 AM

    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
      b
      bigwheel042 RE: calny May 9, 2014 02:21 AM

      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: http://eatdrinknbmerry.blogspot.com/2... (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
        h
        hyperbowler RE: bigwheel042 Jun 25, 2014 12:50 AM

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

    2. a
      abstractpoet RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 12:31 AM

      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. Tripeler RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 05:21 AM

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

        1. d
          davidg1 RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 06:48 AM

          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. soupçon RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 07:59 AM

            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
              Cynsa RE: soupçon May 9, 2014 03:26 PM

              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.

            2. d
              Dustin_E RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 08:35 AM

              awesome list. awesome project.

              1. Robert Lauriston RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 08:51 AM

                Chef Yu belongs in the same category as Great China.

                Old Mandarin Islamic's specialty is Peking hot pot.

                Tibetan cuisine is regional Chinese kind of the way Afghan food is regional American.

                Wang's Kitchen in Milpitas is Indian Chinese.

                1. heidipie RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 08:52 AM

                  bravo!

                  1. h
                    hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 08:59 AM

                    Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

                    Oh, I missed hot pot altogether!

                    @ soupçon Thanks! Your posts and blog were very helpful in creating this list.

                    Regarding noodles, in the next iteration I could include subsections for places with liang pi, flour balls (e.g., Beijing Restaurant, Old Mandarin, maybe other), the type of noodles in Tibetan Then Thuk, etc.

                    I've been meaning to head back to MY China. Which region are scissor cut noodles from?

                    That's a fair point about the vegetarian restaurants. At some point it might be useful to create a post about Chinese dishes that happen to be vegetarian, but are more than just a meat substitution dish. For example the Liang pi at Xian gourmet, ong choy or spinach with fermented tofu at various places, bing, and various seasonal vegetables

                    == Chinese Vegetarian ==
                    Enjoy Vegetarian (SF Chinatown; SF inner Sunset)
                    Garden Fresh (Palo Alto, Mountain View)
                    Long Life Vegi House (Berkeley)
                    Loving Hut (Oakland Chinatown; SF Chinatown)
                    Lucky Creation (SF Chinatown; lots of take out gluten items by the pound-- great for a picnic)
                    Royal Greens Vegetarian (San Jose)
                    Shangri-La restaurant (SF Outer Sunset)

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: hyperbowler
                      Robert Lauriston RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 09:08 AM

                      I thought Old Mandarin's flour balls were awful. I don't know where to get a good version of that dish, a couple of places that did it well closed.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Cynsa RE: Robert Lauriston May 9, 2014 03:48 PM

                        We liked the flour ball dishes at Beijing Restaurant on Alemany - has it fallen off in ratings?

                        1. re: Cynsa
                          h
                          hyperbowler RE: Cynsa May 9, 2014 05:36 PM

                          The texture of the flour balls at Beijing Restaurant are good, but the preparations aren't that interesting--- they're given the pea and diced carrot treatment

                          They are or were on the menu at Taste Good Beijing Cuisine (Milpitas) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5760...

                          1. re: Cynsa
                            s
                            sugartoof RE: Cynsa May 10, 2014 10:48 PM

                            I had the opposite experience with Beijing. I thought the flour balls were terrible, but I never thought the place was all that good to begin with.

                        2. re: hyperbowler
                          soupçon RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 09:55 AM

                          Scissor-cut noodles are from Shanxi.

                          http://goo.gl/7KNP60

                          You could also do skewers as a category.

                          1. re: hyperbowler
                            d
                            davidg1 RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 11:38 AM

                            Enjoy also has a branch at Geary and 18th. Quite a bit less disgusting than the one on Kirkham.

                            1. re: davidg1
                              soupçon RE: davidg1 May 9, 2014 12:05 PM

                              Loving Hut also has a branch on Irving and one in the Westfield Mall downtown.

                              Enjoy Vegetarian on Kearny St. has an innovative "Non-customer Toilet Using Fee."

