Yank Sing Catering
I originally worked with Vera for my wedding, she was responsive and very helpful with giving suggestions and recommendations to make everything perfect. The atrium is beautiful at night and big enough to fit large weddings. I heard the food tasted great!
Yank Sing is perfect for the typical large, Chinese wedding as it can hold it a ton of people and the food is delicious. I don't know if other Chinese restaurants will be able to beat Yank Sing in those two regards. They have a nice waterfall that comes down in the middle of the atrium and gives a nice, cool atmosphere to the setting.
I would say that Yank Sing was everything I expected. As far as I know, it's probably the nicest place if you want a Chinese banquet. The downside is that it is quite expensive, but the upside is that you can rest assured that they'll do a great job. You should expect that they will not be too flexible with changes to their normal arrangement and if they do allow you to change it, there will be a hefty fee. I'm sure this is normal for a place as unique as their's, but it's best to be aware of this ahead of time lest you get unhappy and frustrated during the process.
The food was very good here. We had a ten course meal. I'd say the two dishes that stood out for me were their supreme sharkfin soup (sharkfin + crab) and their chilean sea bass. We also ordered 25-30 bottles of their cheapest wine and I think it turned out well. I don't think there were many wine experts at our wedding so they probably couldn't tell.
The service was excellent throughout the night. At the head table, we were well taken care of. Our lead server was very helpful throughout the night - she followed us around while we toasted the tables filling our glasses and she instructed us during the cake cutting b/c we were a hesitant at first. At the end of the night, they gave us a gift certificate for their restaurant since we did not get to enjoy much of the food during the reception.
If I were to sum up Yank Sing in one sentence, I'd say top notch Chinese food with Western-style service.
I think the Rincon Center is a great site - the atrium is large and classy with a waterfall in the middle. The one caveat is that it's only good for Chinese banquets, so if you don't want to have Chinese food at your reception, I don't think it'll work out.
My reception was at the Rincon Center Atrium. Absolutely beautiful. We had a tasting of the 10-course Chinese style menu. On the reception night, every course tasted great, the vegetables were fresh. There was plenty of wait staff to serve the guests, and the staff was courteous and helpful.
I don't know much on the planning side, but can I tell you that attending a wedding in the atrium is such a treat? The food was beyond excellent, my only complaint is that since I sat at the head table, our dishes were plated for us whereas it was family style for the rest of the guests. But that's ok, I ended up taking a few bags of leftovers home and it was goooooood. I got my fill of scallops and lobster and Chilean sea bass (you must get that! It was so yummy, perfect, tender, and good even when microwaved). I was also impressed by how beautiful it looked, with the water falling from the ceiling onto a flat pond. There was another wedding in another room, but we hardly noticed at all. The only bad thing was the parking, the spaces were so small and the layout was confusing. But otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed myself here.
our reception was in the Yank Sing restaurant at 101 Spear in Rincon Center. The restaurant was beautiful, planning was an ease, the food was delicious and they were very professional. We worked with Vera Waller and she is one of the nicest people you could ever work with. Responsive to emails, phone calls and prompt with contract updates.
They were also flexible with cake delivery time, letting us drop off wedding items a couple of days before and had fantastic wait staff. We provided yank sing with our timeline and they followed it to the minute. The head table had our own waitress and she notified us whenever it was time to eg toast, cut the cake, take pictures. It was awesome.
The venue was pricey but I think it was well worth it. Having the reception in the restaurant made it intimate and away from everything else. There was also a wedding out in the atrium but with the door closed we couldn't hear anything. We also favored the decor inside the restaurant opposed to outside's neon lights on the storefronts. We reused our ceremony flowers for the entrance of the restaurant and had simple tulip and rose centerpieces for the tables.
we had 14 tables which includes the head table and cash bar
Yank Sing caters some phenomenal food for any reception. They have done so many weddings that i would have to say they are pros to the business. You definitely do get what you pay for. They are on the pricey end but their service and commitment to making your day go as smoothly as possible is very apparent. Any chinese family wanting a unique venue for a wedding reception has to review this place before making any decisions. They do a great job but you do pay for that level of service. Overall i was very happy but they were not as flexible as i would like. I wanted to bring some vendors in of my own but was not allowed to. They wanted that piece of the business as well.
We thought that the Rincon Atrium is much nicer than the restaurant at Yang Sing. However, when we went to see what a wedding was like, make sure you get a good audio system since with the high ceiling, it tends to need a lot of speakers for everyone to hear you clearly.
