A stream of excited text messages keep pinging on my phone from a friend who's eating there tonight and can't believe there's now real Chinese food in the Castro. Originally started as a pop-up in Queen Malika, it closed and just reopened taking over the space as Mama Ji's.
The new chefs started three weeks ago. The dim sum chef is from Yank Sing* and dim sum is available for lunch and dinner. Friend says this is not a dim sum destination, but it is good for evening dim sum.
What he seems more enthused about ("tasty, tasty!") is the Sichuan dinner menu. I'm studying the photo he sent of Chongqing chicken --- battered, deep-fried, then dry-fried with seasonings --- and there's a big pile of Sichuan peppercorns accumulated on the side of his plate. He says the hua jiao are very fragrant, best quality he can remember. The boneless chicken is flavorful thigh meat with a thin batter. He also recommends the ants climbing a tree.
He's just got coconut agar jellies and lychees as the complimentary dessert. Guess that's the end.
Who's tried it? Can this be true?
Sichuan dinner menu
Mama Ji's dim sum
4416 18th St.
* Eater says Yank Sing. Earlier Eater and Tastingtable said Koi Palace.