                               
                            2. re: hyperbowler
                              Robert Lauriston RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 12:49 PM

                              I would not call Loving Hut Chinese. Each branch has its own. The one in Chinatown is sort of a vegan twist on pan-Asian fusion.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                d
                                davidg1 RE: Robert Lauriston May 9, 2014 01:05 PM

                                Same goes for Enjoy.

                              2. re: hyperbowler
                                k
                                karenfinan RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 04:00 PM

                                what about Golden Lotus in Oakland Chinatown? I am not well versed in Chinese Vegetarian cuisine, but I love this place

                              3. eatzalot RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 11:51 AM

                                Didn't spot Macanese restaurants on the big list -- there have been some around SF, and we had a popular one in Cupertino or thereabouts for many years.

                                Since you're citing Chengdu chefs under Sichuanese, Chef Zhao Bistro has one (he may even have trained some others cited here). Just had an amazing lunch there with vivid rendition of huge "water-boiled fish filet with red peppers" hotpot -- contained a good handful of whole hua jiao, among several other flavors in good balance.

                                Islamic Chinese is not uncommon in South Bay. The original Darda is in Milpitas (Barber Lane), I believe Fremont's Darda is much newer. Ma's in Cupertino (Fatima is much missed!), Shinjin in SJ.

                                For SEO including Chow searches, "Mountain View" is two words.

                                (It IS an ambitious list. I regret I'm not eating Chinese lunches all over silicon valley these days or I might be able to considerably expand entries for there -- it seems the southern Bay Area Chinese offerings are routinely underrepresented on this board despite some of high quality and unusual offerings -- a reader might think they're all in Milpitas or Fremont, yet many more have been prominent around Santa Clara County since even before those two towns had any to speak of -- but I'm not current.)

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: eatzalot
                                  h
                                  hyperbowler RE: eatzalot May 9, 2014 12:29 PM

                                  Nice lead on Chef Zhao Bistro's chef--- there's not as much info on chef's backgrounds as there should be. Of course, that gets complicated by days off, changes in command, etc.

                                  Yeah, the geographical skew of the boards encourages more reports from down there.

                                  'hounds more familiar with Macanese cuisine could probably cite others, but Macau Cafe (Richmond) has been around for a while.

                                  1. re: hyperbowler
                                    eatzalot RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 12:42 PM

                                    "there's not as much info on chef's backgrounds as there should be"

                                    Maybe not in the abstract, though I've been telling everyone possible about that restaurant and its chef -- including several mentions on this board -- given that he was a cooking instructor in Chengdu, much deferred to by other kitchen staff and family members, and draws quite a Chinese following at his restaurant.

                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8843...

                                    1. re: hyperbowler
                                      p
                                      Parlorpink RE: hyperbowler May 24, 2014 11:35 AM

                                      Cafe Macau in Richmond (Pacific East Mall) has closed, alas; its space is occupied by a branch of Tamashii Ramen.

                                    2. re: eatzalot
                                      eatzalot RE: eatzalot May 9, 2014 05:51 PM

                                      Noodles, cont'd: Though I haven't returned there recently, and can't say that it represented a specific school of Chinese noodlery, China Stix in Santa Clara was known for chewy fresh pulled noodles daily, well before Chowhound existed. (They'd run out daily by early evening, so it was always a lunch or early-dinner specialty.)

                                      1. re: eatzalot
                                        soupçon RE: eatzalot Jun 3, 2014 09:41 AM

                                        T 28 (at Taraval and 28th, get it?) has some Macanese dishes on the menu.

                                      2. h
                                        hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler May 9, 2014 05:18 PM

                                        Bejing Duck House (Cupertino) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/975169

                                        Taste Good Beijing Cuisine (Milpitas
                                        )Liou's House Chinese Restaurant (Taiwanese)

                                        A good primer on Hong Kong cuisine in the Bay Area:
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/975054

                                        1. RWCFoodie RE: hyperbowler May 10, 2014 03:54 PM

                                          Fabulous list; just to clarify one entry:
                                          I believe iDumpling is in Redwood City not San Mateo...

