A hanging picture on the wall boasts of the restaurant's most famous client, former President George Bush. In addition, the staff will inform the ... More
Empress of China
A hanging picture on the wall boasts of the restaurant's most famous client, former President George Bush. In addition, the staff will inform the visitor that in the 1960s and '70s this restaurant was a favorite of many Hollywood personalities. Dim lighting reflects off the authentic Chinese antiques that line the walls. The atmosphere is cozy and the restaurant is quiet enough for intimate conversation. The clientele is mostly tourists and a few locals who have been patronizing the restaurant for years. Entrees include such wonderful items as Minced Squab on Lettuce Leaf, as well as a host of other exquisite gourmet Chinese dishes. In addition, the restaurant has a full bar and serves a range of beers and California wines.
I cannot praise the wonderful people and of course the food at Empress of China highly enough! We just gave a wedding-rehearsal dinner there Friday 26 Jan. for 44 people and it was great! Everyone was very happy! My very dear new daughter-in-law is Chinese-American so many of the people there were real experts in the various cuisines. Empress tends more to the Cantonese as do many restaurants in San Francisco Chinatown. My own tastes run to the hot-and-spicy foods of Sichuan, Hunan, and of course Mongolia, Korea, and Thailand. But Empress has a banquet menu (among several) which is quite reasonable in cost, that has a wonderful mix! They had some of the best eggrolls as a starter that I've ever had - outer crust not hard but still crunchy, yet not too greasy, great filling. Chicken-diced Winter-melon soup was very satisfying. Main dishes included sauteed vegges which were outstanding - where do they get such incredible asparagus this time of year?!? Chicken and suitably crunchy snow peas fresh from wok to table! A dish which we ordered (that I normally don't particularly like because I don't think shrimp and sweet flavor don't mix well) was the Sichuan Walnut Prawns and WOW! That was the hit dish and I agreed!! The shellfish were large and incredibly fresh and the sauce was just sweet enough and had lots of sesame to blend. And, for us food "hotties" - Sichuan Spiced Beef! I'm drooling just writing this! Servers had Tsingtao beer, red and white wine, and other drinks flowing at just the right pace. Service was impeccable. Room is on 6th floor and has a view of TransAm pyramid and Coit Tower. Beautiful. Most Chinatown places are storefronts or even basement places (and normally I have nothing against this; in my experience, Oriental food goodness often varies inversely with decor/ambience of the place) but Empress of China has great food *and* is a beautiful place! I can't wait to go back with my wife and maybe 4 to 6 family &/or friends. If you do an event there, talk to Stephen Chen - he and his staff are incredibly helpful. I recommend it most highly!!!
The food is excellent! I come to San Francisco once a year and I always make it a point to eat here. Everything I order is excellent. If your ever in town do yourself a favor and drop by, you wont regret it!!!