It's only fitting to follow-up yesterday's Early Word on Hakkasan, with a spot check on the other big budget new Chinese restaurant in town: M.Y. China. Like Hakkasan, M.Y. China opened on December 3rd, and immediately met with scores of curious bloggers, Yelpers, diners and industry types, curious to see if it lives up to the hype. Martin Yan teamed up with the owners of Daly City legend Koi Palace to bring lots of bells and whistles to the Westfield restaurant. Now, to the Early Word on M.Y. China for a look at how it's all shaking out thus far.
The Interior News: Lauren Sloss at Serious Eats calls it a "sleek space, opening out onto the bustling traffic of Westfield's dome" that is "taking cues from San Francisco institutions like the Slanted Door, Betelnut, and Fang, in its attempt to elevate richly storied Chinese cuisine." Chowhound's hungree writes that "although such a location is traditionally reserved for Cinnabon or Auntie Anne's Pretzels, the large indoor environment under a lit up dome actually felt fun." [Serious Eats, Chowhound]
The Noodle News: Tasting Table writes that the "one bright spot" are the noodles. The scissor noodles, they comment, are "Wriggly and smooth, imbued with the smokiness of a hot wok, the noodles are tossed with curls of wild boar meat, green onions and bean sprouts." But Focus:Snap:Eat thought that they were "too salty." Serious Eats writes that the Beef Hand-Pulled Noodle Soup is "served with tender, slow-simmered rib eye and baby bok choy, in an intensely beefy broth" and Patrick H. of Yelp says the "The dan dan noodles...contained only a tiny amount of pork; otherwise this chilled dish is refreshing and light." [Serious Eats, F:S:E, Yelp]
The Chef News: "During these early days Yan can be seen greeting guests, he's not behind the stove" explains Focus:Snap:Eat, adding that "One of the restaurant's highlights is watching a noodle expert hand pull fresh noodles all day". hungree on Chowhound agrees: "I really liked the open kitchen with a clear view to the award winning Tony Wu doing noodle acrobatics." [F:S:E, Chowhound]
The Fusion News: FoodNut comments, "stick to less fusion-y items," while Focus:Snap:Eat wrote, "Some of the more exciting dishes actually came from the new creations. The mu shu pork tacos ($9) was a favorite...boldly flavored mu shu pork worked nicely with the fresh tacos." [F:S:E, FoodNut]
The Dumpling News: Tamara Palmer at SF Weekly writes that the pork and black truffle dumplings "are studded with black truffles rather than flecked, a generous part of the composition here." FoodNut reviews that the "Wild Boar Juicy Dumplings (4 for $8) were so hot that it impossible to eat for several minutes...Give people regular steamed dumpling and do it right." Yelp's TopCat W. "Could not detect ANY truffle essences" in the truffle dumplings, and overall felt "Hakkasan clearly has the much superior soup dumplings and with the service to match..." [FoodNut, Yelp]
The Dessert News: "Macau egg tarts ($3) were good but nothing special" writes Focus:Snap:Eat, adding "Sweet egg puffs ($6) were coated with too much sugar but had a delightful array of dipping sauces (raspberry, chocolate and creme fraiche)." FoodNut says to "Head to Golden Gate Bakery instead." But Carolyn Jung (@CarolynJung) tweets "Meyer lemon dim sum-like custard egg tart @MyChinaSF by@ChefMartinYan is a total swoon-ful. Flaky, buttery and served warm, too." [Carolyn Jung, F:S:E, FoodNut]
The $$$ News: "Looks like Yank Sing is no longer the most expensive dim sum." wrote Robert Lauriston on Chowhound. Tamara Palmer blogged on SFoodie: "We live in a magical land called the Sunset, where delicious dim sum dumplings can be had for 50 cents apiece, so paying $18 for five dumplings is definitely a seismic shift." FoodNut reviewed that the "Har Gow (3 for $7) shrimp, served with spicy soy sauce were super expensive, but surprisingly decent. Thick wrapper, large shrimp, but not as good as Koi Palace's." [FoodNut, SFoodie, Chowhound]
Have another thought on M.Y. China, or an insight on how it compares to Hakkasan? Go ahead and leave it in the comments or the tip jar.
· All M.Y. China Coverage [~ ESF ~]