Having thoroughly explored the duck noodle soup options in Oakland’s Chinatown (or at least tried all the places with a duck hanging in the window), daveena has concluded that the best of the bunch is Gum Wah.
Tender duck meat that comes easily off the bone with no fat; springy, skinny wheat noodles; and broth that tastes “like it came from roasted duck carcasses” makes this place a winner for daveena.
Ying Kee Noodle House is a runner-up thanks to its tender duck with a little fat, slightly soft noodles, and rich broth that tastes like a chicken-duck combo. You can get veggies as an add-in; the noodles are also extra. The whole roast duck, though, is awfully salty.
At New Gold Medal, daveena had duck that was “flavorful but tough.” The skinny wheat noodles had great texture, and daveena also liked the home-style scrambled eggs with bitter melon: “The squash was barely bitter, super silky, really delicious.”
Gum Kuo is “wildly inconsistent, even within a single bowl,” reports daveena. But the noodles are good, and the chicken-duck broth is fairly rich.
The duck at Café 88 has a strong star anise flavor, but is slightly tough. It’s served separately from the excellent broth and noodles. Rice vermicelli is standard here, and wheat noodles are an option, although daveena reports receiving a “fairly skimpy portion” on one visit.
Gum Wah [East Bay]
345 Eighth Street, Oakland
Ying Kee Noodle House [East Bay]
387 Ninth Street, Oakland
New Gold Medal [East Bay]
389 Eighth Street, Oakland
Gum Kuo [East Bay]
388 Ninth Street #182, Oakland
Café 88 [East Bay]
388 Ninth Street #181, Oakland