Locomotoring

Seven continents, seven seas, seven billion people and seven thousand good eats …

Posts Tagged ‘Chinatown

Jai Yun, Chinese banquet in San Francisco

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Even though this one is situated in the heart of Chinatown, this is not your average Chinese restaurant. You definitely can’t go by the yelp averages. Think of it as anti-thesis Chinese takeout – there is nothing fast, cheap or expected about Jai Yun. So be prepared to love it or hate it.

For us, the occasion was my 40th Birthday. What better day to treat oneself to something out of the ordinary.  We walked in early that evening to a familiar restaurant. No, it was our first at Jai Yun but their current location is where another unusually good restaurant used to be – The Flying Pan. We ate our way through an upwards of 20 dishes, all distinctly different in textures and flavors. Our server described each dish in detail without which it would have been very difficult to tell what we were eating. Pacing was superb. If I had to pick a single star item, it would be pig ear scented with five spice mix but all the dishes could be described somewhere between competent to superb. Even though each dish was quite light in itself, after the 15th or 16th dish we did get a bit tired of eating.

All in all, definitely something worth doing once – like celebrating a 40th.

Crunchy vegetables with Goji berries

Crunchy vegetables with Goji berries

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage

Pickled cucumber

Pickled cucumber

Vegetarian goose made from soy protein

Vegetarian goose made from soy protein

Chinese greens

Chinese greens

Lotus roots

Lotus roots

Tofu with coriander

Tofu with coriander

Mushrooms with shark fin

Mushrooms with shark fin

Pig tongue

Pig tongue

Abalone with egg white

Abalone with egg white

Fried wheat gluten with mushrooms, peppers, and chinese lily flower

Fried wheat gluten with mushrooms, peppers, and chinese lily flower

Fried Enoki mushrooms with basil

Fried Enoki mushrooms with basil

Tofu skin with edamame

Tofu skin with edamame

Mung bean glass noodles with Chinese bacon and green onions

Mung bean glass noodles with Chinese bacon and green onions

Sea bass with peas and corn

Sea bass with peas and corn

Pig ear scented with five spice

Pig ear scented with five spice

Loofah squash, woodear mushrooms, and gingko nut

Loofah squash, woodear mushrooms, and gingko nut

Chicken with szechuan pepper

Chicken with szechuan pepper

Slow braised beef

Slow braised beef

Chinese celery greens, onion, tofu, and pepper

Chinese celery greens, onion, tofu, and pepper

Whole fried fish in Chef's special spicy sauce

Whole fried fish in Chef’s special spicy sauce

Fried eggplant with Szechuan pepper and sugar

Fried eggplant with Szechuan pepper and sugar

Written by Som

May 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Walking tour of San Francisco’s Chinatown

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San Franacisco Chinatown

Click for photos of San Francisco Chinatown

At first glance, San Francisco’s Chinatown appears to be a collection of trinket shops. Only during the Chinese New Year celebration does this place truly come alive and then one has to be prepared to brave the cold winter rains which often afflicts the celebration, and huge crowds.

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12 to 12 in Bangkok

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Wat in Bangkok

Wat in Bangkok

My travel agent had found me a ticket from San Francisco to Kolkata that was $200 cheaper. Downside being a 12 hour layover at Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok’s brand new multi-billion dollar airport. I had done similar stretches at Singapore’s Changi and I was none the worse for wear. Besides, I had never been to Bangkok before, and it sounded like an adventure. Worst case scenario would be a nap at the transit hotel.

Upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi, I realized the problem. Too few toilets. No lounge chairs, no showers, no workout facilities. Maybe I could have taken a nap in one of the many prayer rooms. Cost of the dingy little solitary transit hotel, in a remote part of the airport, was outrageous. I had already been traveling and sleepless for 18 hours, and yet my mind rebelled against spending time and money at that hotel. So, there I was, with 12 hours to spare, at an unfriendly airport. Getting out was the only sensible option.

The information kiosk staff were polite, friendly and not informed at all.

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Written by Som

June 22, 2008 at 3:43 pm