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Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

Ranch 99 has frozen "roti Paratha" in two flavors--- a banana and a cumin

The directions aren't in English, but I think I did the best possible job cooking them. Very meh, but I've had worse at restaurants. Crunchy outsides, greasy layers you can peel apart on the inside. I cooked two and I'm keeping the rest around for unwelcome guests.

about 3 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

Are you asking about Burmese restaurants or in general? If the latter, banana island makes theirs from scratch. It is sometimes difficult to get a straight answer from servers – – I had a terrible roti at a Thai restaurant on the peninsula that I was told was freshly made, but The greasy perfectly round disc was clearly just heated up in the kitchen.

How are frozen ones sold? Do they sell sheets of rolled out dough, kind of like phyllo dough, or are they only sold preformed?

Regional Chinese roundup 2.0

Shanghai Kitchen (Shanghai, Milpitas) is the place currently at 1708 N. Milpitas.

There's also a listing for "The Top Hot Inc." at that address, and the CFO is involved in the two Chef Zhao restaurants. I'll keep an internet eye out for details of that restaurant as none other exist:


US geography game : Bay Area restaurant edition

California: Tommy's Joynt (not that there's anything particularly California on the menu, but as far as I'm aware, this style of Hofbrau is as anomalous elsewhere in the US as North East Greek Diners are in CA)

Shandong Pan Fried dumplings

Yeah, it's a different dough.

Shan Dong Restaurant makes very good potstickers, presumably the same type of unleavened dough they use for the boiled dumplings. Their (leavened) steamed bun dough, which they use for those gigantic buns, tastes like steam bun dough recipes that use all-purpose flour. Given how large Shan Dong's buns are, I don't know if they'd be very good pan-fried.

According to this article, Happy Dumplings' uses a Korean type of low-gluten flour (and feel leavened):

Shandong Pan Fried dumplings

Thanks--- I found lots of matching photos and even a recipe online from that description!

Happy dumpling might be the only game in town--- I looked at some local Shandong restaurant menus and none list an item by that name. Something close might be at Guan Dong House. They list something that would be translated as "Guan Dong water pan-fried buns" and pics on y*lp show a more oval shaped bottom than the Sheng Jian bao everyone else makes.

Regional Chinese roundup 2.0


So, Shanghai Delight moved from 218 Barber Ct. to 686 Barber Ln?

Spices Fremont is easy to miss in the original post. It's under Sichuan/Taiwanese.

This is meant to be a comprehensive list of restaurants whose food, not just the name, is identified with a specific region of China. Cantonese and Chinese American as a whole are left out because they're the default in the Bay Area and there are way to many to track. We're also leaving out dessert shops, stands, etc. unless they're pretty unique.

Shandong Pan Fried dumplings

Happy Dumplings' food stand can be found at the Stonestown and Diablo Walnut Creek farmer's markets and at Fort Mason Off the Grid. They sell a few varieties of Shandong Pan Fried Dumplings including pork and cabbage, chicken and cilantro, and a vegetarian. The skins rise and get browned in the pan and the dough is less bready than a bao zi and less slick than a potsticker. Compared to a Shanghai pan-fried bun/dumpling (Sheng Jian Bao), the insides have vegetable matter and the outsides are browned but not burned.

I was really, er, happy with the ones I got at Stonestown. Do any of the brick and mortar Shandong restaurants make these, and if so, what do they call them? Happy dumplings lists them as jian bao (煎包).


Longer review:

They used to sell them at a restaurant in the Tenderloin:

US geography game : Bay Area restaurant edition

Hawaii : Aina (Bernal Heights, SF popup, https://www.facebook.com/aina903 )

Roti canai / roti prata SFBA Dish of the Month January 2015

I've got a cold and can't taste a damn thing, so I sought spectacle and crunch at Banana Island for my first roti canai this month.

