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SF chinatown battle chowfun: Youngs vs Hing Lung

felice | Dec 19, 200304:56 PM

I have always gone to Young's Cafe on Kearny to get my noodles. The dry fried beef chow fun at Young's is salted to my taste, comes with plenty of bean sprouts and beef, and the portion is humongous. I ate this about two weeks ago while I was watching Trista and Ryan's wedding. I did notice that the portion was a bit smaller than usual because 1) I didn't have enough leftovers for a full meal the next day and 2) my arms didn't hurt when I was carrying the noodles home. Also, this particular portion of noodles was slightly mushy. The noodles were starting to gel together at the bottom of the box.

Last night, I wanted porridge as well as chow fun, and was too lazy to make two stops for takeout, since I was already happily resting on my couch. So, I ordered the duck porridge and the HK style beef chow fun from Hing Lung. The chow fun was great! The noodles were not the least bit mushy - they were actually slightly thinner (not width-wise but depth-wise) and much drier/crispier than the ones at Young's. The beef and bean sprouts in the dish were similar in quality and quantity to the ones in the chow fun at Young's. What surprised me the most was that the chow fun at Hing Lung had yellow chives! Adding a handful of yellow chives to a $5 box of noodles really goes a long way. The small negatives in the Hing Lung version was that it was oilier and the portion was smaller (no leftovers whatsoever).

Oh yeah, the duck porridge was good too. Plenty of duck skin and duck pieces (enough for 1 piece per spoonful). A few of the pieces had bits of innard clinging to them, yum. The only thing I didn't like was the shredded lettuce at the bottom. They were wilted, of course, and a little brown. I picked those out and will remember to request "no lettuce" next time.

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