Planning side - They will try extremely hard not to give you a tasting. The attitude over the phone was horrible, as well as the unreturned phone calls. I do realize that they are extremely popular, but we are spending lots of money here.
Food - The traditional dishes were good. The fusion, creative dishes were absolutely horrible. Honey Glazed Sea Bass was really just Teriyaki Sauce on top of Sea Bass, a waste of a delicious endangered specie. Sea Scallops are typically large and fluffy, the scallops were all broken up and tough. Mango pudding was a disgusting blob of gelatin. This is where the difficult tasting comes into play. If you get the difficult to schedule tasting you would know exactly what to order and what not to order.
Service - Typical of a chinese restaurant. It was nice that they kept changing out the plates.
The beautiful venue makes Yank Sing the ideal spot for a wedding, however the food and service will just leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Beautiful space with high ceilings and unique waterfall in the middle of atrium. The service and food were top notch. This venue is pricey for asian food, but you will not find any other chinese restaurants offering this much class. I am very happy we chose this venue.
The food was great and i generally am picky about Chinese food and what I eat. Also, the decor is really beautiful and this place can hold a lot of people. I'd say the most beautiful part about the place is the waterfall taht comes down in the middle. I went to a reception here and it was one of the best that I've been to.
We had our rehearsal dinner at Yank Sing and had a great experience. Since they are not usually open for dinner, we had the entire restaurant to ourselves. We didn't use the Atrium space b/c we had around 80 guests and it would have felt too large. But the Atrium is nice for a larger party.
The food is really high quality and we received a lot of compliments from picky guests! It does run on the more expensive side when it comes to Chinese restaurants but it is a much nicer venue with high quality ingredients. Service was also great.
This one will be a long one, but I know a lot of Asian brides may be waiting for this review. I will give you an honest assessment of my reception vendor. Here is the deal. My husband and I wanted a smallish wedding (think Brazilian Room in Berkeley, afternoon wedding), but I have a humongous family and my family wanted a Chinese Banquet, so we decided that if we were going to do a Chinese Banquet, it had to be lavish, grand, the works. No cheesy Chinese restaurant for us. Also, because we are both lawyers, once we decided to have a big wedding (the compromise was the small tea ceremony and small backyard ceremony in Berkeley), we opened it up to our colleagues and the professional community. So it had to be professional and also up to par with what such a community would expect. And Yank Sing holds up to 1000 people in the Rincon!
We had 332 guests and everyone was impressed. From the waterfall dropping from the seven foot ceiling, to the Atrium Space, to the food, everything. Everyone was impressed. But do not get the idea that they will give these things to you. I brought in a lot of the details to make it work. It added up. Was it worth it? In the end, I would say yes. But if you are looking for budget, Yank Sing is not the place to go. There are a lot of hidden charges that you probably wont know about unless you investigate, or unless someone gives you the scoop. So here goes. Here are the hidden costs:
1. Atrium Fee = $3000. Yes, it cost $3000 to have your wedding in the Atrium. If you want it in the restaurant (there is a restaurant in the building too), it will cost you nothing, but most likely, if there is a wedding in the atrium, your wedding will be overshadowed. That happened on our day, and I felt badly for the folks in the restaurant because you HAVE to enter to atrium space to get to the restaurant, so they were passing by our lavish event.
2. Clean up fee = $500. Yeah, they hardly did anything, but this was a MUST. 500 big ones. NO way around it.
3. Linens, napkins, etc. = $15 bucks for each table cover (unless you are going for white, in which case it is free), and $.75 per napkin. You do the math. It adds up. You HAVE to use their linens, so its not as if you can even go find your own cheap linens. Also, they have UGLY (and I mean ugly) black chairs that you can use, and they will recommend some chair cover vendor who is very expensive (and hers are very cheap-looking), so you will have to pay for your own chair covers (I will talk about my great vendor below). I would have gone for the Chivari chairs, but I liked the way my chair covers looked in the space.
4. Corkage Fee. They charge about $12 or $ 15 per bottle. Yup, if you bring in your own wine, you MUST MUST pay the corkage for wine or champagne. This adds up. Basically, they make the corkage so ridiculous that you’re basically captive to their wine selection, which is not very good (do you like cheap BV?). We beat their price, however, by going to Bev Mo and picking very good Californian white wines (you can get a bottle for about $5 bucks), as well as Chilean and Australian red wines, and then we paid for corkage. But yeah, this totally adds up.
