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Oakland Chinatown Family Restaurants

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Melanie Wong Feb 6, 2002 11:59 PM

Han and Gordon asked for family style restaurants in Oakland Chinatown. Here are three I’d recommend from visits in the last six months.

Chef Lau’s is one of my sister’s favorites. Almost every table here has ordered the wo choy menu and added a few extra dishes. My sister and her husband come here regularly to order the family dinner for four and get three meals out of it.

The last time I was here we had dried scallop soup, half of a very large crispy skin chicken, duck web with braised lettuce and black mushroom, pea shoots with garlic, kow yuk (streaky pork) with taro root in a well-aged master sauce, steamed whole flounder, salt and pepper prawns, Peking spareribs, and fresh crab with ginger and scallions. This was more than enough to feed the five of us and we had boxes of leftovers to take home for less than $60 including tax and tip. Surprisingly, given that this is a seafood restaurant, the flounder, scallop soup and the prawns were the weakest dishes. The flounder was not pristinely fresh and would have been better deep-fried. The duck web was very intense and flavorful as was the unctuous pork. The family that owns the place is very friendly and helpful. While they don't speak much English, they will try to help you understand the Chinese menu.

Chef Lau’s Seafood Restaurant
301 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 835-3288

Happy Families used to be open late, but now it closes at 9 pm on weeknights. I haven’t had the family menu here nor the bbq items hanging in the window. What attracted me here and keeps me coming back is the fresh lobster special for $9.99 posted in English and Chinese on the wall signs. This is sauteed with ginger and scallions and served on a bed of noodles.

Happy Families
1009 Harrison St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 839-8871

Lastly, Sun Hong Kong has been reported here several times. During a couple visits in the last three months or so, I’ve noticed an annoying aroma of what smells like pig guts hanging in the air. It’s a little less noticeable in the far dining room (away from the door), but still bothers me. Still, the seafood jin mein (Hong Kong-style crispy noodles) is the best around at $7. Each ingredient in the topping is cooked perfectly and the baby choy sum is exquisite.

Sun Hong Kong Restaurant
389 8th St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 465-1940

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    Tony Corman RE: Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2002 03:37 PM

    I really like Dragon Terrace, Webster nr 7th. Good noodles, fresh greens, even the meat isn't too mysterious!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Tony Corman
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      Melanie Wong RE: Tony Corman Feb 8, 2002 12:28 PM

      Thanks!

      Any others folks?

    2. g
      gordon wing RE: Melanie Wong Feb 7, 2002 06:34 PM

      thanks for the additional tips on the scene in Oakland Chinatown....the Seafood restaurant in the Pacific East Mall has been running specials on lobster and crab,also....I'll check for the details. The food there has been good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gordon wing
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        Melanie Wong RE: gordon wing Feb 8, 2002 12:27 PM

        Please let us know about the specials. The "recession specials" alert started by Ken and Pia was a great idea.

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