Best Chinese Restaurant - 2006
South Sea Seafood Village
1420 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA 94122
Readers' Choice: House of Nanking
The dazzling interior of South Sea Seafood Village is pure Hong Kong: glitzy crystal chandeliers shedding brilliant light over massive, polished, dark wood tables and chairs inlaid with fanciful mother-of-pearl landscapes. And the Hong Kong cooking served atop these landscapes is worthy of the décor. If you order lobster or whole steamed fish, the beast in question will be scooped from one of the tanks in the back and brought to your table to be admired before being stir-fried with garlic and ginger or steamed under cilantro and slivered scallions. Succulent, tender scallops come with snap pea pods and pine nuts; there's salt-and-pepper tofu (as well as the more usual squid or shrimp); and though seafood and the sea are honored in the restaurant's name, we've never had better roasted duck or string beans with pork. One of the best clay pot dishes combines oysters with pork and tofu to good effect. If you're offered a dessert on the house, say yes: We received a soupy tapioca pudding and two kinds of cookies.