Monday, February 18, 2008

Great China

2115 Kittredge (between Shattuck & Oxford)
(510) 843-7996

Northern Chinese (Szechuan) in Berkeley

I've known about this place for a long time, and I have even gotten take-out (random veggies... I was hungry and in the area) during my college days without knowing what this place had to offer. There's a ridiculous wait, despite the 3 floors this place occupies. You can make reservations, and I'm glad we did. Thanks to my super yelper father, my family went here to try the peking duck it is popular for.

Why is this peking duck so lauded? Basically because they trim off the fat under the skin for you, and remove all the bones. This is perfect for the lazy (me) and the non-Chinese (stereotypically HM and afraid of getting down and dirty, which can also describe me). So was it as good as everyone praises it to be? Well, honestly, the only reason why I liked it so much was because it was so easy. If it had come normally (in bone and with fat), it wouldn't have been much different than your regular peking duck.

My mom agreed. She thinks that Mayflower in Milpitas is comparable, and that Mr. Fong's in Foster city is probably the best of the three, although the meat is fatty (Mr. Fong's is actually a roast duck).

Aside from the duck, we got some other dishes I have never seen before (nor had my parents). There was a "double skin" dish with the pea or whatever noodles (like vermicelli) and egg (the 2 "skins") mixed up with a bunch of other stuff. There was also a crab dish chock full of meat, but I had to hand over my portion to my sister because I could barely swallow my first bite. I hate ginger, and that's all I could taste. My aunt also didn't care for this dish. =P

So all in all, they have good duck, but not necessarily the best, although many people swear by it. My mom also said it probably depends on the duck, too, so who knows! I would probably go again because I like not having to work for my food (I don't like eat things with small bones, or shrimp still in their shells, etc).

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