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Mar 8, 2012 08:27 AM

Best sweet and sour pork - Oakland/Berkeley

A friend just had knee surgery and I offered to bring over lunch. Her first choice is sweet and sour pork. I have to admit that I love it too but rarely get it. Would love any suggestions. Super bonus points if there is a place that uses Niman or other better quality pork. Thanks much.

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  1. Kirin's is a good bet. I haven't had that but they do a much better than average job with Chinese-American classics.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Thanks Robert. I see they have Cherry Pork - I've had that at Shen Hua - a more adult version of Sweet and Sour. I noticed the owner and chef is Phillip Chu. Might be a common name but he is the person who used to cook at Nan Yang - since he stopped cooking their food has really taken a dive. Often inedible. Do you know if this is the same person? If so he is an amazing chef, especially creative with vegetarian dishes.

      1. re: fruti

        Shen Hua was the one I was thinking of. I guess that Chu family has at least four places now, there's also Chu in Rockridge and Ching Hua in Alameda.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Interesting. While I mostly like the food at Shen Hua and Chu I found the service downright haughty on several ocassions. Thanks for the info.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Also one of their sons has/had a Burmese restaurant in the Castro - not sure if it is still there and another son has an ice cream store in Walnut Creek or Concord.

          2. re: fruti

            Phillip Chu was the owner on Nan Yang when it was in Oakland Ctown and then when they moved to Rockridge. I got to know him when I used to go to the Ctown restaurant twice every other week when editting the Laney newspaper. Don't know when he was actually cooking, but he told me that he had to upscale the menu when they migrated to Rockridge. No more Curry Chicken Noodle Soup or Hainan Chicken! He is a nice guy. He turned me onto Gum Wah and actually paid for my order there once.

            1. re: chocolatetartguy

              I thought I was the only one who remembered the CTown Nan Yang. The curry chicken noodle soup was sublime -- the version that he put on the menu at Rockridge is not as good. I mostly miss the Thai garlic noodles -- again, the version on the menu at Rockridge is different. I had the Thai garlic noodles at the Alameda Burma Super Star recently and they were actually closer (but still not very close) to the CTown Nan Yang version than the Rockridge Nan Yang version.

              Ah, sweet and sour pork ... I got nothing.

        2. I thought the Op (and I ) was interested in where to get great SSP in the Eastbay?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mission

            Yes, the conversation strayed.

            I ended up going to Ark in Alameda and the SSP was only OK. I think they are more know for handmade noodles. When the friend is mobile we will try the cherry pork at one of Chu's restaurants.

            And btw Rockridge Nan Yang does still have the curry chicken noodle soup on the menu - at least the last time I was there.

            1. re: fruti

              Good to know. I gave up going there after it wasn't on the menu when they 1st opened.

          2. Daimo's Sweet and Sour is very tasty. I don't normally order this dish at Chinese, but their's is very nice, no red dye. Pork is fried crispy and stays so for some time; a starch coating rather than heavy breading. Pineapple and red and green bell pepper as the veg.

            1. It's a different dish (Shandong / Korean-Chinese rather than Cantonese), but the tang soo yook at Chef Yu's aka Yuyu Zazang is the best sweet and sour pork I've had. Though I prefer the chicken version.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I was gonna say that also, but it's been awhile. Isn't it beef?

                1. re: kc72

                  Ah, right you are. Prepared that way it's hard to tell. Gan poong ki is the chicken version. They also have sweet & sour pork on the Chinese-American side of the menu.


                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    King Yen on College in the Elmwood used to make a very good Sweet and Sour Pork.

                    But they seem to have changed a couple years ago?

                    Prices are now crazy high (I ordered 4 items to go and it cost me $56 bucks) ,smaller portions and they seemed to try and emulate some of Shen Hua style of cooking.

                    Loved them when they were just a higher end, really well done Americanized Chinese place.