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Strangely mushy black cod - why?

Aahhhh! This just happened to me last night! I cooked two black cod filets .... One large and one small. The small one was perfect. The large one was mushy. Yuk! I know why. Thanks.

Jun 27, 2015
jhleung in Home Cooking

Red Lantern [The Richmond in SF]

Hi There,

Of course it is Chinese run (as everyone speaks Cantonese as I indicated). And, as you pointed out poignantly, broadening the cuisine maximizes the audience (As half the restaurant patrons were non-Asian --- smart business move I'd think). I approach restaurants with the word "fusion" anywhere near its name with great suspicion as well.

I'm just here for the fish. I like it. A lot. A guilty pleasure.

Red Lantern [The Richmond in SF]

Hi Folks, I went to the Red Lantern, a new Thai / Japanese / Chinese / Korean fusion restaurant on 5801 Geary Blvd. It has been open for a few weeks.

So it is the fusion restaurant with heavy emphasis on Chinese with various Chinese styles represented --- indeed everyone at the restaurants speaks both Cantonese and nearly perfect English.

I walked in with the Mrs. The restaurant was being patronized by 50% non Asian and 50% Asian.

Sounds like this is going to be a disaster right?
Sounds like this is going to be a miserable experience right?
Sounds like wasted calories right?

We ordered the Big Mama fried rice - 大肚婆炒飯, some baked quails, and the 葡萄酒炸魚 (Grape Sauce/Wine Fried Fish).

The fried rice was good, nothing spectacular. The quail were not bad, but again, nothing I would would make the trek from the Sunset (where I live) to the Richmond to eat.


Now, one must put this in context. I write this with not a small feeling of shame.
I grew up in a Cantonese family. Steamed seafood was king. The fact that my Cantonese upbringing was actually in the midwest of the USA in the 1970s with no access to fresh seafood made steamed fresh seafood the epitome of the holy grail.

Fresh, live steamed seafood was the unattainable --- the unobtainable --- the holy grail. My family thought nothing of driving 5 hrs to Canada *just for the weekend* just to eat live fresh seafood and crash at a motel 6.

So now that I'm an adult and have moved to SF and as well, moved my folks over here ---- razor clams, queen clams, live fish, live spot prawns, geoduck etc etc.... we spend our weekends hoovering up the fruits of the sea whether or not we are at an establishment like Koi Palace or just cooking it at home.

So I risk ex-communication from my Cantonese family when I say ---


This fish is fried and it has a sweet sauce all over it. I think it is a fillet of fish, cut up as if it were a mango peel and flipped out. Very similar to the Jiang Nan dish of 糖醋魚 --- the fried coating is crispy, light, and not oily. The fish is cut in chunks and flipped out is such a way that it exposes a maximum surface area of the fish to the fried light batter. No bones --- so it is not authentic in the sense that your get the whole fish. Convenience! The sauce --- perhaps a bit too sweet and not enough complexity -- not enough vinegar taste --- but as a package it just works ---- and I was so busy hoovering it up that the picture I am using is one from the "y" website because while I took a picture of the other dishes, I forgot to take a picture of the fish, my favorite part of the meal by far.

So, in sum, if you come to the restaurant, eat the fish. Don't expect razor-sharp-authenticity or an exact replica of糖醋魚. But, this is good and delicious food if you can appreciate it for what it is. I will need to be careful not to eat this every week and put on weight. :-)

What should i order at mission chinese food? [San Francisco]

Hi HK Foodie --- a bit late --- my response is 4 years late --- HCR Hainan Chicken Rice is also a favorite of mine - indeed it is one of my two favorite dishes in the world.

I have eaten it all over Singapore and HK.
I gave up trying to find a good rendition in SF. :-(

I just make it at home now, but it takes me at least 24 hours (from first exfoliation of the chicken by rubbing it with salt) and I rarely make it because it takes a long time.

Further, it is really difficult to collect the proper amounts of chicken fat from the right "chewy" chickens to coat the grains of rice with before cooking the rice.