                                          1. b
                                            bigwheel042 RE: hyperbowler May 10, 2014 04:50 PM

                                            There's also i-Skewers on Judah, which seems to be more or less Northern (boiled dumplings, grilled meats) but also has a bunch of fish ball oriented hot pots including Fuzhou fish balls.

                                            (great thread idea, btw)

                                            1. tvr172 RE: hyperbowler May 10, 2014 06:10 PM

                                              The relatively new Lulu's Kitchen (Sichuan) in Concord is quite good.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: tvr172
                                                intomeat RE: tvr172 May 12, 2014 10:23 PM

                                                Yes, Lulu's is quite good, and plus it is walking distance from Concord BART station!

                                                While they call themselves Sichuan, surprise of surprises, their XLB is very authentic as proclaimed by several of my native Shanghainese DCs.

                                              2. j
                                                Joel RE: hyperbowler May 10, 2014 07:43 PM

                                                Mandarin Garden in Berkeley has many Sichuan dishes.
                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8516...
                                                Their new menu emphasizes these dishes, although they still offer "double skin" and Peking Duck in the style of Great China -- I suspect they have had a turnover of chefs. The new owners are from Beijing but they are not doing the cooking. .

                                                1. b
                                                  bouncepass RE: hyperbowler May 10, 2014 09:25 PM

                                                  Great list. A couple of others that I like that are so far missing:

                                                  Mama Chen's Kitchen (Cupertino): Taiwanese

                                                  Michelle's Pancake House (Cupertino): northern Chinese. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/829455

                                                  A&J (Cupertino): northern Chinese. Yelp claims it's closed, but I thought it was open the last time I went by there maybe a month ago. Can anyone confirm or deny?

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: bouncepass
                                                    Melanie Wong RE: bouncepass May 10, 2014 10:24 PM

                                                    A & J has morphed into Ai Noodle.
                                                    http://ainoodle.orengeo.com/Clients/0...

                                                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                      b
                                                      bouncepass RE: Melanie Wong May 12, 2014 11:48 AM

                                                      Thanks for the update, Melanie. The menu they've posted online looks identical to the old one. I wonder what has changed beyond the name. I'll try to inquire next time I'm there.

                                                      1. re: bouncepass
                                                        Melanie Wong RE: bouncepass May 12, 2014 11:50 AM

                                                        For as many times as I've been in that shopping center, I never ate at A & J. Please let us know how you like Ai.

                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong
                                                          b
                                                          bouncepass RE: Melanie Wong May 17, 2014 09:28 PM

                                                          One of the servers confirmed that nothing changed besides the name. My taste buds second that. Still delicious as always.

                                                  2. JoyM RE: hyperbowler May 12, 2014 04:29 PM

                                                    Great list. I would add to the Shanghai places Xiao Long Bao Kitchen on Grand Ave in SSF, and Shanghai East in San Mateo which has the same owners as Shanghai Restaurant in Oakland Chinatown, I'm pretty sure. Also, Shanghai Dumpling King moved from the outer Richmond to Monterey Blvd in Sunnyside.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: JoyM
                                                      b
                                                      bigwheel042 RE: JoyM May 12, 2014 05:01 PM

                                                      SDK still maintains branches in both locations.

                                                      1. re: JoyM
                                                        h
                                                        hyperbowler RE: JoyM May 12, 2014 05:04 PM

                                                        Shanghai East is closed... I wonder if the quality has changed at the Oakland location since.

                                                        Holy crap, XLB Kitchen has an XL XLB http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/678862 ! Pictures on Y*lp show it as smaller than the Large Tang Bao in Shanghai, but that's still a novelty!

                                                        1. re: JoyM
                                                          b
                                                          BoneAppetite RE: JoyM May 12, 2014 06:53 PM

                                                          XLB Kitchen owners also operate Shanghai Dumpling Shop in Millbrae. The owner started out as dishwasher at old Wukong?

                                                        2. K K RE: hyperbowler May 12, 2014 11:49 PM

                                                          That is a very well thought out compiled list! Kudos hyperbowler!

