hyperbowler's Profile

Title Last Reply

Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)

Ah, I remembered another place where I had the raggedy ones before-- Joy Restaurant in Foster City http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6113...

Heh, Full House's noodles were like an exaggeration of the style at Joy and I wish they were biang biang---- biang biang are soft and chewy-stretchy whereas knife-shaved are tougher and more chewy-gummy like Shanghainese rice cakes. I added a report of Full House here:

about 7 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

Peninsula commuting todo list (obscenely long...)

Ha, I'd forgotten about your post but stumbled upon knife shave noodles at 5A's replacement, Full House!

They come in a seafood or a mu shu style. The mu shu style was very salty-- they claim they don't use MSG, so the mu shu sauce must have over-seasoned with hoisin or whatever sauce they use. The noodles themselves very thick rafts and not evenly cooked. They are thick, long, and asymmetric, with a smooth edge and a ragged edge, kind of like someone cleaved fluted lasagna down the center.

About half of the xiao long bao leaked soup, so I can't recommend them. Soup was tasty and fatty though.

Shanghai large wontons were really good-- they're filled with shepherd's purse and the broth is flavored with seaweed.

Smoked fish had lots of meat, but no bones, and was wetter and plumper than the versions I've had at other Bay Area restaurants (my photo looks similar to a version served in Shanghai though). I guess this was okay-- the sauce was kind of a generic Shanghai-style braising sauce.

Best DanTat in SF Chinatown

I have limited experience with Chinatown Dan Tat, but I've liked the ones at Eastern Bakery last May and a year earlier..

Do any places, in SF Chinatown or elsewhere in the Bay Area, use lard in their dough?

about 10 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month Nominations (June to December 2015)

LATIN AMERICAN EMPANADAS (including Mexico, Caribbean, Meso America and South America)

about 19 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

Volunteers for SFBA Dish of the Month Coordinator (June to December 2015)

Please volunteer to be a Dish of the Month (DOTM) coordinator for one of the months between June and December! Your responsibility will be to choose a dish from the DOTM Nominations list
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1014340 and create a new thread for the community to eat and discuss that dish. That's great if you eat ten versions of that DOTM, but you'd be coordinator rather than eater, so one or more will suffice :-)

When your month approaches, you get to pick the DOTM from among the highest ranked items. You can choose your favorite dish, a dish that's very different from the last DOTM, or something that struck the community's interest at that moment. Ultimately, you choice will be a dish you want to eat in that month and learn more about as other Chowhounds eat it too.

To volunteer, say below "I will volunteer for ..." and specify which month. June is 10 days away, so I'd appreciate that position being filled!

about 19 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

SFBA Dish of the Month Nominations (June to December 2015)

For the rest of the year, we're going to use a new system for Dish of the Month (DOTM) nominations/voting. This thread is a list of foods you want to eat as DOTM, and learn more about as other Chowhounds eat them too.

You can nominate as many dishes as you like, either by mentioning a new dish in CAPITAL LETTERS or "liking" a dish that's already been nominated. A volunteer will choose the dish of the month from one of the higher ranked items (e.g., highest ranked, something lower scored to prevent there being three Chilean DOTMs in a row, etc.). The volunteer would agree to try at least one version of the DOTM. You can volunteer for a specific month at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1014343 .

You can always add new items-- this thread will be open for the remainder of the year, and I'll bump it from time to time.

about 20 hours ago
hyperbowler in San Francisco Bay Area

Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)


Boiling Beijing (San Bruno)

Boiling Beijing recently opened in San Bruno. The name implies hot pot, and they've got that, but the two Beijing and Chengdu (Sichuan) chefs cook a full range of dishes worth seeking out, including hand-pulled noodles, knife-shaved noodles, jian bing and other Chinese pancakes http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/892914

I've been seated early and late enough to chat with the helpful servers and a chef (owner?) during down times. The chef (owner?) is friendly and used to work at Old Mandarin. He said that they'll soon be importing traditional hotpots, the kind with the tall round thing in the center and ornate designs on the side. They gave good advice on what to order, both to me and the other tables that don't speak Mandarin.

Here's the deal with the menu. The current menu lists items that they're not yet preparing, but as business picks up, they'll become available. The "Chef's Specials" are more elaborate and expensive preparations (whole fish, hot pots, Beijing roast duck with duck soup), the "Specials" are traditional dishes (braised pork, Chonqing fried chicken), "Stews" seem Sichuan, "Clay pot" dishes hail from all over China, "Soups" are Cantonese or Chinese American, "Delicacys" are mostly cooked in a wok, starters and street food are in the "Cold dishes" and (hot) "Cuisine" sections, "Flour specials" list pancakes, noodles, and two types of boiled dumplings. Sections such as "Pork" and "Seafood" are Chinese-American food.

