Weekend Eats: Asian Street Food

Glad tidings on this Monday midday! Though the workweek is in full swing just getting started, I’m still daydreaming about this weekend’s eats — namely, the Asian street food I sampled on a test run of Gourmet Walks‘ newest tour.

Yep, that’s right: Gourmet Walks will soon be introducing a new neighborhood-specific walking tour of Japantown/The Fillmore/Pac Heights. The focus, as previously stated, is Asian street food. With a few exceptions (namely, Dumplings & Buns not having our order ready when we arrived), the tour went off without a hitch.

The tour will be offered beginning in January or early February; it’s not on the website yet, but it will be soon. If you’ll be visiting SF and are hankering for delicious (and, in most cases, traditional) Asian street fare, this may be your ideal activity.

I don’t want to spoil the surprise for any future tourgoers, so I won’t go into detail about all the stops, what we ate where, and what’s included in the tour narrative. I did, however, take a few pictures of the dishes we sampled, and I’ve provided some commentary for yer amusement.

ALSO, know this: as we walked past the Kabuki Theater, we saw Philip Seymour Hoffman just bummin’ along the street. He was wearing a black overcoat, dark sweatpants, and — ready? — athletic slides w/o socks. Brilliant. As good as the food was, this star sighting may have been the highlight of the afternoon.

You’ll be pleased to know that my Eat More Seaweed (EMS) plan is going well — I ate one of these bad boys with absolutely no hesitation. (The same cannot be said for the samples that included shellfish. Baby steps, y’all.)I accidentally ate dried shrimp, which were included in the above dish. Ooops! Thank god dried shrimp are, as Alex put it, “the fried onions of the shellfish world.”

If dried shrimp are the fried onions of the shellfish world, what are the Cheetos? This curry puff, served with a very mild apple slaw and a beautiful garnish of ribboned beet, was delectable: flaky exterior and flavorful filling with a late-blooming heat. I’d have eaten many more of these, had many more been available. SWEET BUNS, I sing your praises! We sampled two varieties of sweet buns: vanilla and coconut. Much as I love coconut in its various forms/guises, the bun had an odd, bitter aftertaste that rubbed me the wrong way. The vanilla bun, however, was delicious, even after having spent a few hours in Alex’s bag. Alex also tried a pork bun, which he claims was the best he’d ever eaten. Curious? Get thee to Dumplings & Buns and reach your own starchy conclusion.

 

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