+

4 Places

1 Suggestion

Expand Map

4 Places

1 Suggestion

Restaurants & Bars

Chef Zhao Bistro [San Mateo]

hyperbowler | Jan 12, 201511:15 PM     3

Chef Zhao recently opened a second location in San Mateo. Permanent menus will come soon, but I ordered from what might have been an old menu from their Mountain View location ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/881994 ). There are lots of photographs on the menu, and it looks to be curated towards Sichuan dishes.

Sichuan green beans : awesome. crisp, wrinkled and potently flavored with garlic and a generous dose of ya cai (http://www.fuchsiadunlop.com/sichuane... )

Spicy beef with soft tofu (something like that...) : on its own, the beef struck me as over tenderized, but its soft texture works here as a middle ground between the crunchy chile flakes, Sichuan peppercorns, and deep fried soybeans on top and the soft tofu below. They don't hold back on the numbing spice from the red Sichuan peppercorns.

The chef (owner?) is from Chengdu and he came out of the kitchen to ask how the customers liked everything. I took that as an opportunity to ask him some questions about Sichuan peppercorns. With the help of the woman who works the front of the house, he explained that he uses red Sichuan peppercorns (花椒, Hua jiao, "flower peppers") for their numbing power in fiery hot dishes flooded with chili oil, and that he uses green Sichuan peppercorns (藤椒, Teng jiao, "Vine peppers") in dishes that emphasize light and fresh flavors. He whipped up a sauce using green Sichuan peppercorns and scallions so I could appreciate this distinction on some tofu from the above dish. Next time, I'm going to order a cold dish pictured on the menu consisting of poached chicken and a green Sichuan peppercorn sauce.

Closed Tuesdays, takes credit. Mostly square tables, but there's one round table big enough for a party of ~10.

Chef Zhao Bistro (in the former Jade Garden space)
2450 S El Camino Real
San Mateo, CA 94403
(650) 345-6288

Shen Hua
Jade Garden
Chef Zhao Bistro
    Image Title (Optional)
    Caption (Optional)
    Image Credit (Optional)
    Image Title (Optional)
    Caption (Optional)
    Image Credit (Optional)
Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

BBQ 101: How to Grill for Beginners
Guides

BBQ 101: How to Grill for Beginners

by Greg Stegeman | The weather is getting nicer, Memorial Day is on the horizon, and summer is right around the corner...

The Best Grills, BBQ Tools, and Grill Accessories
Guides

The Best Grills, BBQ Tools, and Grill Accessories

by Jen Wheeler | If you're in the market for a new grill, grill brush, or basically any other BBQ tool, grill accessory...

A Comprehensive Guide to Barbecue Sauce Across the Country
Guides

A Comprehensive Guide to Barbecue Sauce Across the Country

by Greg Stegeman | Barbecue sauce is a blanket term that doesn't necessarily do justice to all the regional styles of...

Battle of the BBQ: Where Can You Find the Best in the South?
Guides

Battle of the BBQ: Where Can You Find the Best in the South?

by Joey Skladany | As a self-proclaimed sauce connoisseur and fan of barbecue varieties specifically, I was more than...

See what's new!

View latest discussions ›

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.