Can Yan noodle? - Page 2

Martin Yan's M.Y. China and the upscale Hakkasan add to the Chinese scene

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A noodle puller at M.Y. China
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY VIRGINIA MILLER

Wild boar shows up everywhere, a mild version of the robust meat (i.e. inoffensive for those afraid of boar), in lettuce cups ($9), dumplings (four for $8), and more. Every visit yielded disappointingly average wok-tossed dishes, and flavorless small plates like portabello sliders ($8) or mapo tofu ($8), which gets its sole perk from Sichuan peppercorn oil. Teas are a comforting choice, while cocktails ($10-13), which are better but pricier at Hakkasan, have been off balance, like a too sour Three Gorges, with a base of #209 Gin and lemon, lacking absinthe's nuance or clean bitter structure from Cocchi Americano.

Each meal there's a singular standout category: dim sum ($6-19). Spicy seafood dumplings (six for $9) are a joy in vivid green spinach wrappers loaded with scallops and shrimp, as are plump, lightly crispy whole wheat potstickers filled with pork and cabbage. Go for decadence with pork and black truffle dumplings ($18). Dessert includes Delise cafe ($4) offerings, among my favorite locally made ice cream, with flavors like Chinese almond, toasted rice or lemongrass.

Despite the mall setting, "under the dome" is the Westfield's striking feature while chic design and noodle pulling entertainment set the experience apart. As for me, I'll return for unusual dim sum.

Westfield Center, 845 Market, 4th Floor, (415) 580-3001, www.mychinasf.com

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