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Mar 27, 2008 06:08 PM

Update in Oakland Chinatown

This weekend I was over in Oakland Chinatown meeting up with a few old friends for a quick lunch.

Walk by the site of the old Joy Luck home of quick, cheap, loud and passable dim sum. Gone now the new home of D&A.

Also went in to Napoleon Bakery to order some pork buns and custard tarts to go. Found that they had hire a part time dim sum chef and selling dim sum, filling were fresh (shrimp was large and lot of them), large in size and cheap 3 for a dollar while the other to go place are at 3 for 1.30 or more. New place so cheap prices. The only drawback was the skins were too thick and they fell away. But the staff may not be handling the dim sum poorly would account for falling away. Hope the skin get thinning soon.

I can not believe I scoop the East Bay hounds.

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  1. Joy Luck isn't there anymore? I thought D&A took over the spot that was Dol Ho or Yo Ho (sp? think that was the name)

    3 Replies
    1. re: kc72

      Joy Luck is still Joy Luck and still operating. It's the other that's now D&A...

      1. re: Sarah

        Thanks, that's what I thought. Although, I heard Joy Luck went thru some small ownership change , things are still the same

        1. re: Sarah

          I confirm that Joy Luck is still open, and D&A took over the New Yo Ho space-

          though in that post I am mistakenly under the impression that the old location around the corner is still open (it's not now).

          In this other post I note that I think the food has been improving over the past few months. I plan to check it out again this weekend.

          I does seem that there was some ownership change, as there are new ladies up front- the ever present ones for the preceding few years are no longer there. This seemed to happen around the middle of last year, perhaps earlier.

      2. OK, yimster's taunting totally got me. I went to check out the take out dim sum options today.

        The dumplings are large and sloppy-looking, but the fillings taste good (and they aren't greasy the way Tao Yuen's are). I had har gaw, shiu mai, a leek filled dumpling, an enormous dumpling filled with some sort of spicy filling, and a "pork bun" that had egg yolk, Chinese sausage, and bits of sweet pork in a brown gravy. $2.50 for the bunch.
        Current Oakland Chinatown takeout dim sum rankings:
        1) Delicious Food Co
        2) Napolean
        3) Big Dish
        4) Tao Yuen
        5) Sun Sing
        6) Sum Yee

        Most recent comprehensive Oakland Chinatown dim sum thread:

        5 Replies
        1. re: daveena

          Yes, I agree the dumpling was sloppy and the skin was too thick. But I will hold out hope and would return since the price is right. It may get better since I not sure how long they have had dim sum.

          Sorry I'm a west bay kind of guy.

          But the bay has you and oakjoan and the picnic will be in the East Bay again. I not sure if I will be safe from oakjoan.

          Thanks for you list. I had a list for San Francisco but have not found a place where every type of dim sum is the best. So I have to go to at three place to meet my dim sum fix and if I want bows I have to meet five stop. So much food and so little time.

          I know of all expect Big Dish were is that place located.


          1. re: yimster

            Big Dish is on 9th between Webster and Harrison. Here's a couple of pictures of their offerings during the street festival last summer:

            1. re: Xiao Yang

              Second pic (muffed it the first time). I like the size of the wu gok!

            2. re: yimster

              My rankings are definitely based on general gstaldt + the bakeries' best item, and not an item-by-item comparison... the only item I've had that I think could be competitive with similar items from a good sit-down dim sum place is DFC's hargaw. The next three on the list have certain items that I liked (the leek dumpling and the massive dumpling with spicy filling at Napolean, the leek cake at Big Dish, the rice roll at Tao Yuen), and the last two didn't have anything that I'd recommend.

              1. re: yimster


                Hey, how can I be out to get yimster when he pointed me to a good place to get char shiu when my old stand-by started adding 3 cups of star anise to each batch and New Gold Medal started dying theirs bright pink.

