Monday, September 10, 2018

Yank Sing - Catering

I don't understand how I've never reviewed Yank Sing before.

For background, Yank Sing is basically *the* place for dim sum in San Francisco if you don't want to venture to the Richmond.  Its also significantly more expensive than dim sum usually is, and always causes me to take a pause when I see the prices.  That said, it is consistent, you can make reservations (!), and, well, they do use quality ingredients, and the seafood offerings in particular are impressive.

Yank Sing is the first place I ever had dim sum, way back when I moved to the Bay Area and my culinary horizons expanded.  We used to go regularly for brunch, always with a group, and always feasted.  I've since had dim sum around the world (like the beautiful unique creations at Lulu and Yum Yum in Sydney, in breakfast buffets at hotels like the Westin in Tokyo or airline lounge buffets like Cathay's in Hong Kong, on flights like Cathay Pacific Business Class flights where it wasn't great, and First Class wasn't much better, and even from food trucks like Let's Do Yum Cha).  I've safely had my share of dim sum by this point.

Anyway, I don't know how I've never reviewed Yank Sing.  I don't go often now, but I still have visited since I started a blog, likely just not taking notes and reviewing since I was with a group.  I usually dine in, always with a group since items come in sharing portions.  It is a standard setup at the restaurant, you order tea from a server, then items come through the room on carts, you gesture if you want something, you feast.

Yank Sing has two locations in San Francisco, both downtown.  They also have a takeout place that I've also ordered from a few times, when I haven't felt like dealing with the crowds, or, when I just want a few items and don't have a group.

But this review is of the group take out experience, catering.  Never a restaurant's place to shine, but, Yank Sing still did pull off a reliable meal.  It made me want to go back in person after a bit of a hiatus!
Pork Potsticker.
"Northern Chinese style dumplings with a minced pork, Napa cabbage, scallions, ginger, and toasted sesame oil filling, steamed in a wok, and then shallow pan fried." 

I went to Yank Sing for years before ever having a potsticker there.  I have no idea why.  We all always weren't interested.

And then one time, I was there with a huge group, and someone ordered them.  I thought they were crazy, but then I had one, and I recall loving it.

So I was thrilled when the catered event had the potstickers!
Pork Potsticker.
Yank Sing gets all the elements of the pot sticker right.

The wrapper is the right thickness, and the sear on one side perfect and crisp.  I love how well they get them crisped up, without feeling oily.  The sear was better on the ones at the otherwise not good Dumpling Depot in Sunnyvale, but these were better overall.

Inside is generously stuffed with a ball of minced pork with good flavor from the cabbage, scallions, and ginger.  The filling is a bit mushy for my taste, but otherwise, is fine, not too porky.

A solid potsticker, not quite as memorable as that first time I had one, but still, good.  My third favorite item.
Pork and Shrimp Siu Mye.
"Diced pork and shrimp filling, hand-wrapped in fresh pasta skin and hand-formed into a fluted 'basket'".

Pretty much every time we go to dim sum, this piece gets ordered. I've never thought it was the best piece, nor the worst piece, but definitely one always worth getting.

Very classic siu mye, with pork/shrimp/chives inside.
Pork and Shrimp Siu Mye.
But I adored the shrimp siu mye this time.

The wrapper was my favorite of the assortment of dim sum I had, a slight chew to it.  The filling was generous, juicy, and just loaded with big chunks of shrimp.  I didn't actually taste any pork, but, I think there was some ground with the other goodies.

My favorite piece from this visit.
Scallop Siu Mye.
I don't think I had ever had this one before!

It was labelled as scallop siu mye, but, certainly not the shape of a siu mye ... it didn't have an open top?
Scallop Siu Mye.
I think it might have been the seafood and chive dumpling instead, as, you can see, it had lots of green inside too!

But really what was inside was a huge juicy scallop.  If I thought the shrimp sui mye was loaded with shrimp, this was even more so.  Tons of protein in this one!  The scallop was fine, not particularly notable, but, fine.  Which was surprising given that the majority of this item *was* scallop, I expected to taste it more.

A decent dumpling, one I'd consider getting again since I do love scallops, but, the scallop didn't really present itself how I'd like.
Spinach Dumpling (Vegetarian).
"Fresh vegetable filling of hand chopped spinach, water chestnuts, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and bamboo shoots in a natural chive juice colored dumpling." 

I had a vague memory of trying this years ago when I dined with vegetarians and we had *all* the vegetarian items, and I remembered not liking it, but, I still tried it again.

And, yup, not my thing.

The shape is more like a large tortellini, and the wrapper a bit thicker than most other offerings, in not a good way, as it dominated.  Green from chive juice, but you don't taste it.  Eh to the wrapper.

The filling I didn't care for either, the crunch from the bits of water chestnut was nice, but otherwise, the flavor of the spinach didn't do it for me.

One of my least favorites, and I don't want to try these again!
Mushroom Dumpling (Vegetarian)
My absolute favorite piece of dim sum from Yank Sing is a vegetarian item.  No question.  I really truly adore their snow pea shoots dumplings.  These at least looked similar, the same shape and size, and I do like mushrooms, so I gave them a try.

The wrapper was good, nicely steamed, not too thick, and it was well formed.
Mushroom Dumpling: Inside.
But the inside wasn't for me.  The texture of the chopped slimy mushrooms, and the overall flavor ... eh.

Probably my second to least favorite piece they serve (after the spinach one!).
Steamed BBQ Pork Bun.
"A fluffy bread bun stuffed with nuggets of honey glazed BBQ pork. "

Yank Sing's steamed BBQ pork buns are always reliable.

Huge, fluffy, slightly sweet bun, chopped up bbq pork inside.  The bbq pork is fine, decent quality pork, decent flavor bbq, not too sweet, nicely coated pieces.  I don't adore it, I've had bbq filling I like better, but this is a decent version.

Solid, reliable, but not, "OMG great".
Egg Custard Tart.
"Velvety smooth and sweet egg custard in a flaky pastry tart shell. "

Yank Sing makes a fine egg custard tart.  Flaky shell, shiny top, well set egg custard, slightly sweet.  Best warm, no question.

It is a fairly standard offering, not remarkable in any way, but reliable if you are in the mood.

I personally adore some of their other desserts though, like the coconut cream rolls, so, the egg custard is always just "ok" to me.
Yank Sing Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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