Jan 29, 2008
I was introduced to this fine establishment by a friend of mine. He in turn was introduced to it by a work colleague. Before going there I knew it was good because my mate was raving about it all day and like me he likes good food.
Betelnut is located at 2030 Union Street, San Francisco. It's an asian fusion restaurant. Once you enter it your senses are immedately awoken by the aroma od fresh spices that are almost palpable in the air. We were greeted with a warm smile and shown directly to our seats. We had no booking and the place is pretty big. However we were there early evening (about 5pm) and it was pretty busy at that stage. I got the impression you make need a reservation to avoid waiting later in the evening. I found it to be very reasonable in terms of pricing for what you get.
What I liked instantly about the place as we were being shown to our seats is that all the food is cooked on in a kitchen that in full view. After been seated our waiter brought so menu and took a drink order. Very polite and efficent. We weren't hurried and had plenty of time to peruse the menu. Everything looked so appealling.
There was three of us and we all ordered different appetiters. I went for firecracker shrimp. I got a bowl of shirmp lightly battered and dusted in spices and two dipping sauces. I've no idea what was in them but the whole combination was delightful on the tongue. My mate went for the Chili Crusted Calimari, which was devine, and I can't recall what his wife had. All I know is it smelt great a tasted wonderful. The food looks like fancy version of asian street food and just tastes devine.
For my entree I had mongolian hoisin pork, hand pulled with grilled pancakes. I can't recall with what the others had but there was plenty of it and it tasted great.
Unfortunately I can't make any desert recommendations, although the looked good. I was stuffed by the time we got to that course. We all were.
I found the staff very efficent, knowledge and great with recommendations and what combos go well together in terms of appetitiser/entree. The food is fresh and just at the right temperature when brought to the table and they leave just enough time between courses.
I left very satisfied. The food totally lived up to the billing my mate was giving it and I can't wait to get back to San Fran to try more of the menu.
Part of the My Mini US Tour 2008 travel blog
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