            3. Curse you yimster!!!! East Bayers Scooped again!

              1. I have another update. I was in Chinatown last week and wanted to get a soy chicken and some char siu. I usually get this stuff at the small restaurant/take-out place on the south east corner of 9th and Webster. I have never known its name, but the quality of the chicken and pork has always been very good. Until recently. The last 3 times I got char siu there it was overpoweringly flavored with star anise. That's something I REALLY HATE and the reason I have shied away from Vietnamese food.

                Anyway, that's not the criticism. I decided to try New Gold Medal. Our Chowlunch there several years ago had been very good. I ordered a soy chicken and chose a nicely plump piece of char siu. Imagine my horror when I tried a piece (while driving home of course) and found it to be almost inedible. Although the meat was juicy and perfectly cooked, the glaze tasted like Hawaiian Punch. It was ULTRA pink and synthetic-tasting.

                Has anybody else found their char siu an abomination or was it just a fluke.

                I'd also like to solicit recs for good char siu in Oakland.

                14 Replies
                1. re: oakjoan

                  Hey, not sure if I should help since I feel I can not cross the bridge again.

                  But here is another place with excellent Chinese BBQ.
                  Gum Kuo Restaurant 182 9th St in the mall/parking lot. You would enter from the Franklin side and it is the first one on the left.

                  But I got the place D&A moved into wrong. But I did spot both first time thur town.

                  1. re: yimster

                    Is that the mall with Peony in it?

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      yes, enter thru the doors by the BofA ATMs

                      1. re: kc72

                        That is the entrance I was think of. There are two BBQ places one is run by Peony but I like Gum Kuo better. The food is more to my taste and cheaper than the one run by Peony.

                        Not bad for a west bay boy.

                  2. re: oakjoan

                    I hear Gum Wah on 9th/Webster is one of the best for char siu.

                    1. re: DezzerSF

                      I've been disappointed in Gum Kuo lately. A friends told me that Gum Wah and Gum Kuo shared an owner until recently, so I'm wondering if the split accounts for the decline in Gum Kuo's quality. I've decided to do Gum Wah exclusively now.

                      1. re: PegS

                        Thanks for the update. Have not been to Gum Kuo for a while but it was good the last time I went but to think back it been at least a year.

                        Normally I pick my Chinese BBQ in San Francisco. The west bay Chinatowns have a bigger selection.

                        1. re: PegS

                          Hmm... I go to Gum Kuo quite a lot, and on some recent visits, I've found their duck to be so fatty and had many feather stubs on them that I was afraid to try them. However, their congee seems to be consistent over the past year or two. Does Gum Wah also serve congee??

                          1. re: liujenny

                            You know I think Gum Wah does congee as well, although I've never tried it there. I always stick with wonton mein and "jeen mein". I didn't know about the relationship with Gum Kuo, but yes Gum Kuo's congee has always been good.

                        2. re: DezzerSF

                          Is this the Gum Wah on 8th and Webster? Between Delicious Food and the new D&A?

                          The link posted below references that one.

                          They used to have some good won ton mein.

                          1. re: kc72

                            Oops, yes 8th/Webster. Is the won ton mein not good anymore? Or have you just not been there in a while?

                            1. re: DezzerSF

                              Haven't had it there in yrs... had a bowl at Gold Medal a few months ago and it was just ok. The order of chinese donut wrapped w/ the rice roll was ok also -- w/o green onions and dried shrimp.

                              1. re: kc72

                                have been at both Gold Medal & Gum Kuo over the past few weeks. Congee is definitely better @ Gum Kuo (in the Plaza). The shrimp rice rolls are also best there. I think the quality of the rice roll itself @ this spot are better than most other places in general...

                          2. re: DezzerSF

                            Gum Wah used to be my favorite, but lately they've been adding extra star anise and I really hate that. Their soy chickens are still good, though.

                        3. links

                          Napoleon Super Bakery
                          810 Franklin St, Oakland, CA

                          Gum Kuo Restaurant
                          388 9th St, Oakland, CA 94607

                          Gum Wah
                          345 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607