It’s hard to imagine that iCHiNA restaurant in San Jose is raising the bar once more. After all, this luxurious restaurant has already set high standards in ambiance and elevated Chinese cuisine. Yet, despite its dazzling décor and upscale Chinese dining, iCHiNA has brought in a new culinary team. Be that as it may, this talented new team with a Michelin pedigree is there to impress you in more ways than one. With this in mind, this luxurious dining establishment is setting an ever higher standard and should exceed your expectations. Above all, you should consider dining at iCHiNA as you approach this highly anticipated holiday season.

iCHiNA

2855 Stevens Creek Blvd. Ste. 1891
San Jose, CA  95050
(408) 352-5405
www.ichinarestaurant.com

Set in the vibrant Westfield Valley Fair shopping center, iCHiNA is Silicon Valley’s first New American Chinese restaurant. Widely known for its elegant furnishings and elevated Cantonese cuisine, iCHiNA is a flagship restaurant of the center’s Restaurant Collection. Extending across more than 12,000 square feet, the restaurant features a first floor bar and cocktail lounge and second floor dining room. In addition to its fine dining and specialty drinks are extravagant private dining spaces. This includes its stunning virtual reality dining room, the first of its kind in Silicon Valley.

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The New Culinary Team at iCHiNA

Chef Zhineng Chen

A Singapore native, Chef Zhineng Chen comes to iCHiNA restaurant with a very impressive culinary resume. For instance, he has more than 15 years of experience with the Michelin-starred Hakkasan Group. Furthermore, his exceptional work with Hakkasan includes serving as its North American corporate chef. Additionally, he is credited for developing extravagant dishes for the menu at Hakkasan New York. In view of all this, it’s all but certain you will enjoy his flavorful dishes from iChina’s new menu.

Chef Graham Hornigold

An equally important addition to the new culinary team at iCHiNA is British-born Chef Graham Hornigold. A celebrated pastry chef with more than 20 years of experience, Chef Hornigold has worked at some of London’s finest restaurants and hotels. That is to say, spots like The Lanesborough and Hakkasan Mayfair. During his time with Hakkasan Group, he eventually became the Group Pastry Chef. What’s more impressive is that Chef Graham Hornigold was once named the British Pastry Chef of the Year. Although his position at iCHiNA is as a consultant for the dessert and tea service, his dessert menu is a clear standout. In other words, it’s all but certain that you’ll love his new desserts, like the iCHiNA Koi pond ($15) and matcha affogato ($11).

Chef Xia An He

Completing the new trio of chefs leading iCHiNA is Xia An He. Known as a master of tasty dim sum items, customers are already taking notice of his creations. In detail are exceptional dishes in the Starter section of the new menu. This includes his steamed dim sum ($38) and crispy dim sum platter ($32).

The crispy dim sum features crispy Wagyu beef puffs and seafood dumplings
Crispy Dim Sum (credit: Randy Yagi)

Sample Dinner Items

Starters – Crispy Dim Sum Platter

While the choice is yours, one of the most delightful new items in the Starter section is the Crispy Dim Sum Platter. As delicious new offering, the platter features crispy wagyu beef puffs, roasted duck and pumpkin dumpling and fried seafood dumpling. Because there are two pieces of each dim sum, you can easily make this a shareable item. Of course, if you have a larger party, you can order another platter or a different starter. In case you prefer the Steamed Dim Sum, you’ll enjoy har gow (shrimp), scallop siu mai, Chinese chive dumpling and squid dumpling. However, you’ll appreciate its elevated style on traditional Cantonese delicacies.

Highlights In The Starters Section

In addition to the dim sum options are additional starters like peach salad ($15), crispy duck salad ($38) and Shanghai chicken pot stickers ($18). However, if you wish to order the best from the Starter menu, try the Peking duck & Kaluga caviar ($260). In more detail, Kaluga caviar is a form of caviar that appears in many Michelin three star restaurants.