Banana Island in Daly City has an open kitchen in the center of the restaurant and you can see the roti canai making process from dough stretching to plating. The roti canai maker first moistens his hands with ghee, and spreads a rectangle of dough across the granite countertop. He picks it up, twirls it around to stretch the dough, and then places a now giant rectangle on the countertop to deflate. After disposing of loose dough on the corners, he folds the edges partly in, as if making an envelope, and creates a mix of single and double layered dough. Someone transfers the dough to the grill, where it stretches from the front to the back, and sits beside one or two other roti canai. Giant air bubbles get tamped down and it gets flipped after a few minutes. He's not putting on a show, but this is as fun to watch as the making of hand-pulled noodles or, to a lesser extent, pizza tossing.

They're very busy making roti at dinner time--- 45 minutes went by without a roti being on the grill. There's the plain roti canai, roti telur (roti w/ egg), and roti kaya, a dessert roti that has a layer of kaya (coconut, pandan, and egg jam) cooked into the center and which is topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

The roti canai I got was magnificent. Despite the liberal use of ghee, it was greaseless. The double layered sections were chewy, and at no point bready. The unfolded, single layered, sections of the roti canai were crisp and translucent, in some parts transparent.

Everyone there knew to get the roti canai, but there's lots of Thai fool's gold on the menu. It's best to ask your server, or manager, what Malaysian/Singaporean specialties they do best.

Taking advantage of an airmiles/dining rewards offer to spend $30 at qualifying SF restaurant in exchange for 2K United miles. Which are worth visiting?

I've had good meals in the past six months at El Metate and La Urbana, and, at some point earlier, Saha and Memphis Minnie's BBQ Joint. You'll need a group to spend >$30 at El Metate and MM.

The Pig and Whistle has trivia nights, so you can treat some friends to a round or two for $30.

I've been wanting to hear (more) reports about Minas Gerais, Hoffmann's Grill, Gilberth's Rotisserie http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/847208.

US geography game : Bay Area restaurant edition

Yes! And by using a specific town name, that still leaves open opportunities for someone to claim NY, "upstate NY", Buffalo, NYC, the northeast, etc.

US geography game : Bay Area restaurant edition

There are plenty of SF Bay Area threads devoted to locating a restaurant that's associated with somewhere else in the U.S. I'm curious what in total we have at our fingertips.

So, it's culinary road-trip time! Name a Bay Area restaurant whose menu or schtick (not necessarily its name) is associated with a location in the US.

You only get a point for adding a new geographical location to the thread. To prevent Tony's Pizza, with their dozen plus regional styles of pizza from dominating the thread, let's limit ourselves to one geographical location per restaurant.

And no fighting in the back seat- I'm not really keeping score :-) I'll start:

Pittsburgh, PA: Giordano Brothers (Mission, SF)

Regional Chinese roundup 2.0

Another Shanghai restaurant bites the dust:

Shanghai Ding Sheng Restaurant (Milpitas) closed

Chef Zhao Bistro [San Mateo]

Chef Zhao recently opened a second location in San Mateo. Permanent menus will come soon, but I ordered from what might have been an old menu from their Mountain View location ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/881994 ). There are lots of photographs on the menu, and it looks to be curated towards Sichuan dishes.

Sichuan green beans : awesome. crisp, wrinkled and potently flavored with garlic and a generous dose of ya cai (http://www.fuchsiadunlop.com/sichuane... )

Spicy beef with soft tofu (something like that...) : on its own, the beef struck me as over tenderized, but its soft texture works here as a middle ground between the crunchy chile flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, and deep fried soybeans on top and the soft tofu below. They don't hold back on the numbing spice from the red Sichuan peppercorns.

