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M. Y. China: Some first impressions [SF]


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M. Y. China: Some first impressions [SF]

soupçon | | Dec 5, 2012 12:11 PM

I visited M.Y. China yesterday, their second day of operation. I felt duty-bound to report on one of the noodle dishes for my noodle blog, but also fell prey to the xiao long bao ("juicy dumpling") portion of the menu and picked up some Macau-style egg tarts for my Macau egg tart maven friend Alice.

I opted for the most conventional (and best benchmark) noodle dish, "Beef Hand Pulled Noodle Soup" and "Wild Boar Juicy Dumplings." The soup was a very solid and more or less conventional Taiwanese- style beef noodle soup (niurou lamian). The dark, beefy broth, typically sweet and dominated by notes of star anise was not as medicinal-tasting as some, but rich and satisfying. The noodles started out optimally chewy, but ended up a little on the soft side by the time I got to the bottom of the bowl. Since it was the second day of operation, there may have been timing issues in the cooking or delivery. It had a generous quantity of tender beef (rib eye, according to the menu), and the tender, small baby bok choy were a welcome alternative to the random stalky pieces you sometimes have to fight with in this type of soup. Overall, it was a bowl I'd gladly return for, were it not for the $14 price tag. I'll definitely be returning to try some other noodle dishes on the menu.

The Wild Boar Juicy Dumplings (XLB) were $8 for four. They came individually steamed in a ceramic spoon shaped more like a miniature ladle than a conventional Chinese "tiaogeng" spoon. They had great flavor (though different from typical pork XLB seasoning) with perhaps too much "soup" and not enough meat, but overall were a winning quartet of dumplings. My chief complaint about this dish would be the provison of the Cantonese red vinegar instead of black Zhenjiang vinegar for dipping.

The Macau-style egg tarts were $6 for three. My friend found that they did not measure up to her favorites from Sogo in Millbrae, and thought that the crust was not right for Macau-style egg tarts. I sampled half of one; I'm not a sweets person and never tried the egg tarts when I was in Macau, but I found them more similar to the ones I'd tried in Shanghai than Sogo's, with a texture more cream-cheesy and less custardy than Sogo's. They won't make anyone forget the egg tarts at Lillian Dan Ta in Shanghai, though.

One oddity of M.Y. Chinas menu is that beer is cheaper than tea. Anchor Steam (and I think Tsingtao and Yanjing) beer is $5.50, while teas start at $6. I actually ordered a pot of Iron Maiden, but when it hadn't shown up halfway through my meal I cancelled the order, so I can't comment on the service or the quality.

One great feature of M.Y. China is the counter which runs the entire length of the open kitchen, which makes for a great experience for solo diners. I was seated by the wok stations (closest to the entrance) but if I had thought to ask, probably could have been seated where I could watch the noodle crew at work.

Service, though somewhat chaotic at this early stage was extremely cheerful and informal enough to take some of the sting out of the relatively steep prices

M.Y. China
Westfield Centre
845 Market St. 4th Floor, San Francisco