680 Clay Street
San Francisco, CA 94111Neighborhood:
Downtown / Union Square
ChinesePrice: $50 and over
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://www.jaiyunrestaurant.com/
- Phone: (415) 981-7438
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Daily: 11:30 am - 2:30 pm (group order only, 10 people and up) Dinner: Daily: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
- Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Executive Chef: Chef Nei
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: Private Room Available. See details at www.jaiyunrestaurant.com.
- Private Party Contact: Chef Nei 4159817438
- Cross Street: Between Montgomery St. & Kearny St.
- Public Transit: Muni 1, 8x at Kearny St & Clay St Stop
- Parking: Street Parking
- Parking Details: Free street parking after 6:00pm on Clay St. and 7:00pm on Kearny St & Montgomery St. during weekdays. Free street parking after 6:00pm Saturdays. Sundays all free street parking in the neighborhood. Garage parking nearby: Portsmouth Square Garage. (5min walking distance)
A word from Jai Yun
Chef Nei Chia Ji opened Jai Yun restaurant in 1999, hoping people will come to eat like at home (Jai Yun means "beautiful home" in Chinese). As a matter of fact, Chef Nei delicately prepares all the food himself. All the ingredients are freshly hand-picked from market every day. This is the reason why we only serve a prix-fixe menu, to ensure the quality of the food. To make sure you get the best taste out of our food, Chef Nei begins preparing the cold dishes about 20 minutes before your reservation. It is very important for you to arrive on time so that each course will be served at an even pace. For dinner, please allow about 2 hours to enjoy all the courses. Our Features: 1. Multi-course classic Chinese banquet 2. Combining different regional & schools of Chinese cuisine 3. Over twenty different flavors & unique cooking styles. 4. Fresh, natural & seasonal ingredients hand-picked from market daily 5. Comprehensive Chinese Culinary arts theoriesContinued
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Jai Yun reviews from OpenTable diners
9 reviews since July 23, 2014
- Ambiance3.3Noise LevelQuiet
fit for foodies (8)special occasion (7)good for groups (5)neighborhood gem (2)Show More
- Like nothing elseFooddocVIPDined on 11/11/2014The meal is made just for you. No reservation- no food. No walk-ins. Fresh, expertly prepared. Unique. Could be on a Seinfeld episode. No menu. No choices. Just a list of prices. No indication as to what you get differently at a given price. Difficult to communicate. You just pick a price and the food starts coming. I picked the mid level. Started with a dozen cold appetizers, followed by a dozen hot courses. No rice. Excellent food. Unique, almost absurd. Evidently little known place that has had devotees for years. Please go so it stays open till I can come back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Jai-Yun lives up to its reputation.OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 11/8/2014I heard about this restaurant from a knowledgeable friend, and I was not disappointed. We had six discerning diners and the presentation of small plates of interesting and unique dishes had everyone complimenting the chef. The menu is selected by the chef and there are a range of fixed prices - we opted for a mid-range price and had plenty of food and all of it interesting and some dishes were simply spectacular.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pricey whole in the wallOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/13/2014We had dinner here for 2 hours and were literally the only knew in the restaurant. Food was ok but very expensive at $90/person. Cannot recommend.Special Features:
- Amazing experienceSamyaDined on 9/27/2014It's a one-man-show at Jai Yun. The chef is also the front of the house person. There are 4 tiers of prix fixe you can order ... for groups of 5 or more, it's 65, 80 98 and 168 I think... we got the $80 range. The food is AMAZING. We probably got 25-30 dishes, starting with a round of cold salad-type small plates, moving on to heavier, hot items including fish and meat. One mushroom dish really stood out, unlike any mushrooms I have ever eaten. Note: I read a review somewhere that they don't charge for corkage but they charged us $15 a bottle. Ambiance has nothing going for it and the chef doesn't speak any English but none of it matters. It's an amazing experience and great for a special occasion.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best meal in a long timeOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 9/20/2014San Francisco has many good restaurants but none compare to the personalized service and attention given at Jai Yun. This evening became a special occasion because of the great food and ambiance created by the chef.Special Features:
- Excellent dining experienceToBeFairDined on 8/8/2014I've read a lot of varied reviews of Jai Yun and believe that those with an open mind will benefit most from this unique dining experience. Leave at the door all expectations of what you think dining out "should" be and be prepared to welcome dish after dish of authentic, carefully prepared, fresh Chinese cuisine. My husband and I have dined here a few times and have been truly delighted and amazed with each experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 43 reviews are from the Jai Yun reviews archive.
