For those who enjoy dining out locally or while on vacation, but often find it nearly impossible to stick to a healthy diet when tempted by the most mouth-watering (and fattening) dishes, San Francisco Chef and Co-owner Kathy Fang of Fang Restaurant  has shared a few of her expert dining-out tips. Please find her guide below designed to help diners make healthy choices – at least most of the time:

Kathy Fang sitting in Fang Restaurant in San Francisco
Owner/Chef Kathy Fang of Fang Restaurant (credit: Katy Fang)

Dining Out Tips

  1. Always get an appetizer! Ordering an appetizer can deter you from ordering a large heavy entrée. When selecting appetizers, I lean towards salads with no cheese or vegetable- based soups. If they have raw fish, that’s even better. Raw oysters, ceviche, smoked salmon, or tuna tartare are all GREAT starters. Low in fat but high in lean protein.
  2. Order a glass of wine or a potent cocktail that has little to no sugar. Martini’s or vodka sodas are always better than a house cocktail made with sugary syrup.
  3. Use process of elimination when navigating your entrée selection. Find the lean proteins on the menu (fish, chicken, venison, filet mignon etc.).  Once you’ve narrowed it down, remove the options that have heavy sauces or starchy side dishes. You can then choose the one that sounds the best to you. Don’t worry about what else is in it. Removing the basic “evils” listed above is enough.  For example, at FANG I make a Five Spice Whitefish dish topped with jade spinach. The white fish is a lean protein sautéed with spinach and aromatics. It’s full of flavor but low on the calories.
  4. I always say moderation over deprivation. Learn when to indulge and when to hold back. Make your eating decisions wisely. If I go to an incredible steak house with famous sides that are carb heavy, I will go for it. If I go to a top notch Italian restaurant and they specialize in pizza and pasta, I’ll eat that and indulge without any qualms. The trick is to not indulge at a run-of-the-mill restaurant and cheat on a mediocre dish. Say no and have a salad or grilled fish because you’re going to have that pizza when you go to Delfina or A16. Be picky with when and how you indulge and you’ll find that when you do, you’ll enjoy and appreciate those amazing meals with little or no guilt.

Related: Seafood Restaurants in San Francisco

About Kathy Fang:

Chef Kathy Fang is a native San Franciscan who grew up in Chinatown. The daughter of famed House of Nanking chef/owner Peter Fang, Kathy has emerged from her renowned culinary family to make a name for herself in the industry. After receiving her formal training at the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School, Kathy went on to open Fang restaurant with her father in the SoMa district of San Francisco in 2009. Fang has become a beloved neighborhood favorite offering a fresh take on dishes influenced by both Northern and Southern China’s cuisine. 

Related: Recipes from the Culinary Institute of America

Apart from her role as a successful chef and restaurateur, Kathy Fang is also the author of a popular food blog, which offers more than 700 recipes inspired by her travels and culinary experience, as well as a new YouTube channel offering quick, easy and healthy recipes. Kathy has appeared on “Guy’s Grocery Games”, “Good Day Sacramento”, “Cutthroat Kitchen” and in January Kathy competed and won a Chinese New Year themed episode of “CHOPPED” on The Food Network.

Related: Pete Sittnick of Epic Steak

About The Author

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS 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 Radio, Engadget and He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University.

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