The Chairman – Modern Taiwanese Baos

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The Chairman is a small brick & mortar shop based off a popular food truck that roams the city of San Francisco. It’s the culinary mastermind of Chef Hiroo Nagahara, who wanted to sell food made from high-end restaurant techniques from a truck. The location on Larkin St. is dicey, to say the least.

baos

The Chairman is really f-ing pricey. Like, he might be the chairman of price gouging. We stopped in for dinner after dodging multiple people doing drugs on the street, and paid ~$40 (including tip) for 4 baos, 4 chicken wings, and 1 apricot soda. For the price, portions were teeny tiny, and we left hungry and feeling like we got massively ripped off. Maybe this is what you get in the Tenderloin?

We get it. Baos are super trendy, and everyone and their mother are into pork belly these days, but $4.25-$6.75 for a tiny bun with a bit of meat and some pickled vegetables is ridiculous. Also, $8 for 4 chicken wings?! Get the hell out of here! We asked the cashier what we should try since it was our first time, and he recommended the fries. Really?! Of all the items on the menu, you’re pushing the fries? Christ.

We each had the tender pork belly and the braised beef short rib, and shared a small order of wings. The pork belly was cooked well, super flavorful, and the pickled daikon provided a nice contrasting crunch. The braised short rib was ok; tender with curry flavor, but literally 2 bites worth of meat. Consensus: pork belly is better than short rib. The wings were just meh.

Moral of the story, don’t expect to pay $40 and leave full, because you won’t. While we’re glad we tried it, we won’t be back unless we’re looking for a $5 snack.

The Chairman | 670 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109 | Open 7 days a week

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