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Restaurants & Bars 6

New Gold Medal, Oakland Chinatown: first report

Joel Teller | Nov 5, 200506:37 PM

Four of us went to the New Gold Medal in Oakland Chinatown Friday night.

This is the location of the former Sun Hong Kong. The "old" Gold Medal was a few doors down the street, and closed a few months ago -- apparently the building was sold/being rebuilt/earthquake retrofitted. The previous owner of Gold Medal bought this place, as reported earlier on ChowHound. Good new for chow-owls: They are retaining the hours of operation from the old SHK: 8AM to 3AM daily. That's surprising because the old GM closed at 8PM.

This was only the second night they were open, so the service was a bit haphazard. But we did get exactly what we ordered. The place is loud because of the tile floors and hard surfaces, and there was one particularly raucous table in the back -- when they left, things quieted down. The tables are spaced further apart than in the old GM.

The menu for barbecue/noodles/jook/ rice plates remains the same as the old Gold Medal (won-ton soup, $3.95, etc.). The hanging items in the front window, and in the take-out area, are the same as the old GM. The "dinner" menus are left over from the Sun Hong Kong, but the waiter mentioned that the kitchen would cook anything we wanted. No sign of the special $5 items from the old GM, and so far the walls are devoid of postings.

We did not recognize any of the waitstaff from the old GM. We smiled when they brought us forks instead of chopsticks. Interesting how the demeanor of the waiter and busboy changed when my wife spoke to them in Mandarin. The lady duck-surgeon behind the barbecue counter was a holdover from the old place, and she gave us a wave of recognition. I don't know if the cooks were the same, but the food tasted the same.

On to the food: We started with an order of roast duck ($5.50), another of soy-sauce chicken ($5.00). Both were especially succulent (best I've had) and we finished them up quickly. Also we had barbecued chicken livers, which were done very nicely -- well-cooked and caramelized but not dry. Then we had seafood chow mein (crispy-style, tasty but light on the seafood; $6.95), mustard greens in garlic sauce (bright green and crunchy), clay-pot oysters with roast pig (salty and succulent), and clay-pot eggplant (we ordered it meat-free). The total bill was about $55 before the tip, as I recall. We took home four boxes of leftovers.

A note on their wine policy: On the one hand, there's no corkage fee. On the other hand, you have to bring your own wine, your own wineglasses, your own corkscrew. You have to open the wine yourself and pour it yourself. We opened several bottles and left the half-full bottles with the waiter. They are applying for a liquor license so they do not yet serve wine or beer.

New Gold Medal
389 8th Street (between Webster and Franklin)
Oakland 94607
(510) 465-1940

Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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