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Eater guide for Sf / Bay Area Chinese cuisine (8 categories)

Eater guide for Sf / Bay Area Chinese cuisine (8 categories)

Old Jan 20, 23, 11:18 pm
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Eater guide for Sf / Bay Area Chinese cuisine (8 categories)

https://sf.eater.com/2023/1/20/23564...ocoXb0I5aNHzGA
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Old Jan 21, 23, 4:42 pm
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Big thumbs up for Wojia in Albany. I've also had some decent takeout from Ming's Tasty, although that is all the way in the heart of Anarchy, California, so I'm scared, very scared.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 1:26 am
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Big thumbs up for Wojia in Albany. I've also had some decent takeout from Ming's Tasty, although that is all the way in the heart of Anarchy, California, so I'm scared, very scared.
is Mings on telegraph near my Korean places where Ill eat my luncheon?
I dont know wojia and actually I dont know many of the Chinese places in San Francisco including the ones near my own house. I walk past so many chinese restaurants every week including the famous Mission Chinese where I probably last ate in September 2018 before the Saint Etienne concert. Just walk past Mission Chinese oh so much. I love it and I still never enter.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 1:48 am
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Which of those 8 cuisines can lay claim to 核桃虾? It's my favorite Chinese dish that I used to get when I lived in the Bay Area. A lot of the Chinese places in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Cupertino offer it. I've seen rough approximations of it in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but poor execution compared to NorCal.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 5:40 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Which of those 8 cuisines can lay claim to 核桃虾? It's my favorite Chinese dish that I used to get when I lived in the Bay Area. A lot of the Chinese places in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Cupertino offer it. I've seen rough approximations of it in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but poor execution compared to NorCal.
It has to be Cantonese, right? LOL...when it comes to anything great from Chinese cuisine, I'll always just revert to, "it's Cantonese." In my experience, while it varies slightly, just about any Cantonese restaurant in SF's Chinatown, the Peninsula, Palo Alto, Monterey Park and probably along the CA coast will prepare this dish wonderfully.

PS - This and Peking Duck are two of the dishes I always order taking folks to enjoy Cantonese (Chinese) cuisine. I've yet to run into anyone who didn't love these two dishes.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Visconti View Post

PS - This and Peking Duck are two of the dishes I always order taking folks to enjoy Cantonese (Chinese) cuisine. I've yet to run into anyone who didn't love these two dishes.
You've never run into me! I hate, hate, hate duck. Ok, I'll eat the crispy skin and the buns, but not the meat! That said, Great China in Berkeley (mentioned on the list) makes a very good one according to everyone else but me, overall has very good food, and has likely the most exceptional wine list of any Chinese restaurant in the area, and perhaps the USA.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Visconti View Post
It has to be Cantonese, right? LOL...when it comes to anything great from Chinese cuisine, I'll always just revert to, "it's Cantonese." In my experience, while it varies slightly, just about any Cantonese restaurant in SF's Chinatown, the Peninsula, Palo Alto, Monterey Park and probably along the CA coast will prepare this dish wonderfully.

PS - This and Peking Duck are two of the dishes I always order taking folks to enjoy Cantonese (Chinese) cuisine. I've yet to run into anyone who didn't love these two dishes.
There isn't anything Cantonese about Peking Duck, apart from the fact that it is popular in Cantonese-speaking areas. It doesn't seem to fit into any of the 8 standard categories either. I've heard it described as Chinese imperial cuisine, but I don't think that is a widely accepted term:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_imperial_cuisine

I also wonder about how to categorize some of dishes that are popular in NE China (Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin). Whenever I go up there, I can usually find food that I like.

Finally, Xinjiang (Uyghur) food seems to be completely missing from the 8-cuisine breakdown. This sort of makes sense because a lot of people there don't care about Beijing and the feeling is mutual, but I can tell you that Xinjiang food, especially 串, is quite popular throughout China.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
There isn't anything Cantonese about Peking Duck, apart from the fact that it is popular in Cantonese-speaking areas. It doesn't seem to fit into any of the 8 standard categories either. I've heard it described as Chinese imperial cuisine, but I don't think that is a widely accepted term:
National Geographic attributes the origin of Peking Duck to Hangzhou; it then became a specialty of nearby Nanjing and arrived in Beijing sometime during the Ming dynasty.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
National Geographic attributes the origin of Peking Duck to Hangzhou; it then became a specialty of nearby Nanjing and arrived in Beijing sometime during the Ming dynasty.
While it's clear that the concept of roasting ducks, and even eating them in general, originated in Zhejiang and Jiangsu, it wasn't until after the capital moved to Beijing that Peking duck began to take on its current form (e.g. roasting method, sauces, accompaniments). It's still possible to try authentic (well, so they say) Jingling duck in and around Nanjing and various forms of salted roast duck all around China, but none of those preparations hold a candle to Peking Duck IMO. I'm also not a big fan of duck. However, I have to admit that I enjoy Peking duck on occasion.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
While it's clear that the concept of roasting ducks, and even eating them in general, originated in Zhejiang and Jiangsu, it wasn't until after the capital moved to Beijing that Peking duck began to take on its current form...
The evolution of the roasting method serving rituals are described in the article which I linked.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 5:17 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
The evolution of the roasting method serving rituals are described in the article which I linked.
Thanks. I read the article, and have sampled ducks that purport to comprise various points on the evolutionary graph. The Beijing product is the most delicious imo.
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Old Jan 22, 23, 7:52 pm
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
National Geographic attributes the origin of Peking Duck to Hangzhou; it then became a specialty of nearby Nanjing and arrived in Beijing sometime during the Ming dynasty.
Even by the standards of the article: it was being cooked in the south for ~200 years before the move of the Capital to Beijing...where it has been cooked for ~600 years. One presumes it has evolved more in the last 600 than 800-600 year period. It's a bit like saying Haggis isn't really Scottish: possibly via some hair-splitting argument, but for all intents and purposes, that's ridiculous.

