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Apr 22, 2007 10:36 PM

Oakland Chinatown eats?

I read an article in the Edible East Bay Magazine about Oakland Chinatown good eats. Here are the mentions:

Tao Yuen Pastry (816 Franklin) for take-out dim sum
Su Mi, Yu Chi Gao (shark fin dumpling)

Sun Hing (386 8th St) roasted pork-get it when it's fresh

Sun Sing Pastry (382 8th st) rice balls, patties & other unique items: deep-fried shrimp paste wrapped in bacon.

Yuen Hop Noodle Company (824 Webster) -fresh, handmade egg noodles different cuts from different regions of China

Ying Kee Restaurant (387 9th St) - xui cao soup- water dogs (dumplings)

Gum Kuo Restaurant (Franklin @ 9th St) - jook, chicken jook

Any others you want to share?

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    1. re: Michael Rodriguez

      What are current opinions on Peony? I remember enjoying this place a lot when I was a kid, but then at the end of high school, there seemed to be a decline. I have not been back to Peony since then, maybe 6-7 years ago. Did my tastes change, or had there been an actual, more objective, decline -- and how are things these days?

      1. re: shortexact

        Peony seems to be the reigning dim sum palace - the Cantonese speaking staff where I work refuse to go anywhere else. I think it's good, not amazing.

        I second Shan Dong and Shanghai Xiao Chi.

        Tao Yuen Pastry's dim sum are a good alternative for takeout when you just can't eat another banh mi for lunch (I think I had over a hundred of them in one year), but as far as the dumplings go, I find them too large, the fillings too fatty, and the skins are too thick and soft. But I do really like those rolls with the soft white mantou dough on the outside, and sticky rice with mushroom and sausages on the inside.

        There's a bakery few doors north of Tao Yuen - I can't remember the name, but there's always a huge line out the door - they have those buns (Hong Kong style, I think) with the sweetish dough, filled with hot dogs, or topped with corn and scallions and mayonnaise, or pork sung, all super-cheap (as in, under a dollar each). They have my favorite eggy steamed sponge cakes.

        BC Deli has my favorite banh mi - crustier bread and less mayonnaise than Cam Huong's. They also have a delicious steamed rice cake (Vietnamese style, made with coconut milk), topped with minced pork, shallots, cilantro, and carrots. Even better, they take said rice cake and fry it to a dark, dark brown, with scrambled eggs and preserved vegetable.

        I like Spices 3 for their beef noodle soup, and their Shanghai style rice cakes with pork and preserved vegetable (actually, I like their rice cakes better than the ones at Shanghai Xiao Chi).

        Kim Huong is a new Vietnamese restaurant and may have the best noodle soups I've had in Oakland Chinatown so far... I'm waiting for the free soda giveaway to end, hoping the lines will go with it...

        Battambang for Cambodian.

        Cam Huong sometimes has jook with thousand year egg on the steam table, and their packaged barbecued chicken with vermicelli can be really good.

        1. re: daveena

          I agree about Peony, it's good, not amazing. And it usually costs me 1.5-2x as much as the other dim sum places in the area (they charge $2 for tea and water, whoo!). Worth trying, but I don't go there regularly.

          I also agree about BC Deli -- or about Ba Le, which is one or two doors down, and has the same pricing scheme. I think the pork is better at Ba Le, but the chicken is better at BC Deli. However, from what I understand, you can just ask for less mayo at Cam Huong (forcing them to make them fresh). And Cam Huong does have a curry chicken banh mi. Mmm...

          Is Kim Huong the one that took over the one that took over the one that took over the old Vi's location? Or is there yet another Vietnamese restaurant tucked away that I overlooked?

          1. re: merle

            Kim Huong is on 10th/Harrison, not in the old Vi's location. I walked by today during lunch and it was packed!

            1. re: merle

              Thanks for your assessments on Peony. I may return sometime for sentimental reasons, but it sounds like there isn't a chowish reason to rush back.

              1. re: shortexact

                I've never seen it mentioned here but my favorite dim sum is at King of King @ 1139 E 12th St. Although it's not technically in Chinatown, it's in the so called "new" Chinatown. Dim sum is always hot and fresh, and the service is excellent. Parking is easy as well. A coworker who's been to all the places in Chinatown agrees that it's probably the best, and comparable, yet cheaper, to East Ocean in Alameda. I haven't been to Peony yet, but it certainly surpassed Legendary Palace and Jade Villa.