Hsin Tung Yang sliced noodles?

Two of the big "From Taiwan" food company brands -have very similar products. I've never tried the HTY one (Hsin Tung Yang) one --- but we get the Wei Chuan one --- we are totally addicted to the Wei Chuan one. I will have to try the HTY one --- I imagine it is probably pretty similar.

Here is a picture of the Wei Chuan one. We just go to the Safeway on Taraval to buy it ---- I know that sounds absurd but the Safeway on Taraval has improved a lot in the past year. They now carry many more locally-oriented Asian products.

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

I was at DTF Glendale again last night and remarking to my server about this same observation that I had about DTF at Taipei 101. My server said that the team leaders at each of the DTF around the world get sent to multiple branches in Taipei once a year for training, and that it could be that you and I saw some of these team leaders get trained ---- as the were just sent to Taipei.

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

Hi Gary, nice to hear your comments!

Yes, I can appreciate there has to be some level of defensiveness from the Shanghainese and folks that marry Shanghainese people that DTF, a Taiwan restaurant, is most famous in the world for a Jiangnan region / Shanghainese speciality.

Regardless of the fact that DTF was started in Taiwan way back when, ostensibly back then to cater to the tastes of a huuuuuuuuge Shanghainese diaspora back then ......... I try to seek out deliciousness purely based on the merits of that deliciousness.

The rice is really good. It is not done in a cantonese way, as a alluded to above, because the grain of the rice is shorter.

I am looking forward to sampling this dish at the Norcal location and invite you to join me at the table in doing so.

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

Hi tanspace and FattyDumplin --- yes, the fried rice is amazingly well done isn't it? As I get older I find there is a lot to be said for stellar execution of a basic dish. In some ways I appreciate this more than "creative usage of new flavor / ingredient combinations."

Shades of "Jiro Dream of Sushi" I think.

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

Oh, and one more data point in anticipation of tasting DTF in the bay area ---
I went back to DTF in Glendale to re-calibrate my tastebuds too, given than I just got done with a a week and half of Glendale DTF, then a week of Taipei DTF, and now one more evening of Glendale DTF.

Notes --

- The egg fried rice at Glendale is almost equally sublime as the taipei version. This is not an exciting dish. It is a very simple dish, but it is done so very well here. I have included a closeup photo of the texture. The individual rice kernels are short grain ... and all separate, similar to Tamanashiki Super Premium Rice - . The egg is fried in curly wisps, and the slivers of pork lend meatiness to the dish. This is sublime. I could eat this all day. Again, super simple dish but so very well executed. Lots of "Wok Hay" essence of the wok. I love it. I think one has to really get into making rice and enjoying the amount of oxygen that can enter the mouth when eating individually-separated-kernels of rice that are every so chewy as that oxygen entering the oral cavity really somehow lends enjoyment to the rice --- something that is much more difficult when the rice clumps together or when the rice is not as chewy (as in long grain rice as used in Cantonese restaurants). I've thought a lot about rice and cooking rice and the qualities of good rice during the past few years. Some day I will post a review of all the different $30 fifteen pound bags of rice brands we've consumed...

- My opinion is that the best dumpling at Glendale is the vegetarian dumpling. It is, indeed, very close to the Taipei version. Insides are minced almost as well as Taipei, good workmanship, very similar flavor profile --- and ---- importantly --- not as variable to different flavor profiles of pork and shrimp in the USA. I included two pictures ---- one whole dumpling and one where you can see the inside.

- Shrimp and Pork Shaomai --- great flavor profile (but the shrimp is somewhat differing in flavor wrt asia -- still pleasant) but the skins are too thick. Perhaps the 9PM night crew making dumpling skins on Wed night is not as good as the 11AM crew on a Saturday? Not really sure. Photo included.

