SNAPSHOTS | SAN FRANCISCO 2018 | DAY 3


Like I mentioned in the previous San Francisco post, I'm a planner, but life doesn't always go as planned. For breakfast the next morning, I really wanted to try a Vietnamese restaurant located in Little Saigon in the Tenderloin district. Imagine my disappointment when we got out of our Uber and discovered that the restaurant was closed for the next two weeks!

So plan B ... we walked across the street to another Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant that was open, not knowing what to expect. It was serendipitous in a way since we stumbled upon a hidden gem. Hai Ky Mi Gia has been open for over 25 years, serving Teochew noodle soups. My grandmother is originally from Teochew, so it was interesting to hear the servers talking in a multitude of languages, including Vietnamese, Cantonese, and Teochew. Even my dad was getting confused on which language he should speak.  


We were seated right away, and were handed a double-sided laminated menu. I ordered #8 hu tieu kai ky ($8.99), their house special rice noodle soup. You can either have it wet or dry; I chose the latter which comes with broth on the side. My dad ordered the same thing but with the soup, and my mom ordered #6 mi vit tim ($9.22), braised duck leg egg noodle soup.

My noodles were topped with slices of pork, ground pork, liver, shrimp, and fish ball. You can drink the side of soup separately but I opted to pour a little in to make the noodles a little more loose. It was a simple but incredibly satisfying bowl of noodles.  


We also got a couple glasses of warm homemade soy milk to wash it all down. Soy milk was always in our fridge when we were kids so it's definitely a childhood favourite.

Hai Ky Mi Gia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


After breakfast, we walked five minutes down the block to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. Besides their original San Francisco location, they also have two bakeries in Los Angeles and another bakery all the way in Seoul, South Korea.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse is a wildly popular bakery, thanks to the power of social media. Their cheeky neon pink sign, 'I Got Baked in San Francisco,' is the backdrop of many Instagrammer's photos. But besides that, they're most famous for their cruffins. Cruffins are shaped like a muffin, but made up of layers of flaky croissant dough. The pastry is so popular that each customer is limited to only two cruffins, and that's because people line up for hours before the cruffins come out of the oven at 9AM.


We got to the bakery at around 11:30 and though there was no line, we could see that the pastry inventory was quite depleted already. Many things were already sold out (including the matcha croissant I wanted to try) but luck was on my side -- there was one cruffin left! I doubt that would be the case if you were to visit San Francisco during higher tourist seasons though.


Cruffin flavours are different everyday, and on the Tuesday we visited, it was passionfruit curd ($4.50). The cruffin is coated in sugar so it's quite messy to eat. The passionfruit curd was quite tart, and although I usually enjoy tart things, I think I would have enjoyed a different flavoured cruffin a lot more.


We also got two of their brioche doughnuts ($3.50 each), the flavours of the day being churro and bourbon apple butter. The bourbon apple butter was coated in a thin caramel but the doughnut itself was a bit dry for me. The churro doughnut was my favourite out of the three pastries. It had a craquelin top, similar to the cookie layer on top of a Chinese pineapple bun. Inside was a vanilla whipped cream which helped to rectify the issue of dryness that the first doughnut had. 

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Next on our itinerary, we took an Uber over to Lombard Street.


Lombard Street is famous as being the crookedest street in the world. The road has eight turns, which are intended to reduce the steepness of the hill for cars driving down.


If you face the other direction from the hill, this is the view you get. A pretty cool experience seeing Lombard in real life, but it's more like a 'been there, done that' kind of deal.


We headed to Pier 39 next, which is a arguably SF's most popular tourist attraction.


Lots of fun little stores and souvenir shops. Also plenty of restaurants and food stands.


We were getting a little peckish since we were saving the cruffin and doughnuts for when we got back to the hotel later that night. My mom suggested getting a soft pretzel ($3.50) to curb our hunger, but we ended up feeding birds more than ourselves.

Aunt Fanny's Hot Pretzels Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


During our time at the pier, we also bought tickets for a cruise around the bay. It was a little over $30 a person.


The hour-long cruise goes all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and passes underneath before heading back around.


It also goes around the entire perimeter of Alcatraz, the storied island with the abandoned prison.


Probably my favourite part of the cruise, getting a closer look at the sea lions at Pier 39. I've never met a more perfect spirit animal. 


Once we disembarked from the cruise, we walked towards Fisherman's Wharf to the flagship location of Boudin Bakery.

Based in SF, Boudin Bakery is famous for their sourdough bread. Something about the foggy climate of SF allows the wild yeast and bacteria cultures to thrive, creating the natural rise in the bread. The flagship location is home to a production bakery, a full-service restaurant, as well as a marketplace and cafe.


The marketplace is where you can buy regular loaves of their sourdough, as well as ones shaped into various animals and designs.


From the cafe, we ordered two clam chowders in a sourdough bread bowl ($9.39 each). The chowder is really thick with bits of clam and potato. It wasn't bad but a bit underwhelming. Boudin is definitely a tourist trap, but when in SF ...

Boudin Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


The iconic Fisherman's Wharf sign.


We also ended up getting a couple items at The Crab Station, one of the seafood stands across the street from the Fisherman's Wharf sign. We got a lobster roll ($21.95) as well as fried calamari ($10.25). Underneath the lobster claw meat was basically shredded lobster meat in a thick mayo. The sandwich ended up being too big to take a bite out of so we ended up just eating the lobster by itself. There was a ton of mayo so it was really heavy to eat, and we didn't think it was worth the price tag. We did like the fried calamari better as it was seasoned pretty well and not too chewy. 

The Crab Station Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


Onwards and upwards. We walked down the rest of Fisherman's Wharf, popping into a few stores that caught our eye along the way. Our last stop was Ghiradelli Square, which was the original site of the Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory. Although there are boutiques and restaurants located in the building as well, most people come just for the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop.


It was a relatively cold day but we couldn't pass up on ice cream while we were there. Compared to their other outrageous sundaes, we got the relatively modest treasure island ($11.95), a warm brownie sundae with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Later that night, we went back to our hotel and walked across the street to Westfield San Francisco Centre. We did a bit of shopping before my dad said he was hungry again. The food court at Westfield is pretty cool, filled with many gourmet food options. There wasn't much that caught our eye so we decided to go to a restaurant for a late dinner instead.

M.Y. China is partly owned by celebrity chef Martin Yan. I remember watching his cooking show when I was young, hearing his signature catchphrase, "If Yan can cook, so can you!"

M.Y. China is an upscale Chinese eatery, offering dim sum, hand-pulled noodles, and wok dishes.


We decided to get two dishes, starting with the Hong Kong crispy noodle with chicken ($16.00). A pretty classic rendition. 


We also ordered the half portion of the Peking roast duck ($24.00). Instead of crepes, you get six housemade baos and the traditional accompaniments of cucumber, green onion, and hoisin sauce.


The crispy duck skin is sliced and laid over top of the roasted duck meat. It might have been because it was late but the duck we got was a little dry.  


Since Chinese New Year just passed, we were given red envelopes with our bill. Cute touch with a chocolate coin and a business card inside. 

 M.Y. China Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

And that concludes another day in San Francisco!

- CT

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CT is a 20-something Edmontonian who started blogging as an excuse for taking pictures of her food.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf