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Discover Empress by Boon: The Newest Dining Hotspot in San Francisco

Image Source: Unsplash

What sets Empress by Boon apart? Is it the prime location in Chinatown with breathtaking views of San Francisco? Or perhaps it’s the elegant peacock blue leather booths and the captivating antique wooden pergola? Undoubtedly, it’s the exquisite cuisine crafted by Chef Ho Chee Boon and the expertly mixed cocktails. With its unique blend of gastronomy and design, Empress by Boon has become the most sought-after dinner reservation in San Francisco.

Tucked away on Grant Ave., Empress by Boon occupies the space once home to the iconic Empress of China, a dining institution that closed its doors in 2014 after 48 years. Spanning 7,500 square feet and accommodating 156 guests, the restaurant can be accessed via an elevator that opens to the stunning antique wooden pergola, a nod to its storied past. Inside, a chic tea lounge welcomes guests with a central leather couch and plush seating surrounded by low tables.

The restaurant boasts two distinct dining areas, each offering its own unique views. The north-facing booths provide a glimpse of Coit Tower and Telegraph Hill, while the east-oriented dining room affords sights of Salesforce Tower and the bustling business district, framed by ornate wooden screens. Whether you prefer a cityscape view or architectural marvels, Empress by Boon caters to your desires, all within a striking interior designed by Atelier LLYS.

At the helm of Empress by Boon is Chef Ho Chee Boon, a Michelin-starred culinary virtuoso renowned for his tenure at the acclaimed Hakkasan chain. With nearly three decades of experience, Chef Boon fulfills his dream of curating a culinary haven in the heart of San Francisco’s historic Chinatown. His innovative approach blends traditional Cantonese flavors with locally sourced ingredients, including produce from the restaurant’s organic farm in Gilroy.

Guests can savor an ever-evolving prix-fixe menu priced at $78+ per person, with optional wine and cocktail pairings. Signature dishes such as Peaking Duck sourced from Joe Jurgielewicz & Son in Pennsylvania showcase Chef Boon’s culinary prowess. On a recent evening, the menu featured a delectable array of dishes, including Iberico ham Shanghai Xiao Long bao, sesame-coated prawn rolls, and Alaskan black cod with soy and sha cha sauces.

Not to be missed are the specialty cocktails, such as the Nanjing cocktail—a unique twist on the classic Old-Fashioned featuring duck fat-rinsed Knob Creek Rye and bitters. The wine selection, curated by the talented Haley Moore of Acquire, complements the menu beautifully. And let’s not forget the impeccable tea service that adds an extra touch of luxury to the dining experience.

Image Source: Unsplash

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