- High End ChineseAaronCDined on 6/26/2014If you're looking for an amazing Chinese meal, this is your place. An endless stream of small plates flows out of the kitchen until you feel that you can't eat even one more bite. A fantastic Chinese banquet, similar in style to Japanese kaiseki. The downside is the decor, which doesn't come close to matching the quality of the food. You must reserve ahead of time so that the chef can buy enough fresh ingredients for your meal.Special Features:
- Odd EveningNorCalDanVIPDined on 3/31/2014Waiter speaks almost no English, and the food needed explanation. Lots of dishes; pricing was indecipherable. Ambiance was early Chinese diner (2-story venue, we were the only patrons and the upstairs was being used for storage). A lot of money for a lot of very similar, but tasty, dishes (25 separate plates @ our price level).
- Possibly the finest Chinese in USAMrAndrewDined on 1/27/2014This is my 3rd trip to Jai Yun, each time with guests. Each time the meal has been extraordinary - truly a revelation as to what Chinese food is and can be. More surprisingly, Jai Yun has astonished and impressed me each time - nearly as much as my newbie guests. The place looks so unassuming, both inside and out. I'm sure most people walk past it year after year without giving it a glance. But the food... there are no words. Dozens of courses, some courses consist of dozens of dishes. The meal takes hours. Yet the last dish is as impressive as the first. On a Monday night we were the ONLY table. The place was completely silent. Only negative: our waiter spoke almost no English, so we had to guess at what we were eating.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Chinese OmakaseAlanDined on 12/26/2013This was our third visit to this restaurant with no menu with the servings left to the whim of the chef. The food is excellent, and though each portion is small, the total adds up to a lot of food. We ordered the $128 per person order. In addition to the appetizers, there were 15 other dishes. The crispy beef is one of our favorites. But the abalone, fish and other dishes are just as good. I would not recommend it to children as some of the dishes can be a bit spicy, and the kids would probably prefer won ton and fried rice which you will not get here. You won't get to dip things in soy sauce and hot sauce as they don't have them on the table. You eat what the chef presents - which is perfectly fine with us.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- No walk in, reservation only,betterfoodDined on 9/7/2013No walk in, reservation only, no menu, prix fix only, dishes do not rotate (ie menu choices 365 days a year) Moderately good 10 course meal of small plate Chinese food from varying regions. Some dishes had a bit too much corn starch giving the food that cheap Chinese American food taste. Other dishes were quite good. Unfortunately nothing outstanding to justify the price. Service was excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent dinner with strange endPickyforareasonVIPDined on 8/26/2013We went as a group of 6 people, three of whom had lived in Asia for many years so we had an idea what to expect in a Chinese banquet. We were there on a Monday night and the only table i The food was excellent and nicely presented. There was no soup course nor a rice or noodle dish - this seemed strange for a Chinese "banquet". We didn't need more food, but as this place is supposed to follow traditional Chinese "rules" it was surprising. What was most surprising and also perhaps insulting was that the "dessert" for our $80 per person dinner was a plastic tray with one Halloween candy for each of us. Three Musketeers, Kit Kat, etc. After over 20+ courses of carefully prepared food carefully? Other than that the food was excellent.Special Features:
- Not what we were expectingOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/27/2013My wife and I were visiting Wine Country and our son while his new bride were in the city. We wanted to take them to dinner and he requested Chinese. We've enjoyed some VERY nice Chinese restaurants over the years, so the $$$$ didn't worry me. But the details of Jai Yun's 'authentic Chinese' was a bit subtle. The food was fresh & authentic, but the quantity was meager for four and the fix prixe was high. None of the reviews mentioned that the minimum was $80. Not know what exactly was entailed (the young server could not adequately explain the process) we selected the $98 per person level (2 of 4 levels). Perhaps all the 'cool' people in the Bay area understood this dining experience, but it damaged my confidence in Open Table.