            2. re: daveena

              the bakery near Tao Yuen with the hot dog buns or corn/scallion buns you are referring to sounds like Napoleon Super which is south of Tao Yuen (maybe the 700 block of Franklin)

              1. re: zippo

                oops. correction: Napoleon Super is 810 Franklin.

        2. That list seems to have a Cantonese bias. In addition to the two very worthy non-Cantonese restaurants cited by Michael Rodriguez (Shan Dong and Shanghai), I would add Spices III. I've heard there is also good Vietnamese food in Oakland Chinatown, too

          2 Replies
            1. re: Gary Soup

              Pho Hoa Lao #2 for Pho & Cam Huong for Banh Mi.

            2. The Silver Dragon - onlyplace worth a visit down chinatown.

              8 Replies
              1. re: rob133

                What do you like to order at Silver Dragon? I keep trying to drag coworkers there, but they usually refuse (without giving any indication of why they don't want to eat there).

                1. re: merle

                  i do enjoy silver dragon.. i've been going there since the early 80s.. although, i will have to say that of course the quality of the food isn't the same as the early 80s... and of course the odds that they had different chefs during this time is great.. that said, my friends and family love to order their beef oyster sauce. about 20 years ago the beef oyster sauce was creamy, soft, and did not have vegetables. although the chefs may have changed, when i go these days, i still order the beef oyster sauce. it is still creamy and soft, but they have added some vegetables (mushrooms and carrots). still, the focus is on the beef, as opposed to other restaurants where the meat gets lost somewhere in the "filler" vegetables. i also like their appetizers and their soups.

                  i also enjoy going to restaurant peony (although i find it too crowded all the time, thus discourages me from going) and jade villa for dim sum.

                  there's a really great chinese restaurant that's open until 3 or 4 am that serves a good beef westlake soup. i forgot the name of it though, but it changed its name. however, they serve the menu of the old restaurant and the new restaurant.. it's not the best food, but at 12:00 am after a night on the town, it's a great alternative to the usual after hours food fare (dennys, ihop, etc.) funny thing, i know some people from sf chinatown who actually leave the city and venture over to that restaurant for the late late night dining....

                  1. re: kinipela

                    I've been going to Silver Dragon since I was ten years old, which was in their own location across the street, and which I am sad to say is much longer than 20 years...or rather I should say, I used to go to Silver Dragon from the age of ten favorites were the tomato beef chow mein and potstickers, both of which I tasted for the first time there...however, my last visit, for a family banquet about four or so years ago was definitely subpar. Lots of better choices in Chinatown now, IMO, though the fact that they have a full bar is a temptation...

                    1. re: susancinsf

                      i agree, the food isn't as good as i remember it, but i still think they have a good beef oyster sauce.. i usually don't venture off what i already know is good. i like their shrimp appetizers though, and the full bar is definitely a plus. where can you get really good tomato beef these days in the bay area? i usually go to places in monterey park... but if i'm in the bay, then monterey park/sgv is not really that helpful...

                    2. re: kinipela

                      The place that stays open late sounds like New Gold Medal.

                      1. re: DezzerSF

                        hahah that's it! thanks! i always forget what it's called, especially since they serve two different menus.... for late late late night dining, it's pretty good... hahaha

                        1. re: DezzerSF

                          I went there for lunch today, on my brother's recommendation (he lives in SF). I had good Soy Sauce Chicken on Rice (I requested and received the thigh) and took most of some unusually good Beef Tripe in Black Bean Sauce home (to my friend's place in West Oakland where I'm staying). It's chewy tripe but soft enough to eat without trouble, and the black bean sauce is unusually spicy.

                      2. re: merle

                        Pork Noodle soup is usually an excellent choice (but the pork is occasinally a little sub-par). the mainstay for me is the salt and pepper pork, or Pork Chow Mein.

                        Other dishes suffer from the occasional inconsistency, notabley Mongolian beef (ranges from spicy to kind of bland) and pepper beef (again ranges from spicy to bland).

                        I know my wife has been going since long before the present location and she knows a lot of the staff who have been long term employees.

                    3. The original comment has been removed
                      1. I should add 328, both name and address (14th Street, between Webster and Harrison). This is a hot pot restaurant. My wife and I have eaten there once only, since it's new. We enjoyed the meal. Lots of choices of both ingredients and sauces.