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CHOWDOWN REPORT: Happy Golden Bowl in El Cerrito

Thanks to Hyperbowler for organizing...
I am somewhat of a "regular" at Golden Bowl. It has a very uneven history...one day it is amazing the next it is as if they had lost their chef and instead had one of the bus-boys cooking! This visit was very encouraging!!!

I too was at "the other table". Let me add my comments to Jefferson's.

Home chicken was very good with enough sichwan peeper to numb the palate as required. Still not as good as China Village (my gold standard).

Charred cabbage is a favorite of simplicity and satisfaction. This was excellent...just burnt enough.

Bean curd skin and cucumber. The first dish was inedible...but quickly replaced by a very acceptable version.

The fish filet soup was the one with a spicy broth and mung bean sprouts. It was excellent and spicy. Note that I still prefer the one with clear noodles which is less spicy and a bit sour. Try them both!!!

Duck with red dates...one of the best dishes!! great flavor of anise (a bit five spicyish).

The lamb may have been more welcome as an early appetizer...as it is it arrivedso late it was eaten AFTER the dessert...too late!

The other dishes were quite acceptable...and maybe even above average but not out of this world.

Nice meal for $20 per person...wonderful waitress! Helpful, friendly and gave us great recommendations. Would definiotely recommend...

Feb 03, 2013
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Dong Bei Mama Chowdown

Our table had the luck to order an amazing variety of dishes thanks to V...here is the list I wrote down:

Lamb dumplings, steamed
pork and shrimp dumplings, boiled
pork with preserved egg
cucumber with garlic, cold
head cheese of pork
smoked fish appetizer
pork shoulder
pork with salted egg
pork and bean sheet
pork bacon with sour cabbage soup
corn dumplings for the soup
pork liver
tripe with chilies
mung bean sheets (double skin)
chicken with potatoes
sweet and sour pork
cumin lamb
chung king chicken
mung bean thread

In short...for $23 we had a true banquet!!

Jun 17, 2011
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Chinese New Year Banquet at Saigon Harbor

Saturday February 5th a group of over 40 Chohounds met for a special Chinese New Year Banquet. It was a great opportunity to reconnect with some of our old friends and make some new ones!! People from all over the bay area attended proving once more that there are few endeavors more conducive to happiness and friendship than...good food!!!

I have to apologize for having to leave early because of personal reasons, but I truly enjoyed the early dishes and wonderful company. Here is a list of the dishes as I rercorded, but there may be some missing...so please chime in! Look aslso at the article in the Chron about chinese new year food...we pretty much covered all the main dishes mentioned.

BBQ Combination platter
Honey glazed walnut prawns
dry oyster with chinese seaweed
Black chicken ginseng soup (I did not want to serve sharkfin soup)
House special steamed chichen
pork with mushrroms and greens
dry scallops and black mushrooms
stir-fry crabs with ginger and scallions
steamed live fish
e-fu noodles
dessert

Thanks to all who attended and to Urmi for helping with the organizing...! Gung Chi Fat Choi!

Marlon

Feb 07, 2011
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowdown Report: Hakka Restaurant in San Francisco

It was well worth the trip to the very outer Richmond! We had a wonderful variety of dishes that were distinguished by freshness and a light touch. There were no misses and a few dishes were extra special: The arrowroot pork was true Hakka comfort food, the rice had a nice scallop taste without being overwhelming and the lily bulbs one of my favorites (ask for it without bell peppers though!).

Thanks to Melanie for organizing and to the other hounds that contributed much to the conversation about the food!

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Hakka Restaurant
4401 Cabrillo St, San Francisco, CA 94121

Feb 20, 2010
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowdown report for Anh Hong, Berkeley

I was pleasantly surprised with the food. My previous visits were very disappointing. It was a Korean restaurant serving second rate Vietnamese food! Not any more. The beef courses were very tasty, especially the Lot leaf beef. I also liked the rice soup at the end. Lots of greens!

We also got a lot of work done!

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Anh Hong
2067 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Oct 30, 2009
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

picnic help

Thanks melanie!

Sep 15, 2009
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

picnic help

Here is the posting with all the information!

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/652635

Sep 15, 2009
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

picnic help

You are not too late. The evite address to sign up for the picnic (and possible volunteer tasks) will be out shortly. We will post it both in the Yahoo groups and on this board. See you at the picnic!!!

