Hakka restaurants

Anthony Lin, chef/owner at Danforth Dragon in Toronto

Anthony Lin, chef/owner at Danforth Dragon in Toronto

Where are the Hakka restaurants?

I am surprised there are so few. In San Francisco, I only know of a couple—The Hakka Restaurant and Ton Kiang. Both are owned by Hakka and serve some Hakka dishes as well as other popular Chinese dishes. But in a city with such a large Chinese population why are there so few?

I suspect some restaurants may be Hakka-owned but to attract more customers they may promote a more recognizable Chinese cuisine or generic Chinese dishes. The scarcity of Hakka restaurants may exist only in North America. Although I did find more Hakka establishments in S.E. Asia, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, the numbers still seemed rather minor. Since I don’t live there, perhaps I may not be aware of them.

Because Hakka chefs come from all over, there are variations on the cuisine they serve. Some serve Hakka-Indian, Hakka-Caribbean, or Hakka Chinese food.

Do you know any Hakka restaurants anywhere in the world? If so, please share. Provide the restaurant name, address, phone, website, email address, type of Hakka food (Chinese, Indian, etc.), house specialties, your favorites, and any other comments.

I am happy to share the information here. Looking forward to your recommendations. Thanks!

Chinese Thanksgiving

If you live in America, you know that Thanksgiving is the greatest food holiday for Americans. Of course, if you are Chinese, you get a second chance with Chinese New Years. Since I am both Chinese and American, I celebrate both.

Chicken stuffed with Preserved Mustard Greens at the Hakka Restaurant

Chicken stuffed with Preserved Mustard Greens at the Hakka Restaurant

Ever since I ate the Chicken Stuffed with Preserved Mustard Greens (moi choy gai)  at The Hakka Restaurant in San Francisco, I always thought it would make a great Thanksgiving alternative to traditional turkey. The chicken is stuffed with a savory blend of preserved mustard greens (moi choy), pork, and mushrooms, then braised in broth. After cooking the chicken, the broth is reduced and thickened to make a luscious gravy. If you are lucky to live nearby, you can order the chicken from the restaurant. Otherwise, with a little effort, you can make it. Another alternative to a centerpiece bird would be salt-baked chicken.

If you want to celebrate Thanksgiving with a Chinese feast, consider this menu culled from recipes from The Hakka Cookbook. It is just right for a group of six adventurous diners. For a cooperative effort, ask some guests to bring the appetizer and makings for the side dishes. They can quickly finish them off in your kitchen.

Hakka Thanksgiving Ginger-Scented Squash and Peas

  • Shrimp and Chive Fritters (p. 212) or Salt-Baked Shrimp (p. 62), optional
  • Braised Chicken Stuffed with Preserved Mustard Greens (p. 233) or Salt-Baked Chicken (p. 64)
  • Ginger-Scented Squash, Peas, and Lily Bulbs  (p. 52)
  • Fresh Bamboo Shoots and Mushrooms (p. 159) and/or Chinese Broccoli in Sweet Rice Wine (p. 230)
  • Fragrant Rice (p. 59) or Steamed Rice Bowls (p. 270)
  • Ginger Soup with Sweet Rice Balls (p. 117) or Tangerines, Fuyu Persimmons, and Crystallized Ginger Slices

Happy Thanksgiving!