+

3 Places

1 Suggestion

Expand Map

3 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

Chef Zhao Bistro
Shen Hua
Jade Garden
    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 ›

Discussion Summary

More from Chowhound

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving
Entertaining

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving

by Kristin Donnelly | The best way to cook a stress-free dinner is to think ahead, which is why we've created this comprehensive...

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie
Food and Cooking

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie

by Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy | When the usual pie lineup feels boring and uninspired for your dessert repertoire, you've got to make...

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package
Food Trends

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package

by Kelsey Butler | Nostalgia is a factor not to be discounted when it comes to food, and these five holiday staples sometimes...

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online
Shop

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online

by David Klein | Mail order cookies, cakes, pies, and other sweet treats are better (and more prolific) than ever...

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.