Chopstick food, chopstick dining

2 thoughts on “Q&A: What is the best chinese restaurant in san francisco?”

  1. Ton Kiang Chinese 14/20 votes
    5821 Geary Blvd.
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    415-386-8530
    Ton Kiang specializes in dim sum every day and night. We like the delicious steamed Shanghai-style dumplings. The steamed salt-baked chicken arrives perfectly pale and soft. Prawns in a delicate wine sauce are also a delight. Hakka-style casseroles (ancient regional Chinese specialties) come in clay pots; among our favorites are rock cod with tofu and duck with bean thread. Don’t miss the wonderful vegetables, especially the sugar-pea tips. This successor to the original Ton Kiang, which closed, is a little more upscale, with white tablecloths and sparkling chandeliers.

    Eliza’s Chinese 14/20 votes
    2877 California St.
    San Francisco, CA 94116
    415-621-4819
    Eliza’s updates Hunan and Mandarin cuisine with a California twist but manages not to lose any of the hot, sweet or pungent flavors.Standards like kung pao chicken and Mongolian beef share billing with mango ostrich, Hunan lamb, and salmon with asparagus. The vegetable soup—a bowl full of fresh seasonal veggies in a peppery vegetable broth—makes a light and healthy starter. The ambience matches the food with dramatic vases of freshly cut flowers, giant decorative gourds, and impressionist-style paintings. The bar is a piece of artwork in itself—a meandering slab of clear Plexiglas featuring a three-dimensional blown-glass underwater world where cartoonish glass koi fish appear to be swimming through feathery purple and green kelp and bluish bubbles. With 30-plus lunch specials mostly under $ 5, Eliza’s also proves that you don’t have to drive up prices for a sleek interior and high-quality food. Service is efficient but a bit aloof.

    Yank Sing Chinese 14/20 votes
    49 Stevenson St.
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    415-541-4949
    Nearly 100 items, from creative to traditional, roll by on the trolleys at one of the Bay Area’s best spots for dim sum.

    It’s nearly impossible to mention great dim sum in San Francisco and not hear about Yank Sing. Founded by Alice Chan in 1958, son Henry started wrapping dumplings at age nine and moved the business to 49 Stevenson in 1974 where it became an instant financial district favorite. Today there are two locations (the second is in Rincon Center) and a third generation of Chans continues the family tradition, creating nearly 100 items to roll out on the trolleys. One of the best things about Yank Sing is the vast array of both traditional and modern dim sum, known as the creative collection, for which the chefs create two new dishes per month. We enjoy the warm avocado dome stuffed with curry chicken and topped with Parmesan cheese as well as Grandma Alice’s signature chicken and mushroom dumpling dotted with garlic, water chestnut and cilantro. The classic shu mai are the best in town—the translucent fluted skins hold a treasure of fresh crunchy shrimp and delicately seasoned pork. Ingredients are always of the highest quality, and items differ depending on what is in season. When it is available, don’t miss the lobster dumpling—chunks of fresh lobster meat and Chinese broccoli topped with tobiko that looks as good as it tastes. For serious traditionalists, the braised chicken feet and tender steamed spareribs are also delicious. The setting is simple yet elegant and features a large heated patio for dim sum al fresco.

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