Puccini Group is constantly traveling and visiting restaurants across the globe, but our favorite city for restaurant scouting is our hometown, San Francisco.

Once a month Puccini Group, sets out to research and assess our favorite topics, Concepts, Design and Operations.

Last month, we visited M.Y. China, Martin Yan’s latest venture, which did not disappoint.  Below is an interdisciplinary look at the restaurant from each of our three studios.

Concept Studio:  
Kelly Kennedy, Restaurant Concept Strategist

Although located in the Westfield Mall, M.Y. China is not your typical mall restaurant. The concept, of “See. Taste. Discover.,” bringing the sights, tastes, and discoveries of modern Chinese fare to America is well executed through an upscale design and supporting elements. Everything, from the tabletop and uniform selections, to a large open kitchen and a clever display of antique Chinese snuff bottles, are well thought out and supportive of the central theme. Of course, I’m a sucker for any restaurant that finds a clever use of their logo and M.Y. China managed to make a mooncake mold from their logo. So how did they get their concept right on the money? Much like we do at Puccini Group. Martin Yan and his partners traveled throughout China, eating and talking with chefs in over 150 restaurants. Moral of the story? Research, research, research!!!

Design Studio:
Lindsay Broad, Designer

The design of M.Y. China by BCV Architects is open and approachable while still offering a dining experience separate from the mall. Smart design details like the adjustable tables make for unique and flexible table layouts that easily allow for both communal and more intimate dining. The kitchen is a true exhibition bringing the theatrics of cooking and noodle pulling front and center behind a spotless glass panel. The restaurant’s memorable story speaks to the guests through thoughtful displays of artifacts and traditional Chinese art.

Operations Studio:
Shelia Turner, VP of Restaurant Operations

During our visit, we were able to observe operations from a large group standpoint. Our group was placed in a section of the restaurant that was serviced by a long table with pre-set still or sparkling water on ice and plenty of utensils, small plates, and cocktail napkins. We had a servers assisting with pouring the water while taking cocktail orders while others brought out plates of appetizers at a consistent pace. The organizer of our party was able to pre-select which menu items they wanted served to the group. M.Y. China assisted by suggesting a few house favorites and easily sharable items among groups. Throughout our experience, there were food runners and bussers clearing dishes, bringing new ones, and checking to see if there was anything else we needed. This made everything go smoothly and their attentiveness was appreciated without being intrusive or an annoyance. I am always appreciative when a restaurant takes the time to educate all staff about the offerings so that everyone interacting with guests is on the same page and able to convey the restaurant and its offerings in a consistent manner.


Overall this was truly, A Restaurant That Worked! If you are lucky enough to live in San Francisco or are planning a visit soon, make sure and check out one of the city’s newest gems! Click here for reservations! 


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