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House of Nanking offers takeout for the first time in 32 years, outdoor seating on the way

Photo: S.B./Yelp
By Jay Barmann - Published on October 02, 2020.

Chinatown mainstay and onetime hotspot of 90s House of Nanking (919 Kearny St.) has sat dormant these past six and a half months, unable to offer its spins on Chinese cuisine indoors. But this week, as some restaurants are beginning to bring diners indoors, House of Nanking is just now reopening for takeout and delivery — for the first time in its history.

Tablehopper brings us the news of Nanking's emergence from a six-month sleep. And it comes with a refreshed menu that combines new dishes with classic Nanking fare like the pork confit eggrolls, and the black sesame-flecked House Noodles. 

Sure, part of the charm of House of Nanking was the crowded, boisterous interior and the staff who would never hesitate to tell you what you should order. But having chef Peter Fang's food available in your takeout and delivery repertoire should be enough to celebrate. And, reportedly, outdoor seating is coming soon.

Fang opened House of Nanking in 1988, bringing San Francisco a next-generation Chinese restaurant to join some of the city's pioneering spots like Cecilia Chang's Mandarin — but with a more casual ambiance. It was, in many ways, the Mister Jiu's of its time, reflecting a changing city and America's evolving tastes when it came to Asian cuisines.

Through the 90s and early 2000s, the place remained a hot ticket for locals and tourists alike, while the tourists maybe made up more of the lion's share of its business in recent years as it became a fixture in SF travel guides, and after being featured on national broadcast TV with visits from celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Rachael Ray. The Chronicle last reviewed the place in 2006, giving it two stars, but it maintains plenty of ardent fans, three and a half stars on Yelp, and four stars on Trip Advisor.

Earlier this year, the film crew for the fourth Matrix installment, along with star Keanu Reeves, were spotted shooting outside the restaurant.

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