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Monday, November 17, 2008

Gum Kuo Restaurant (Oakland)

After buzzing on all that fancy food at the Fabulous Food Festival in San Francisco, we were ready for some good old, homey Chinese food.  Besides, Annie wanted to pick up some fresh noodles, won ton and sui gow skins from Yuen Hop Noodle Factory in Oakland (that's for another post or two...).  So we drove across the Bay Bridge to Oakland Chinatown.

After picking up the fresh noodles and skins, we drove into the big Asian mall complex at 9th and Franklin.  On the ground level, in the breezeway on the Franklin Street side of the complex is Gum Kuo Restaurant.

Gum Kuo Restaurant (Oakland Chinatown)

Gum Kuo Restaurant (Oakland Chinatown)

A friend recommended this place to us a couple of years back. We hardly know anything about Oakland Chinatown, except that it is every bit as bustling as San Francisco, without all the tourists.  Most people go to Restaurant Peony, located on the second floor of the complex, for dim sum and Chinese banquets.  But people in the know go to Gum Kuo for some of the best won ton noodle soup this side of the Bay.  Everytime we come to Oakland, we stop in for a fix.

What makes their won ton noodle soup so good? Firstly, it's the won tons. They don't skimp on the shrimp!  No plain old pork-filled dumplings here.  They are very generous with the shrimp, and it makes for a savory dumpling packed with sweet, crunchy shrimp.

Won Ton Noodle Soup from Gum Kuo (Oakland)

Won Ton Noodle Soup from Gum Kuo (Oakland)

It's also about the noodles.  Their noodles are thin, Hong-Kong style noodles that aren't overboiled. They still have great chew and spring to them.   I wonder if they get their noodles fresh from Yuen Hop?

I got the stewed beef brisket and won ton noodle soup.  The brisket has been simmering in broth for hours, making it very, very tender. And all that delicious beefy flavor just makes the broth so sweet.  Put a little hot chili and oil in there, and you're in heaven!  The only thing I wish they'd add would be more choi (green vegetable).

Stewed Beef Brisket and Won Ton Noodle Soup from Gum Kuo (Oakland)

Stewed Beef Brisket and Won Ton Noodle Soup from Gum Kuo (Oakland)

Like many Chinese restaurants, they have a selection of roasted meats hanging in the front window.  There were lots of people standing in line to get some char siu, roast chicken, or roast duck to take home.  After we finished our meal, Annie bought some of the roast duck heads (4 for a $1!) to take home.

Why? Well, that's for another post of course...

Aloha, Nate


View Larger Map

Hungry for more Chinese Eating Out? Click below:

East Lake (San Jose) Again

Dim Sum @ Dynasty Restaurant (San Jose)

East Ocean Restaurant (Alameda)

Hong Kong Saigon Seafood Restaurant (Sunnyvale)

Joy Luck Place (Cupertino)

6 Comments:

Jennie said...

That bowl of won ton mei looks fantastic! *drools*

Robert said...

I love those small places in Oakland Chinatown, been eating at em for years. Now I can go try this one, that photo of the won ton soup is killer tempting.

CUMI & CIKI said...

man i remember the mega size wantan mee portions in the UK! though different than asia, they have their own unique, addictive, meaty, 'eat till you drop', taste! lol.. your photos just brought that all back... hmmm, me thinks its time for a holiday... mwahaha! can't wait to see what you did with the heads (of the ducks) ;P

shavedicesundays said...

Sigh...miss Oakland Chinatown. We use to live across the bridge in Alameda and would head over there pretty much every weekend. They have some great shark fin dumplings which I can't find anywhere around in SoCal. Never tried this place though, and I wish I knew about it back then.

Jenster said...

Those won tons look beautiful. I agree about the shrimp -- It can make or break the wonton. The skins look good, too: thick enough to hold in the fillings but not too thick to make the won tons too chewy.

Now you have me hungry again.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Jennie - thanks!

@Robert - oh, I was sure you'd have eaten there by now. Well, glad to know that there's always something new to discover. Where else do you recommend in OC (Oakland Chinatown)?

@Cumi & Ciki - duck head dish coming soon ;-)

@shavedicesundays - Wow, you used to live in Alameda? Nice place!

@Jenster - our pleasure! ;-)