- Crab Fen XLB --- still disappointed. Flavor is totally not the same as Taipei DTF. Completely different. It is a very good XLB if you are not expecting crab fen, but it just doesn't taste like crab fen. Photo included. I sense that the workmanship is not exactly up to par with Taipei --- but again I don't know if this is because I got the 9PM wed night crew. Also --- in Taipei they steam a little piece of dough that is cut out like a crab to indicate that this is a steamer of crab XLB. In the states, they just use a small square of carrot.

I look forward to see how Bay Area DTF does.

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

Thanks everyone for the warm re-welcomes --- very much appreciated. And, further, thanks for elucidating (and correcting my "spelling") for Crab "fen" 蟹粉. I have never known exactly what this was (suspecting that is had something to do with female crabs --- which are not allowed in the USA) --- however now I know it is the insides of the crab mixed with some shell meat (and not leg meat which tastes different) as well as some narcotics (tongue in cheek) that make it delicious.

As an aside, when I was in Taipei to calibrate my tastebuds to Taipei DTF in anticipation of the Bay Area's upcoming DTF, I went to 點水樓 Dian Shui Lou restaurant in Taipei, which has been claiming that they have been rated locally as #1 in XLB with DTF being #2. I'd say the XLB were very close (I don't think I have a preference).

However I confirmed that the crab "fen" taste at Dian Shui Lou is very very similar to the crab "fen" taste at DTF in Taipei. Dian Shui Lou, BTW specializes in the same "jian nan" cuisine 江南 that DTF goes after with XLB, so I thought that was a good reference.

I had a "crab fen tofu pot" --- the crab "fen" was supremely addictive and the tofu curds were as soft and slippery as anything. The outside of the tofu was coated in the lightest of egg-based fried coating, which provided an ever so slight chew to hold the silken curds together, and also afforded a supremely chicken-y egg taste to the whole dish. We couldn't inhale this fast enough.

Regardless, my point is that I can say that crab "Fen" tastes very similar across two different restaurants in Taipei that are known to be at the top of their game --- and so my conclusion is that the terrible terrible American version of crab "fen" must somehow be not just technique but also ingredient availability-based. Hairy Crabs are not available in the USA. Only Dungeness. In fact, I ordered "crab fen tofu pot" at Koi Palace last Friday and it had a totally different flavor profile from the two restaurants in Taipei. Not nearly as addictive. It tasted very strongly of the green stuff inside dungeness crabs.

If someone can tell me that my conclusion is wrong, I would be thrilled.

I will eagerly await to see if the Bay Area DTF is any better at "crab fen"

(the photo is what I ate at Taipei 點水樓 Dian Shui Lou) --- culinary crack.

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

Thanks Everyone! I remember when I was new to SF in 2002, I would read every posting on the chowhound board --- and I developed weights to those whose palates I thought were similar to mine --- to get a sense of the city --- hence the remembering of names.

Regarding Glendale vs. Arcadia / Costa Mesa --- I wonder if the differences are psychological as well. In all I've probably eaten at the Glendale branch 30+ times. For a while I was traveling near by on a weekly basis for work so I would eat at the bar myself for dinner at least once a week -- and it was paid for! I got to know the bartenders fairly well.

Anyways the difference between Taipei 101 DTF and Glendale 101 --- in particular with the Crab fen XLB 蟹分小龍包 and the Dan Dan Noodle ---I think the differences are significant enough that these are recipe-based, not just technique. There must be some differences in the recipes based on ingredient availability in the country.

Honestly I don't exactly know what the heck is 蟹分 - I just know that I like it a lot.

Din tai Fung comes to Bay Area

It has been 10 years since I have been active here. I wish to rejoin the discussion .... i am so pleased that I recognize the names of so many that i remembered and admired! Chandavkl, KK, gary soup, Robert Lauriston, RWC Foodie, Melanie of course, is Yimster still here? I remember Mrs. Yimster health issues with sadness.

After I deemed King Wonton to be the best HK style noodle is SF, I stopped searching (and I had to also then deal with brand new offspring) ... Gee, I wish they were more comfortable / clean.

Anyways back to the original topic.