                                                          Other Vietnamese Chinese contenders (Vietnamese Chinese have Chiu Chow/Teochew roots, but their food is very different than Chiu Chow Cantonese)

                                                          - Thai Nghiep Ky Mi Gia (Noriega, SF) owned by a family whose chef used to work at Hai Ky. Less MSG, easier to park.
                                                          - VH Noodle House (Richmond, Pacific East Mall)

                                                          Taiwanese
                                                          Mama Chef (Santa Clara)
                                                          Mama Chen (Cupertino)
                                                          Taiwan Café (Milpitas)

                                                          Hunan
                                                          New contender: "Wonderful" next to Chicken Pho You in Millbrae. Have not been, but higher priced entrees, supposedly a branch from a famous place in Beijing. No signs of Sichuan or Cantonese on the temporary menu, several dishes of Hunanese preserved/pickled/smoked pork.

                                                          Sichuan/Taiwanese style Sichuan
                                                          Spices IV (Foster City)

                                                          The chef at Yum's Bistro, if given enough notice can do some excellent Shunde Cantonese dishes (actually the restaurant where he worked in the 1970s, specialized in rustic Shunde Cantonese).

                                                          You can find some scattered Shunde and Zhongshan Cantonese dishes in Millbrae at Gourmet Village, The Kitchen, and Champagne restaurant (San Mateo/Millbrae).

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: K K
                                                            h
                                                            hyperbowler RE: K K May 13, 2014 05:07 PM

                                                            Thanks for all the Peninsula/South Bay info! Search is wacky today, but it brings up some of your previous inputs on Shunde and Zhongshan dishes.

                                                            While I'm writing...

                                                            Yi Ping (Sichuan, San Ramon)
                                                            Yu Yu Restaurant (Korean Chinese, Dublin)

                                                            It looks like Northwest Chinese food has been in the East Bay since early 2014. No reports yet, but here was an inquiry about it and a y*lp link to the photos/menu.

                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967583

                                                            If I'm correctly reading the restaurant's Chinese name (西北拉面, Xi Bei La Mian), it translates to Northwest hand-pulled noodle. The menu lists a few items of note including liang pi, ding ding chow mein (only Shandong Deluxe has these chunks of hand pulled noodles to my knowledge), and big plate chicken (also at Shandong Deluxe, Xi'an Gourmet, Made In China, and Terra Cotta Warrior).

                                                            1. re: K K
                                                              k
                                                              Kirk_T RE: K K Jun 4, 2014 10:26 AM

                                                              Wonderful on Broadway in Millbrae seems to be a pretty authentic Hunan place. They opened maybe a month ago. In general, dishes were heavy handed on salt, a bit oily, and things do get pretty spicey. Lots of garlic, green onion, ginger and chiles in the dishes. No lack of flavor going on here. After I told that to a co-worker from Hunan, she said that sounded about right. As I was late to dinner, I did not have the chance to review the menu or order, so no official dish names.

                                                              Red braised pork belly was surrounded by those four ingredients above. Chiles sauteed with preserve egg (pi dan) was less spicey than it sounds; they might have been Anaheim chiles. Apparently this is a staple of Hunan cuisine, but a combination I've never had before. Frog with those big four veg and lamb with cilantro were fine.

                                                              A small whole fish in a chile broth with soft tofu is a winner. The server claimed that the dish needs to be cooked for thirty minutes. If so, the fish was surprisingly not overcooked. Had a similar profile as soondubu. Green onion pancake is thick and bready, similar to the one at Darda. Saltier, oilier, tastier.

                                                              Fermented rice with glutinous rice balls was subpar. The egg mixture in the broth was overcooked. The balls had no chew. Open view kitchen with old style Chinese wood theme; the decor is a cut above the average Chinese restaurant in the Bay area. Beer would be good (or necessary?) with the food, but liquor license not approved yet.

                                                              1. re: Kirk_T
                                                                K K RE: Kirk_T Jun 4, 2014 11:32 AM

                                                                Thanks for the feedback. Still have not been yet, but had a feeling it wasn't going to be bad. I don't know much about Hunan food but the place seems legit, and at least clean and semi upscale looking. I did glance at a takeout menu one time and there were a lot of preserved smoked Hunan style meat (la rou) dishes, far more than any other place I've seen.

