i barted over to oakland today to explore chinatown. it was a pretty blind tour, since my computer was down and i didn't know where i was going. walked around for a bit and almost hit up spices!3 and shandong restaurant before walking into new gold medal. i don't know why i ordered what i did. i really wanted roast duck wonton noodle soup, especially since the hanging meats at the front counter looked so enticing. but i ended up ordering...what i think was called on the menu "won mein crab soup." it got my attention. i ended up with a huge bowl of thickened soup with egg white flower floating amidst a negligible amount of crab meat. i think snow crab legs. came with wiry wonton noodles and a super generous scattering of minced yellow chives. i accidentally poured too much ground white pepper into the bowl. i wasn't that into it, but i think if i had stuck with my initial wish for roast duck wonton noodles, i would have a been a happy slurpee.
picked up some fresh noodles at yuen hop noodle co. as well as some pea shoots and steamed red bean buns, and nearly passed by shanghai. i was looking for it earlier. both new gold medal and shanghai restaurant have been talked over quite a bit, but not so much in the past few years, so hence this update. i just wanted to try the xlb. place was deserted when i got there, at about 4PM. luckily i have somehow managed to commit to memory the chinese characters for "shanghai" and "xiao long bao,"(or at least xiao long. or long, as in dragon?) because the english menu is a bit unclear. lots of "shanghai" style dumplings and buns.
the very sleepy man who was the lone person in the restaurant roused himself with some difficulty from his table to hand me two different menus. i found the xlb and ordered. he muttered, "it takes 10 minutes to steam them." i paused and offered, "that's just fine." then he stared at me and yawned, "they have pork." I paused again and said, "well...good. i...expect them to?" gruff service aside, i noted a man and woman in the corridor leading to the bathroon stuffing another type of dumpling, not the xlb. the kind that are boiled, i think...?
my order came and two or three of the eight (?) had no broth, but the rest did, and the flavor of the broth and meat stuffing was better than my last round of xlb at bund shanghai, which i find rather bland and one dimensional. porky without finesse. i don't know. i'm not quite there yet on having strong opinions about the thickness of the wrappers, etc. i am planning on returning to both shanghai and new gold medal, this time for the duck wonton noodles. can't figure why i've taken so long to go to oakland's chinatown. it's close to me, BART wise, and i don't have to abide the tourists on grant or the swarms on stockton.
the noodles i bought from yuen hop noodle co. were pretty tasty. no chemical ickyness. went well with a broth made from a smoked willie bird duck carcass and pea greens for dinner. and a bag of steamed red bean paste buns is taking me back to before i was even born. as in... well i adopted my mother's craving for them. like em better in donut form, if anyone has a suggestion for a good version!
all the threads i found about these places are fairly old. any other recent experiences?
930 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607
New Gold Medal
389 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607
824 Webster St, Oakland, CA