Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Betelnut

Betelnut
Pan-Asian Restaurant
Union Street, San Francisco

Upon walking into this place, which was recommended by pretty-much every store retailer on the block, I was met by unforgettable Asian aromas of mongolian bbq and sweet sauces on stir fried meat and veggies. The sweet pan-asian cuisine sauce smells are so sinful and tempting. I can't wait to take bits and pieces of the appetizer plates we ordered!

Everything was cooked right in front of you, allowing the smells to breeze past your nostrils and make you melt. A word to the wise, order in appetizers at lunch. The food fills you up faster than you think, and it's more fun to do little platters to get a taste of everything.

Szechuan Green Beans
Tossed in Ginger, salt, spices, garlic, and flash fried in canola oil, mixed with vinegar, severed veggie medley, oyster and hoisin sauce, these were totally fattening and covered in sweet oily flavors, but they were sooooo good! It was sinful. They tasted mostly like sweet garlic, with maybe some hoisin. These were great in the lettuce wraps that came with my chicken.

Cecilia's Minced Chicken & Lup Cheong with Lettuce Cups
The minced chicken was mixed with spring onions, pine nuts and garlic, green onions, maybe some Chinese five-spice mixture, minced eggplant, diced veggies, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and minced bits of Chinese sausage (the lup cheong). This had spiciness too it, but not too much for me. I'll handle anything. It reminded me of a dressing, or weird thanksgiving stuffing. I ate the pork, not so much this. I'm not really into the dressing kind of dish. The lettuce cups were ingenious though, I put everything, especially the pork and beans in this.

Mongolian Hoisin Pork, Hand Pulled with Grilled Pancakes
The pancakes actually reminded me exactly of steaming rice-flour, smooth tortillas. The hoisin dipping sauce I always appreciate, with its sweet Asian flavor, and the hand-pulled pork was scrumptious with the sprouts and onions. This was my favorite part of this meal. The dish was stir-fried, and had shavings of green string beans. I loved putting the pork with the sprouts into my lettuce cups.

Man, this was superior pan-Asian food, and affordable. Way better than P.F. Changs.

Betelnut on Urbanspoon

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