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Oakland Chinatown Takeout Dim Sum Roundup 2009

Thought it was time to do an updated review of takeout dim sum in Oakland Chinatown – a lot of the opinions I expressed in this thread - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/435317 - are now outdated.

Out:
Delicious Food Company’s har gow – the wrappers have gotten soft to the point of gumminess, and the filling dominated by the flavor of bamboo shoot now.
Tao Yuen Pastry’s sticky rice wrapped in mantou dough – the last few times I’ve gotten this, the edges of the steamed bun wrapper have been hard

In:
Sun Sing’s baked char siu bao, and the rice noodle roll stuffed with fried dough, topped with green onion (currently my favorite takeout dimsum item in Chinatown). It’s seasoned enough that you don’t need any sauce, and the dough stays surprisingly crisp, considering it's not made to order.

Other items:
Delicious Food Company:
- shark fin dumpling – the top of the dumpling was dried out, filling was too salty
- siu mai – I haven’t had one in a while, but the last time I did, the filling was very salty
- pork and vegetable buns – a bit greasy, but good
- jook – I like their jook a lot.

Shan Dong (not technically a dim sum place, but their buns warrant a mention):
- steamed pork and vegetable buns are still great – giant pillowy things stuffed with seasoned ground pork

Sun Sing:
- taro croquette – really flavorful, almost mustardy tasting filling, studded with peanuts. Would have loved to have tried this hot.

I don’t plan on re-trying Sum Yee anytime soon, but I think it’s time to make the rounds to Napolean Super Bakery and Big Dish again. Anyone else have input? With these takeout places, it always takes a ton of trial and error to figure out what they’re good at.

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Tao Yuen Pastry
816 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

Sun Sing Pastry Dim Sum
382 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

Delicious Foods
734 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

Shan Dong Mandarin Restaurant
328 10th St, Oakland, CA 94607

Napoleon Super Bakery
810 Franklin St, Oakland, CA

Sum Yee Pastry
918 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

Big Dish
339 9th St, Oakland, CA

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  1. I miss the neighborhood a lot and I'm glad to know Delicious Food still makes tasty jook. I did notice the decline of their har gow though.

    Give the bo lo bao a shot at Wonder Foods bakery. I remember it being really good, especially hot out of the oven.

    1. I remember Delicious Foods jook from when I used to go there as a kid. Thanks for the reminder and the memories, I'll have to get there soon!

      1. I think the egg tarts at Ruby King deserve a mention. I like them better than the ones at Napoleon, and I believe they're cheaper too (at $0.50 a pop). Fresh out of the oven (which they often seem to be, since there's pretty high turnover), they're tough to beat.

        Admittedly, I only tried the egg tarts at Napoleon once and was unimpressed--thought the crust just wasn't as flaky--but maybe I need to give them another shot.

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        Ruby King Bakery Cafe
        718 Franklin St, Oakland, CA 94607

        1. Has any takeout har gow ever been 'in'? Poor skins and fillings that fall apart are sadly the norm.

          Sun Sing's fish fin dumpling (what you call shark fin dumpling) are decent.

          Tao Yuen's baked char siu bao are large and have had more onion than others, it's all a matter of taste. It might have a bit more cost value, but I'm not sure.

          Sun Sing's wu gok, which you accurately described as a taro croquette, benefits greatly from a reheating in a frying pan. It won't do anything for the 'beehive', but a decent amount of oil will render out after browning on two sides and the filling is much better hot. It's a great excuse to continue seasoning in a cast iron pan.

          2 Replies
          1. re: PorkButt

            Delicious Food Co. actually had pretty good har gaw for a while - at least on par with a decent sit-down dim sum place's har gaw. Most of the takeout ones I've tried have thick, tough, oily skins, and I appreciated that DFC's were more delicate. They've been going downhill for about a year, I think.

            Hmm... will have to get some of those wu gok and warm them up as you recommended. These were a lot more flavorful than ones I've had in the past - I think I had a few bad experiences with bland, oily ones when I was a kid and I usually avoid them, but something about Sun Sing's was calling me.

            Adding a link for Wonder Foods for DezzerSF:

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            Wonder Food Bakery
            340 9th St, Oakland, CA

            1. re: PorkButt

              I got some takeout from Tao Yuen this last Sunday and the har gow in particular made me think of how great the takeout har gow from Ranch 99 (Richmond) actually was in hindsight - sweet, plump filling & smooth, light skins. TY's filling was ok, but the skins were just thick and gummy and flabby. It actually made me a little sad because I have so many great memories from that place.

              However, I did like their baked char siu bao (as well). Distinct sweet onion and rice wine flavor.

            2. Well, not sure if I can post my two cents since oakjoan does not like the yimster lucking in the East Bay.

              But no one place has the best of everything. So you have to cherry pick.

              Best baked pork buns is Sun Sing .

              They also have a deep fried shrimp dumpling with pieces of won ton skins which I like.

              For steamed dim sum I flavor the har gow and sai mei at Napolean. Besides they have a Mango cake to die for.

              As I try more I will report back.

              I still waiting for a won ton soup report D.

              With that said I will have to plan my visit soon since it maybe safe for me to visit Oakland since I know oakjoan is not out there watching. :>)