Report on Oakland Chowdown at New Gold Medal
Thirteen *very* lucky Chowhounds gathered at New Gold Medal (newly reopened down the street from where Gold Medal used to be), for the latest in the Oakland Chowlunch series. We filled two tables in the very spacious upstairs space (which we had to ourselves today),and ordered the same menu for both tables. I will post the menu and let others chime in about the food before I give my opinions, but let me just give a little hint: expect some very enthusiastic posts! Lots of mmmmmmm noises were going on...
Anyway, we ate:
Soy Sauce chicken
cold bbq meat platter (duck, beef stew and pork)
Steamed three types of egg
eggplant clay pot
Fook Jin (or is it Fook In?) style fried rice
and two other types of veges, one with dried fish bits
(can someone else chime in on the veges, I got a bit lost in my own ordering discussions, and one was a special comped by the house...)
Total cost with tax and a quite generous tip was $12 per person.
New Gold Medal
389 8th Street (between Webster and Franklin)
Familiar friendly faces at the New Gold Medal! The Eggplant clay pot was like buttah...meltingly good.
Best new dishes: the Fook Jin Seafood Fried Rice and the Steamed Three Eggs...the consummate comfort foods big spoonfuls of satisfaction. How could you not be delighted with gravy on rice and silken steamed eggs? More mmmmmm...veggies and platters of meats...bbq pork, duck, beef, roast pork and soy sauce chicken are lip-smackin' good. Big thank yous to Joel and Susan for organizing and to all the chowhounds for their excellent noontime company.
This was a wonderful, plentiful yet cheap meal! Every dish... from vegetables to rice to meats were a step above others'... always with additional spicing or with preserved vegetables or fish...superlative, with friendly and solicitous service...I can't wait to go back...next week anyone?!!!
Let's see. What can I add to the MMMMs already mentioned. Well, maybe an AHHHH, a couple of OHHHHHs, and the sound of lips quietly smacking. One of the very best Chowhound lunches. Welcome back Gold Medal. Lucky us. And yes, very good company. Glad to meet some regular posters for the first time and have a mix of old and new Chowers and MMMers.
A newbie to the Chowhound lunch crowd, it can only go downhill from here. First, it's such a hoot to eat a meal with people as fascinated with the whole food concept as me, maybe even more so. . . . Nah.
The eggplant in the eggplant clay pot was ably assisted by the most amazingly well blended array of spices. That was my favorite dish but was followed closely by the the duck--succulent meat and crispy skin. And thanks to the gentleman who provided the new twist on almond rochas--cashew rochas and mocha rochas. They were delish as well.
I wasn't at the chowdown, but I got some info from a Cantonese speaker who spoke with the Gold Medal people.
So after the original Gold Medal closed because the lease had been lost, the woman who is the majority partner and runs the front of the restaurant took time off and did some travelling. Then for some reason the Sun Hong Kong owners, who are the children of the original owners, wanted out and sold the business to the Gold Medal group.
The Chinese name of the restaurant is still just Gold Medal, but the business license names it as New Gold Medal. The original head chef, who is a minority partner, is back in the kitchen so it's no surprise that the food hasn't lost any quality. If you follow Chinese restaurants at all, you know that a change in cooks can spell disaster.
It was mentioned a while ago in Chowhound land that Gold Medal was going to relocate to Pleasanton. The woman said that nothing was done but the chef said that construction had begun but is not complete. Anyways, I'm pleased that they're in Oakland and not in Pleasanton.
Very nice to see familiar faces and some hounds new to me.
I had the pleasure of sitting adjacent to the very knowledgeable "oakjoan" and Mr. Oakjoan.
I've been to the "old" Gold Medal many times in the past few decades (and the old Sun Hong Kong too). One advantage of today's experience was that I got to taste things I'd never had before. One does tend to keep ordering the old favorites. The upstairs is very nice and could be the setting for a very large event.
The steamed eggs were a revelation. Three kinds of eggs: Pieces of preserved eggs ("Thousand-year-eggs") and hard-cooked salted duck eggs, embedded in a custard of regular eggs. All steamed to perfection in a glass pie-plate. True comfort food. The rice dish was also in a pie-plate, with a very tasty and rich sauce on top.
The three green veg were spinach in garlic sauce, ong choy in fermented bean curd sauce (with a nice kick of fresh green chilis), and "A"-choy in some odd sauce of preserved fish and black beans (the one dish I did not care for). But all fresh and bright green.
The barbecue pork, roast pork, duck, beef stew, and especially the soy-sauce chicken were succulent and juicy.
The eggplant was rich and had a nice kick from a hint of vinegar.
Thanks to Derek (AKA ChowFun), for bringing Mocha Roca and Cashew Roca for dessert.
Thanks to Susan for setting it up. Also to Marc, who sent out the Evite but never showed up. I had a hard time convincing people that Marc is a real person, and not some sort of metaphor.
re: Joel Teller
After I got back to the office, I realized that I had a call on my cell from Marc, who had been hit with a one p.m. deadline at noon, poor guy....but yes, he does exist, and thanks Marc for all the work setting up the evite!
I liked the a-choy with fish bits myself. My favorite dishes, though, were the duck, the pork, and the soy sauce chicken, (they really do have a way with meats!) and the eggs. I've never had that dish before, but it will definitely be on my list to get again soon; probably the next time I have a bad morning at work and need some comfort.
This was the best meal I've had in Oakland's Chinatown in a rather long while. Just wish it wasn't such a long walk from my office for lunch, although I guess the exercise was needed to justify how much I ate!
By the way, if others go, I recommend checking out both the lunch and dinner menu. We ordered from both: most of the bbqd meats are on both, but the clay pots are only on the dinner menu. The lunch menu has a number of noodle dishes. One that Joel vouches for is the rolled rice noodle: we tried to order it but, unfortunately, they haven't started offering it at the new location yet. We were told they would have it available soon; still one more reason to go back soon!
It was great to see the mix of new and 'old' Chowhounds; exceptionally good company. I enjoyed every minute.
And yes, a special thanks to Derek for the Roca. Loved the cashew!
We all had so much fun that we agreed we needed at least one more in the series before the end of year holidays: Keep an eye out for the announcement, and feel free to email me off-line if you have some suggestions. The elusive Marc and I will try and top this one; though it might be a challenge!
oh, and one more thank you: to Joel for the inspiration and ordering hints, which unfortunately went by the wayside when I ran out of my office late and without his post and a subsequent email with his ordering suggestions. So, we had to try and remember what he had recommended, but you really can't go wrong with the roast and bbq'd meats....glad we found some potential new favorites too.