I have been to the original Taipei location many times, as well as the locations in Beijing, Singpapore, Bellvue, Arcadia, and Glendale. However I have not conducted a more controlled comparison until now.

First, over the course of 10 days I ate at Glendale DTF for 4 meals.
Then in the next 7 days I ate at Taipei 101 DTF for 3 meals.


- regular xlb is pretty close between the two. Flavor is 90pc similar and workmanship is the same

- crab xlb in glendale is vastly inferior to crab FEN xlb in Taipei 101. The FEN taste is what makes it. Is it not possible to get this FEN in the states?

- steamed fish dumpligs in glendale was a winner. Fresh fish. Same dish at Taipei 101 was not good .... Fish was too fishy.

- vegetarian steamed dumplings had more finely chopped ingredients ... Glendale's was already fine but tsipei 101 took it to the next level.

- dan dan mein at both branches were very different. The noodles were the same. Glendale's sauce was watery, tasty with ground pork and spices. It tasted like their were ground up peanuts in the sauce. taipei 101 sauce was super viscous, darker, much more assertive in taste....heavier. I think I prefer the vesion at glendale!

The red oil wontons seemed fairly similar across locations... But a little more selection in Taipei.

Egg fried rice in taipei 101. Wonderful and sublime. I order this simple dish to the the skill okpf the kitchen. The eggs were whispy only in a way you can do with a 100kbtu burner and the rice kernels wre super high quality short grain .... Reminded me a lot of the gold bags of Tamanashiki super premium short grain we can find in NorCal.

Chinese Chicken Nomenclature

Hi, loong gang is a brand. The LG brand specializes in a particular breed of free range "running" chicken that is prized for its chickeny flavor and chewy texture. Dont expect huge breasts! Gui Fei is a prep style .... Usually poached with ginger/scallions and often served with a sauce/paste made of ginger, oil, and scallions. For instance, I like to make GF chicken at home with the LG brand.

I dont know what is Qing Yuan.

Fresh Chinese Noodles overseen by the Master Noodle maker at King Won Ton

Thanks! Good to know. I will have to re-test North America Food Wonton Noodle against my current favorite-noodle-when-making-it-at-home: PF select Authentic HK Style Noodle.

“Bamboo” Noodles (jook sing mein) and Hand-pulled Noodles (lai mein) @ King Won Ton (SF)

Hmmmm... I just went to this restaurant again, Fri, Dec 19th. The restaurant was between 1/3 to 1/2 full.

+ Wonton Noodle - very good and very delightful. Bouncy, wiry, fine noodles. And, like Melanie mentions, these are not the kind of noodles with which to soak up broth. The essence of these noodles is the texture, not the taste. Its kind of like shark fin or bird's next in the sense that you eat it for the texture. The taste comes from an external element - the soup. This is why the noodles themselves are thin and wiry - the thinness promotes maximum surface area with which the soup can cling to, thus transferring the broth to your mouth in the same bit as noodle. Then, you must use your other hand to deliver a final flavor slug - a bit of soup from the spoon - in each mouthful.

After careful consideration, I find that

+ Roast Goose - fatty, not so good
+ Empress Chicken - miserly, so-so
+ Green Onion Pancake - Very good! I'm very surprised. I would not expect Green Onion Pancake to be good at a southern style restaurant like this. My 11 month old daughter loves the green onion pancake.

“Bamboo” Noodles (jook sing mein) and Hand-pulled Noodles (lai mein) @ King Won Ton (SF)

Hmmmm.. I think I'm going to echo other reports here and say King Wonton is somewhat inconsistent. I hand Pig Trotters Wonton Noodle two days ago (Wed) and the noodles were mushy! Completely and utterly wrong! Even the noodles themselves seemed even finer and thinner than before???

However, I just went back an hour ago (Fri) and had the straight-up wonton noodle again - and everything was right with the world again. The noodle was very good as was the broth and wonton. I dunno.........

“Bamboo” Noodles (jook sing mein) and Hand-pulled Noodles (lai mein) @ King Won Ton (SF)


I've finally dragged myself over here (1 year hiatus from chowhound due to birth of baby....)

