Brand-new Beijing restaurant on Alemany and Ocean is a rare find and an oasis in our neighborhood. We've been twice in the last week and both times the food was wonderful and really interesting. I should say my husband is Chinese and both of us are adventurous Asian food eaters, so we tend to know quality and authenticity when we find it.
The owners Sandy and Jin are two Beijing natives (by way of New Zealand) who are young, energetic, and very outgoing. They are very excited about their food and eager to tell you about the special "small food" dishes and hand-made noodles Jin's mother (who ran a restaurant in Beijing for 20 years) is making in the back alongside another trained chef.
The restaurant specializes in Beijing cuisine, only here, they mean it. The place is small (9 tables), occupying an unusual corner spot you may have never noticed before. There are dishes here you will rarely find in the bay area and everything we've had has been wonderful. The first time, we had:
* Cumin Lamb
* House Special Pie--really a kind of turnover with wonderful pork and ginger
* House Special Steamed Meatball--amazingly tender and delicious
The second time we had:
* Warm Pot with fish-a kind of soup in a clay pot with tender slices of rock cod and preserved vegetable in a tasty broth
* Beijing Beef Pie--fantastic
* Beijing Style Noodles with Special Sauce-made with hand-pulled noodles you mix everything together with cucumber, been sprouts, and celery--a tad salty, but that might be Beijing style
* We even tried dumplings with fennel! Apparently it's a Beijing favorite
The menu has lots of other interesting dishes on it, including flour ball dishes (meaning dishes with dumplings), and lots of Beijing specialties as well as many more traditional Chinese restaurant dishes. They do a very inexpensive lunch as well.