The chef (owner?) is from Chengdu and he came out of the kitchen to ask how the customers liked everything. I took that as an opportunity to ask him some questions about Sichuan peppercorns. With the help of the woman who works the front of the house, he explained that he uses red Sichuan peppercorns (花椒, Hua jiao, "flower peppers") for their numbing power in fiery hot dishes flooded with chili oil, and that he uses green Sichuan peppercorns (藤椒, Teng jiao, "Vine peppers") in dishes that emphasize light and fresh flavors. He whipped up a sauce using green Sichuan peppercorns and scallions so I could appreciate this distinction on some tofu from the above dish. Next time, I'm going to order a cold dish pictured on the menu consisting of poached chicken and a green Sichuan peppercorn sauce.

Closed Tuesdays, takes credit. Mostly square tables, but there's one round table big enough for a party of ~10.

Chef Zhao Bistro (in the former Jade Garden space)
2450 S El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 345-6288

Regional Chinese roundup 2.0

New or newish
Shanghai Kitchen (Shanghai, Milpitas) replaces Melin House (Shanghai)
Tai Kee Won Ton (Taiwanese, San Jose) http://taikeewonton.com/
Chez Zhao Bistro (Sichuan, San Mateo) replaces (Cantonese) Jade Dragon

Forgot to include:
Dragon 2000 (Shanghai, Sichuan; Walnut Creek)

Bay Area Burmese Restaurant Roundup 2.0

Burma Love's menu is online:


Bay Area Burmese Restaurant Roundup 2.0

60 Corte Madera Ave
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 945-9096


Centouno - Oakland JLS

Between that and Plank, there should be lots of space up for rent next year... ;-)

Foie Gras Is Legal in California Again!

Any thoughts on whether not having Foie Gras available pushed innovation in other areas? Just curious.

French Fries: SFBA Dish of the Month December 2014

+1 on A Cote's fries

Yes, please "cheat!" It's great to see people chasing one food during a particular month, but these threads should continue to contain useful, and updated, tips about the dishes we try.

Brown Sugar Kitchen uses quick grits, wholesale vendors [Oakland]

It's unfortunate that there's lexical ambiguity in what "organic" refers to in "organic cheddar cheese grits." Perhaps she should have her menu look like this salad from a 2008 menu in Davis:

"Bio-Regional Salad Local Organic Baby Mixed Greens, Local Organic Romaine, Local Organic Onions, Local Organic Carrots, Local Kiwi, Local Guava, Local Organic Plums, Local Corn, Local Organic Cantelope, Local Pears, Local Organic Persimmons, Local Cauliflower, Local Organic Broccoli, Local Organic Peppers, Local Organic Pickled Beets, and Feta or Local Free Range Hard-boiled Egg, Local Walnuts,Dressing of Choice"


Arabian Nights + Pakistani Rec (SF)

Yeah, it was past that. Crunch wasn't the issue though--- it's more that the insides were dense and lacking moisture. I can't recall how crunchy the outside was, but despite an almost black color, it didn't taste burnt.

Verbena on Polk, SF

The dishes I recently ate at Verbena showcased pickling, curing, and vegetables in such a way that meat, though executed well, was the least interesting stuff on the plate. I hope they can continue to show promise after the chef leaves. I'll also note that parking isn't easy, so plan ahead.

Beet and sunchoke palla rossa, pickled green walnut, pomegranate : My favorite dish and well composed. Intensely savory, in particular from the roasted sunchokes.

Meatballs with mushrooms farao cabbage, Hungarian wax pepper, horseradish, dill : very good

Koji cured ham and cheddar cauliflower turnip, onion, mustard : the koji "mustard" was great stuff and had such an impact that it was difficult to tell whether I was being bombarded with acidity, heat-spice, mustardy-spice, umami, or salt. It paired well with thinly sliced, but perhaps a bit too salty on its own, cured ham.

