Yank Sing, San Francisco
Posted by Foodnut.com
49 Stevenson St (Near Ecker)
San Francisco, CA 94105
Best xiao long bao in San Francisco?
Yank Sing Rincon Center
Yank Sing Stevenson Street
How does San Francisco’s famous Yank Sing compare to the world’s best Dim Sum restaurants or nearby Chinese Restaurants?
Since 1958, Yank Sing has been specializing in Chinese Dim Sum. They now have 2 locations, both in the San Francisco Financial District. We visited the smaller Stevenson street location, situated in an alley just off 2nd street. This location has fewer items, but is known for rapid fire service. Yank Sing is known for quality dim sum with very nice service, at high prices. Our last visit was in May 2015 to the Rincon center location.
Be sure to read our Introduction to Chinese Dim Sum.
Yank Sing Decor, Vibe – Clean modern room that filled up rapidly after the doors opened. The Rincon center location is a lot bigger and nicer.
Dim Sum Carts roaming the room all the time. This location is small, the Spear street location is huge. Try to sit inside near the kitchen. 75% of the folks were non Asians with a blend of families and tourists. Great to see non Asians eating Chinese food.
Yank Sing Menu Pictures
Pretty standard Chinese dim sum with some dishes you only see at dinner time.
Yank Sing Food Picks:
Seafood dumplings ($5.95) were topped with fish Roe in proved to be pretty solid.
Shrimp Rice Noodle Rolls ($8.90) were a solid version of the classic. Smaller shrimp that we expected. The BBQ pork version was also decent.
Shanghai Kurobuta Pork Dumpling ($14 for 6) was pretty expensive, yet a dish everyone gets. They are constantly refilling the cart with fresh batches of these. Nice tasty soup inside along with a fairly thin wrapper. Beef has a strong unbalanced flavor to it. Surprisingly, one of the better versions in the San Francisco Bay Area and probably best in San Francisco. Din Tai Fung has some of the best ones in North America. #1 for us in is Din Tai Fung Taipei 101.
Stuffed Lotus Leaf ($5.95 for 1) with glutinous rice was pretty big and full of tasty pork, shrimp, and other goodies. A bit light on flavor.
Deep Fried Pork Dumpling ($10.70 for 4) was pretty warm and full of meat filling. Greasy but well done.
Chicken feet ($5.35) probably doesn’t get ordered very much here. We give them an E for effort. Decent, but not stellar.
Chinese Broccoli or Gai Lan ($7.15) was chilled. A must for vegetarians. Definitely omit the oyster sauce.
Sesame Ball ($11.70 for 4) was ridiculously expensive but fresh and hot out of the fryer. In 2015, these were more dark beige in color. No gold inside!
Egg Custard Tart ($11.70 for 4) was expensive but a pretty good, and sweeter than usual dessert. Big pieces of crust and delicious custard. Golden Gate Bakery has nothing to worry about.
Mango ice cream pie ($8.90) was surprisingly Very Good. Not exactly Chinese, but if you like mango ice cream, save some room and order it.
Shrimp Dumpling ($7.15 for 4) was chock full of shrimp and had a nice thin wrapper. Pretty tiny. The shrimp were smashed together, and the quality of them was not very high.
Steamed Pork Buns ($5.35 for 2) were hot and filled with pork inside. Not as good as Hang Ah as the bun was to thick.
Honey Baked Seabass ($20.55) was a big chunk of well cooked fish normally served at dinner. Tasty but R&G Lounge does this far better. A nice dinner dish that many folks never get to try.
Peking duck ($6.55) by the slice is a cool little personal dish. The duck and bun were not that hot and flavors were average. They even left a piece of bone on the meat. A nice accessible dish for newbies. Beware that the duck was sitting around for a while.
Black Bean Spare Ribs ($5.35) had a minimal amount of black beans. (If any) Pretty greasy and average.
Honey Glazed Walnut salad ($11.70) was shuttled around the room and looked too fusiony. Just say no.
Service was better than almost all Chinese restaurants nearby, with people patrolling all the time. It was pretty clear that they train the waiters and bus boys to be extra nice and polite. A Chinese restaurant with actual pleasant service? Keep in mind that the best restaurants in the Asia, like 3 Michelin star Lung King Heen in Hong Kong, all have top-notch service! Service is just not a priority here.
Yank Sing delivers a wide range of classic dim sum dishes as well as some items that normally are served at dinner time like the sea bass, Peking duck, or minced squab in lettuce cups. Be sure to not just order off the carts. Waiters can fetch steaming hot items for you too.
Clearly the prices are 2-3 times more than other places. Yank Sing is worth it if you like decent dim sum in a clean Western setting with lots of pleasant English speaking servers. It is no wonder that this place is so popular. Another place with service a couple notches lower, would be Cityview in San Francisco. We would rate the food quality below places on the Peninsula like Koi Palace, Asian Pearl Peninsula. If you like this restaurant, continue your food journey at one of these places.
1 Rincon Center
101 Spear Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
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