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Dim Sum in the East Bay

chemchef Aug 10, 2006 10:58 PM

My husband and I are looking for a good dim sum place in the Berkeley and nearby vicinity area. We're not terribly picky as long as the food is good, fresh, and not greasy.

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  1. k
    kc72 RE: chemchef Aug 10, 2006 11:05 PM

    Not sure about the dim sum options in Berkeley, but King Tsin on Solano Ave. (might be on the Albany part of Solano) serves dim sum.

    There is also the restaurant inside the Pacific East Mall in El Cerrito/Richmond -- short drive from Berkeley.

    Otherwise, plenty of options in Oakland/Alameda.

    1. r
      rtmonty RE: chemchef Aug 10, 2006 11:26 PM

      Just head to Alameda and go to East Ocean on Webster. It's outstanding and you can't beat the prices.

      1. k
        kevine RE: chemchef Aug 11, 2006 03:47 AM

        Saigon on Pierce St. in Richmond, just south of the I-80 Central Ave exit. Get there early, fantastic seafood selections. (Saigon refers to an area of Hong Kong, not the old name of the city in Vietnam; it's not a Vietnamese restaurant.)

        3 Replies
        1. re: kevine
          Sarah RE: kevine Aug 11, 2006 03:49 AM

          Last I heard, Saigon closed down because of a serious fire -- has it reopened? If so, good news.

          1. re: Sarah
            theSauce RE: Sarah Aug 11, 2006 04:12 AM

            still boarded up, it's a no go.

          2. re: kevine
            Jefferson RE: kevine Aug 11, 2006 05:28 AM

            They really need to do something about parking at that Pacific East Mall. Too many restaurants for the size of the lot! (And the stoplight isn't very well timed, either.)

            Anyway, the place near the more Southerly front door was good for take-out. I was there about two months ago, and I can't recall the name.

          3. k
            knishi222 RE: chemchef Aug 11, 2006 07:40 PM

            Great water views and decent dim sum at East Ocean in Emeryville at the end of Powell street, past Trader Vics and the marina.

            1. n
              niki rothman RE: chemchef Aug 11, 2006 09:16 PM

              Richmond, right next to the freeway that rings the Bay. Sorry I can't remember the name. Huge, Chinese mess hall. In a strip Mall area with a big parking lot in front. Crowded at 11:30 am. I loved the plain rice porridge for $2. And there is nothing wrong with the dim sum. Lots of choices. And if you order from the non-dim sum menu thay have a lot of interesting fresh fish choices.

              9 Replies
              1. re: niki rothman
                Robert Lauriston RE: niki rothman Aug 11, 2006 09:58 PM

                You mean Daimo? Do they have dim sum?

                Or are you talking about the aforementioned Saigon Seafood Harbor?

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 11, 2006 10:31 PM

                  There's also a not-very-good dim sum place inside the Pacific East Mall (Daimo is a freestanding building in the mall parking lot, and Saigon Seafood Harbor is in a separate lot next door).

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    Sarah RE: Ruth Lafler Aug 11, 2006 10:59 PM

                    The not-very-good (very apt description) place is called Asia(n) Pearl, across from the Thai(?)knick-knack store.

                    1. re: Sarah
                      choctastic RE: Sarah Aug 18, 2006 11:37 PM

                      what's wrong with Asian Pearl? I have had some decent meals there this summer.

                      1. re: Sarah
                        Sarah RE: Sarah Aug 19, 2006 07:55 PM

                        to choctastic - no reply button to your post, so I'm here instead. Went to Asian Pearl twice for dimsum. Once in its early days and then again the day after the Saigon fire. My husband who has never met a hah gow he didn't like, did not like AP's -- not the texture, not the taste. I couldn't verify due to shrimp allergy. The chicken feet definitely had an off taste, perhaps due to some strange spicing; they also needed more cooking time. The tripe was perfect the first time and were tough and cut in huge pieces the second. Good both times were the sticky rice packets wrapped in leaves.

                    2. re: Robert Lauriston
                      niki rothman RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 15, 2006 02:10 AM

                      Hi RL & RL,
                      A coincidence, or actually the same person? I think it was Saigon and I would definitely go back there if in the area.

                      1. re: niki rothman
                        Ruth Lafler RE: niki rothman Aug 15, 2006 04:45 AM

                        LOL! Definitely not the same person, although no one has ever seen us in the same place at the same time.

                        As the other posters said, you can't go back to Saigon because it's closed after their fire (to a person, everyone who hears that says "hopefully when they rebuild they'll improve the acoustics").

                        I'm interested to hear more about King Tsin. It was one of the first "northern/Mandarin" style restaurants in the East Bay, and when I first ate there almost 30 years ago, it was excellent. Then it went downhill and finally closed for a time. In the first incarnation I don't think they served dim sum -- some dumplings, of course, but not dim sum as a meal. As I said, it was a northern style restaurant, and dim sum is primarily associated with Cantonese and Hong Kong-style restaurants. So I guess I'm asking, is King Tsin still a northern style restaurant that also serves dim sum, or is it now a Cantonese/HK style restaurant?

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          Jefferson RE: Ruth Lafler Aug 15, 2006 07:08 AM

                          King Tsin was where my parents took us kids for a splurge; I guess they tolerated children well. Now, the parents who ran it back then have retired and the kids took over. Dim sum is one of the significant changes to the menu, but there have been others. For example, "Spicy Shrimp" used to be cooked with only a very light powdering of starch, if any, and served in a very garlicky sauce. The shrimp now are breaded and the sauce, to my palate, less sophisticated (although I'm comparing teenaged memories here). When I mentioned that we liked it the old way, a gentleman at the front of the house (weekend lunchtime) said no problem, just ask.

                          By the way, if you participate in Mileage Plus "Dining Miles," King Tsin is in the program on some days. As if anyone would choose a restaurant based on such a paltry inducement. ;-)

                    3. re: niki rothman
                      Robert Lauriston RE: niki rothman Aug 15, 2006 01:39 AM

                      Still wondering which place you're talking about.

                    4. l
                      lintygmom RE: chemchef Aug 15, 2006 01:48 AM

                      For a very limited but tasty dim sum menu any day of the week try King Tsin on Solano. Excellent sticky rice in lotus leaf, good har gow, good shrimp and chive, nummy char sui bow. Only things I didn't really like were the turnip cake, which had an off taste--maybe that day things were off--and the steamed spare ribs. But I bet I just don't like steamed spare ribs, which seem to be just fatty-nasty to me.

                      BTW: the dry fried string beans can be spectacular. Or a little too wet. Tell them to make them DRY.

                      A nice lunch without having to drive far, but without the experience of a great dim sum house. Can also order most of these at night.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: lintygmom
                        Grocers Daughter RE: lintygmom Aug 17, 2006 08:22 PM

                        The steamed char sui bow is nummy. The baked one...well, the steamed one is better. I second the shrimp and chive dumpling and sticky rice in lotus leaf suggestions. I also like the spinach dumplings. It's also worth a mention that King Tsin is one of the few places in Berkeley that offer jook/congee.

                      2. d
                        dsl RE: chemchef Aug 15, 2006 05:01 AM

                        We just went to Daimo on Sunday in Richmond (or is that El Ceritto?) in the Pacific East Mall. Although the dim sum selection was limited (no carts -- you just order it off the menu), it was quite tasty. The brothy pork dumplings were good, although the pork wasn't as tender as I had hoped. I think someone on here had the same experience. We ordered mostly dim sum, but also a noodle dumpling soup, which was great when you added the hot chile oil. Over all a good experience (although the parking is horrendous).

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