Chef Martin Yan…renowned chef, cookbook author and cooking show personality extraordinaire has recently opened a new restaurant in the Dome Collection at the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Center. I know, mall restaurant doesn’t typically scream fabulous food and atmosphere, but trust me, M.Y. China is an exception.  The atmosphere is fun, lively and entertaining and the food is to die for. Seriously…To. Die. For. Eating at M.Y. China makes you feel like you are eating from an authentic stall in the streets of China.  And for a gastronomic traveler like me, that’s a real compliment.  No Americanized Chinese food here…fresh flavors, beautiful colors and authentic spices and ingredients. Hungry yet?  All right then…let’s take a little i-Phone enabled photo journey through M.Y. China!

First up, house-made spicy green papaya pickles! We love green papaya salad that is so common in Thai food, but this was a nice tangy twist on green papaya as we know it.  Perfect to snack on throughout the entire meal to add a bit of acidity between courses.

Next, Wild Boar Juicy Dumplings. Served piping hot…so the hardest part is letting them cool down a bit before popping them into your mouth. If you’ve never had juicy dumplings before, it’s important that you eat the whole thing in one big bite so when the delicious juicy filling squirts out you capture it in your mouth instead of all over your face! Gingery, garlicky goodness.  Delish.

We followed our juicy dumplings with Dan Dan Noodles.  An amazing, traditional Chinese dish that has chilled noodles flavored with a delicious mix of vegetables,  pork, peanuts, Szechuan pepper and chili-garlic oil. Makes your lips all tingly and your fork keep digging back in for more.  I could eat this every day of the week.

Oh, the Beef Hand Pulled Noodle Soup! I love soup, I really love noodle soup, and I am absolutely obsessed with hand-pulled noodles.  So this dish is just perfect for me.  The broth is a bit reminiscent of a well-balanced Pho broth seasoned with Chinese Five Spice, but thicker and heartier.  I was fighting Christian off for more of this soup!

Last, but certainly not least the atmosphere.  Now, the restaurant itself is beautiful but for me, the prime seats are right up against the open kitchen where you can watch the chefs make scissor cut noodles (above), knife cut noodles, hand pulled noodles and more. The hand puled noodles are the real show stopper…if you’ve never seen this in action it’s worth a trip to this restaurant (if you can time it right) alone.  It’s a bit of a lost art and not as common as it once was, but it makes the most fresh, chewy noodles.  One of the most fun eating experiences around…and when the name Martin Yan is behind it all you know it will be delicious!