Dragon River Restaurant - San Francisco, CA
Reviewed by Vincent Poy
This is my first time going to this restaurant so I am using Yan Yan Seafood Restaurant and Empero Taste as a reference benchmark since the prices are the same. This was on a Tuesday night at 7PM with my mom. Typically when my mom and I got to any Chinese restaurant for the first time, we will order two dishes to use as a reference point as listed below. Before we even went in, there was not a single customer inside and as we all know, that is a bad sign since even the caucasians knows not to go to any Chinese restaurant if no Chinese goes to it as that is a major No No but I just had to see if their high Yelp! ratings after multiple change of ownerships within 3 years can be trusted! ;)
1) Beef Chow Dried Chow Hor Fun or stir-fried flat wide noodles $6.50 - the waitress has never heard of this dish in her entire life when the waiter told her it's just Beef instead of Chicken. This should already be a bad sign. ;)When this dish came out - it was about 2/3rd the portion size of Yan Yan and Empero Taste. There was no much beef as basically they took very thin slice of beef and cut it into pea size pieces. The flavor was average as it used too much baking soda which had had bitter taste but lacks what the Chinese calls wok hei.
2) Mandarin/Peking Spare Ribs $7.50 which are just a type of Sweet and Sour Pork Chops - When this dish came out, it was 1/2 the size of Yan Yan and Empero Taste as far as portion size goes. And as these are known as gwat or bone in Chinese, they really defined it as basically picture it like this, they bought Pork Chop End Sirloin Chops, the cheapest type of pork chops available at the supermarket and then basically kept 90% of the meat to sell in other dishes and gave you all the leftover bones instead, similar to what the local family dog would get after the owners are finished with their meat that included bones on it. The flavor was decent.
Forgot to mention earlier that they provide complimentary Spanish Redskin peanuts but there is no house soup and dessert which appears to be the normal these days at Chinese restaurants. Yan Yan does not provide free house soup during dinner but they always provide free marinated chicken feet for lunch and dinner with a unlimited quantity of desserts of which you can choose from 5 different options.
Basically, for the price, it is a major rip-off in another way to say it. Yan Yan is good but Empero Taste is even better with bigger portions at the same price as Yan Yan as fellow member Benji Wong pointed out which was also how I discovered Empero Taste.
Chopsticks rating is 1, I would give a 0 if I could. ;)
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