Sep 15, 2009
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowing with the Hounds Picnic, 2008 Report.

and a few more!

Sep 28, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowing with the Hounds Picnic, 2008 Report.

early photos!

Sep 28, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowing with the Hounds Picnic, 2008 Report.

Thanks! its corrected now!!!

Sep 28, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Twice-cooked pork?

Great China in Berkeley and Grand Szechwan in Richmond both have very nice versions...the latter is more authentic but the former is to "die for"!

Sep 28, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowing with the Hounds Picnic, 2008 Report.

Once more the picnic gods gave us a perfect day in an idyllic setting in Laurel park, with truly amazing food (in vast quantities!), fun activities and, of course, wonderful company.

Attendance by about 65 hounds was about the same as last years’. The organizing committee and a group of volunteers set up 8 tables of food and beverages that were collapsing with the weight of delicacies from around the world and the Bay area. Links for photos and descriptions will be provided. We also hope for recipes if possible (some, we are told, are secret family recipes).

At some points we had three or more activities taking place at the same time. Food, beer tasting, chicken salad competitions…yet there was time for people to relax and even take naps in the shade. The smell of the California Laurel trees was wonderful.

The beer tasting consisted of 20 (or more) beers in several categories. We heard explanations for the taste and brewing techniques. It was truly a tasting course!

The Chicken salad throw down pitted two board veterans, Oakjoan and yimster, in an oriental version of chicken salad. The first was a 1960’s recipe that combined oriental ingredients for a remarkable contemporary taste, the second a cornucopia of ingredients such as baboo roots, jellyfish, noodles and preserved duck eggs. And yes, it was a tie!!! 4.8 out of five. Why not 5? Because only my mother’s chicken salad gets a 5!!!

By the time we left at 4:00, most participants were vowing not to eat again for at least a week! (I could barely muster some tamal leftovers and chicken salad for dinner).

I wish to thank my fellow committee members for their support and help in making the picnic possible. Urmi, Cece, Susan, thanks! Also thanks to the “chicken salad iron chefs” oakjoan and Yimster. And of course to thewonderful people who brought us the beer tasting event.

We hope that next year the picnic will be as successful as this year, and that more people are able to attend what is rapidly becoming a great tradition for the Bay area food community.

marlon

Links and reports on the http://www.chowingwiththehounds.com website will be forthcoming.

Sep 28, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Picnic Tomorrow!!!!

If you have not yet registered...it is not too late! Pay at the door and bring a dish...
http://www.evite.com/app/publicUrl/FT...

marlon

Sep 26, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Chowing with the Hounds 2008 Picnic September 27th

September 27th, 2008. 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Our eighth picnic will take place in Tilden Regional Park in the East Bay (Laurel Picnic Area) in a celebration of Food, Camaraderie and Fun. This year a Beer Tasting event! Try to identify 20 locally made brews!!!

Also cook-off for a Chicken Salad dish by some VERY special chefs!

We recommend registering as soon as possible since space is limited.

You can join the fun by registering through Evite at:

http://www.evite.com/app/publicUrl/FT...

For any questions you can email marlon at:

chowpicnic@att.net

Aug 29, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

A trip to France at Rendez-Vous

Last night we went to dinner at Rendez-Vous on Solano near San Pablo in Albany. I was expecting the usual overdone French fare...instead we were pleasantly surprised with fresh simple bistro food. And affordable!

Moules mariniere were so good I ate the garlicky roth like a soup!
The fried artichokes has an amazing pesto sauce.
The Daube was soft and with wonderful mashed potatoes
Pork chop was just right with the best cheese grits I have had since my visit to New Orleans...and great greens with bacon.
Boullabaise looked and smelled great (I am allergic so did not taste but friend loved it)
The soup was a bit too creamy for me...

Hope others try it. Bon-appetit!

marlon

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Rendez-Vous Cafe Bistro
1111 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

Jul 12, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Blenheim apricots available

Today at the Temescal market...bought three pounds...ate three pounds! I recommend limiting yourself to less than two pounds per sitting...they were exquisite...

Jun 22, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Great Szechwan Chowdown

23 commited Hounds took a few hours off to enjoy a meal at Great Szechwan in Richmond (in the Ranch 99 complex). The company was great as well as the food...
I am leaving for NY in a very few hours so I wanted to post a link to the pictures before flying off for 5 days (that is 23 meals?)

