Eight Tables
If you’re the type who hangs in moneyed circles in Taiwan, Hong Kong or Shanghai, you may have noticed that si fang cai—or what founder and executive chef George Chen describes as “private château cuisine”—is very much in vogue. Now, this opulent style of dining, with roots in the Qing dynasty of 17th-century China, has reached San Francisco. Hidden on the second floor of Chen’s $20 million Chinatown complex, China Live, Eight Tables is the kind of place where super-rich diners might spend close to four figures on wine, cocktails and a prix fixe Chinese banquet for two. That will buy you some singular food, including a gorgeous opening array of nine cold dishes, a har gow dumpling embellished with luxe ingredients like uni and Osetra caviar, and a truly astounding cube of red-cooked pork belly. They say money can’t buy happiness, but you’re better off getting this pork belly anyway. INSIDER’S TIP True to its name, the restaurant only has eight tables in the dining room, but there is a ninth—the exclusive chef’s table—located inside the kitchen. – The Atlantan (06.19.18)