Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
November 26, 2005
From journal San Francisco
San Francisco, California
August 25, 2005
From journal Advice from a local
April 27, 2004
The place is small and the cooks work right behind the counter, so you can observe everything. The place seems a bit dirty and grimy as the turn over is quick and there is not a lot of effort to make it shine. The bathroom is really scary!
The service is fast and brusque. The owner will take your order and if he does not like what you ordered he will tell you that you are crazy and will change your order. It's all part of the charm and mojo here. The rude service and dirty hole atmosphere is actually part of the reason people flock here. You came for good, no GREAT Chinese food and you have found the best place in San Francisco. The fried eggplant or the spicy beef is like nowhere else in the city. Everything is the best here. I have never had a bad dish and I have had many of lunches here.
You may be a bit grossed out that the health department has not raided the place, but once you taste the first bite you will understand the long lines and why this is a San Francisco favorite hole in the wall. The prices are in line too and everything is a good deal! Notice the awards of the wall. They are real! This place has even beat out places like The Ritz Carlton for foodie awards. Who needs a clean bathroom or friendly service when the food is so great?
From journal Living in the Bay Area
Brooklyn, New York
April 9, 2004
Let’s walk through a typical Nanking experience.
It’s dinnertime. We arrive to find a long line of hungry hungry hipsters lining the sidewalk, waiting to eat. We join the end of the line and instantly become friends with our fellow diners; we all share laughs brought on by the indecipherable things people -- local winos and wait staff alike -- shout at us as we stand there, tummies rumbling. When our table is ready, we crawl into our seats. The table is pulled back into place. At our elbows, a couple sits eating, their table flush against ours. “What’s that?” we affably ask them, pointing at their dinner. They reply, coldly, violated. So they’re an antisocial bunch. We order our food (“What do you recommend?” I ask. The waiter nods, grabs our menus and whisks himself away). We are in their hands now. As our neighbors eat, they splatter onto our faces; that’s how close we are sitting. They listen to our museum plans for the following day; we listen to their cold bitter dispute over carpet samples. Our food arrives expeditiously on tin platters and we moan with delight. The bill immediately follows, as well as the impatient glares of the wait staff, itching for us to be gone already. The food is so good, we don’t even mind their rudeness. After we finish and eventually succumb to the pressure of their evil eyes, we push our table out and crawl over the laps of our new friends. “Good luck with that living room renovation,” I offer. Our table is refilled before we’re out the door. The line outside has grown. In all, the meal took about 20 minutes, leaving us with plenty of time to catch an early show.
My favorite dishes: fried potstickers with peanut sauce (spicy), beer-sauce chicken, and anything “Nanking”-style.
From journal House of Nanking
by DR CUDDLESWORTH
NEW YORK CITY, New York
June 20, 2002
From journal Trolley Cars, Robots, and The Rock
by Armed With Passport
Miromar Lakes, Florida
June 4, 2002
Other restaurant reviewers don't mention it, but I think that this place is kind of like the "Soup Nazi" of Chinese cuisine. The first similarity between The House of Nanking and the soup restaurant made famous in "Seinfeld" is the line of big city people and tourists waiting to get in. The second "Soup Nazi" quality is that all the staff seems to be in such a hurry, even at the risk of mistreating you a bit. You get impatient looks from the greeter/waitress if you dawdle after she calls you. Thirty seconds after sitting you are expected to be ready to order. The third commonality is the pushiness of the waiter who takes your order. I've been here twice and both times after I placed my food order with the waiter, he shook his head, changed my order, said "Okay?", and left before I could protest. The fourth and final shared characteristic is that the The House of Nanking's food creations are as delicious as the "Soup Nazi's" soup; we, like Jerry, George, and Elaine, will go through this ordeal again just to taste this wonderful food.
We were crammed into a small table in the corner of the restaurant; I could barely squeeze by the other diner's chairbacks. The waiter showed up just as I was opening the menu. I quickly went with the favorites; I ordered the onion pancake with peanut sauce and the steamed potstickers for appetizers. For entrees, we ordered sesame chicken and Nanking scallops. As per the norm, the waiter shook his head and said that the Nanking scallops were too similar to the sesame chicken and that he was changing the scallops preparation to something I'd like. He then said, "Okay" and left without waiting for a response. I turned to Toni and said, "See, I told you!"
The food arrived almost immediately and was wonderful. The scallops that he brought were laced with red chilis and were very good, but hot, much to Toni's chagrin. We put out the fire with some water and Tsingtao beer.
I think this place is a must see, although some people will say that the food here is not worth the hype. I strongly disagree. I've actually grown accustomed to the pushy and abrupt service and crowded and diner-like atmosphere; I would be disappointed if that ever changed.
From journal The Chronic Walker's Guide to San Francisco