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Feb 8, 2012 08:59 AM

Alternatives to Great China?

I'm wondering where folks are going in the downtown/south Berkeley area -- or College Avenue in Oakland -- for good Chinese food since the fire at Great China. We're looking for a place to have dinner Friday nite before an event.

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  1. Sun Hong Kong (2439 Durant). Kind of divey looking but the chef is first-rate, you can eat really well.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      I have to second Sun Hong Kong located in the bottom floor of the ultra-divy Kipps. We went last year when they first opened up and we were not impressed with the typical cheap Cantonese/Americanized dishes. We found out later it was the same owners as the SHK that used to be open late on Shattuck during my student days, so we thought we would give them another try. This time we stuck to the Chef's Specialty Menu and were much much happier. Probably the best spicy (ask for extra spicy) Chinese chicken curry I have ever had.

      Just be sure to stay away from the American side of the menu, as I believe the food is provided by Kipps.

      1. re: Civil Bear

        kipps and sun hong kong are owned by the same people.

        1. re: shanghaikid

          Ah, so would I be correct in assuming the SHK folks bought out Kipps?

      2. re: Robert Lauriston

        okee dokee. will give SHK a try.
        I used to go there when they were on Shattuck and opened late, as you did, Civil Bear.

        1. re: escargot3

          Sun Hong Kong was nothing special until the current chef, Bill Siu, took over in the middle of last year.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Thanks. I didn't know that. I look forward to tipping thru the menu.

            1. re: escargot3

              If there is any relation to Sun Hong Kong that was on Shattuck, I recommend the BBQ Pork Noodle Soup With Extra Vegitable. Wontons in the same soup were good too.

              1. re: bbulkow

                Could the change to Master Chef Bill Siu make a change in that item, better/worse/different.

            2. re: Robert Lauriston

              IMO, still nothing special. Ordered 3 items from from Chef's Specialty Menu and nothing was special. Found food to be overly oily. Asked about lobsters and crabs, wait person says they are pre-ordered items. Items on Chef's Specialty Menu are not particularly cheap either. Including T&T bill was close to 40. Charges 10 bucks for a typical free soup found in most Chinese restaurants in the bay area.

              1. re: intomeat

                I would be interested in what you tried. I went back again and ordered three more dishes off the chaf's menu:
                -Soy Sauce Prawns - excellent!
                -Black pepper beef - better than most
                -Sweet & spicy chicken wings - better than San Tung

                I was also sure to ask if Chef Siu was working. The waiter asked if I heard about him on Chowhound.

                1. re: Civil Bear

                  - Fish "ball" with not so crispy fried fish skeleton. Frozen fish cooked overly oily with celery and carrots. The fish "balls" were okay.
                  - Gai lan with garlic, oily, again.
                  - some sort of fried tofu. run-of-the-mill, meh.

                  Wait person offered us a small bowl of the $10 soup gratis. Good, but nothing special. Also offered free mango colored ice cream for desert. No mango taste whatsoever.

        2. I haven't been to Da Lian since 2007, and from the archives, not many other Chowhounders have been either. I remember the lamb with pickled cabbage being very hearty and good.

          The last report was in 2008:

          1. I just returned from a 3 week vacation. What fire? I called to make an order to go and the message said they would reopen 4/15.

            1 Reply