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

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. 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.")

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/30148...

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41052...

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/34073...

    Frog legs:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/37515...

    1. 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

        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. 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

          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
          1)flower
          2)banner/flag
          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
          5)bamboo
          6)twin young/small/thread radicals and a horizontal stroke underneath
          7)some kind of bird

          1. re: grocerytrekker

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

        2. 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

            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

              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.
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32479...

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

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