- A Destination for FoodiesJoeCDined on 7/1/2013As New York City food tourists, we knew what we were coming for and we were not disappointed. This is NOT your typical Chinese restaurant. The meal is a 15+ course prix fixe feast, with a choice of three different price points. The dishes are both inventive and authentic, and are inspired by a range a regional asian cuisines. Everything was impeccably prepared and wowed us in one way or another. If you like to experience new foods, you will love dining here. And the focus is certainly on the food - the decor is extremely unassuming, yet the price is considerable. Still, it highly recommended, and when we're back in the Bay Area, we will return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- "Authentic" Chinese FoodMackVIPDined on 6/27/2013I lived in China for three years and this was as close as I have come in the U.S. to high quality Chinese food the way it would be presented in central or east central China. The ingredients are fresh. No piles of rice or other fillers. It is not for the faint of pocketbook, however.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- overall a great dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 5/18/2013he food was beautifully prepared and presented and the ingredients were very fresh and delicious. I think my only complaint is a matter of personal taste. There is a style of Chinese cuisine that is very simple and plain without a lot of seasoning and although it was done perfectly it is not a style that I prefer, maybe a little too delicate and refined for my appreciation. Many of the dishes were in this style, but I preferred those that were more seasoned and spicier. I also felt that the price was a little prohibitive for a couple...it was more reasonable for a large party.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- My husband and I love JaiToBeFairDined on 2/14/2013My husband and I love Jai Yun. The food is healthy, fresh, and exceedingly well prepared. If the lighting weren't so bright, this would be the perfect romantic meal.Special Features:
- Fabulous food experience butOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 2/9/2013Fabulous food experience but extremely expensive, pricing not explained well and wine by the glass was outrageous, priced as a 5 star restaurant but no ambiance. That said, the food was an incredible experience but a little atmosphere would go a long way to match.
- Walking in you would neverOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 12/25/2012Walking in you would never expect the meal/experience you are about to have! The food is incredible. My mouth was in utter awe at all the new favors it tried. Be prepared to eat a lot as it is about a 20 course tasting, and you will want to savor every last bite! The staff is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. Can't wait to go back and try what's in store during another season, as the menu changes regularly.Special Features:
- Astounding meal for foodies!mountainwineryfanDined on 12/15/2012A remarkable experience! Artisan-created food you will find nowhere else. This is for folks who love food, including Chinese food, developed with respect for and understanding of the ingredients, food that is both beautiful to behold and delicious to eat. It is NOT for someone who simply wants to fill his or her belly as cheaply as possible. The chef has no employees (the server is a friend and volunteer). Chef Nei plans the meal, invents the dishes, shops for ingredients, does the prep work, cooks the meal, and then washes the dishes and pots and pans afterward. This is a labor of love and commitment, yet the restaurant is simply hanging on, paying its bills, but with no net profit. OUr meal took several hours and was composed of 26Special Features:
- Don't be fooled!CarberaDined on 11/8/2012Not a good location. Decor supports a $5.00/plate cafe...not a $98 to $168 per person premium restaurant. No menu! Chefs choice of dinner plan. Tricks you into ordering higher priced per person plan by offsetting other diners' possible orders. In reality everyone gets exactly tbe same meal. Starts with 12 very small appetizers. You think it's fine....however, everything thereafter is an appetizer size as well. Most plates presented are vegetables. The taste is good....but nothing to rave about. Don't buy in to those other reviews! This place has no customers....and they charge suckers like me 12 times what it is really worth. It is a con like no other I've seen. They are nice folks but the food, decor, service etc...is simply overall poor.
