Growing up, when we went to a Chinese restaurant, it was Cantonese food. I assume a lot of people did too. It seems that majority of Chinese restaurants in America are Cantonese with some Szechuan restaurants out there. However, times have changed. There’s a huge wave of Chinese restaurants opening up specializing cuisine from their region. Shanghainese food is a new thing for me, and it’s been an amazingly delicious experience every time! The other weekend we checked out Taste of Jiangnan in the Inner Richmond in San Francisco, which opened a little over a month ago.
I tried to find out more about Jiangnan, but there was very little info out there on the internet. From what I was able to gather, Jiangnan is an area south of the Yangtze River. The most important cities in the area are Shanghai, Nanjing, Ningbo,Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Shaoxing. Base off Taste of Jiangnan’s menu, it seems that they specialize dishes from Shanghai and Wuxi.
- Traditional Tofu Soup – Wuxi Style: There were thinly sliced tofu, seaweed, and mushrooms. We were amazed by the freshness of the tofu. We got it without the little fried shrimps they garnish it with.
- Sweet Corn Pancake (large): We weren’t sure what to expect, and it definitely wasn’t what came out. It was a yummy corn fritter. If you’ve been to E&O Kitchen in SF, it reminded me of their corn fritters but without the sauce.
- Tofu with Century Eggs: This dish is simple but so delicious. A nice light and refreshing contrast to all the cooked flavor-heavy dishes.
- Honey Walnut with Prawn: Good. It tasted the same as most decent honey walnut shrimp I’ve had at other Chinese restuarant. The portion was smaller than expected.
- Homemade Eggplant with Pork: I feel like you can’t go wrong with an eggplant dish at a Chinese place. The flavors were on-spot, the eggplants weren’t overcooked, the pork was a nice addition, and it wasn’t as greasy as some eggplant dishes can be.
- Jiangnan-Style Fried Rice: We got it without the shrimp. It didn’t taste any different than any other fried rice, and we weren’t sure what was “Jiangnan-Style” about it.
- Shredded Potato with Green Peppers: I recently discovered shredded potato and was excited for this dish. It was good but I think Spicy King’s version is better.
- Braised Beef with Green Vegetables: It was tasty but not reordering next time. When I rad the word “braised,” I thought it was be braised until it was soft and tender. The beef, although flavorful, was chewy. The green vegetables were bok choy. I, also, wasn’t expecting it to be some soupy.
- Delicious Braised Big Bone: It takes time to cook/heat up so be prepare to wait but worth it. Plus, they give you gloves to use while eating the bone. Crazy flavorful. You know they braised it for a long time to get the flavors to penetrate in.
- Crispy Rice with Salted Egg Yolk: I forgot to order this with the rest of the items, so I got it to-go. SO TASTY and addicting.
An item that was popular but we didn’t get was the Braised Pork (with Eggs). It looked divine. A few items we got without the meat, since we had a vegetarian in our party. Overall, everything was very tasty, and everyone enjoyed our lunch at Taste of Jiangnan very much. None of us had a favorite dish because we seriously enjoyed our whole entire meal. The portions are slightly on the smaller side than what I normally expect from a Chinese restaurant. We had a party of 7 and the dishes weren’t big enough to share for everyone to get a decent amount.
Here are some exterior, interior, and menu shots. The decor is pretty contemporary and classy. They have a little waiting area to the side, which is nice. Everything was clean, including the restroom.
As for service, I felt like they were still getting the hang of things here. Hence, they only opened a little over a month ago. The service was slow at times, and the food didn’t come out in seamlessly. There were moments where we were waiting for our next dish and staring at our empty plates.😭 I read the Yelp reviews before heading here, so I knew that having a server that understood and spoke English might be trying. Luckily, there was one server that spoke English. The other ladies who were bringing out the dishes and busting our table didn’t. They tried so hard to communicate with us even when we told them we didn’t speak Mandarin; it showed they really care about our dining experiences.
Also, check out their Yelp review for additional recommendations and pics.