Thursday, April 8, 2010

SF: San Tung Takes on Wings

The end of last year I visited San Francisco to take my aunt from Indonesia around. We were staying my a good friend of my cousin's and on my first night she took us to San Tung, a popular Chinese restaurant in the Inner Sunset district.

She said San Tung is supposed to have really good chicken wings and my aunt likes chicken.
Chinese=cheap. Chicken wings=sound good to me. I hesitated a bit because the friend is actually a vegetarian, so she wouldn't really know if the place was good. It had a good Yelp rating, so I wondered if it would be up to snuff.

A really spicy pickled cabbage that's served at every table.
My aunt and friend both liked it a lot. I didn't try it at all (didn't I just say it was supposedly really spicy?).

Because the friend is vegetarian, we also ordered some eggplant in garlic sauce ($7.50)
Generous portion and it packs a punch of flavor. The eggplants were sweet and tender and the sauce was a little spicy and very flavorful.

What we came for: The Original Dry Fried Chicken Wing ($9)
For my sake, we didn't get the hot ones that night. The wings had a nicely crispy skin, and a sticky sweet sauce. I preferred it to Bonchon/Kyochon in LA since it's not as sweet, the skin is crunchier than Kyochon (tho maybe not Bonchon), but mostly because it is CHEAPER. For $9 we get a whole plate of big chicken wings, not a small basket of tiny wings for $10. The value proposition is much higher.

Noodles in Black Bean Sauce ($8): SKIP.
Seems like a lot of Yelpers liked this dish, but I didn't. I usually really like the Korean-Chinese black bean noodle, jjangmyun, but here the homemade noodles were doughy and mushy, the black bean sauce was bland. The list of beef, shrimp, and calamari on the dish was tempting but I don't think it worked particularly well. It was a big bowl of bland starch to me.

San Tung for the most part serves a solid Chinese meal, but it's really the dry fried wings people come for and it isn't all just hype. The crispy wings were quite good and I'll pay for these over Kyochon any day. But then, would I otherwise drive so far and wait for a table for wings?

San Tung Chinese Restaurant
1031 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 242-0828
www.santungrestaurant.com/menu.html
San Tung on Urbanspoon
San Tung in San Francisco

3 comments:

Wandering Chopsticks

Hong Kong cafe chicken wings with sauce?

Man, NorCal really doesn't have good Chinese restaurants if that gets them all excited. :P

burumun

Haha. Berkeley has a place with good Peking Duck, but other than that, they supposedly have better Cantonese right? I don't know if this place in SGV would be as crowded as San Tung is, maybe we just have a larger number of restaurants.

EatTravelEat

I like eggplant but usually it gets so oily in Chinese restaurants. Oh well...
The chicken wing looks quite yummy to me. But like Wandering Chopsticks said Hong Kong Style Cafes make great chicken wings. Or any type of fried food, honestly :).

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