- This chef raises Chinese cuisinekktaylorVIPDined on 10/20/2012This chef raises Chinese cuisine to a high art form. I have never tasted better, more innovative Chinese food. Two mistakes that I made: I didn't realize that this is only a Prix fix menu and the smallest amount is for 2 people. My companion had to cancel. So I went by myself. Wow, so much food, 20 little plates! I made it through 12. For one person, the price is very steep, $135, (including 2 glasses of wine.) You have to really be a "foodie" to think that is ok. Fortunately, I am. Service was very good. My only problem with my waitress was that she didn't speak much English and it was hard to communicate with her. The dinner was still worth it. Go "Foodies."Special Features:
- It was a thoroughly deliciousOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/25/2012It was a thoroughly delicious meal. So much work in the preparations and the sauces complimented each and every dish served. All my guests enjoyed the dining experience.Special Features:
- Best Chinese restaurant IOpenTable Diner Since 2001Dined on 8/23/2012Best Chinese restaurant I have ever been in, in the USA. A gem. Divine food.
- When we dined there, thereOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/22/2012When we dined there, there were only 3 tables set with customers, including ours!!! It is quite a shame, since chef Jai Yun's cuisine has brought Chinese cuisine to another level. Haute Chinese cuisine is rare to find and Chef Jai Yun masters every technique. This restaurant needs to update its decor, revamp the whole place in order to attract more customers.Special Features:
- Hidden gemOpenTable Diner Since 2000VIPDined on 8/17/2012Remarkable food, a must visit when in San Francisco. Reserve in advance, sit back, and enjoy.Special Features:
- Too expensive!OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/9/2012The Food was very Good but absoultely too expansive! We were a party of Five and payed nearly 500 Dollar! I'm sorry but thats too much!
- food was truly innovativeOpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 8/4/2012food was truly innovative and excellent, but was overpricedSpecial Features:
- One Chef, One Night, Infinite JoyOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 7/7/2012The world is a better place because of Chef Nei, and I am a better foodie! RESERVE your table for an unparallelled dining experience that takes you on an "Iron Chef" demonstration of tastes to satiate the palette and soul. STRICTLY for the artistic gourmand who values quality, intention and aesthetic above all, an evening at JAI YUN treats you to a colorful and fresh prix-fixe menu reflecting Chef Nei's vision of one man in the kitchen, only food purchased that day is served that day, and each chapter from appetizers to entres evolves the sensations of bitter, salty, sour, sweet and umami. Dining at Jai Yun is a complete and pure "Special Occasion" on its own, and frankly, not for everyone. The FOOD is the center of attention at Jai Yu.Special Features:
- You could never tell fromAlanDined on 7/5/2012You could never tell from the appearance on the outside what a great dining awaits. Terrific food with the freshest ingredients. We would return when we're back in San Francisco.Special Features:
- Amazing Asian food that you'veOpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 7/2/2012Amazing Asian food that you've never seen elsewhere. The eggplant dessert was a surprising standout. Get several of your best friends and enjoy a wonderful meal. Be prepared to spend at least $100/person without wine, but it's worth it.Special Features:
- I was so excited about tryingOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 6/15/2012I was so excited about trying this unusual restaurant experience, but it just wasn't what I expected. For the money, I would have expected top quality seafoods such as lobster, crab, huge tiger prawns, etc. I would have expected the finest meats such as prime cuts of beef, succulent pork, and juicy chicken and duck. I might have expected a fabulous dessert instead of roasted eggplant. I might have expected cloth napkins and a beverage that wasn't in a can. The tasting sized dishes were mostly vegetables, and the few meat selections were very meager and poor quality. I kept waiting for the big delicious dinner to arrive, but sadly it never did. I felt bad for the owner and workers because there were only two couples there for dinner.
