Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Aug 25, 2004 07:47 PM

Berkeley Sun Hong Kong alternative?

  • p

Every week we have to make a quick trek to downtown Berkeley, and invariably we end up at Sun Hong Kong. It's partly because it's cheap, but also because they have a good selection for when I need some roast duck or a plate of ong choy or some catfish in clay pot, while my husband gets a fried rice or something of the sort. Is there an alternative to Sun Hong Kong within walking distance, where the food and roast meats are better?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. r
    Robert Lauriston

    Taiwan? Great China? I'm not sure there's any Chinese food in downtown Berkeley that's better than OK.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Certain dishes in Taiwan Restaurant are downright outstanding. Especially the weekend special menu Taiwanese (not the chinese american dishes!) items that is offered only during lunch is excellent.

      The other regular items are allright, nothing spectacular but just ok.

      I wonder why many Berkeley diners do not take advantage of this. I think it's probably because of the menu being somewhat obscure in view. It is in plain English so language is not a problem.

      1. re: Han Lukito
        Robert Lauriston

        Tell us more about these special lunch items!

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I can't find the link but I wrote about this more than 3 times I believe. They are also quite inexpensive I might add.

          Here is something you can start exploring and you can judge whether you like this style of cooking-these are all very authentic dishes from what I know:
          -South Taiwan style noodle soup
          -Sticky rice with pork in crockpot, forgot the exact name

          There are a few more items that I don't quite remember. You might want to jot them down for more inputs from me and other hounds who like Taiwanese specialties.

          Remember that they are only available at lunch on weekends. Call them to find out the exact day and times and ask for the Taiwanese breakfast specialties.

          And please report back !

        2. re: Han Lukito

          I agree. The real Taiwanese dishes there are fantastic -- and so reasonably priced. People who complain about this restaurant order the wrong things (or else are put off by the service, which can be brusque, and sparse decor).

        3. re: Robert Lauriston

          Great China is certainly better than OK. While it's not Cantonese, they do serve the best Peking duck in the bay area.

          1. re: PeterL

            It's also not walking distance from downtown Berkeley.

            1. re: Civil Bear

              It's not? I think of it as being in downtown Berkeley. It is north of Bancroft.

              1. re: wally

                Is there another one other than the one on Solano?

                1. re: Civil Bear

                  Perhaps you are confusing two places:

                  China Village
                  1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

                  Great China Restaurant
                  2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704

        4. Great China is usually good, sometimes outstanding. Ask for the vegetable specials of the day. The light shrimp dumpling appetizers are very good; crab in season is superb.

          3 Replies
          1. re: CMM

            Great China's "double skin" is as good as you will find in China. I consider it one of their signature dishes. In the Fall, lots of people go for char-wokked crab. The pea shoots with garlic is great. I also like the Beijing sauce noodles.

            The owner is a KBC (Korean born Chinese), and the dishes are, he says, cooked to Korean tastes. I am a Shanghainese, and I rate Great China as the best Berkeley has to offer.

            1. re: JoyceW

              Great China used to be my favorite Chinese place in Berkeley, but I've had too many bad meals there lately. The worst (which may have permanently turned me off the place) was a few weeks ago when I was tired and just wanted to get some take-out. After circling the block forever to find parking, I ordered their fish ravioli (usually quite good), one tofu dish and steamed rice. All of them were inedible--even the rice smelled of chemicals.

              I agree with you about the pea shoots, though--they are usually dependably tender and delicious. Still, I am in the market for a new favorite Chinese place in Berkeley.

              1. re: alixschwartz

                I've heard that the parking situation (that is, the lack of parking since the nearby lot disappeared) has really hurt business.