The dishes I've eaten on my two visits were carefully prepared and there was not a dud in the bunch:

= hand tossed lamb with bone : a generous amount of meat attached to hacked up bones. Tender and not gamey.The pleasant broth, lettuce, and goji berries gave off a healthy vibe, but there's potatoes and carrots to bulk it up. This must be cooked slowly to melt the collagen-- the leftover cooking liquid gelatinized in my refrigerator.

= special braised beef tongue : sliced, tender, eastern-European homey, in a meaty gravy.

= jian bing guo zi aka Beijing street pancake : mung-bean flour pancake filled with a chinese doughnut (you tiao), pink pate, hot sauce, and a fermented bean sauce. The doughnut was fried to order and crisp throughout. It gave a crunch as satisfying as the deep fried wafer used in Beijing Restaurant's jian bing.

= hand pulled noodles beef ramen (Lanzhou la mian) : beef slices and wheat noodles in a good broth and garnished with cilantro. The noodles have the same even round thickness as rice noodles in bun bo hue. A server showed me video of the chef making them--- he wraps them around his hands, pulls sideways, folds it in half, and repeats the process several times to make them thinner. Minus the spinning, it's similar to the technique used by MY China or Ark in Alameda (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8900... and http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800801 ), Available in two soup dishes.

= sliced noodles (dao xiao mian, soup and fried versions) : excellent Shanxi hand-shaved noodles-- I got the fried version. Not charred, but crisp and flavorful, cabbage is put to good use as the bold ingredient here. The noodles are sliced thin, a couple of inches long, and their haphazard shape adds texture to the dish. Killer as leftover breakfast. There's another version of knife shave noodles available in the Bay Area, for example at Full House in Burlingame, that are thick, long, and asymmetric, with a smooth edge and a ragged edge, kind of like someone cleaved fluted lasagna down the center. Please chime in if you know how the technique differs-- I prefer the style at Boiling Beijing.

= pickled pepper fungus : house pickled chilies are vibrant and a little sweet. Wood ear mushrooms had a larger percentage of the flat than cup-like variety.

= spicy shredded potatoes : nailed it. Crisp, but not raw, more charred chili flavor than heat. Garlic adds savory flavors. No detectable use of MSG in this or other dishes.

= dessert, not on menu, deep fried mochi-like glutinous rice ball, stuffed with sweet lotus or red bean paste, something fruity, and peanuts. The crisp translucent skin is a bonus. Much better than their fortune cookies.

Some notes:

Next time I go, I'll forage through their Sichuan dishes:
- they said they don't use ya cai (a preserved vegetable) in their Sichuan green beans or dan dan noodles, so other dishes might be a better place to start.
- Sichuan Beer Duck with Taro is listed as the Chicken with Taro stew (they'll correct this in future menus)

Beijing observations:
- They began pickling their cabbage months ago to prepare for the opening.
- A dish that's listed on the menu, but not ready yet, is "Simmered yellow fish with pancake"--- it uses a tiebingzi (a baked corn cake).
- Beijing sweet and sour pork is on the bone. Sweet and sour pork is boneless.
- the menu has a Chinese American "mu shu" section. There's also a Beijing style mu shu pork, which is a more traditional preparation.

Shanghainese observations: a few dishes dishes historically from near Shanghai are listed, some as "Beijing" dishes (Dongpo pork shoulder in ginger sauce, Beijing braised lion's head, Beijing braised pork (belly, I think)). The chef showed me some of the seasonings he uses for the pork shoulder. He uses more spices than I've seen in Shanghainese recipes, but I don't know if that reflects a regional style or cookbook simplifications.

Some random observations:
- they've got the insanely hot dish, la si ni , http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/785368 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9032...
- ground chicken soup requires one hour notice
- fresh soy milk
- they've got a few opening deals, such as a $5 coupon if you spend more than $50


Boiling Beijing
649 San Mateo Ave (two blocks from Caltrain
)San Bruno, CA 94066
(650) 952-3388

Chronicle top 100 2015

That's surprising Great China hasn't been reviewed, considering its location, the press about the fire, and its extensive wine list. I could be charitable and speculate that restaurants outside of SF don't get written up unless they're in the spotlight and resulted in favorable meals.

It's not a review with stars and whatnot, but you should check out Kauffman's recent piece on Anjappar Chettinad et al. if you haven't already:


Chronicle top 100 2015

Terra Cotta Warrior would fit the criteria of a destination-- interesting, consistent, relatively focused menu, nice decor, no language problems with servers. Jonathan Kauffman of the Chronicle wrote a good piece on them last year. There's no good reason for that not to be on the list, but Barbacco and Gialina get on there, despite being inconsistent in my experience and undistinguished among the already long list of Italian places.