Nettle noodles with aged lamb shoulder black trumpet mushrooms, rapini, brussels and pea sprouts, dried egg yolk : good flavors, but not an execution I enjoy and the noodles had the same mealy texture as a 1990s "whole wheat pasta." I really dislike this style of noodle dish (Rich Table had a similar one last year)--- you have to fish the noodles out of a broth and eat them off a share plate as it gets increasingly wet. Without chopsticks or the sloped sides usually used for pasta, I used my fork to twirl the stiff pasta in my spoon... sorry, Emily Post.

Buttermilk ice cream with beet granita Seville orange, huckleberry, sorrel : the skin of huckleberries was unyielding, and the fibrous texture of the mashed beets was too much in the foreground. This was another situation where the plating made no sense-- the ornamental bowl was sloped so that I couldn't get granita on my spoon without a second spoon or a finger.

Apples, some type of toasted cake, and candy cap something: the candy cap smell haunted us from the moment we entered Verbena, and it proved to be a delicious and filling dessert ... but not so filling to preclude the purchase of a Bob's Doughnut.

Any new places in the Castro district? [San Francisco]

Thanks for the reminder to buy tickets--- cool lineup this year!

Manos Nouveau http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/977168 has moved into the old Pica Pica location and is scheduled to open on the 13th.

A map supposedly of all the restaurants in the Castro proper:

Help for Singapore

Wow, this serves as a very generous index to many of your old posts. Are these lists ranked or just randomly ordered?

Rustic style wedding reception venue on a budget

At their current prices, the Presidio is unfortunately out of budget --- the Log Cabin at the Presidio is their cheapest indoor venue, and it costs $4,000-$4,400. It can fit 150 people, but there would be minimal room for dancing, and there's limited parking. The other downsides that smatbrat mentioned are that a full service caterer must do cleanup and setup and a bartender must have liquor liability insurance--- that'll put you way over budget.

Rustic style wedding reception venue on a budget


There's nothing to my knowledge in San Francisco that meets that criteria, so you'll do better in other parts of the Bay Area. Do a search for "budget" and "wedding." This thread has lots of useful tips: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/922155 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9221...

Baby shower for 30 - food ideas

I don't know what your re-heating possibilities are, but for Mexican in SF: http://www.lapalmasf.com/menu.html

Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes

It's a great read if you want to find out what's under the hood at San Francisco restaurant Bar Tartine. It's mostly information for those into pickling, dehydrating, and obscure ingredients, but there's some stuff for regular home cooks.

Has anyone else tried out the recipes? What's good and not too crazy for a home cook?

As a start, I tried to replicate a Chicken Paprikás I ate at Bar Tartine. That recipe isn't in the book, so I instead made the book's corkscrew egg noodles on page 178-179 and paired it with a Chicken Paprikás recipe Balla wrote online a few years ago: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ch...

The egg noodles are very rich-- 8 yolks for 120 g of flour (60g all purpose, 60g "00" flour). We doubled the recipe, which brought us to 16 fluid ounces of egg yolks. The "00" flour is necessary--- I only used all purpose, and the dough was dense and tough to knead.

Shaping the pasta takes a long time, but we sped up as time went by. I estimate it would take a novice 90 minutes to cut and shape noodles for a single recipe. The recipe calls for pressing two 1/8 x 1/8 x 2" pieces of pasta together at the top, and twisting them into corkscrews. Yikes! We decided to make them 3" long instead, and it took us an hour to cut and shape a double recipe. The dough dries quickly, so you have to keep it under a damp towel as you work.

The noodles were nice and chewy and the irregularity of our noodle shapes added to our enjoyment of their texture. I coated them in some sour cream and light olive oil instead of butter, and the paprika sauce was a delicious compliment. The online Chicken Paprikás recipe was damn good too, and had fully developed flavors and body. The only change to that recipe was roasting the chicken legs for twice as long since the listed 25 minutes was enough to crisp the skin, but not to brown it or render out much fat. I'd say my chicken legs were better than what I are at Bar Tartine, but the sauce was better at the restaurant (they had added black trumpet mushrooms).

Jan 05, 2015
hyperbowler in Home Cooking