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Black chicken & frog legs at “Best Taste” Chinese, Franklin Street between 8th and 9th, downtown Oakland

grocerytrekker Feb 12, 2007 07:53 PM

A late lunch today.

The server wrote down the name of the special soup of the day on a piece of paper – it will take me forever to decipher, especially since it’s in simplified form (7 characters). Anyway, it had big chunks of “silkie” black-boned black-skinned chicken, ginseng and jujubes. A very refined soup, for $1.99!

I tried their “frog & mushroom porridge”, which had half a dozen big chunks of frog legs. Firm, tasted like good chicken or monkfish. A couple of pieces of ordinary shiitake. Congee was very tasty, a little thin. $4.50

Stir-fried pork kidney & liver with ginger & scallions – They ran out of liver, so it was half kidney and half scallions plus a few big slices of ginger. Very mild and tender, with no hint of “kidneyness”. Some people may prefer the strong taste of kidney - but I liked it mild. $6.50

When I left the restaurant at close to 3 pm, the restaurant was still full. They are doing something right. Going back soon for clay pots and other dishes.

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  1. grocerytrekker RE: grocerytrekker Feb 12, 2007 08:37 PM

    Threads which mention "silkie" black chicken;

    (Gary Soup wrote, "They are more commonly referred to as "silky chickens" because in their street duds they sport a nice, usually white, silky "angora" kind of coat. But dressed (that is, undressed,) they reveal an ashen gray skin and flesh. They are usually cooked in a soup for medicinal purposes, particularly for women. My wife makes a silky chicken soup for her daughter when she's home from college to "build up her strength.")




    Frog legs:


    1. j
      Joel RE: grocerytrekker Feb 12, 2007 10:11 PM

      Years ago I got some huge roasted beef ribs at this place. I think beef is (or was) one of their specialties.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Joel
        grocerytrekker RE: Joel Feb 12, 2007 10:59 PM

        It has recently changed owners.

        The next table was having wor wonton and clay pot, and greatly admiring the dishes. This is outstanding food, and the lowest price possible. I should have asked for a menu to take with me, but I just figured I'd go back soon.

      2. Gary Soup RE: grocerytrekker Feb 13, 2007 06:20 AM

        I think the translation of the soup's name is "Chinese Penicillin." It's usually served as a tonic to the sick, the infirm or the run-down. My wife makes it for her daughter as an antidote to all the Western food she eats when she is away at college.

        You feeling OK, grocerytrekker?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Gary Soup
          grocerytrekker RE: Gary Soup Feb 13, 2007 10:30 AM

          Gary, I quoted your wife's soup earlier. You mean the healthy shouldn't have the soup?

          The 7 characters, as far as I can tell, are
          3)rare, hope (ki in Andrew Nelson. I can't find my Chinese character dictionary at the moment)
          4)looks sort of like burn/roast
          6)twin young/small/thread radicals and a horizontal stroke underneath
          7)some kind of bird

          1. re: grocerytrekker
            Gary Soup RE: grocerytrekker Feb 13, 2007 05:30 PM

            Well, I guess it won't hurt to eat it if you are already healthy. Looks and tastes like medicine to me, though.

        2. singleguychef RE: grocerytrekker Feb 13, 2007 07:35 AM

          Grocerytrekker, is the restaurant's name "Best Taste" in English, or is that a translation, which is why you put it in quotes? Also, I love frog legs. Was it just on the menu in the jook or did they have it prepared in other ways?

          2 Replies
          1. re: singleguychef
            grocerytrekker RE: singleguychef Feb 13, 2007 09:20 AM

            The English name is Best Taste. Bright orange, or is it yellow, awning, on the east side of the street. Sorry, Best Taste sounded funny without quotes. I should have studied the menu more thoroughly. I must have missed many gems. (Wasn't running on all my 8 cylinders - thought someone must have reviewed this restaurant already.)

            1. re: singleguychef
              grocerytrekker RE: singleguychef Feb 13, 2007 05:39 PM

              So, I went back today for a quick late lunch and cursed myself for not being able to read the specials on the walls.

              I am so tempted to just say - "that one" not knowing what I'll be getting. Why not. Copy down the name, come home to find out what I ate.

              Anyway, these were the frog options.

              Frog and eggplant with XO sauce in clay pot $8.95
              Frog with bitter melon $7.95
              Frog rice clay pot $4.99
              Frog and clams in casserole $7.95
              Stir-fried frog legs with chives $8.50

              I had to try their wor wonton ($5.50) today. I watched the young ladies making those wontons, so I suspected they would be good. And they were.

              Today's special was an ordinary chicken soup, again 7 characters. They come in sealed cups. Here's a picture.

            2. singleguychef RE: grocerytrekker Feb 13, 2007 06:23 PM

              thanks grocerytrekker, looks like they have a few nice frog leg options. I may have to hop down there soon. LOL.

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