On top of Yank Sing and Hong Kong Lounge II, the Michelin Guide has recognized a few Chinese places for Bib Gourmand: Z & Y, Great China, China Village, Sichuan Home, Fey, Chino (fusiony), and MY China. Z & Y's sister restaurant was reviewed by Janny Hu and didn't have enough stars to be competitive with the rest of Bauer's list http://www.sfchronicle.com/restaurant... . I've not been to Great China since it re-opened or to HKL II, but those other Bib Gourmands have enough faults that make them not competitive.

Related topic from Bauer's previous Top 100 list: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9006...

Does the Chronicle still do bargain bites? I couldn't find a 2014 edition.

Chronicle top 100 2015

<crickets chirping>

Saltenas at Nuri's Donuts [Redwood City]

(This thread got liberated from the Beans n Bites thread, so the B&B I mentioned above is Beans n Bites)

I didn't taste lard in Nuri's dough, but the flavor and thickness were uniform throughout. Beans & Bite's dough had some spots that were a bit tougher than others, but it was still all good. Filling-wise, I'd need to compare them side by side.

Saltenas at Nuri's Donuts [Redwood City]

On Friday mornings, they're in the display case at Nuri's so no pre-ordering required!

The saltenas come in chicken and beef varieties and they're more compact than the ones at B&B. At 7:30, they were still warm. Crust delicate, but sturdy enough to hold the saltena vertically and eat it like a juicy ice cream cone. Good flavors from meat and olives and cooked perfectly--- the peas were almost as crisp as freshly steamed ones.

Advice appreciated re: Chinese Food 101 class for HS students

Lexdevil, how were your meals? Any new tips?

Chowdown Report: Little Shanghai in San Mateo

Yeah, that dish often mixes shiitake and wood ears. LS's sauce is potent enough that I was okay without the shiitake mushrooms, but it needs some more texture in there. There's something that looks a bit like a lily bud in Jefferson's photo, and it's possible there was wood ear in there.

This and the Chowdown at Bamboo Garden included sweet and sour spareribs, the salted pork and bamboo soup, and pan fried buns. To my palette, all three dishes were better at Little Shanghai, even the crappy pan fried buns! As I mentioned in the Bamboo Garden thread, let's hope BG's drop in quality was a blip due to Stanford being on vacation.

Which places do you like, and any specific dishes? I'd like to host a Chowdown at one of the three Shanghai places near Cupertino, but as the last three Chowdowns I've hosted have gotten unfavorable reviews, I'm feeling risk averse :-)

There's some more advice of what's good at LS: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/726115

General thread on Shanghai food (please add there if you have tips!):

Chowdown Report: Little Shanghai in San Mateo

Thanks to everyone for coming-- this was a very lively Chowdown! And special thanks to Vincent for the longans and grapes, and Jefferson for these photos : https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid...

To focus on strengths, their broth-based soups are simple but continue to impress me, I dig the admittedly too sweet ribs, the radish cakes won me over, and the Shanghai rice cakes were excellent. In more detail...

Fried Puff Bean Curd with Black Mushroom - my favorite versions of "four happiness gluten" use a sauce made with sugar and soy sauce, freshly fried gluten, and a few crunchy ingredients (mushrooms, wood ear, peanuts, lily buds, edamame, or bamboo shoots) to contrast with the pillows of gluten (e.g., Jai Yun). The worst, and most typical versions I've eaten, taste like an old shoe (e.g., Shanghai Dumpling Shop). Little Shanghai's version has cubes of gluten in an overabundance of dark, syrupy sauce. The ratio of gluten is too high in this dish--- I'd prefer more "happiness." I'm a sucker for the sauce they use, so I'd get this again.

Pig’s ear with 5 spice sauce - good texture, light seasoning

Steamed Meatballs (Reservation Required) - The dish is 清燉狮子頭 , which translates roughly to stewed without seasoning lion's head meatballs. It is essentially the Atkins version of Matzah ball soup. In general, there are two versions of Lion's Head Meatballs--- a version where the meatballs are paired with a broth and a version where they are slowly "red-braised" in a rich soy sauce based liquid. The more common version of the broth type, at least as I've had it, deep fries the outside of the meatballs to give them some structure and develop flavors in the shell, puts them in broth, and drapes them in cabbage to produce what looks like a lion's mane as the mixture simmers. The fat at the top of the pot gets absorbed by the cabbage, which taste fantastic after a while. Little Shanghai's version uses a cleaner approach-- apparently the meatballs are steamed, and served in a broth with some scattered greens. The meatballs are mild in flavor, but tender, and the soup was concentrated with a strong poultry flavor. As in a Matzah ball soup, there's no interaction between the balls and soup in the pot, but the soup seasons the balls as you eat each bite. I enjoyed the delicacy of this dish. This wasn't what I was expecting though, and I'm sorry that I disappointed the group by describing to them a heartier dish!

Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs Shanghai Style - I love their preparation. It's very sweet and slightly smoky from black cardammom, but the sauce isn't too sticky. Meat is tender. It's served warm.

Jiao Hua over Chicken (Reservation Required) aka Beggar’s chicken - I've never eaten this dish before, and found it disappointing. The preserved green flavor came through in the dark meat and the carcass I picked it. The white meat was dry, and the chicken itself wasn't of stellar quality--- I preferred the greens themselves to the dish overall. I don't know what type of preserved greens they used, but they tasted less earthy, in a different but pleasant way, than the greens in Hakka steamed pork.

Salted Pork w/ Bamboo Shoots Casserole ( yan du xian )- the server warned us against ordering this and the meatballs, and we should have taken his advice-- this and the meatballs were stock-based and too similar. Also, the meat and bamboo needed to be more abundant for a group our size-- I barely got chewables in my serving. But I would recommend this to a smaller group. The broth was intense, and it inherited some cured flavor from the pork belly, a chunk of which was tender and delicious. This, compared to the dishwater we got served at Bamboo Garden at a Chowdown in March.

Shanghai Fried Pork Buns (sheng jian bao) - I've had this dish there before http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7261..., and they must have run out of dough for these and substituted xiao long bao (the dough had no leavener). The stiffness of the bottom and the soup inside made these difficult to eat.

Gi Chai w/ Bean Curd Sheets - this is a light dish, and it used Shepherd's purse (ji cai) to brine up the sheets of bean curd. For me, it helped to balance out the sweetness of the heavier dishes.

Radish Pancakes (Shanghai dim sum section of menu)- I'm generally not a fan of Chinese baked pastries, and had a particularly chalky version of radish cakes at Town of Dumplings last week. Imagine my surprise at liking these so much! The pastry shell was thin, and I enjoyed the crisp-tender radish filling.

Pan Fried Noodles w/ Eel - not a distinguished dish, and I didn't get a sense of what the eels added, but it's hard for me not to like fried noodles and a salty sauce.

Shanghai Style Rice Cake - I've not had a version this good in a while. Lots of umami, not too oily. Uneven char, but I got lots of the good parts.

Red Bean Paste Pancake - very good-- crisp outer edges tasted like fortune cookies.

I should have listened to Vincent's suggestion of sticking to a pre-ordered menu. The advantage of that is getting a balanced meal of dishes the kitchen does well. The drawback is you miss out on some fun gems. I think I ordered us too many dishes with a thick and sweet black sauce, and that caused some otherwise good dishes to get lost in the fray. A shrimp dish or something acidic was needed.

The restaurant was busy for a Tuesday and they were understaffed. That made it a particular challenge to get stuff since we were wedged in the corner. The server was unaware that I'd pre-ordered two items, but luckily the kitchen had remembered! I need to remember to request clean plates throughout these multi-course Chowdowns ...

For more info on the menu: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/726115

Chronicle top 100 2015

Setting aside training, such as being a Chez Panisse alum, 31 of the restaurants share a chef or owner with another restaurant on the list. Totally different experiences in some cases, and someone shouldn't be dinged for being successful, but it's an opportunity to make room for more spaces. Maybe there's more, but these come to mind:

Bottega / Coqueta
Park Tavern / Marlowe / Cavalier
State Bird Provisions / Progress
A16 / SPQR
Quince / Cotogna
French Laundry / Ad Hoc / Bouchon
Nopa / Nopalito / Liholiho Yacht Club
Boulevard / Prospect
Ike's (I kid)
Trou Normand / Bar Agricole
The Dock / Hawker Fare
Redd / Redd Wood
Flour + Water / Central Kitchen
Monsieur Benjamin / Benu
Piperade / Bocadillos

On top of those 31, there are also 7 additional entries for which Bauer identifies sister restaurants as a single entry (e.g., Chez Panisse / CP Cafe).

Taking away places for which the owner also owns a Bay Area restaurant not on the list (e.g., Hong Kong Lounge 2 and Lai Hong Lounge have the same owner), there are at most 45 "independent" restaurants on that list-- Japanese, Italian, New American/Cal-Med/Cal-Italian, French, American/Seafood, Spanish, and Greek. I'm sure you could pare this down further:

Al's Place
Atelier Crenn
Bistro Don Giovanni
Bull Valley Roadhouse
Gary Danko
House of Prime Rib
La Folie
Lazy Bear
Madrona Manor
Ramen Shop
Rich Table
Sir & Star
Sushi Ran
Swan Oyster Depot
The Restaurant at Meadowood
Tosca Cafe
Zuni Cafe

Chronicle top 100 2015

You forgot to consolidate a few. Combining Boot & Shoe/Pizzaiolo, Aziza/Mourad, Perbacco/Barbacco, and Chez Panisse / Cafe and Scopa / Campo Fina would bring it to 100.

Chronicle top 100 2015

Huh, you can get pizza at about one out of seven of these places.

There's creativity in many of the 17 places he added:


Regional Chinese roundup 2.0

Veggie Lee (Chinese Vegetarian, Hayward) http://www.veggielee.com/

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Kingdom of Dumpling has a family relation to SF's King of Noodles and San Mateo's Town of Dumplings. I suspect House of Dumplings in Union City is also related.

Has anyone seen employees making dumplings at these other places? I'm wondering whether all the dumplings come from Kingdom of Dumpling's commercial kitchen.

Regional Chinese roundup 2.0

Boiling Beijing (Beijing, San Bruno) replaces Cantonese JK Kitchen. There are pics on Y*lp of a Jian bing Guo zi, the kind with a you tiao (Chinese doughnut) inside.

Golden Garlic (Tianjin) opens up a second location and replaces Chinjin Eastern House (Islamic Chinese, West San Jose)

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

They didn't strike me as small at the time, but I appreciated that there wasn't a lip of extra dough like you get with potstickers made with pre-made gyoza skins. Sizeable central mass. They were big enough that I had to rotate them sideways to dip them in (horrors) the mustard sauce.

help! need quick Chinese dumpling advice

According to this Serious eats article, a dough made with hot water needs less water overall than a dough made with cold water. The hot water adds quick flexibility to the dough, which you may or may not want depending on the texture you're going for.


The hot water technique I learned from Andrea Nguyen's xiao long bao recipe helped me fix a pierogie dough I've been making for twenty years. As I understood my Polish neighbor's recipe, you start the dough with 1/2 cup of warm water, and then incorporate cold water till it gets hydrated. I never realized just how warm she meant--- I made the recipe a few weeks ago with near boiling water, and it made the best batch ever--- it incorporated less cold water and was very easy to knead and roll out.

May 09, 2015
hyperbowler in Home Cooking

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Chino in the Mission has a version I was happy with. Lots more meat than Town of Dumpling's version, and the wrapper more snug. No residual juice inside, but that might be an artifact of getting it takeout.

I'm not sure if they were intended for the poststickers, but my takeout meal came with a black dipping sauce, hot mustard, and a chile-based sauce.

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Boiling then frying would be a good shortcut [ed. for efficiency, not the quality]. Are there any tell tale signs that they're prepared first by boiling?

Town of Dumpling in San Mateo

They've added about 10 new items, including dongpo pork. They're pictured on the wall, and also listed on a small laminated menu. Someone forgot to take a photo ...

The fish with pine nuts (Sung Zi Yu 松子鱼) doesn't have pine nuts. It's slabs of fish that are sliced and fried to take on the jagged shape of a pine cone, hence the name, and served with a yellowish sweet and sour sauce. Here's a recipe for the same dish, that contains actual pine nuts but I'm not sure whether that's obligatory: http://carolynjphillips.blogspot.com/...

Cucumber and jellyfish dish was nice and light. Wood ear mushrooms at other another table were plump, and round--- I was impressed by this dish the last time I ate here-- they use better quality mushrooms than most places.

Good potstickers:

The chef, or maybe they said the owner, is from Tianjin.

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Town of Dumpling in San Mateo has vegetable potstickers and pork potstickers. The pork ones had thick and chewy skins that held together. They could have been browned a bit more, but they weren't greasy. Insides were delicious.

It's been a while since I've had potstickers, so I was surprised that each potsticker housed maybe 1/2 - 1 tsp. of free flowing juices. Is that typical?

What's up with Sichuan Fortune Pleasant Hill?

If I'm reading this article right, Sichuan Fortune changed the name to China Lounge but I guess not completely. I wonder if the chef they mentioned in this article left, or toned down the supposedly more traditional offerings?


NY style slice near SFO/San Mateo

Oh, thanks for the clarification--- the deep dish Chicago style is what to get at Blue Line (their thin crust is pretty good, but it's not NY style)