The day after Christmas we had a family dinner at Great Eastern in San Francisco Chinatown for 11 people. It had been a year since my last visit for the chow fundraiser. Ordering was easy we went with the Pacific Delights dinner listed under the Great Eastern Chefs Selection for $145.00 and suggested to serve eight, and added a dozen Steamed Oysters with Black Bean Sauce and the Stuffed Boneless Chicken with Sweet Rice (24 hours advance notice).
The set dinner includes:
BBQ assorted platter - poached giant squid, anise beef shin, pork shank, barbecue duck, soy sauce chicken, jelly fish
Shredded scallop soup
Spiced salt baked fresh crab
Fried squab (2)
Sauteed fresh frog Uncle James commented that domestic frogs like this one are meatier, but the ones imported from China have more flavor.
Sauteed sea conch and scallops with yellow chives this was the fourth time Ive had this dish at Great Eastern and its becoming one of my standing orders.
Sauteed soft bean cake and Chinese mushrooms with tender green
Steamed fish A whole catfish, this was the weakest dish of the night due to the typical earthy/dirty flavor. Next time Ill ask for an upgrade to another type of fish, such as a stripe bass.
Dessert and fresh fruit hot sweet taro and tapioca soup and sliced oranges
The extra dishes:
The large plump oysters were steamed on the half shell with black bean sauce and seasoned with garlic, jalapeños, scallions, and cilantro. Very fresh, juicy, and cooked to perfection.
The stuffed chicken, $45, (shown below) was magnificent. The crunchy skin had a pebbly airy coating and was overstuffed with glutinous rice studded with bits of dried shrimp, mushrooms, and lop cheong. The rice was darkly colored from soy sauce yet not overseasoned.
The service was unobtrusive and efficient. Plates were changed regularly between courses without asking, in fact, we didnt need to ask for anything. With a set menu, the staff and kitchen have all their timings down and can operate like clockwork. The professionalism of the service staff is one of the pleasures of dining here.
Final bill, including the traditional Belfast imitation cider, was less than $250 inclusive for our party of 11. Truly one of the Citys dining bargains.
Great Eastern Restaurant
649 Jackson St.
Two hours validated parking at the Holiday Inn after 6pm
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