Images: Patricia Chang
Smack dab in the heart of Chinatown, San Francisco, is the city’s newest food emporium, China Live. The 30,000-square-feet open floor plan is a foodie’s paradise. The food hall provides for a live cooking experience in each part of the market, which was partially open upon our visit this month. What’s opened thus far at China Live is the Oolong Café tea room, Market Restaurant & Bar, flower mart and an upscale grocery and gift shop.
The Market Restaurant & Bar consists of four different counters, all preparing dishes live with a daily changing menu: barbecue and grilling, wok and seafood, dumpling and dim sum, and dessert. If you are a tea connoisseur be sure to grab a tea and pastry at the Oolong Café counter, where teas were specifically sourced from Taiwan by founder George Chen, cutting costs from what you will find at other Chinese tearooms. Throughout the restaurant, cafe, and bar you will find custom-made kitchenwares exclusively made for China Live. But even more enticing is the grocery which includes pantry items—curated in collaboration with former Sur La table CEO Kathy Tierney and Allison Ball of Bi-Rite—that have never been sold in the US before. The grocery will also include classes, tastings, and videos projecting traditional Chinese cooking techniques. There are two bars dedicated to tea and soy sauce, respectively, made out of huge river rocks from China.
It’s a lot to take in, but if you’re not impressed yet, there’s still more to come. Besides these initial spots inside the multilevel market, China Live will soon be completing an exclusive private dining restaurant, from China Live co-founder and chef George Chen, called Eight Tables, which will be offering seasonal 8-course tasting menus. Two more lounges—a rooftop bar with an herb garden, and a large scale event space—will complete the multilevel culinary destination, celebrating the finest in Chinese gastronomy.
Did you catch our behind-the-scenes glimpse into the market on Instagram Stories? Make sure to follow us on Instagram for BTS and daily musings!