In honor of A Christmas Story, this post is dedicated to hard-working Chinese restaurants everywhere open on Christmas Day.
With Mission Chinese Food getting all sorts of national love and acclaim, and Wo Hing General Store located around the block, it’s easy to overlook the reasonably priced authentic Chinese food at Big Lantern on 16th Street in the Mission. They offer dim sum all day, and their rice plate lunch specials are a great deal which includes soup, salad and a choice of entrée from their extensive menu.
As soon as the order is put in, a bowl of hot and sour soup is brought to the table. WIth just enough vinegar, the soup had the right amount of sour to contrast the pepper spice:
Cantonese dim sum is made to order by skilled chefs. Slightly more expensive than typical cart places, it is worth it since the items always arrive hot and fresh. The Shanghai dumplings (Xiao long bao) come in individual holders, ensuring that the soup inside is contained intact:
Add a little bit of vinegar (they didn’t provide ginger) and slip the entire dumpling into your mouth. Served at just the right temperature, the soup dumpling provides a nice burst of pork flavor:
The siu mai dumplings offered a generous amount of pork and shrimp filling:
We ordered the crispy fish with garlic sauce rice plate special. The sauce was spicy and garlicky good, and there was a generous amount of lightly battered fish provided with the rice plate:
We also ordered the roast duck rice plate which served some of the tasty bird over bok choy:
Big Lantern is one of the few Chinese restaurants left that still provide fortune cookies with the bill; we broke them open to check out our fate (click on different parts of the picture to check out Lytro living picture refocusing capability):