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Beijing Duck House (Cupertino)


A hound who enjoyed a meal here a few weeks ago told me off-line about a terrible meal here a few days back. I wonder if there is a shake up in the kitchen?

Jai Yun 2015 report

I met up with a group of six people at Jai Yun this past weekend. Excellent meal overall.. Twenty-two dishes were the same as I had at a Chowdown in Spring of 2014 http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974516 , and seven were new (indicated with asterisks).

= 14 cold dishes =
Chinese broccoli
Pickled cabbage/ginger salad
Cucumber salad
Lotus root salad
Gong cai
Water chestnut salad (mistakenly called loofah) with bits of bitter melon
*Match sticks of bitter melon
*Slices of five spice beef shank
Sliced beef tongue
Slices of some kind of charcuterie
Radish salad
Cilantro or celery with pressed tofu cubes
*Vegetarian Goose
Book tripe on seaweed

= Middle courses =
Crispy fried mushrooms
*Celtuse with ginkgo nuts
Wheat gluten with vegetables
Green soybeans and tofu skin
Crystal (?) Shrimp
Deep fried taro ball with spare ribs
Crispy orange peel beef
*Okra with jalapenos and lily buds
White fish and corn and peas
Chinese-style bacon with mung bean noodles

= Final courses =
*Wintermelon with spicy minced meat AKA Hubei Winter Melon
*Chicken (?) with red Sichuan peppercorn powder
Celery with (wavy cut) Five Spices Dry Tofu
Braised pork shoulder
Crispy fried eggplant

Compared to my first meal at Jai Yun, this one had a more pronounced use of chilies, mostly red and pickled. These appeared in moderation in the cold dishes, and the heat built throughout the meal, and peaked with the "Hubei winter melon." That dish contrasted a spicy ground meat sauce to cooling winter melon and seaweed. It had chilies, no Sichuan peppercorns, and someone likened it to a Chinese Bolognese,

Some dishes had a playful match of texture, shape, and/or color. For example, the okra dish interwove slices of green jalapenos and crisp okra, and you'd have to pay attention to realize which ingredient you were eating in a bite. The white fish and corn dish had chunks of water chestnut or maybe daikon, that were cut in the same shape and had the same color as the fish, but a crunch that could be mistaken for corn.

There were a few misses, and all were from repeats of dishes I also had in May 2014. The orange peel crispy beef was a disappointment last time as well, and tasted more of frying than beef. I was pleased with the quantity and texture of the abalone, but the egg white overpowered its flavor. The gluten had some tough bits, but was otherwise light and good. There's nothing wrong with the preparation of white fish with corn and peas, but the combination of corn and peas hearkens too close to my memories of school lunchroom fare to be enjoyable.

I really liked the use of celtuse to tone down the ginkgo nuts.

The deep fried taro ball with spare ribs may have been prepared differently compared to last May, my memory and/or my report from last year may be faulty. I'd remembered the ribs last time as being sweet and sour spare ribs in zhenjiang vinegar. These seemed closer to Wu-Xi style, with a redder color and more char-siu like flavor.

Book tripe was a gateway tripe dish. It was placed on top of seaweed salad and the textures lined up--- the tripe was sliced to the width of vermicelli and crunchy

Lucky Peach has an essay about Chef Nei Chia Ji's philosophy http://luckypeach.com/the-price-of-po.... I can't say I fully relate to his vision, but I like eating at his restaurant.

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

Pizza Margherita is the August 2015 DOTM. Thanks to pamf for choosing the DOTM and leading the discussion! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1020769

OK Noodle in Newark

Did the vegetables have a texture in between daikon and jicama? If so, that would weigh in favor of potatoes--- they're prepared in a crunchy manner both for hot and cold dishes.




OK Noodle in Newark

Oh, nice find-- those are sour saozi noodles, a specialty of Shaanxi. They're better known as Qishan saozi noodles. How were they?

Gary soup has a nice description:


OK Noodle in Newark

Translates as mixed flower vegetable or mis-translates as "mixed cauliflower". From the looks, it mighy be potato shreds:




great spicy noodles without soup

Do you know how Sapp makes their Jade noodles? Jade Noodles incorporate spinach/kale/greens and egg, and in some recipes, alkalai water.

Potstickers : SFBA Dish of the Month May 2015

Yat Sing 2 in Menlo Park has a sign on the window boasting "the best pot stickers in town." That may be true, but they're a little fish in a small pond.

They're greasy from top to bottom, and the slickness stayed as they cooled. Filling (cabbage and pork) didn't hold together. Wrapper was on the medium-thick side and uniformly so--- probably pre-made skins.

great spicy noodles without soup

Shandong's menu http://sd.222.to/p-223 lists three spicy noodle dishes that aren't soup :

SPICY MEAT SAUCE NOODLES - 炸醬麵 (zha jiang mian-- I don't recall their version being very spicy, so follow Civil Bear's advice for them to amp it up)

Sesame Paste Noodles(spicy) - 麻醬麵 (sesame paste noodles)

SZECHUAN NOODLES (SPICY) - 擔擔麵 (dan dan mian)

100% sweet cafe & Yunnan mixian (San Mateo)

100% sweet cafe & Yunnan mixian (San Mateo)

Aha--- I think he may have said "Jianshui" , a county in Yunnan mentioned here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossin...

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

Any takers for August?

100% sweet cafe & Yunnan mixian (San Mateo)

Maybe! He said it was a Hong Kong based chain that had about 10 stores in the US.

Yeah, Jiangxi didn't make much sense, but he agreed with me when I got perplexed and repeated it back to him in. You're probably right though.

100% sweet cafe & Yunnan mixian (San Mateo)

Hong Kong chain 100% Sweet Cafe, which also has a place on Clement in SF now has a Yunnan mixian noodle menu. The man at the front said the noodles are Jiangxi [ed. Guangxi?, Jianshui?] style, and imported from Hong Kong. He said the Yunnan soup broth is the "cilantro and fish" but there's also a Sichuan, Thai, and vitalizing herb.

100% Sweet Cafe
205 E 4th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401

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

Mango Garden in San Mateo makes theirs to order. The dough is crisp and translucent. Great overall, and only a bit behind Banana Island--- suffers only at the folded seams, which are rubbery. Curry sauce has complexity (toasted chilies or shallots?).

great spicy noodles without soup

Imperial Tea Court in the Gourmet Ghetto has wide, hand-stretched noodles (the only ones in the East Bay besides OK Noodle in Fremont). They're really good. Consider asking them if they can leave out the soup in their spicy pork variation--- people on y*lp complain that there's very little soup anyway so it might not impact the dish


NEW: Chino in the Mission, SF - Menu has XLB & open daily until 1AM, any reports yet?

Tablehopper reports that they are closed until August 10th and the chef is changing to Ron Pei. She says that Pei's father ran restaurant Cafe Yulong in Mountain View and will provide some guidance.


Cafe Yulong was well regard by 'hounds for their noodles http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/595465 and Shandong fish dumplings http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844746

I'd be excited to see Chino up their dumpling and noodle game, and am glad to read that they're tweaking their xiao long bao. I'm disappointed that they'll no longer have the Korean rice cakes--- last Friday, a server said they're no longer serving that dish and attributed it to problems with sourcing (maybe that was a cover for the chef change, which may not been announced yet).

great spicy noodles without soup

What's Spices 3's zha jiang mein ("mandarin noodle with meat sauce") like? It's listed on their menu as spicy http://www.beyondmenu.com/27181/oakla...

Spices 3's cold sesame noodle is good, but it's more a side dish than a meal. It's uses a chili oil and sesame sauce, plus some greens.

(useful topic, btw)

Best Bay Area bagels?

"Though it pains me to say it, fluffy huge airy bagels are now what "NY Style Bagels" ARE. Style is as style does, and those of us who love compact, dense, shiny, blistery bagels are a tiny fading minority. We lost"
- Jim Leff Sep 29, 2000 03:09 PM


When a NYer complains that the bagels suck everywhere else, that could mean a few things depending on where they grew up and and when they grew up.

My 80+ year old relatives take me to Midwood's Kosher Bagel Hole when I visit them in Brooklyn, and the smaller style of bagel you get there pre-dated what I grew up with (Long Island, late gen-x). I value the superiority of those and homemade bagels now, but those aren't the yardstick I've used when I've criticized the crappy bagels outside of NY.

Maybe things have changed in the past 15 years, but the modal-bagels in CA match neither the "fluffy huge airy bagels" of the present or the "compact, dense, shiny, blistery bagels" that Schmendricks and, hopefully, Wise Sons are striving for.

NEW: ShakeDown Ice Cream, SF - Interesting flavors & Buckwheat Cones w/ PICS

I returned there twice this weekend.

"Root beer float" ice cream is exceptional--- it really does taste like a root beer float, and has none of the signatures of root beer extract you might find at a lower quality place

Butterscotch shake is great. I'd like to do a head to head comparison with theirs and Ice Cream Bar's version. Shakedown's shakes are cold, but thin enough to drink through a wide straw

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

Is meatball parm served as a dish outside of a sandwich? Eggplant and chicken certainly are.

"Dragon Papa" Dragon Beard Candy Shop, SF Chinatown.

Very cool. Note to buyers--- it loses its structure very easily, so it's best eaten right away.

Do they still make it at Koi Palace?

NEW: ShakeDown Ice Cream, SF - Interesting flavors & Buckwheat Cones w/ PICS

They use Strauss according to :


Michael Bauer's incomprehensible rating logic

Funny, I can't find Cavalier or Park Tavern's license's on the http://www.abc.ca.gov/ website.

Edit: their search system is always screwed up. Here's Park Tavern's http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSdata...

Best Bay Area bagels?

One report here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967925

I've had 20th Century Cafe's bagels and like their construction. But, as I mention upthread, bagels have a rapid half-life once they've left the oven, so they've not been as enjoyable as they could have been.

What impressed me about Montreal's top bagel places is they have fresh bagels coming out of the oven, even late at night. There are a few Bay Area places that make small batches of bagels http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/966303 . But the demand is low so they wind up sitting out long enough to undercut the care put into making them. At that point, I'd rather have cold Josey Baker bread than a toasted bagel.

Best Bay Area bagels?

Cool article.

R&D succumbing to "non locals" requests to have their bagels toasted speaks to either the low quality of bagels they were using in 2009 (I had a terrible one in 2010), or the half-life of the bagels they use after they leave the oven, get transported, and sit on R&D's shelves.

Best Bay Area bagels?

Here's a, perhaps outdated, thread on where Russ & Dtrs gets their bagels:


St. Honore Cake in East Bay

Here's a pic:


Whoa, that looks much better than Victoria or Dianda's in SF http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/435888 , both of which have lots of fans but I find lack delicacy, are very sweet, and skimp on the caramel

Help to find Indonesian restaurants in SF area

Are you looking for any dishes in particular? Lime Tree has some Indonesian dishes but I can't speak from personal experience or their quality.

question to others--- do any consulates in SF serve food worth eating to the public?

Apple Green Bistro -- Sichuan / Northeastern Chinese (Cupertino)

Cupertino Village's newest addition, Apple Green Bistro, serves and eclectic mix of Chinese dishes and sushi. I was told that the chef is originally from near Shenyang (in Northeast China aka Dongbei) and has worked at Sichuan and Cantonese restaurants throughout the Bay Area.

The northeastern dishes have their own section of the menu, the tail of which are Chinese-American dishes. There aren't that many. The hostess recommended the cumin lamb and the braised eggplant with pork. The family dinner menus include what I believe to be a cold dark sauce, rather than mustard sauce, dish made with mung bean "pulled skin" la pi noodle (see similar dish at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9813... and http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9826... ) . I wonder what the Korea spicy fish is like?

They keep models of each of their cold dishes at the front of the restaurant. I didn't capture it in the attached picture, but they had a sushi roll there too.

Can someone comment on their porridge menu, which I've attached as a photo? I don't recall seeing some of these on local menus before, but it's not something I would seek out so maybe it's more common than I know of. Some of the grains include Northeastern staple millet, mung beans which are listed as green beans, black rice, rice, corn, and Chinese yam and goji berries.

I tried the oat mung (green) bean lily flower porridge. The puffed out oats had a nice bite, and looked like barley.

10885 N. Wolfe Rd. Cupertino CA 95014