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Nov 15, 2006 05:25 PM

best chinese food in the East Bay

Looking for the best chinese in the East Bay - the closer to berkeley the better. I am NOT looking for great take-out. I am looking for a place to sit down and enjoy. Thanks

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  1. Jade Villa, 800 Broadway downtown Oakland for dim sum. Haven't been there in years, but it was the best value for dim sum at the time. It's noisy and can be packed at certain times, but it's pretty good.

    You might want to try some of the restaurants noted here, in the East Bay Express "Best of" issue -

    5 Replies
    1. re: Seldomsated

      Jade Villa has gone seriously downhill in the past several years. Sethkaufman, what kind of food are you looking for? If you do a search on the board for the type of food, you'll be sure to come up with many hits: dim sum, noodle plates, banquet style, etc.

      1. re: S U

        Sorry, but I've got to agree. Skip Jade Villa.

        1. re: Hunicsz

          Worst dim sum of my life. I've had better in Philadelphia.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Jade Villa = greasy and cold dim sum with bad service

            We had some really good dim sum at Happy Family restaurant at the corner of Harrison and 10th in Oakland. This, however, was a couple of years ago so it may have slid down the slope since then.

            Dim sum aren't my faves, so I don't know many places. I had very good dim sum (albeit pricy) at Peony in the past year.

            1. re: oakjoan

              Happy Family is no more... a new restaurant moved in about a week ago (rumor has it that the new owners used to operate a resto in Alameda)... haven't had the chance to try it yet.

    2. My personal favorite is Saigon Seafood Harbor, which is my one of my favorites in the entire bay area.

      The place that gets probably the most praise on this board is China Village.

      However, I think each may be problematic at the moment, as I recall reading about Saigon closed for a while due to a fire and China Village replacing its head chef. Perhaps somebody can fill us in on the current status.


      5 Replies
      1. re: nja

        Has Saigon reopened after the fire there a few months back?

        Whatever people may have thought of it in the past, Jade Villa is dismal these days. Avoid.

        In Berkeley, Great China is probably the best, especially if you order off the Chef's Specials page. They make some of the best Peking duck in the Bay Area; they make a dish called "double skin" that's great; there's also a dish made with crab meat served with steamed buns that's awesome.

        China Village on Solano is good for Sichuan food. It's not quite the same since the original chef went back to China, but it's still among the best around.

        Shanghai in Oakland Chinatown is a hole-in-the-wall with good home-style Shanghai food.

        Daimo and Asian Pearl in the Pacific East Mall in Richmond (just off 80 at Central Ave.) are also good for Hong Kong/Cantonese cuisine.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          When I inquired at the Sunnyvale location last month, the manager said that they hoped the Richmond location of Saigon would open in March.

          Also, don't forget that Shanghai has a branch in Berkeley on Durant, opposite side of the street from Top Dog. Larger and comfier quarters than Oakland.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I'm going to have to remember that next time I have a theater/concert date on campus.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Here's an early thread on the Berkeley location of Shanghai -

              and the report from last week's chow dinner at the San Mateo location to give a sense of the range of cooking -

            2. re: Melanie Wong

              I drive by the Richmond location everyday, there is no activity visible. Still boarded up.

        2. I haven't personally tried it but several of my friends say the best Chinese restaurant in Berkeley is a place called The Great China Restaurant at 2115 Kittredge (north of Shattuck past the theatre). It's like a hole in the wall, very small, but supposedly good food. A lot of Chinese families on the East Bay squeeze their families in for banquets. And they have many specials written in Chinese, so sounds authentic. Any chowhounders tried it first hand?

          3 Replies
          1. re: singleguychef

            +1 for Great China. Try some of their more out of the ordinary dishes. It's been a while, but I believe they have very good duck dishes.

            1. re: singleguychef

              One of our favorites in this area. They serve IMO the best Peking duck in the bay area. Northern cuisine.

              1. re: singleguychef

                It's not as small as it looks. There's a whole upstairs room, recently expanded for large groups (you have to go up a staircase behind the kitchen, which leads you to the second floor, not just the upper level that's visible from the door when you walk in). I eat there at least once a month. It's excellent. A couple weeks ago the fried oysters and giant clams were marvelous. If you tell the waiter how much you want to spend per person and let him or her design the menu, you'll get some fantastic things that you'd never have thought to order...

              2. Daimo in Richmond (feels more like El Cerrito)

                China Village in Albany, if you stick to the Sichuan dishes

                Great China in Berkeley for "double skin" and Peking duck or tea-smoked duck


                1. Thanks everybody, I have been to Great China...really liked it. I haven't been to Jade Villa in 15 years but don't recall it being very impressive. Perhaps we will go for Great China and see what happens. The Tea-smoked duck sounds great. Too bad my wife is a veggie - more duck for me.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sethkaufman

                    I give another vote for China Village on Solano. They Sichuan dishes I've had since the chef change have been fine, and I like it even more than Great China (except for the duck...mmm). China Village isn't a whole lot better veggie-wise, but the soft tofu and cold fun noodles there are among my favorites.

                    1. re: sethkaufman

                      Great China is great about modifying dishes for vegetarians. Just ask. I was with a group once that requested the Double Skin as a veg dish, and they did it without any fuss at all.