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Oakland Chinatown Lunch report: Gold Medal

Joel Teller | Jul 13, 200406:01 PM

Six intrepid eaters (Chowfun, SusanC, Lisa, Cynthia, Susan B and I) had a protein-based lunch at Gold Medal today (Tuesday July 13). Except for the rice dish, Dr Atkins would have approved.

We started with a number of dishes from the "front" of the restaurant, the scene of a seemingly endless stream of people getting takeout items. From time to time a freshly cooked "hookload" of a dozen roast ducks would be carried up from the back.

We had these dishes ($5 each):
barbecued chicken livers (this was the only "innards" dish we ordered)
soy sauce pork tongue (according to Susan B, this is in the "out-ards" category, as distinct from innards)
soy sauce chicken (half a chicken for $5)
roast duck

Then we spotted a freshly cooked whole roast pig carried to the front. We ordered a plate of it, specifying (on my anatomy) the precise place from which we wanted the slices taken. During lunch we watched the pig get whittled down into a small chunk, as people ordered it to go. Later on we saw a deliveryman carrying in two huge uncooked pigs.

Then we had some items from the kitchen in the back. We had a dish often available in a Dim Sum place, steamed rice noodles with a savory and sweet soy sauce over them. We had two varieties: with mushrooms and Chinese chives, and another with "dry vegetables". They are about $3 each.

In a small nod to nutrition, we had a green vegetable dish: stir-fried Chinese broccoli with preserved pork (this also had some Chinese sausage in it); $5.

I had advanced-ordered a rice claypot with chicken and sausage; it takes about 25 minutes. In this dish, a huge claypot (four quarts, I'd say) is loaded with uncooked rice, topped with boneless chicken (you can also get chicken pieces with bones), chinese sausage, and black mushrooms. In the cooking process the juices from the chicken and sausage seep down into the rice, flavoring it. A chewy, crunchy crust is formed at the bottom. At $10.75, this is one of the more expensive dishes on the menu (well, it's not really on the menu, it's on a wall poster in Chinese) but as Lisa said it would feed a family of four.

The total cost was $50.32, and we paid $10 each to leave a nice tip. There was a bunch of food left over, including a huge amount of rice, all of which is now in my refrigerator -- another couple of meals, perhaps.

The service was very pleasant but I am a "regular" there, so they are happy to see me. I get the feeling the staff are pleasant people; their English is quite good, considering almost all the patrons are Chinese.

Marc W, the originator of this Oakland Lunch series, was not present, so we did not decide on the next time and place. I suggest next Tuesday, July 20. Some places mentioned were:
Battambang (Cambodian, on Broadway between 8th an 9th) -- but Cynthia suggested it, and she won't be available next week.
Shanghai (on Webster, between 9th and 10th) -- this is a small place, though, with only one large table. Not to be confused with Shanghai Wang on Franklin.
A note from Yimster: "either Ying Kee or the Shanghai place. I [Yimster] would like to save Shang Dong until Lillian gets back in August. She knows this place better than most, so she would be a real asset. "

However, since Marc and SusanC work closer to the 18th street end, perhaps they have some other preferences. I'd be happy to do the "Evite" thing if someone else wants to be the "host" on the 20th. You can email me at the address above if you want to be added to the Oakland lunch series list.

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

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