One ofa few rare places in the Bay Area that specializes in “jook”, a word in Cantonese that means porridge, not to be confused with “jook” a similar sounding word meaning “bamboo”.
To start, it’s definitely not the cleanest restaurant I have ever been to, but the food is decent. I will put this place in the “dive” category except that the restaurant is pretty darn big. Hmm..come to think of it, I don’t think I have created a “dive” category even though I often dive-eat. Lol.
Jook is usually eaten in the morning, and it’s fairly hearty. Similar to oatmeal, but I don’t think it’s as healthy. While many people will argue that its healthy food, I am not one to recommend a steady diet of rice porridge, but on occasion, it’s quite lovely.
Cooked down rice to a very smooth texture, and you will get Jook, and it is a very versatile breakfast food. This restaurant makes huge vats of it, andwhen people order, they get just enough for the bowl and customizes with what the patron wants. Of course, one can have it plain, but it’sinteresting to eat varieties of yummies and often times, strangeness too.
What I had on this visit:
- “Thousand-year-old” eggs* with shredded lean meat (pork) Porridge
- Fried bread (Chinese Donuts) — fried bread dunked in porridge is a must!
Anyway, one of my parent used to take me here and a few other places that serve this type of food… So yeah, definitely very nostalgic for jook and made for another food adventure at:
674 Broadway | San Francisco, CA
*Thousand-year-old eggs (aka Century eggs or preserved eggs) aren’t really thousand years old…d’uh! In Cantonese/Mandarin, it’s commonly called “Pidan” which translates roughly to “skin eggs” because of the jello-like skin of the egg once it’s cured, and it’s a delicacy.
I once watched the process of how this was done, and yes, I have played with the clay. It’s like playing with Playdough except it’s quite dirty, and definitely would recommend wearing gloves if you are intending to cure these on your own. Wikipedia has a great page on this. Please read if you are interested. LINK.
Oh…one more thing…if I remember correctly…the most common eggs cured this way are duck eggs. I know that the wiki page mentions Chicken and Quail, but most preserved eggs in porridges are usually duck eggs. I don’t think I have ever seen other types of eggs preserved this way although I am sure that it can be done. Just never seen it. Please let me know if you have. Curious about how those eggs taste and look as well. As for salted chicken eggs and preserved quail eggs, they are prepared quite differently, but I can be wrong. As for the Filipino variety, “balut”, hmm..that’s a bit too much even for me. While it’s fascinating and am sure it’s quite tasty for the initiated, I don’t think I can eat that one.
Excuse all the typos/grammar…I usually write my posts in the middle of the night when I am like totally tired, and then I edit like mad days later. :o)
I do love a good jook with pidan!! can’t wait to have that when I return to Singapore
I hope you do. 🙂
Oh my god how I love this place. And my favorite is the chicken corn which I don’t think you will find anywhere else because it’s just so damn weird, but it tastes helluv good.
I also love their “churng fun” — I think it’s called rice noodle roll or something? If I remember correctly they have some rather unusual fillings as well.
they ran out of rice noodles last time i went there… :*( Also, i never heard of this chicken corn thing…i have to revisit and check out some time later. thanks
Am dying for the doughnuts. YUM. You always have the best, most interesting posts!
thank you. they are so good right out of the wok “fryer”.