Chinese >Empress of China
838 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410837.794826 -122.406085
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Chinatown
The Empress of China is lauded internationally as one of the world's most beautiful Oriental restaurants. Holiday Awards and virtually every award of merit that is bestowed upon restaurants of exceptional quality has been conferred on us.
The Empress features the distinctive cuisine of all China since the Age of the Five Emperors some 4,500 years ago. The elegant atmosphere reflects the classic beauty, color, and architectural form of the Han era (206 BC). Matchless city and bay views enhance leisurely dining.
Dirty and overpriced. Avoid!!!!!! – When I first sat down I could not help to notice the very dirty un swept floors. The table settings were literally thrown on the table. At first I thought we had just sat at a table that had been set very quickly, but when I looked around I noticed that all of the settings were thrown on the table with no care. Upon being seated a stuck up SA was sent over with a very dirty kettle that we were actually expected to drink out of.
The service from our waiter was decent just like the food. But when you're paying $15 for an order of curry chicken, decent doesn't cut it. When I was asked if I wanted rice with it I didn't really know how to respond. Later when I was glancing over the check, I noticed that they actually charge a $1.50 extra if you want rice with your CHINESE FOOD. Rice costs almost nothing. Who does that?
We had come in just before the dinner around 5, and our stuck up little SA started tossing wine lists on the tables not caring where they landed. It was very loud and shook the settings but it was obvious he did not care about the restaraunt or his job.
It was clear that they did not care if you came back. I can only speculate that the owners are distant and possibly inherited the restaurant somehow and have no interest in running it.
The view was pleasent, but not worth it. Avoid the Empress of China restaurant.
stellar view, quirky atmosphere – The food ain't great, but that's why you go straight to the bar. Order, as the review suggests, a Tsing Tao, grab the seat by the window, and enjoy one of the best views in Chinatown if not the city. The bonus: All the tourists hang out on the restaurant side, so you'll have the bar to yourself.
Terrible food. Poor quality. Terrible service, why anyone want to eat here? – I went there couple weeks ago. The service was terrible and food was also terrible. One of seafood dish, they used 100 years old frozen shrimps. I could see that they had some freeze burn and dried out. Everything was tasteless. The waiter simply ignored us. We could see there were no local people. only tourists.So, the service was terrible. They just didn't think any of us would come back anyway. They didn't bother to serve us better. When we complained about the poor quality food, the waiter said "I am not a cook. I am just a waiter"
Terrible food. Terrible service. When we asked local people, this restaurant has very very bad reputation. We were so upset and hope nobody go there and get the same feeling.
most mediocre "Chinese" food on either coast – This is NOT Chinese food by any stretch of imagination - bland, overcooked and served lukewarm. The pseudo-elegance of the setting and service only adds to the disappointment. Avoid.
Endorsed by a Chinese person! – As a Chinese person from Asia, I find Chinese American restaurants dubious so I had 0 expectations at EOC. However, we were looking for a kitsch, old-San Francisco place to go at night, and boy this place exceeded expectations! The service must have improved since readers' last complaints, because we had top notch service (I overtipped). Food came on tiny silver platters with battered silver dome covers - very Singapore or Hong Kong circa 1970, back when this kind of restaurant was the height of style in Asia. It's like eating in a museum - go to catch a glimpse of what SF must have been like in the 70's. Or make that the 40's. Bring feather boa and your Vivienne Tam cheongsam. Flambed dessert on copper pan outstanding in appearance and weird in taste. As for the entrees - sure it is Panda Express, but edible. Perfect place to bring either elderly white relatives, or restless hipsters looking for something new and kitsch to indulge. I love the waiters rolling the service carts up to you and saying, with fluorish, "Dinner is Served!" It's not that expensive really, a candlelit dinner will set you back $25-30 per person but you don't leave hungry and anyway it would be twice as much at the "Western" equivalent. Who says Chinese restaurants have to be cheap, delicious and tacky? You are paying EOC for the unique museum feel. Will definitely go back again.
Perfect – As a tourist in Chinatown I was skeptical of where to eat. We stumbled on Empress of China and are so thrilled we did. The atmosphere was perfect with incredible city views. Everything I ate was amazing: from the egg roll and sizzling rice soup to the Shrimp with honey glazed walnuts and empress beef. I could say it was the best Chinese food I have ever had. The waitstaff was so friendly and charming and the decor was beautiful. I would return to eat here and would suggest it to anyone. Although it was a little pricey, it was worth every cent!
Not Chinese Food – The Empress of China is a ridiculously overpriced Chinese restaurant that should be avoided at all costs. With miniscule portions and bland food, the restaurant disappoints on every level. The menu is comprised of unauthentic dishes like lemon chicken and sweet and sour pork, fare that one would order from Chinese take-out restaurant in South Dakota. Their dishes are less creative and flavorful than Panda Express, yet cost three times more. There was little doubt that the food was going to be dreadful as the only Chinese people in the restaurant were the employees. Unless you enjoy fake Chinese food at inflated prices, go elsewhere.
Great views, average food – The best thing to say about this restaurant perched high inside a high rise building in Chinatown is that it has some really great views of the city that come free of change with your meal. My praises of the establiehment end there, howerver. The service is not bad overall, but the food was nothing special, and whatever you do, avoid their Duck dishes, it was overcooked and tasteless.
Great Chinese Cantonese style food – Went there for a banquet dinner, and thought food was really good, especially the peking duck. Waiters seemed friendly for a typical Chinese restaurant. The elevator staff greeted us with a smile, and was helpful. View is really nice!
What A Ripoff – I should have known something was amiss when there was not one Chinese person eating here.$7.95 for 2 spring rolls should have been another clue.I think if McDonalds ever started to serve Chinese food it would be better than the food served here.Avoid this trap the way you would avoid the plague
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