- NEVER GO HERE!!!! READ THE STORY!!!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 5/18/2012DO NOT EVER GO HER AS THEY NEED TO GO UNDER TO SAVE FACE. My brother bought me a $200 gift certificate here 6 mos. ago. They would not honor it and said that each $50 increment could only be used per vist. They put permanent marker on each line on it debating otherwise while they rant my card. A $100 extra viit turned into a $375 dinner that was at best take out chinese. The chef's partner left months ago and the waitress told us they have barley broke even in the last several months. I will contact the Better Business Bureau, but the "10 course dining experience" is fraud and garbage food. I will be contacting BBB, my credit carrier and small claims court fro fraud on the gift cert. NEVER GO HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- $300 for 2 people for a samplingOpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 3/30/2012$300 for 2 people for a sampling of decent but unexceptional Chinese food. This restaurant is quite simply highway robbery.
- A pilgrimage?GEBJRDined on 3/25/2012This is an expensive, pilgrimage-like restaurant, in very unassuming quarters on Clay St. My wife and I made reservations for the only evening we had free, Sunday, a slow restaurant day, and we were one of three parties in the space. The concept is simple, multiple courses of small plates, running the gamut from cold appetizers to various meat and vegetarian combinations. The range of subtle flavors is remarkable, and the overall effect is one of adventure. I thought it was worth the expense. Coming in a larger group would be even better. The service was simple and friendly. I've said in jest that the chef, Nei Chia Ji, is the Alice Waters of Chinatown, but it's not far from the mark. Perhaps Alice Waters is the Nei Chia Ji of Berk.Special Features:
- One of the most unique placesOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 3/10/2012One of the most unique places to dine. Daily menu & an array of dishes keeps the suspense on. We got 8 appetizers and 8-9 entres for the $98/ p menu. The portions are smaller, the variety is fascinating (its all very, very savory though) and the chef is a master with the knife. They were able to accommodate special requests easily - I am vegetarian and my husband does not eat beef and pork - nice! I never realized chinese cooking can be so delicate and I have never tasted such unique mushroom, bean curd and eggplant dishes. Don't bother dressing up, as its a very casual place, which btw, is odd for the $ you are spending, but the food is still unique. Tip - go hungry, its still a lot of food! And, no dessert btw. Will go again in a groupSpecial Features:
- Dined here on a Friday eveningOpenTable Diner Since 2002Dined on 3/2/2012Dined here on a Friday evening with my wife because I had a $50 for $100 coupon from Google Offers. The service was lackluster at times even though we were the only ones there in the 2 hours. We both had $100 prix-fixe menu selection ($217 after tax and before coupon). The dishes are from different regions of China: Cantonese, Szechuan, Northern (Beijing), and Eastern. In all we had 12 small appetizer plates, and 11 hot dishes but most of the dishes had similar taste and texture - savory and chewy. A few dishes stood out such as the chef's version of kung pao chicken. KPC showcased depth in flavor: it was spicy, sweet, and tangy at the same time. The experience overall was good but we wouldn't be going back any time soon.Special Features:
- Extremely overpriced. We didn'tPamelaDined on 2/21/2012Extremely overpriced. We didn't know what we were eating The server spoke not one word of English. She Was sweet, but we wanted to know what we were eating. No menu, prix fixe, which we liked that idea. Too much $$$$, but artistically presented. It was empty...no other diners.
- A unique experience. GreatCyranoVIPDined on 2/8/2012A unique experience. Great once, not sure about returning. But if you haven't been you should go - and just accept that it will be expensive.Special Features:
- Amazing experience. We hadOpenTable Diner Since 2003VIPDined on 1/28/2012Amazing experience. We had the 80 dollar menu, it was the perfect amount of food and everything was exquisite.Special Features: