best chinese food in berkeley
hit me... all provinces
I really like spicy. So, really the only chinese restaurant I go to now is China Village. They take their szechuan seriously. "Excuse me waiter, I ordered a chicken dish with peppers, not a dish of peppers with chicken" spicy. Don't be afraid to try new things because it's all good. Go with a big group. Most of the dishes are accesible to people who don't speak chinese, and they make good suggestions on combos with dishes but first check what they are suggesting costs. If you pick a dish and asks what goes with then they are honest, but if you ask what they reccomend they'll probably give you the most expensive special like many restaurants. They also have a one page menu with reccomendations that you can pick up at the front if they don't give it to you, which is about 1/3 of the time.
China Village is on Solano at the Albany Berkeley border. It's on a street corner on the right side going towards the water and is two blocks away from Albany High School I believe.
re: Robert Lauriston
Yeah, you should definitely try it. 3 for $15! I recommend the lion's head meatballs, eggplant with pork (this is prob my favorite), pork spareribs, peasprouts. And, of course, xiaolongbao. Not sure abt the hours, altho I do know it's open late (perhaps til 12am...great for students!)
We've eaten twice at Shanghai at 2517 Durant in the last few weeks.
Very nice place, highly recommended -- cheap.
If you bring your own wine, be aware that they only have three wineglasses (they had 4, but one of them broke).
Recommended: On the 3 dishes for $15 menu, we get the pork with beancurd (slow braised belly pork chunks with braided beancurd skin, in a sweet brown sauce). Green beans and pea sprouts are good. Vegetarian duck is not so great (have not tried the veg goose).
Recommended on the cold dish menu: five-spice duck and smoked fish.
From the "regular" menu, more expensive: we very much enjoyed the fish tails.
The xiaolongbao were not very soupy the last time we tried them. They are variable, though they have always been tasty. They are on the small side, 8 to an order, steamed on a paper towel.
Incredibly good was the red bean pancake -- a huge, eggy crepe filled with a huge amount of red bean paste.
Although this is a branch of the Shanghai on Webster in downtown Oakland, the menu (and execution) is slightly different.
They do a good dinner business. Usually we are the only non-Chinese in the place, also the only customers older than 25. Very friendly staff, but some of them speak Mandarin better than they speak English.
If you are willing to slide just a touch north and west, Daimo in the Pacific East Mall off of the I-80 Central Ave exit is absolutely the best IMO. Real Cantonese-Hong Kong style, not very American at all.
i am not sure about the dumplings. my former roommate had the potstickers and no one in our group liked them except me (they weren't great but i'm not TOO picky with dumplings, perhaps owing to being Southern Chinese).