Chinese food in San Leandro

I was in the area over Christmas and decided to order some food. For my first test, I ordered Christmas from New Hong Kong Restaurant, which had some great reviews in Yelp.

My intuition told me that if it was ranked so high, it probably wouldn’t actually be that good. I was right, unfortunately. The food was delivered at the promised time (40 minutes). I ordered the following:

  1. Mongolian Chicken: lots of onion and green onions with some chicken thrown in. Mediocre flavor

  2. Shimp with Garlic Sauce: a veritable cornucopia of Sysco-supplied, crinkle-cut carrots and zucchini with some shrimp occasionally daring to make their appearance in the brownish-sauce. Flavor was mostly just salty.

  3. Chicken with Mushroom and Black Mushroom: Looked just like the Shrimp with Garlic sauce except there were some mushrooms. There were some slices of chicken there.

  4. Beef Chow Mein: thick noodles with no redeeming quality to speak of.

A Cantonese phrase came to mind: “Ai-yah!!!”

A few days later, we ordered take out from Pearl Bay Tea House: beef chow mein (with crispy noodles) and dried scallop with egg white fried rice , which opened about five months ago.

Both were surprisingly decent. They were what they were supposed to be. The noodles were actually crispy. The fried rice was done quite nicely. Although they would have qualified as merely “average” in comparison in the restaurants in the “World Famous San Gabriel Valley” ™, they were easily a quantum leap compared to the food from New Hong Kong.

After eating food from those two places, my kids realized how lucky they have it living in the “World Famous San Gabriel Valley” ™.

Isn’t it weird how “competent” jobs can suddenly seem outstanding when one realizes that Sturgeon was right and that 90% of everything is crap.

We go to Seattle regularly and “competent” is the best Mexican we’ve ever had there. Interesting line of thought.

As I’ve learned on these boards, when looking for a Chinese restaurant on Yelp, read the reviews written Chinese patrons, especially the ones with lots of mispellings and grammatical errors.

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I was going to recommend Daimo, but I see that place has turned into a Malaysian place, Nyonia Belachan Kitchen.

speaking of spelling and grammar:

Has anyone ever tried any of those phone apps that will supposedly translate signs/menus/etc?

I’ve used Google Translate. Helpful, far from perfect.

Please don’t hold San Leandro as representative of what the Bay Area is capable of in terms of Chinese food! As you can see in the embedded map, San Leandro is the largest stretch around San Francisco Bay without a non-Cantonese Chinese restaurant (and Daimo aside, the Cantonese and Chinese American restaurants never seemed great compared to what’s available elsewhere).

BTW, Luke Tsai wrote that a former Daimo Chef opened up Veggie Lee in nearby Hayward so that might be a good choice if you’re in the area again and don’t want to stray too far away.


There’s some solid Vietamese food in San Leandro.

If I lived there I’d probably go to Yum’s Bistro all the time.

This is restricted only to San Leandro, as the title indicates. I’ve had Chinese food in a number of places throughout the Bay Area.

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