                                                                The trick with most regional Chinese restaurants is to request dishes with less oil less salt (shao yoh shao yen). The pork belly you had was probably Mao's braised pork belly...pretty famous and iconic Hunan dish.

                                                                1. re: Kirk_T
                                                                  h
                                                                  hyperbowler RE: Kirk_T Jun 4, 2014 11:56 AM

                                                                  Wonderful
                                                                  270 Broadway, Millbrae

                                                                  Hours:
                                                                  closed on Tuesdays (as of two weeks ago)
                                                                  Sun-Monday, 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-9:30pm

                                                              2. h
                                                                hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler May 20, 2014 11:09 PM

                                                                er... scratch Ming's off that hand-pulled noodle list. That chef no longer works there.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: hyperbowler
                                                                  h
                                                                  hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler May 23, 2014 10:59 PM

                                                                  Add Yi Yuan to the list for Langzhou hand-pulled noodles: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/865078

                                                                2. h
                                                                  hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler May 30, 2014 11:38 AM

                                                                  Pepper brothers (Newark, Sichuan): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/977271

                                                                  1. K K RE: hyperbowler Jun 3, 2014 07:30 AM

                                                                    + Beijing Duck House (Cupertino)

                                                                    The summary:

                                                                    Tasty preorder Peking Duck (7 to 8 lbs per, shipped in from Long Island NY somewhere), carved tableside, and served with in house made crepes, and the carcass and meat in a tasty duck soup (thus, two ways...but they won't do three way). They also make a lot of "Lao Beijing" style snacks, some that supposedly were served as Imperial Banquet type mini dishes for the Last Empress of China (mostly dessert types, she probably had a sweet tooth, but luckily not a Yelper type into macarons, froyo, and Cream sandwiches). The cold appetizer dishes are very noteworthy, like marinated duck tongue, and Chinese mustard (mostly deboned) duck web which had a killer umami presence and perfect amount of mustard marination...as well as a dish of Lu cuisine origin called Luo Han Du (like a head cheese, but has pork stomach and tripe)...could give Cosentino's Boccalone offerings a run for their money...not as decadent as coppa di testa but very close in feeling. Friends who have eaten at Quanjude Beijing said this duck was obviously inferior, but I suppose if you haven't been to Beijing duck restaurants where they use apple or lychee wood fire, this ain't so bad and is already a great effort for SF Bay Area. I forgot to ask the other friends if they thought it was better than Great China (which I think for sure it would be).

                                                                    Not the best service (or hospitality) by the owner/lady boss, but perhaps a bit of a communication issue. Overcome this and go in a group, and the experience gets better.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: K K
                                                                      h
                                                                      hyperbowler RE: K K Jun 3, 2014 12:18 PM

                                                                      Great report-- I'm encouraged to organize a Chowdown here!

                                                                      Because of a typo (now fixed) you might have have missed some other reports about this place.

                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/975169

                                                                      1. re: hyperbowler
                                                                        K K RE: hyperbowler Jun 3, 2014 01:09 PM

                                                                        Saw that sometime back thanks, our table had way more varied dishes than that report, including ones from the temporary specials menu which I had already mentioned a few.

                                                                        1. re: K K
                                                                          h
                                                                          hyperbowler RE: K K Jun 3, 2014 05:13 PM

                                                                          (drool) I just caught your pics, and menu pictures, on yelp. Fingers crossed that they make those specials menus permanent and translate them. In the meantime, the translations you gave are super helpful--- I hope they keep making the items you ate!

                                                                          http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/beijin...

                                                                    2. soupçon RE: hyperbowler Jun 4, 2014 12:13 PM

                                                                      Based on Luke Tsai's review of Dragon Gate in Oakland, looks like we have a solid addition to the Taiwanese category.