Anyways, I went here on a Tues afternoon at 4:30pm. There were 4 other people in the restaurant so I cannot tell if the kitchen has time mgmt issues during rush our or not -

I ordered only the wonton noodle. Now, granted, I am a fiend for this kind of noodle. It is my favorite food. My reference is Mak's Noodle on Wellington Street in Central HK. I am constantly in despair because all the wonton noodle I eat outside of Central, HK, disappoints me. Particularly those I eat in the SF bay area, my home.

I have purchased every single brand of noodle in all the major Chinese groceries, New May Wah, Sunset super, Ranch 99, in order to cook wonton noodle myself, as I'm often disappointed by restaurant's consistency. I've secretly video taped many wonton noodle maker so that I can perfect my noodle cooking timing at home.

Lately, I've even given up on wonton noodle here in the Bay area because I simply cannot find an acceptable rendition. I've branched out mostly to eating pho or eating various noodles at VH noodle in the Ranch99 Mall in Richmond, or eating free-range chicken egg noodle at Hai Ki Mi Ga on Ellis.

You see, I have less experience with pho, and less experience with, say, beef organ pure rice noodle @ VH. Its not like I've eaten thousands of bowls of these across the world in the past 35 years ..... so while I am respectful of quality, I am not ridiculously picky.

I am ridiculously picky for wonton noodle. I measure the noodle among three axes:

1) soup. Very yellow, quite chickeny and nice. Not as nice as the chicken broth at Hai Ki Mi Ga, but then again, this soup is supposed to have hints of Jo Hau dried fish, and it does not. However, taken in context, it is already quite superior to most of the broths in the bay area. Its a little more finely balanced with less MSG than, say, Daimo at Ranch 99. I give it a 7/10. Maybe Joy Luck Place (the quick one) in Cupertino Village beats it ever so slightly on the soup angle.

2) Wonton. These are big. They are bigger than Mak's wontons. Big is bad. Small is good. However, they are not ridiculously big like Daimo's big wontons. Mostly fresh shrimp and some pork. The skin is very free flowing - like swallowing clouds. Similar to Ming Tai's wontons but not quite as big. These are good wontons for the States. 7/10.

3) Noodle - I place heavy emphasis on the noodle because this is mostly where everyone gets it wrong. I know - I have tried this many times - you can undercook any store-bought fresh noodle brand to varying degrees of underdone-ness, but you will end up simply with hard noodle and will not achieve that prized bouncy, wiry, tender texture. Note that this texture is very elusive - and its probably something you can only appreciate after if you're really after this specific quality. I read the comments about being off-put by wonton noodle texture as its like eating hair - I can understand that comment. The essence of the noodle is the texture. Its impossible to explain - just undercooking a run-of-the-mill wonton noodle doesn't achieve the right texture. It must be simultaneously SUPER thin, chewy, bouncy, elastic, and firm. Some of these qualities work against each other. The noodle must be very fine. For instance, VH noodle uses some brand that probably 1mm too thick. You can feel it on your tongue - the noodle feels too coarse. So, even though VH noodle is has the right firmness, it is not fine enough and lacks bounciness and elasticity. Anyways, I enjoy their noodle very much. I'm going back today to eat the noodle again. I give their noodle an 8/10. The texture was more similar to Mak's than I've had in a long time. I

This is may favorite wonton noodle place now. Hopefully its not all downhill from here. Wonton noodle is an interesting thing - either you get it or you think "they are all thin noodles with no substance". I fall into the former category - so if you're not overly fond of wonton noodle to begin with and you come here, don't expect to suddenly find wonton noodle nirvana. However, if you're obsessed with wonton noodle, then I think you will like it very much.

I gave up on Irving Street after Jook'n'Fun departed about 2 years ago. Now I have a reason to come back.

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

Excellent! I'm glad you liked it! There's nothing quite as delicious as an outrageously fatty hunk of animal protein seared and then basically steamed at low heat for many hours.

