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Great Eastern Restaurant (San Francisco CA)
||649 Jackson Street,|
San Francisco, CA 94133
Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2007 Issue: 14(3) page: 32 and 33
Do go to this restaurant for dim sum early and mid-day, for main dishes midday to after midnight. Opening at ten in the morning, customers are there ten minutes earlier, a pleasant staff waiting to feed them. We waltzed in about that early time, heard not a negative murmur, and was offered a pot of tea after being seated. They stay open until one in the morning which is long past our bedtime so can not report on how they are at those wee hours.
Folks reporting to Zagat give it high marks. We know their dim sum better than their main dishes, but the many that 'dot the heart' have been enjoyed for years. We agree they serve good Hong Kong and Cantonese chow, even some savory Shanghainese dim sum.
Many Asian folk come in warranting a menu is in Chinese, English, and Japanese. Try their Chow Fun with XO Sauce, their Duck Tongues made likewise, and the Spiced Salt Baked Fresh Crabs, and any of the clay pots; you, too, will become a devotee. Dim sum means taking pencil to double-layer white and yellow sheets; they are made fresh for you. The Dried Scallop and Leek Puff is perfect, the Deep Fried Seaweed Roll w/Fish perfectly divine. The Steamed Chicken Claws were perfect, the Pan Fried Bitter Melon Stuffed with Fish good enough to make converts to this quinine-flavored vegetable dish.
The Fresh Frog with Beef Porridge requires a crew to consume. This congee is worth sharing content and cost with at least a handful of friends. The Snow Pea Sprouts with Dried Scallops are not to be missed, and if you have a large group, enjoy a fine Cantonese dinner or a good banquet here.
Only had one disappointment and that was the Dumpling Soup. Our waiter called it 'spoon soup' and asked were we sure we wanted it. Maybe he was reinforcing his message when he served metal soup spoons as soon as we insisted on ordering this usually delicious dish. We had thought his concern economic, but later after we had some and he heard our litany of negatives, we learned the chef who usually makes it was out that day. One loser in many visits and many menu choices is good reason to return again and again. After all, most chefs work here every day and we do adore almost all their efforts.