It is notable that Cantonese restaurants (at least reasonably high-end ones) offer Peking duck: usually at 2-5 times the price of Beijing restaurants. I don't know whether that's a modern (last 20-30 years phenomenon) or if e.g. 50 years ago, Cantonese restaurants in HK or e.g. SF offered Peking duck..anyone know?

tb

PS as mentioned in the article, London Cantonese restaurants have traditionally served "crispy aromatic duck" which is fried...am wondering whether Cantonese restaurants elsewhere (US/HK) also used to do the same until Peking duck was 'having a moment'...?

Last edited by trueblu; Jan 22, 23 at 7:59 pm Reason: PS
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Old Jan 22, 23, 9:01 pm
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Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
It is notable that Cantonese restaurants (at least reasonably high-end ones) offer Peking duck: usually at 2-5 times the price of Beijing restaurants. I don't know whether that's a modern (last 20-30 years phenomenon) or if e.g. 50 years ago, Cantonese restaurants in HK or e.g. SF offered Peking duck..anyone know?

tb

PS as mentioned in the article, London Cantonese restaurants have traditionally served "crispy aromatic duck" which is fried...am wondering whether Cantonese restaurants elsewhere (US/HK) also used to do the same until Peking duck was 'having a moment'...?
I grew up in and around Boston during the 80s, and we (my family) seemed to eat Chinese food once or twice a month. My recollection is that the fancier places (e.g. there was a really nice one in the Cambridge Hyatt) often had Peking duck on the menu. I'm not sure you would call those restaurants Cantonese though (or maybe you would?). I went to high school in SE New Hampshire and we had one Chinese restaurant in town. My friends and I went to it frequently because the food in our dining halls was repetitive, if not downright bad tasting. It was not a fancy restaurant by any means, and I suppose it was sort of Cantonese (if owners immigrating from HK counts). They did have Peking duck, and it was decent. The price was $50 per duck, which was quite expensive at the time, especially for a small, not particularly affluent, New England town. Incidentally, $50 (in today's dollars) is still enough to get a duck at the places we used to discuss in the Peking duck thread (e.g. Dadong, Quanjude, Made in China).
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Old Jan 23, 23, 8:03 am
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is Uigher food the same style as what they call west China / Chinese Islam food Which uses a lot of lamb and cumin?

Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Which of those 8 cuisines can lay claim to 核桃虾? It's my favorite Chinese dish that I used to get when I lived in the Bay Area. A lot of the Chinese places in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Cupertino offer it. I've seen rough approximations of it in Hong Kong and Taiwan, but poor execution compared to NorCal.
do you have a photo of this dish? My grandparents are from China and I definitely do not read nor speak it.
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Old Jan 23, 23, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
You've never run into me! I hate, hate, hate duck. Ok, I'll eat the crispy skin and the buns, but not the meat! That said, Great China in Berkeley (mentioned on the list) makes a very good one according to everyone else but me, overall has very good food, and has likely the most exceptional wine list of any Chinese restaurant in the area, and perhaps the USA.
Ah, the way you enjoy it is certainly better than the other way around! In my view, the skin is the best part and the rest of the duck is more or less anti-climactic. I still much prefer the buns over the little tortillas, which is probably the more proper way of enjoying this dish.

Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
It is notable that Cantonese restaurants (at least reasonably high-end ones) offer Peking duck: usually at 2-5 times the price of Beijing restaurants. I don't know whether that's a modern (last 20-30 years phenomenon) or if e.g. 50 years ago, Cantonese restaurants in HK or e.g. SF offered Peking duck..anyone know?
I grew up with my grandparents who had a house nestled right in the middle of SF's Little Italy and Chinatown. From my earliest memories, they would receive invitations from friends around the neighborhood for what appeared to be monthly wedding banquets at the old Empress of China on Grant Ave, where Shark's Fin soup and Peking duck were staples of the menu. I loved these dishes so much, they'd always take me along with them.

Peking duck has always been offered in the Bay Area & HK; not sure how it compares to Beijing (on my to-do list) rendition of the dish. I recall almost a decade ago, there was a restaurant called the HK Flower Lounge on Geary Street that charged around $28 for an entire Peking duck, which I found such a bargain, I'd find every excuse to dine there, lunch there, or bring friends/business associates there, where I'd always order the Walnut Shrimp dish too. They had made both fabulously.

Those were good times.
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