when i was little, i spent many hours watching martin yan on PBS doing his show, “yan can cook”. i even remember when his twin sons were born and they were introduced on TV in a wok! growing up, my mom cooked a lot of chinese food. to teach me the basics , she gave me martin yan’s everyone’s wokking when i moved out for the first time. i actually still reference that book today – the eggplant with scallions recipe is awesome!
years ago, i went to his restaurant “yan can” in milpitas, california, which ended up being less than impressive. i was disapointed at the time because i had so long admired him as a chinese chef. but then he opened MY CHINA in san francisco, and my faith was restored. http://tastemychina.com/san-francisco/home/275
i have been now several times, both for brunch and for dinner. co-owned with the people from koi palace (my favorite place for dim sum in the bay area – http://www.koipalace.com/default.htm?cache=07012013), the menu is diverse and full of all my favorite chinese dishes.
at brunch, you can have a dim sum platter (influenced by Koi Palace) with one of everything i love!
they make their own hand pulled and knife cut noodles. you can get them made in different ways – hong kong style, beijing style, or tawainese style! good hand pulled noodles are not too dense, do not stick together, and have a great soft and fluffy texture. the noodles here are exquisitely done – better than even those i’ve had in asia!
appetizers on the dinner menu are some of my favorite street foods! these are the “pork belly sliders” and “shandong beef rolls”. bonus here is that i am not actually eating from the street and so don’t have to worry as much about having any GI upset!
the rest of the dishes are more traditional, like crispy roast chicken, peking duck, kung pao chicken, etc. all very well made but remember that you are not in chinatown and so don’t expect chinatown prices.
recently, martin was filming segments of his show in the bay area. the tickets were free and so my friend esther and i went to go check i out! ironically, they had snacks for the audience (bulk cookies, etc from costco©) and we never got to taste the dishes made. 😦
as with all celebrity sightings, it is always disappointing when your long time opinion of someone gets altered in real life. martin yan is much more arrogant than i had expected but i appreciate all he has taught me about chinese cooking!