R & G Deep Fried Salt and Pepper Crab.
This baby is what we came for.
But first, let’s take a peek at the area that R & G Lounge is located.
Here’s a slideshow of some sights around the Chinatown area, which you must visit before eating at R & G Lounge.
|San Francisco Chinatown slideshow|
What a fun store to visit in Chinatown!
Here’s R & G Restaurant’s Lounge area.
It looks trendy and uber-cool. You can have a drink and watch t.v. while waiting in line for your table. You still have to kind of wait even if you have a reservation.
One thing I noticed on our trip to California was that there was a lot of waiting in lineups…something we don’t often do for very long in Vancouver, Canada. In the sunny state, we waited for food, waited in lineups at 6 Flags, waited in the car for close to an hour at a time to arrive at our destination, where we would usually have to wait again for food (especially if it was good food), waited to pay at tolls, and waited to go to the bathroom in public places like the Ferry Building and Marine World. Either you Americans have much more patience than we Canadians or now I know why people characterize us Canadians as polite. We just aren’t as stressed by the huge queues!
The lineups in San Francisco especially seem long…people queue up for a half an hour or up to an hour without seeming to bat an eye. In Vancouver, if we found a place with a lineup longer than 15 minutes, we’d take off and look for good eats somewhere else. And there are plenty of places for good eats so the competition is stiff.
Here’s the menu. It’s extensive and full of pictures. Which is a good thing I think. I love pics, can’t you tell?
R & G Salt and Pepper Crab.
It wasn’t what I was expecting. The coating is unlike the kind I’m used to eating in Vancouver. It seemed to be coated in a breading. The salt and pepper was not as pronounced as the type I’m used to either. We generally see a lot of greenery and fresh chopped garlic, scallions and chili peppers when we order this in Vancouver. This crab was delicious though. Bib watched the lazy susan spin with the crab on it…and promptly asked “What’s that?” She ended up eating crab for the first time and she loved it. She sucked on the crab legs and took her time cleaning out the tender dungeness crab meat.
I liked it and if we were in Vancouver, I’d rate it a 5/6. I simply like a lot of chilis, garlic, scallion and stuff on my crab. Because it was different and creative though, it has a lot going for it. This is a crab dish that you need to have with a glass of wine or a nice cold beer. It’s a nice appetizer.
Peking Duck. With Man tou.
This dish was also served in a different manner than I am accustomed to in traditional Cantonese cuisine. Usually, you get peking duck with thin pancakes and here you see little steamed buns (man tou). I like man tou. I just never imagined eating it with duck skin. In the end, it’s all good because you can never go wrong stuffing duck into something in my opinion.
The man tou were little mini buns that you easily pry apart and stuff with a piece of duck skin, some scallion and hoisin sauce.
You know what? It was good. But I still like the thin pancake wrappers better because you get to taste the duck skin better that way. Here, my little itty bit of duck skin is hidden in the proportionally larger steamed bun. Rating: 5/6
I wouldn’t turn away from eating another one, but if given a choice between man-tou and peking pancakes, I’d choose eating the duck skin with the pancake wrappers any day.
R & G Special Beef.
I really liked this dish. I thought it was unique and unlike the other creative takes on Cantonese classical dishes, this one rocks on its own merits. The beef was tender but not coated in the ubiquitous gloopy cornstarch sauces that Cantonese dishes usually have. There was no sauce. The beef was savoury with a soy base and had a sweetness too; but again it wasn’t coated in a sweet sticky maltose substance Cantonese chefs are apt to employ. Then there’s that lemon wedge. Hm. Yes. I would eat this dish again and I think it’s one of those dishes I would dream about having again. Crave.
My cuz said it reminded her of beef jerky…not in the dry chewy way, but in the flavour. I would like to see this dish again soon. Yum! Rating: 6/6
The kiddie dish: Fresh rice noodles with beef and veggies. Rating: 5/6
Seafood Fried Rice. Rating: 5/6
I think there was surimi, scallop and possibly shrimp in this fried rice. But as you can see, it’s hard to see the seafood other than the surimi.
Gai lan in garlic sauce.
Um. What’s this trend I notice of not including the leaves of the vegetable? Here we get all stems. I do like stems, but I do love leaves too. What do they do with all the leaves I wonder? I do like how they’re cut in manageable chunks. Rating: 5/6
All in all, R & G Lounge is a very good Chinese restaurant and I can see why there’s all this hype about it. The service was pleasant, the atmosphere chic and modern…and I noted that there was a good mix of patrons eating here: young, old, tourists, Chinese, Caucasian… you name it. This is unlike popular Vancouver Cantonese restaurants, which are predominantly frequented by Chinese Canadians. Vancouver Asian restaurants are starting to cater to the chic young urban crowd, but often it’s one or the other; but not both. You’re either classical cuisine and populated by Chinese or modern/fusion and populated primarily by Westerners.
What a shame we can’t have it all. We should all be able to eat together and have excellent classical and fusion all under one roof, eh?