San Francisco has a lot of great Chinese food, so it can be tough to make a name for yourself when you’re new in town. Tang Bar had quite a reputation outside the US (they first opened in Melbourne, Australia back in 2003) before setting up shop in San Francisco’s Stonestown Galleria. So this may have given them a little head start, but after tasting their delicious food it’s clear that they’re very deserving of this rep. I’ll be honest – I wasn’t expecting something amazing out of a restaurant in the mall, but I’m glad to say I was pleasantly surprised! Let’s dive into a few of my favorites!
If you dine in (they have outdoor seating at the mall), Tang Bar serves some amazing hot pot! They have all kinds of meats, vegetables and seafood, plus a bunch of broths to choose from. They’ve also started selling all of their precut meats, other ingredients, and even he pots and portable stoves you need to make their delicious hot pot at home!
Szechuan Cold Noodles
The Szechuan Cold Noodles from Tang Bar were definitely one of our favorites from the meal. They were a little spicy, but overall the flavor was much more subtle that the other dishes, which was actually really nice considering how strong (in a good way) everything was. The noodles were a great thickness and consistency – they were a little on the less springy side, but that could have easily been from the amount of time they spent in the takeout container and also sitting in a bowl while I was shooting them, so I don’t feel comfortable truly knocking them for that, especially considering the flavor was so good. If you’re getting several dishes, there are enough noodles in an order to share, so we recommend doing so!
Of everything we had, this was probably our absolute favorite dish! malatang is basically a pre-made hot pot with the ingredients you choose. So instead of cooking it yourself at the table, they cook everything for you in their kitchen and serve it to you in a large bowl full of the broth of your choice. If you get it to-go, they package it in an aluminum bowl that really helps insulate all the ingredients and it stayed piping hot through the 25 minute car ride home. It even stayed pretty darn warm throughout the 40 minute photoshoot, so I can definitely say this stuff travels well.
Tang Bar offers several options for their malatang including seafood, all meat, or all vegetarian versions, and you can even build your own (BYO malatang) where you can select the size of the bowl (1 lb or 1.5 lb), the broth (chicken broth, just a kick, picked veggies, hot and sour, or Szechuan spicy), and up to 8 ingredients. But we went with the seafood bowl and everything tasted so fresh! It comes with prawns, baby squid, fish/fish/squid balls, a daily selection of mushrooms, toufu/frozen toufu, winter melon, glass noodle, and udon. The fish straight up melts in your mouth and none of the seafood was chewy or tough. None. Not even the squid. If you’ve been fiending for some hot pot over the past couple months while dine-in hasn’t been an option, this is one of the closest dishes we’ve found to a take-home option!
Boiled Pork in Garlic Sauce
The boiled pork in garlic sauce was, in my opinion, the best side dish we had. Like almost everything else, it’s spicy, so keep that in mind. It’s packed full of flavor from the chilis and garlic, and even though it’s sliced thinly, the strips of fat on every piece bring out the pork flavor, which somehow doesn’t get masked by everything else going on. Clearly a lot of thought has gone into this one to be sure all the pieces fit together in a perfectly complimentary way.
Be sure to give Tang Bar a try! They’re open daily for pickup and delivery at Stonestown in SF, and curbside pickup at the mall is super easy. You just place your order with the restaurant, drive over and pull into one of the parking spots in the designated curbside pickup area, and call the restaurant to let them know you’ve arrived and they’ll bring your order out to you. Their staff is super friendly and helpful, too. Till next time, Nomsters!
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