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Mar 6, 2010 09:26 AM

Best place to buy char siu in East Bay?

Thoughts on the best place to buy char siu in Oakland or closeby? I have read mixed reviews of Sun Hing Meat Market, but am having trouble finding any other recommendations. Is Ranch 99 a good option?

thanks in advance!

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  1. A Chinese-American friend thinks Gum Wah is the best, but thinks that if you don't speak Chinese well they try to give you the less desirable parts, so you have to watch closely and argue if necessary.

    Gum Wah
    345 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Perfect. Thanks for the quick response!

      1. re: lamlex

        Better to find someone that speaks Cantonese. Mandarin doesn't cut it in many old Cantonese establishments, at least that's my experience in NY Chinatown for many years. They can understand me while I can only decipher about 50% of what they say. then they get impatient as if they were talking to the village idiot.

    2. I think Ranch 99 is perhaps the worst char siu in the Bay Area. Of course, I only shop at the Richmond store, and it may be a local thing. I thing the Chinese sausage factory that used to be on Grant avenue spoiled me. For a while Costco had big chunks of char siu, but it was pretty mediocre. I hope this post discloses some winners.

      1. Cafe 88 has good char siu too (as well as excellent roast suckling pig with crispy skin) - they usually have some English speaking staff working the registers. I don't speak Cantonese and have had some frustrating experiences with other customers cutting in front of me and ordering (the guy who does most of the cutting speaks only Cantonese, so people will give their orders directly to him while I'm waiting to speak to a Mandarin or English speaker).

        1 Reply
        1. re: daveena

          2nd cafe 88. they have the best char siu in chinatown. they follow an hong kong recipe.

        2. I went to Gum Wah and had no problem with the language barrier. There were two young people working who spoke good English, and they were both very nice. They asked me which piece I wanted, so if I didn't get good quality char siu, that's all on me.