Entrees – Thai Fried Sea Bass

Clearly one of the most beautiful entrees in the new menu is Thai fried sea bass (cover photo). Elevated in both its quality and literal sense of the word, it features Thai seasoning yet with a creative Cantonese twist. Although sea bass has been available at Hakkasan restaurants, nothing appears to be as exquisite as this offering at iCHiNA. This item ($38) comes in a elegant dish and is topped with seasonally fresh greens and legumes. While it’s not particularly a crunch dish, the sea bass is exceptionally flavorful.

Meat Entrees

In addition to seafood entrees like Thai fried seabass and wok fried lobster ($78) you have meat options. If you love Wagyu, consider ordering the grilled Wagyu rib eye ($80). On the other hand, if you prefer poultry or waterfowl, there are fabulous options. That is to say items like Sanpei corned fed chicken claypot ($24) or kumquat roasted Pipa duck ($48). Of course, there are additional meat dishes, like sweet and sour Berkshire pork ($26) and pepper beef tenderloin ($38).

Additional Entrees

Aside from seafood and meat entrees are tofu and vegetable options, as well as rice or noodle dishes. Unsurprisingly, the stir-fried baby pak choi ($18) is quite appetizing as are the stir-fried seasonable vegetables ($15). The two other new items are the spicy Mapo tofu ($28) and stir fried lotus roots and asparagus ($16). Please note that the Mapo tofu comes with Wagyu beef and peppercorn. As for rice and noodles, you have tasty options like fried rice rolls ($28), fried rice with salted fish and chicken ($18) and fried hand pulled noodle ($18). Of course, as with most any other dish on the menu, you can make these dishes shareable.

Tasty Matcha Affogato dessert with matcha powder, ice cream and hot water
Matcha Affogator (credit: Randy Yagi)

Dessert

If you believe in the old saying “save the best for last”, make sure to save some room for dessert! In this is the case, perhaps the leading recommendation from the servers is the iCHiNA Koi Pond ($15). A new tasty new addition from Chef Hornigold, it largely features jasmine tea blancmange and chilled melon soup. In addition, it has muscovado gummies and fruit like mango and yuzu for that special tanginess. Certainly, there are additional dessert choices for you to consider. Indeed, you may like the delightful matcha affogato ($11), flourless chocolate mousse cake ($15) or the tira-mochi ($15). In all, each are of these dishes are plated in a similar way you’d see at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Lunch Menu

If you can’t make it for dinner, you can still many items that appear in the evening menu. For example, the steamed or crispy dim sum dishes are both options in iCHiNA’s Set Lunch. However, you have additional choices to order in the Set Lunch, like South Asia seafood noodles or wok fried rice noodles.

A La Carte

As for the A La Carte menu, you have many more outstanding choices. This includes smaller versions of the steamed ($15) or crispy ($16) dim sum as well as a BBQ Berkshire pork bun ($12). If you need more ideas, consider the crispy Wagyu puff ($20) and roasted duck and pumpkin dumpling ($16), among others. For larger dishes, you may like the spicy sea prawns ($30) or wok fried rice rolls with seafood ($28).

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Parking For iCHiNA Restaurant

Whether you visit iCHiNA for lunch, dinner or drinks at JiuBa bar, you have to know where to park. This is especially true if you have never visited Westfield Valley Fair or haven’t visited in some time. That’s because parking can be confusing if you’re not familair with the relatively new layout. For this reason, consider parking at the Winchester parking garage. It’s the most practical and just a brief stroll to iCHiNA restaurant. What’s more, parking rates are affordable and the entrance to the Winchester garage is right next to the ShowPlace ICON Theatres. On the other hand, you can also consider parking with the South Valet. It’s a short walk to iCHiNA and adjacent to the soon-to-be open Mastro’s at Valley Fair.

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About The Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a reported digital audience reach of 489 million and 5.5 million monthly visitors. Additionally, his stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, CBS News, CBS Radio, Engadget, NBC.com, NJ.com and Radio.com. He earned a Media Fellowship from Stanford University in 2012.