It’s no secret that food halls are incredibly hot. But the ambitious multi-story project, which restaurateurs George Chen and Cindy Wong-Chen opened today in San Francisco’s Chinatown, is sending ripples of excitement through the Bay Area food scene. When it’s finished, China Live San Francisco will be a 30,000-square-foot space devoted to Chinese cuisine, with a mixture of bars, restaurants, a market and retail space that call to mind Mario Batali’s Eataly.
Perched on Broadway, where Chinatown and North Beach meet, China Live is opening in stages, beginning with the ground floor. In addition to a retail market, with spices, condiments, cutlery and cookware, here’s what’s open right now:
Market Restaurant and Bar Central: This 120-seat restaurant is the star of the first floor, with chairs and tables handcrafted from reclaimed Northern Chinese elm, four exhibition kitchens with bar seating for foodie spectating, and eight culinary stations whipping up market-driven, seasonal fare that harks back to an ancient culinary tradition. The wok station, for example, includes a giant ceramic cauldron, known as a Wa Guan Tang and used for slow cooking. The charcuterie station will be using a stone oven to roast Peking-style ducks.
The menu also includes Sheng Jian Bao dumplings, chrysanthemum salad with star fruit vinegar – the jellyfish, we’re told, is optional — and bruleed Macanese egg custard tarts.
–Mercury News (3.1.17)