                                                                      http://goo.gl/SzpJVr

                                                                      1. h
                                                                        hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler Jun 13, 2014 11:16 PM

                                                                        Shanghai Dumplings (Saratoga) moved to Shanghai Dumpling (Cupertino) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/923572

                                                                        Shanghai Family Restaurant (Cupertino) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/743042

                                                                        1. r
                                                                          Ridge RE: hyperbowler Jun 21, 2014 09:42 AM

                                                                          Can we try to pin this to the top? Not sure if the moderators would do it but it would be nice.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Ridge
                                                                            h
                                                                            hyperbowler RE: Ridge Jun 21, 2014 12:29 PM

                                                                            I'll ask the mods.

                                                                            Let's give this thread another month--- at the beginning of August, I'll make a version 2.0, which can integrate the new entries from this post.

                                                                            It would be nice to have a brief list for each region of go-to dishes common at the restaurants, but that gets complicated by the inconsistent naming. Plus, threads devoted to each restaurant are so rich with discussion, it's probably better to keep things minimal here.

                                                                          2. h
                                                                            hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler Jun 23, 2014 04:47 PM

                                                                            Top Noodle (Milpitas, shanghainese)

                                                                            Adding the two below, the Bay Area now has five places with lots of Shaanxi items:

                                                                            OK Noodle (Newark, Shaanxi)

                                                                            Thousand Tasty (Milpitas, Shaanxi and northern Chinese) 8 varieties of rou jia mo, bread soup, "house handmade" noodles, various pancakes, various shredded pancake(chao bing) dishes

                                                                            1. h
                                                                              hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler Jun 25, 2014 12:40 AM

                                                                              Zhong Shan Restaurant (SF Parkside) Seven items listed as being Zhong Shan style, including six in the "Village Style" section of the menu as well as Steamed Sparerib with Olive. Steamed yogurt with seafood (海鮮粒蒸乳酪) sounds interesting.

                                                                               
                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: hyperbowler
                                                                                d
                                                                                davidg1 RE: hyperbowler Jul 17, 2014 12:32 AM

                                                                                I noticed this place too. I'm not particularly knowledgeable about Cantonese food, but it looks to me like there are some unusual clay pot dishes on the menu too. Signage (to me, at least) might suggest someone serious about food.

                                                                                 
                                                                              2. h
                                                                                hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler Jun 28, 2014 11:21 PM

                                                                                A few Shandong-Korean places pulled from Chowhound tanspace's blog: http://eat.tanspace.com/2014/01/10/%E...

                                                                                Hung’s Kitchen (Shandong-Korean, San Ramon
                                                                                )China Way (Shandong-Korean, Santa Clara)
                                                                                Tong Soon Garden (Shandong-Korean, Santa Clara)
                                                                                Nak Kung (Shandong-Korean, Santa Clara)
                                                                                Tsing Tao (Shandong-Korean, Campbell)

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: hyperbowler
                                                                                  Melanie Wong RE: hyperbowler Jun 28, 2014 11:25 PM

                                                                                  Oh wow, tanspace revived his blog . . . well, first and only post since 2009.

                                                                                2. h
                                                                                  hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler Jun 28, 2014 11:34 PM

                                                                                  Little Sichuan Restaurant (Newark) : lots of untranslated signboard items too

                                                                                  So far, if you exclude duplicates from chains, we're at more than 150 places, more than half from Sichuan, Shanghai, and Shandong/KoreanChinese and several from Cantonese variants or offshoots.

                                                                                  1. h
                                                                                    hyperbowler RE: hyperbowler Jul 16, 2014 05:26 PM

                                                                                    Two northeast China restaurants in SF:

                                                                                    China North Dumpling (Outer Sunset SF) chef from Shenyang
                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/981311

                                                                                    Sungari Restaurant (Excelsior SF) chef from somewhere in Liaoning : http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/982662

                                                                                    Also for the northeast, Made in China (Parkside, SF) has sections of the menu titled "Shenyang Tasty BBQ," "Dongbei Classic Dishes,""Northeast tasty hotspicy," and "Northeast tasty dishes."

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