5. Pre-Dinner Reception. Okay, so if you are going all out, you will probably want to have a pre- dinner reception. But no, this is not free. Everything adds up. So we ordered about 500 pieces of dim sum to be passed around as hor doeuvres and also had an open bar (only wine and beer, no hard liquor), and that was probably another $1500-2000 for us. We thought it was a nice touch and would people in a celebratory mood before dinner.
6. Plated Service. Okay, I had to include this because as you can see I have very beautiful centerpieces that you ordinarily do NOT see at Chinese banquets. The reason for this is because Chinese people are all about using the darn lazy susan. The food comes out and the lazy susan goes spinning and spinning. Well, we HAD to have plated service in order to have centerpieces. Food was the centerpiece of our event and we did not spare any expenses in that regard. So we had menus on each plate so that guests would know what dish was coming. That created for excitement and I was able to have my beautiful centerpieces on the table the whole time. Yank Sing has nice lazy susans, though, so I cant complain. They remained on the tables and were a nice touch, but no one really turned them because there was no need to. Plated service cost us about $63 bucks per table (multiply that by 32 and you’re talking about $1800 bucks). Oh yes, a note on plated service – what that means is that every dish came out on a separate plate per guest. We had 10 courses, so each guest got a little bit of each course on their own small plate (that is, 10 plates were used for each guest that night!).
7. Details, details, details. Other things that I did to make the space beautiful may not be things you think of, but these things cost money and Yank Sing does not provide them for you. Nor do you find out about this until later! First, the candles. In order to light your own candles, you MUST get a fire permit (this is because the Rincon Center is a historical building). You must go to the SF Fire Dept and then they test your candle. It’s a pain in the rear end. The permit cost a whopping 160 big ones. Yeah, I couldn’t believe that. You can use YS’s candles, which are little rinky dinky frosted ones that I used at some tables, but to get nice candles, you gotta pay the permit price. Also, I brought in theatrical lighting. The Rincon Center is beautiful BUT DARK. I brought in 8 uplights that I rented from a theater light place in Oakland (details to follow). The lights were pointed towards the pillars and throughout the space and I put in an amber filter, which gave the Rincon Center a warm glow. Finally, their table settings come with the bare minimum. All the details on my tables were my own - menus, favors, table numbers, name cards, etc. Go to YS’s website to see what most weddings look like (go to the Wedding Banquet section). Very cheesy in my view (think 1980s pink or blue pastel linens and no candles or centerpieces). To get something classy, you must be diligent with the details, and unfortunately, details cost mucho dinero.
8. Cost for an Extra Hour. We had to pay several hundred dollars to have our banquet go until midnight. You have to end your party at midnight (no later). You can go ‘til 11, but the extra hour, until midnight, will cost you several hundred dollars.
Here are other gripes that don’t have to do with hidden costs, but what caused me to give YS a B-.
1. Parking. They will tell you that the parking lot below you is free. However, by 8 or so, there will be no parking. So late guests, beware. Guests will have to park outside. Also, the parking lot is crazy small. The spaces are made for mini coopers. Your guests should know ahead of time. Also, with another wedding going on, the spots WILL FILL UP. I guarantee it.
2. Two weddings at the same time. I alluded to this problem above. I was peeved because my husband and I told them to let us know when someone booked inside because we thought about buying out the whole space (to get restaurant space, as well as the atrium, you have to spend at least $10K on more food or drinks (beyond the banquet food)). YS was very deceptive and did not tell us until 2 weeks before that they had booked someone inside. We would have wanted to know because we thought seriously about buying out the entire space. Also, as I note above, if you are having a wedding inside the restaurant, you might want to think twice b/c more likely than not, the atrium is being used and there is NO WAY that your guests are not going to feel like the atrium space was really cool. They have to walk past the atrium and many of the guests from the other wedding kept on coming up to our sign-in table thinking ours was the wedding they were there to attend. Also, we were quite loud outside with the dragon dance, so that must have been distracting. I didn’t notice the folks inside at all, but then again, I had about 332 guests and they had about 50 guests.
3. Quantity of food with the plated service. I had a trial with YS where my family attended and the food was abundant. However, some of my family members noticed that with plated food, you don’t get as much. They have to fit a small portion on a tiny dish and I think YS likes plated so they can distribute more food per plate than if you were getting food banquet style. There were 10 courses, however, so most people had no complaints. But I’m sure some of my Asian relatives were peeved that they were not getting more food.
Okay, so I totally dished and gave you my honest critique of YS. I ended up going with them obviously, so I will tell you why I did.
