Dinner for 20 in Oakland Chinatown
My partner and I are planning to have a dinner for 20 of our friends/family members next month and after encountering some difficulty finding a place that would accommodate all of us without a serious per person minimum, we thought it might be nice and easier to do it at one of the big dim sum restaurants in Oakland Chinatown. So, I guess my question has two parts: 1) do people have any thoughts about the best Chinese places in Oakland, and 2) are there any places where you've had particularly good experiences with big groups?
I guess you have to define "best", best price, best all together, best for a group of 20, etc.
Any place that can accommodate that number and is good is going to require some kind of per/person or set banquet menu pick. It's standard for any place that has large facilities, Chinese or not. To reserve 20 seats at a busy place (dim sum or otherwise) without a deposit just doesn't make much sense.
That said, you could do a drop in and see what happens.
Some of the usual suspects in Oakland Chinatown are:
708 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607
388 9th St Ste 288, Oakland, CA 94607
327 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607
New Gold Medal has an upstairs dining area, normally empty at dinner time.
We've had a great time there, with one table for twelve people. They have about ten such tables.
It's not as upscale as Peony or Legendary Palace, but the staff are very friendly and accommodating. Plus, you can get dinner for about $16 per person if you choose well, and there's little or no corkage fee.
New Gold Medal
389 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607
New Oakland Seafood Restaurant, at 10th and Harrison, is an overlooked gem. Their food is consistently clean-tasting and delicious. I have purchased a banquet there and was well pleased. The owner speaks English well enough for you to have a conversation with him. He is a nice guy. It's my favorite joint in Chinatown.
OP didn't specify a private room. Most Chinese restaurants larger than a hole in the wall can seat 20 at two round tables for ten.
East Ocean in Alameda is a good suggestion, though. The food is good, the atmosphere is elegant and the management speaks fluent English. They'll work with your budget.
re: Ruth Lafler
New Oakland does indeed have a private room. It's upstairs.
As to the thread about it, all I can say is: that hasn't been my experience.
For my banquet for 8, I told the owner that I wanted to spend $300 including tip and we went from there. I requested geoduck two ways and live shrimp. The whole fish was not live, which was a good way to save some money. We didn't have Peking spareribs, as nobody really wanted them. We had chicken stuffed with sticky rice, which was pretty good.
The food at New Oakland is not often spectacular, but it is always been impeccably simple and fresh.
Oh yeah, my wife and I have had a dish there, twice, it's called crab with preserved egg or something. It's crab deepfried with an unbelievably savory batter that must contain not salted eggs but the other ones, can't remember the name. The batter adds an exotic overtone to the sweet crab. It's a dynamite dish.