San Tung Restaurant Review, San Francisco
Posted by Foodnut.com
1031 Irving St (Between 11th and 12th Avenue)
San Francisco, CA 94122
San Tung is a popular Chinese restaurant in the inner Sunset of San Francisco. They serve northern Chinese food that has some Korean influence, as the San Tung region of China is near Korea, hence the free Kim Chee. We have eaten here many, many times, back to when it was located west of here. Our latest visit occurred in February 2014, when we noticed prices up a bit.
San Tung #2 opened next door in early 2014. Interesting, it has its own kitchen.
Decor, Vibe – San Tung has pretty generic Chinese restaurant decor, not much in the way of decorations. This is a busy restaurant with lots of people waiting to get in. Try not to face the door, you will feel pressure to eat fast. Lots of families, small groups, friends getting together for the delicious fare.
San Tung Menu Pictures (Click to Zoom in on any picture)
San Tung has a special Korean menu for those who can read it! There are dishes on there that are not present on the normal menu.
Free Kim Chee
San Tung Picks:
Shrimp and Leek Dumplings ($8) are 12 dumplings filled with a savory and tender mixture of ginger and garlic infused ground shrimp and Chinese chives. The wrapper is a bit on the medium thickness side and slightly al dente. These should be eaten quickly when they are piping hot. Dip in soy sauce or vinegar if desired.
Pork Dumplings ($7.25) are 12 dumplings filled with a tasteful and tender blend of ground pork and Napa cabbage seasoned with ginger and garlic. Some prefer the shrimp ones over these, but both are very good.
Original Dry Fried Chicken Wings ($10.50 for a dozen) are deep friend in batter with garlic, ginger, and red peppers. One of San Tung’s signature dishes that everyone orders. Sauce is a little sweet and slightly zesty. These come piping hot out of the kitchen and need to be eaten quickly.
Sweet and Sour Pork ($11.50) is a pretty pedestrian dish we would normally not order, but San Tung does it extremely well. Tender chunks of lean pork battered and deep fried tossed with bell peppers, onions, carrots and pineapple. Could use more pineapple and less onions. Balanced cherry flavored sauce.
Sweet and Sour Pork in Brown sauce ($13) has tender chunks of lean pork battered and deep fried. Topped with mixed vegetables and tangy sweet and sour sauce. This was sweeter and more tart than normal. Crunchy meat and nice mushrooms and carrots. A nice change of pace from the red sauce.
Seafood Soup Noodles ($9.50) had excellent homemade hand pulled noodles, shrimp, calamari, scallops and mixed vegetables in a very good broth. A pretty healthy sized dish of top notch noodles.
Hot and Sour Soup ($5.95 for small) was not very spicy but still hit the mark.
Dried sauteed String Beans ($8.50) flash fried and tossed in garlicy sauce with Chinese pickle were pretty standard fare. Crunchy, not overly seasoned, fresh beans, a decent dish but not special.
Potstickers ($7) had six Big ones to the order. Deeply Fried bottom skin, lots of meat filling, juicy, but just too thick and doughy a crust.
Jellyfish with Cucumbers ($9.50) – Chilled shredded jellyfish and julienne cucumbers tossed in a light soy garlic mustard sauce was a plate full of jellyfish. The mustard sauce pretty much dominated the dish. Authenticity style points.
San Tung’s service is slightly better than the average Chinese restaurant. You still have to hunt down waiters to order, get refills, get the check etc. Service and pacing fall fast when the kitchen puts priority on to go orders. One wonders why they do not move to a bigger location. Come early and get in line. The waiting at San Tung usually starts as early as 5 pm. You can call ahead to have them put you on the waiting list. Small wine list, $10 Corkage. Best place to park is near the supermarket Andronico’s.
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