Our second time here and we had a blast. We brought our parents this time so we could share this amazing experience. Amazing food by a very talented chef. Both the chef and Eugene were super friendly, communicative and wonderful to interact with. Check out the reviews online and try this place for yourself. I cannot more strongly recommend this dining 'experience'!
Deliciously traditional Chinese food thoughtfully concocted by a chef who is a lover of poetry. And the poetry is evident in every dish.
Just sit back and let the exquisite dishes come. You don't order; it's up to the chef what he will offer. All dishes are delicate and delicious. Come hungry!
Had party of 9 business associates. Chef was great and came to speak to us frequently...explained dishes...made us feel welcome. I will go back again!
This was our fourth experience with this chef over the past decade or so, our third in this location. The chef's experience comes from cooking for large banquets in China for wealthy businessmen and politicians. This is not Chinese food you are likely to experience anywhere else unless you travel to China and know people. It's certainly more interesting than anything I've been able to find in Hong Kong over a few visits. There is no menu and often the server speaks very little English. You point to one of 3 prices on the card placed in front of you. We have always been satisfied with the middle price ($128 per person for couples, it goes down for larger groups). Pricey and in a very ordinary room with plastic flowers. So clean it feels a bit sterile but this is a vast improvement over his original location. The meal begins with 16 appetizers on small dishes - various pickled vegetables and thinly sliced meats, some intensely spicy. There is terrific variety in the flavors. His signature dish is bland but delicious: "velvet abalone" which consists of very thin ribbons of abalone mixed with cooked egg. Small plates of perfectly cooked shrimp and beef will also appear in course after course. The past few visits we've had him stop after about 2 hours of continuous nibbling when we couldn't eat any more.
It's really a place for foodies who are relatively insensitive to price and setting.
Not worth the money! Would never recommend.
Jai Nun offers a price fix menu of many, many courses of delicious Chinese food. But having encouraged guests to be on time (because the Chef is preparing the fresh food), it was 45 minutes before we were served. There were few wine choices and I wonder if beer might have been a less expensive choice. The waitress was very attentive, but had little English. All in all, I think this restaurant is worth visiting once, but is overpriced.
You're at the mercy of this fine chef, since there is no menu. One of the most interesting meals I have ever had. It starts with ten little bites and then there are at least 10 more courses to go, but you don't feel stuffed when you leave. They demand a reservation.
Making a reservation for Jai Yun was easy on OpenTable, but if you need to contact the restaurant with question and make changes was a bit hard if you don't speak Mandarin Chinese. The chef speaks very little english, but tries very hard to communicate and accommendate. We had a group of 11 people and everyone had a great time. I loved the 8 - 10 small cold dishes as starters. It is fresh, unique and delicious. I lost count on how many hot items we received, but I like the concept that it started small and get larger as the dishes progresses. IMHO, everything was expertly prepared and flavor was well balanced. A good advice someone gave me is to let the chef know what price you are paying when making a reservation(if it is not just the minimum), it will help him plan your meal better.
Very over-priced, zero ambience. Food is eccentric. Some of it was very good but overall not at all worth the price tag. Service was limited.
Really, the food was quite good, but the concept needs some fine tuning... mane more than fine tuning. The chef is good - everything else was out of control.
We had Christmas dinner here and the restaurant was very busy. We arrived at 6:30 and ordered the $80 meal for three people. In spite of explaining the prix fixe, lack of ambiance, and high rating on Open Table, my dining companions were pretty shocked by the looks of the place and the seemingly high cost of the meal. Be patient, I said...This is the TOP RATED RESTAURANT for OPEN TABLE IN ALL OF San Fran!! That has to mean something, right?
I'm not sure what it means. My husband said "it is a gimmick, it is rigged" and I wonder. I've never traveled in China, so I have no way to compare the food we were served with fine Chinese cuisine. I do, however, live in Portland, OR...home to some of the best restaurants in the USA, and by my standards of frequent fine dining Jai Yun was just ok. The first round of appetizers (all cold chopped vegetables, as I recall) were very good. The rest of the meal came out one dish at a time. Two or three were fantastic. The other 5 or 6 were good. For $240 dollars (plus drinks, plus tip) for a mostly vegetarian meal, we felt dramatically underfed.
Tomorrow I dine at Beast in Portland and will pay $275 pp. for a truffle dinner. I'm curious to see how I feel about that experience as compared to this one. Let the consumer beware at Jai Yun.
This is an experience unlike any other I have had. With an open mind and a lot of hunger this is a worthwhile splurge.
The 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.
I 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.
We 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.
It'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.
San 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.
I'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.
If 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.