Happy Thanksgiving! Long live the Long Cut Beef Rib!

Nov 22, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

I'm pretty sure I covered the skillet with aluminum foil. Since the foil doesn't create an airtight seal, the entire oven gets hot and humid inside. That's not a bad thing as it lets some of the liquid reduce. If you don't foil it then all the liquid evaporates and that's a bad thing because the ribs then dry out.

Once I tried using a dutch oven instead of a skillet. That wasn't a great idea either because the lid to the dutch oven seals too well .... there's no liquid reduction going on.

I don't think I really checked it. It was really easy and now you're making me hungry typing out it. :-) Or, I should say, I'm making myself hungry.

Nov 18, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

Thanks. I'm pretty sure I seared it with nothing, i.e. I relied on the fattiness of beef ribs to provide the fat with which to sear. It works well.

Nov 18, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

Very simply. All I used was Lawry's Salt (from the prime-rib chain in Chicago and LA) and Fresh Cracked pepper. I seared it in the iron skillet on two sides, then put it in the oven @ 285F for 4.5 hours with 1/2 can of beef broth in the skillet. The bones fall off the meat; its quite tender. (With beef ribs, the bones fall off the meat. With pork ribs, its the other way around. :-) )

Sep 14, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs (split from SF board)

Thanks for the suggestions, Janet and Sarah. It turns out Costo, Safeway, Albertson's, Whole Foods, and Cala / Bell were a bust. I was near Berkeley Bowl - and I scored! Seems that a slab of only 3 ribs is the biggest that will fit my skillet. I seared it on both side and finished it off in the oven at 285 F for 4.5 hours. Yuuum!

Sep 14, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

Beef Long-cut Short Ribs in San Francisco Bay Area? [moved from Home Cooking board]

Anybody know where I can find this cut of beef so that I may make it myself?

What I'm describing is what you can order at T-Rex BBQ Restaurant in Berkeley. This is one beef rib with a ginourmous hunk of meat hanging off of it.

All too often and Safeway, Albertson's, Costco etc. you see:

a) Boneless short ribs, sliced thin (too thin, and doesn't have the bone)
b) Beef back ribs (has the bone, but all the meat is cut off!)
c) Short Rib (Usually has some of the meat still there [not all] but this is usually a third of the rib --- the rib in this instance has been cut into three! Cow Ribs are much longer than this!)
4) Short Rib Flanken Style (Or, Korean Kalbi style - wrong axis of cutting)

Anybody know where I can purchase this cut of beef?


Butchering Chicken... Chinese Style

Can anyone point me to a video or at least illustrated instructions on how to butcher a cooked chicken, Chinese Style?

I've attempted this feat about 15 times after observing the pros do it at the Chinese BBQ shops with some success. However, I never seem to get the thigh area right. I can get the wings done and split in half. The backbone I do well. The breasts I do well. I think my problem is knowing where to cleave the chicken to separate the thingh from the rest of the bird.

Even harder is butchering the chicken bonelessly - this is often popular with Hainan Chicken preparations (a la Singapore) but this looks fantastically difficult. I wish I knew how to do this.

Any guidance on this would be much appreciated.

I would pay good money for a class just to learn how to do this and practice on say, 20 chickens!


Aug 17, 2007
jhleung in Home Cooking

North America Chinese Style Fresh Egg Noodles


I think if you use the Prime Foods PF Select Hong Kong Style Wonton Noodle with that same technique of yours, that you will find the noodle to be exactly the same as that you remember in LA / San Gabriel Valley. The only restaurant around here that has the same thinness of noodle and bouncy texture I find is Joy Luck Place in Cupertino. That's too far for me (since I live in SF) so I just make it myself these days.

I wish Ming Tai on Noreiga and 30th avenue (?) did a really good job on the noodle as their wontons are spectacular (albeit a little too big) but everytime I eat noodles there I am disappointed with the limp texture.

North America Chinese Style Fresh Egg Noodles


Unfortunately, I but the Prime Food PF Select Hong Kong Style Wonton Noodle at Ranch 99 in Daly City, at around $1.79 a package. Yes, its not cheap. Oh well.

I would much prefer that New May Wah on Clement and 8th stock this (as they are closer to me), but I don't remember seeing it in stock.

North America Chinese Style Fresh Egg Noodles

Wow! I had arrived at an independent, very similar conclusion after trying all the different packaged fresh thin-style hong kong noodle brands in the refrigerator case!

My favorite brand of thin style hong kong wonton noodle is:

Prime Foods PF select Wonton Noodle. On the package it is printed that it is Hong Kong Style, and in Chinese it says that it is "authentic Hong Kong Style". You have to be careful because Prime Foods ALSO makes fresh wonton noodle but it does NOT say "authentic HK style" and the texture is slightly different, even though it looks the same. The correct packaging is a clear plastic tray.

I have tried many brands, including Hon's, Fung's Village (from the San Gabriel Valley and imported up here in NorCal) and many others. This is my favorite noodle for Wonton Noodle Soup. My technique was copied from all my times watching the kitchen cook this at Porridge King in Daly City while patiently waiting for the butcher to chop up my take-out order of Salt-Water-Chicken, and it goes like this:

1) Huge pot of boiling water.
2) Loosen up ball of noodle and place in this noodle ladle/strainer contraption I bought at Kamei on Clement in SF.
3) Put ladle/strainer in boiling water for 20 seconds
4) Take ladle/strainer out of water and run under cold water "pass through the cold river [in Chinese]" ... agitate with chopsticks to make sure all the strands cool down
5) Turn off the water, and shake vigorously to get out all the moisture.
6) Put noodles back into an already boiling bowl of chicken soup with jor-hau dried fish (as a flavoring base)


Input on Chinese Food 101 Itinerary

Hi, my general observation is that:

(1) The SF Bay area is a good example Cantonese cuisine. Cantonese cuisine right now is not in fashion in the States nor on this board (which is fabulous for people like moi because there's less riff-raff in some of my favorite haunts. ;-) ) but a good example of banquet-style Cantonese cuisine like Koi palace (which you had in your original post) could easily replace Ton Kiang. While Ton Kiang has a more Hakka bent, the truth of the matter is that High-End Cantonese restaurants usually can do Hakka well enough as there is much demand for Hakka and Chiu-Chow dishes among "sophisticated" Cantonese diners as these cuisines are in-fashion for people who frequent such establishments. Pork-Belly especially.

(2) I would argue that a quick eats / lunch type of Cantonese place typified by Congee, Soup Noodles, etc should be on the menu as you can get a pretty strong rendition of what this is supposed to taste like in the bay area. While there are many poor examples of this cuisine all over Chinatown and SF in general, one of the strongest examples was Jook-n-Fun on Irving and 20th (now defunct) and also Porridge King @ 55 Skyline Plaza in Daly City. If you go to Porridge King, be sure to order the Salt-Water Chicken (Very different from salt baked chicken in that salt-water chicken is poached). This is an example of what typifies Cantonese cuisine in the sense that this chicken is all about (a) the natural goodness of the ingredient and (2) simple preparation meant to bring out the freshness of the ingredient. No gloppy sauces and over-excited 'tastes' to get in the way - which is what "Cantonese Food" has been bastardized to be here in the US.

Ethnic Restaurant for 14 in SF?

No problem - 14 People - PPQ crab, like the poster below writes, is pretty darn good if your friend is not overly-familiar with various Asian cuisines. Its clean, the menus have English on them, and its a fairly good rendition of Vietnamese food influence by the Southern Chinese.

2332 Clement St (Cross Street: 24th Avenue)
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 386-8266

Ethnic Restaurant for 14 in SF?

I'd be glad to offer recs - I'd like to suggest that you not use the phrase "ethnic restaurant" as suggested by Jim Leff :

What type of cuisine exactly are you looking for? Does it include French? Asian? Japanese? Chinese? Viet? Thai?