If you travel to San Francisco, it’s a must that you eat at least once in Chinatown. On our recent trip to San Fran, the husband and I knew that we wanted some great Chinese, but were at a loss as to where to go. Thankfully, our hotel concierge pointed us to House of Nanking.
When we arrived, it was easy to spot with its multi-colored sign and its long line outside. In fact, it was the only restaurant around that had a wait, and we took this as a good sign for what was to come. Even though there was a line, it didn’t take too long to get in. The service is very speedy inside, and everything is very efficient. You don’t end up with just one waiter. Instead, who ever is closest to you will help you at any given time.
Once inside, the husband and I were seated at a four-top with a mother and daughter traveling together from England. This family-style seating can sometimes annoy me, but we lucked out as the women we sat next to were both friendly and interesting.
To start, the husband and I shared the sizzling rice soup:
While I would say it wasn’t exactly sizzling, it did have a very nice flavor. The veggies in it were fresh and crunchy, which added a nice texture mixed with the rice and hot broth.
We also chose to each order our own entrees. One thing to note: everything is served family-style, and the portions are huge! Two entrees and one soup were more than we needed. It probably could have fed an additional two people. So, order accordingly, or bring a larger group!
Anyway, our two entrees were the Nanking Noodle and the Sesame Chicken.
First to arrive was the Nanking Noodle. I actually added brocolli to this, because it didn’t come with enough vegetables for my taste. You can add any vegetables you want for an additional price per veggie.
Here it is, half devoured!
This noodle dish packed big flavor, especially in the form of garlic. I am a big garlic fan, so I found these noodles to be delicious. The veggies (cabbage, pea pods, and brocolli) were crisp and fresh. I would definitely order this again.
Next up was the sesame chicken:
This was another great, signature dish. The chicken is crispy and drenched in a sticky, sweet sauce. The surprise is that it’s served with sliced sweet potato and sliced Chinese squash. The sweet potato adds to the overall sweetness of the dish. The Chinese squash is a nice way to offset the chicken and sweet potato. It’s crisp, like an apple, and has a fresh, slightly bitter taste which clenses the palate from all of that sweetness. I would definitely recomend one order of this chicken, as well.
In all, House of Nanking was worth the wait and lived up to the hype. I think it’s best suited for a larger group - as I said, we spent about $35, and had enough left over for at least one other person, if not two. It would be great to come here for a small celebration and order a few dishes to share. But, if in a larger group, I would suggest getting there early, so they can get you in a big enough table.
House of Nanking is located in Chinatown at 919 Kearny St, San Francisco CA 94133
Phone: (415) 421-1429