SF’s Marina District recently added a new restaurant to its long list of beloved establishments. Blue Whale is a stylish restaurant that recently opened, serving seasonal authentic Asian cuisine. The restaurant is led by celebrity Chef Ho Chee Boon, who is known for many international restaurants, including Empress in SF. Blue Whale is an exciting addition to Chef Boon’s resume, offering a more affordable and casual dining experience to San Franciscans who want to experience the famed chef’s food.
Blue Whale’s menu draws from the chef’s international experience, combining inspiration from various cuisines to create an authentic but innovative menu. The opening celebration for the Marina District restaurant featured small bites from the menu. Each small sample was unique; the Xiao Long Bao and dumplings were standouts from the selection. Crispy Pumpkin Puffs– crafted to resemble little pumpkins–are a seasonal delight with roasted duck in black pepper sauce.
Following the opening celebration, Blue Whale announced they would offer a lunch service starting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
The restaurant’s interior is sleek and secluded from bustling Union Street; large blue booths circle the main dining room, and a modern bar and lounge area offers a casual space to enjoy drinks. The center of attention was the back patio, what the Blue Whale calls a garden oasis. The spacious patio featured two levels, plenty of seating, and a variety of greenery. While opportunities for outdoor dining in SF can be fleeting, we did spot several heat lamps.
About Blue Whale’s celebrity chef Ho Chee Boon
Originally from Malaysia, Chef Ho has 36 years of international culinary experience. He has an impressive list of accomplishments to his name; he is the former international executive chef for Hakkasan, a celebrated restaurant worldwide. He has opened restaurants in Mumbai, Dubai, London, New York, and more, and was awarded a Michelin Star less than a year after launching Hakkasan in New York. Previous SF ventures include the upscale restaurant Empress by Boon, located in Chinatown. Empress features a refined prefix menu and opulent decor, making the restaurant ideal for special occasions or a splurge.
Blue Whale is located at 2033 Union Street, accepting both reservations and walk-ins. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.