Gum Kuo--no duck congee, but fresh rice noodle rolls [Oakland]
- heidipie Feb 18, 2005 01:30 PM
This is the place in Oakland Chinatown that Yimster says has good roast duck and soy sauce chicken. It's in the courtyard of Pacific Renaissance Plaza (with the underground parking garage that is cheaper than the local meters). I took a look this morning at breakfast time. I was sorry they didn't have duck congee on the menu. On the wall they featured frog and geoduck clam congee, but I just had the sliced fish and meat ball, which was tasty with lots of shredded ginger and good fish. The meat balls were fresh, soft and flavorful. I also had the shrimp rice noodle rolls, which were large, very soft and gooey, and, it turns out, made fresh to order with batter poured into a flat steamer in the front of the shop, right by the roast meat counter. I'd never seen it done--pretty cool! What looks like the one to get is the sauteed mushroom and yellow chive rice noodle roll. Many people were getting take-out orders of crullers wrapped in rice noodles. The rest of the menu is rice plates, BBQ and noodle dishes.
I'm reviving this old discussion after a visit to Gum Kuo last night. We had a pretty decent meal, the focus of which was cheong fun (also discussed here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/866607) Thanks Melanie Wong for alerting me to this place:
We tried several types of rice noodle rolls (cheong fun): bbq pork and cilantro (pictured), fresh shrimp, dried shrimp, and scallion. My favorites were the bbq pork and the fresh shrimp, though fans of dried shrimp would appreciate that version too—very generous with the dried shrimp quantity.
We also had some stir-fried greens (good), the salted fish, chicken and tofu claypot (nice soft tofu, which wasn't fried, though a bit salty for many at the table), and vermicelli with moqua and dried shrimp (this was made w/ wheat noodles, but I think could have been better with translucent noodles—the moqua is hairy melon I think).
I was surprised to see that the restaurant was full on a Tuesday night. The menu is big, and very affordable, so I'd definitely go give it a try again, though aside from the rice noodle rolls, I'm not sure I'd repeat any items.
re: Dave MP
Forgot that we also got the chicken and abalone congee. I thought it was pretty good - nice flavor, slivers of ginger, chicken pieces were tender....but it was a bit thin and bland. I like congee with a slightly saltier element, so with so many options to choose from on the menu, I'd probably choose something different next time.