Eating Out

Four Kings SF – Nostalgic Modern Cantonese Cuisine

One of the most exciting restaurant openings in San Francisco this year is a nostalgic and modern Cantonese restaurant, Four Kings. Created by two Mister Jiu’s alums, Chefs Franky Ho and Mike Long, and their partners Millie Boonkokua and Lucy Li, Four Kings is certainly living up to the hype already.

They started as a pop-up in 2023, and quickly gained a following with boldly flavored small bites, inspired by Hong Kong dishes of their youth, but with a distinct twist. Their Chinatown brick and mortar retains the lively menu, now enhanced with a backdrop of nostalgic 90’s Cantopop and movie decor.

The food was incredible, I was truly a fan of every dish (and we tried a lot!). Some standouts included the XO escargot with milk bread. The escargot was basically a vessel for an amazing amount of hidden XO sauce, perfect for pouring onto the milk bread.

I’m not usually much of a mapo tofu fan, as I often find it unbalanced and forgettable. But I was very glad I tried their fusion mapo spaghetti. The chewy, al dente noodles were the perfect medium to deliver a refined mapo sauce that I found myself craving the most.

The caramelized fish fragrant eggplant with large bonito flakes was another favorite, even my friend who doesn’t like eggplant enjoyed it. And that eye-catching whole fried squad is also worthy of consideration, with beautifully taut skin and juicy meat.

For dessert, the deep fried nori milk bread special was an excellent sweet savory ending to this outstanding meal. Do note that online reservations, released three weeks out, are currently difficult to get unless you want a late night meal. I’ve heard people having luck with early dinner walk-ins though!

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