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Last month I dropped into Empero Taste for a late, solo lunch. I confess that this was my first time to this neighborhood stalwart.
Off-menu specials were plastered on the walls enscribed on sheets of various shades of pink. Lobster e-fu noodles caught my eye though I had to wonder why the price of $23.99. That's about 50% more than other Hong Kong seafood places would charge.
I was pleased when the complimentary "old fire" house soup came out. Pork and chicken bones long simmered with bitter melon, a soulful and unusual combination.
The main event turned out to be HUGE, presented on a hefty platter. The lobster itself probably weighed close to two pounds, yielding more than twice the amount of meat as other lobster noodle examples and had both substantial claws. Noodles were firm and chewy and the lobster cooked perfectly with ginger and scallions. I would have wished for a little less cornstarch in the gravy and I'll ask for no MSG next time. This was enough for two meals.
And the traditional end at this very Cantonese place, a complimentary hot dessert soup. I'm not so keen on these usually, but coconut tapioca with taro root is one of my favorite types and this was a nice example.
Not inexpensive, but all in all, very satisfying. What else to folks like here?
4052 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121
Pro tip: Empero Taste stays open through the afternoon, not closing between lunch and dinner time. I was there at 3:30pm.
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