1. First, YS space is AMAZING. You will not get a better Chinese banquet space anywhere in the Bay area. Believe me, I did my research. The runner ups included the Asian Art museum (we would have to cater and Chinese food is never good reheated as if it were onsite, plus you have to use special flowers so the pollen doesn’t ruin the art, AND it costs at least $12K just to use the space). In the end, though, the 3K was cheap to get such an amazing space.
2. Secondly, the food is AMAZING. Talk about amazing cuisine. No one could complain about the quality. This is probably some of the best Chinese food in the Bay Area (I know - my family is in the restaurant business). Everything was well-seasoned and just perfect.
3. Service. A lot of Chinese restaurants are known for terrible service. You sort of expect it. Well, Yank Sings service was unbeatable, in terms of Chinese Restaurants, if you ask me. They knew what they were doing and were total professionals.
4. Joy Li. She is the reception and banquet coordinator. Joy is exactly what her name indicates. She is a joy to work with. I enjoyed working with her. She was a total professional, although, again, like some vendors, it sometimes took her a day or two to return calls. However, I never pushed her or got crazy, so I got what I wanted. And two weeks before your wedding, she responds to calls within the same day. She is also fluent in Chinese (Cantonese/mandarin), so she is comfortable working with your parents.
5. Location, Location, Location. YS is right next to the waterfront, and in the business district. For us, this was a perfect location b/c we have lots of friends in the city and the restaurant is a block away from the waterfront, so those SF pics were taken right before reception. Also, there are some really great hotels in the area that you can book for your guests (we booked blocks at Hotel Vitale and Harbor Court). If they stay overnight, they can go to the Ferry Building the next morning and see the cool farmers market!
Well, you saw my pictures. You can tell me if it was worth it. They were very organized so my day went by without a hitch, but yeah, do know about all these little details before you sign on the dotted line.
Okay, okay, I know what you are thinking, how much did everything cost? Okay, here is the rough breakdown. The food was about $570 per table (ten people per table)(you gotta work with them to add high chairs and more chairs for kids, if you have kids). OH yeah, the menus have gone up about $100 last I checked. But they have various menus starting at around $300 going up to close to $800 per table. Anyway, the banquet cost, plus 18% service charge, the other details like linens, napkins, as well as the plating service all adds up quick. And lets not forget that damn corkage fee and champagne. We ended up spending about $32,500 or so on Yank Sing and the other food details (this does not include details such as the DJ, jazz trio band, lighting, etc.). The reception (food and drinks only) totaled about $100 per head. That makes YS cost about as much as some of the fancy SF hotels, but give Asian folk the choice between the Fairmont and Chinese food, its most likely the latter. And if you ask me, I’d pick a ten course plated meal over a piece of chicken and rice pilaf any day. Anyway, I hope that helps you decide whether YS is right for you.
Loved this place. Rincon center is so beautiful! The staff was courteous and extremely helpful. Joy was our contact and she was so gracious! We highly recommend it!
This is one of the few venues that will accomadate 300+ guests and provide a Chinese banquet style reception.
The food was terrific, the Rincon center beautiful and spacious, and Joy was so easy and pleasant to work with.
They are able to provide a ceremony area, waiting area with appetizers and bar, banquet style dinner, all of it.
I think the most difficult thing we had to do was figure out seating arrangements since the food is priced per table, we needed to make sure we filled each table up.
Yank Sing knows how to throw a Chinese wedding banquet. The food was great, the set-up professional and on time, the staff knew what they were doing, etc.
The downside: they know what they're doing and they're popular, so it's hard to negotiate a good deal.
My two complaints from our experience: The lights in one part of the Rincon Center blew out and they refused to fix it unless I anted up more money. Which was ridiculous because we were not responsible for blowing the fuse. So half of the banquet was in the dark, and it took a hissy fit before they called someone in to fix it.
They like to book events back to back or even simultaneously. Before our wedding, there was another party with lots of children. So the guests who arrived early were met by a bunch of kids running around. I know this is to be expected, but it'd be nice if they factored in some time before events.
As an event planner and caterer, Yank Sing has had over 20 years' experience serving both corporate and private event clients.
Yank Sing has three distinct in-house facilities for your consideration: Rincon Center Atrium, Rincon Center Restaurant and 49 Stevenson Restaurant.
Yank Sing is a member of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and the Bay Area Caterers' Association (BACA).
* $14,500 Food and Beverage minimum
* $2,500 Deposit due upon signing the contract
* $3750 Rental fee not included in the minimum
* $500 Cleaning fee not included in the minimum
The above information is from Yank Sing's website.