Hopefully others, especially Yimster, will fill in details. I will give my oppinion in a few days.

One thing I want to say is that the Taro Chicken was not the one we had expected, but on second thought it was better than the old version (taro or not!). Star anis, cardamom, bay leaves, chili oil...wow!

Enjoy!

Marlon

http://flickr.com/photos/maus1/sets/7...

Jun 22, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Sunny Shanghai

A group of hounds attended a lunch at Sunny Shanghai in San Bruno...a true find! The chef made several special dishes pre-ordered for us (beggars chicken wrapped in Lotus Leaf), but most were from the regular menu and truly exceptional. Some were challenging (the flower kidneys and the fish head soup...also take a look at the dessert, or is the dessert looking at you?)

I will post photos and a link, the others will list the names of the dishes.

My favorite was the chicken, but the shanghai rice and the rice cakes were perfectly cooked. The rice had a burnt bottom which I love...

marlon

http://www.flickr.com/photos/maus1/se...

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Sunny Shanghai
189 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066

Jun 12, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum at Tin's Tea House in Walnut Creek

A group of 13 hounds met at Tin's Teahouse in Walnut Creek for a banquet of Dim Sum. Several special dishes were ordered in advance by the Yimster...

I am posting the pictures and hope others will fill in the blanks of what we consumed. I will give my opinion later.

complete set of pictures: http://flickr.com/photos/maus1/sets/7...

Hint, the fish in a pot was the highlight of the meal!

enjoy,

Marlon

Jun 11, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

New korean restaurant in Oakland

Casserole House is a new place on telegraph (#4301, next to Sahn Maru).

We tried it when we were actually going to our favorite place next door.

We had the Sam Gae Tang, Ginseng Chicken) which was perfect for two. They use the very small chickens filled with glutinous rice. It was a very nice version.

The Spicy pork was a bit sweet but perfectly cooked. They also have a larger version with lettuce wraps...

Unfortunately I could not order a casserole because we were only two! They looked amazing on the other tables, especially the Black goat which was very different than the one at Sura or Sahn Maru.

The pancakes were a bit oily but had a very satisfying feel.

The owner sat with us for a while to talk about some nice Korean SPAs in the area! She was very friendly telling us about growing up in Seoul.

Hope others can try and post their opinion.

May 22, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

South India Trip Report - Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Amazing! They look just like the dishes served by Saravana Bhavan in NY!!! Thanks for the wonderful postings...I look forward to using the info on my next trip to India.

May 08, 2008
marlon in India & South Asia

The Chef from China Village has been found.

It was a great surprise to find that the ex-chef had moved here. China Village remains a great place, but Great Szechuan has a very different menu!

We had the Taro chicken, Ribs wrapped in lotus leaf, Hot chillli fish soup (AKA soup of death!), Fish with pinenuts (ordered by mistake...we wanted the fish with black beans), Clams withbean sauce, Greens with fermented tofu, sesame bread and scallion pancakes.

Each dish was unique and had a wonderful combination of tastes. Only the pinenut fish was on the bland side but still perfectly cooked. Not dry or oily...

It is great to have one more choice!

marlon

Apr 12, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Locally Available Hot Chocolate Powder?

Since I use soy milk to make my hot chocolate I find that bittersweet (either classic or the bittersweet) are the best ones in terms of depth...they are also amazing iced!!!!

Mar 29, 2008
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Albany - Renee's Place – Organic Chinese food & brown rice

We were there a couple months ago. The service was wonderful. They came by several times and told us about their great ingredients. The food was excellent...just not what I am used to having in "real" chinese restaurants. It had the feeling of a good chinese cook modifying the recipes for more western palates...still, I would easily go again.

Oct 23, 2007
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Oakland - 11th and Broadway?

I am doing jury duty for the next few days and am making a list of places to try. Today was Bin Min Quan on 12th and Webster. The lotus salad and a broken rice plate were perfect lunch! Tomorrow it is either Lady's Place (cajun/cal) on telegraph or Tamarindo. Batambang was packed today as was Levende. B has good burgers. If I get picked for the jury I will get to try them all!!

Oct 23, 2007
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Asian Pearl Chowdown

yet more!!! One hound enjoying her meal!

Oct 12, 2007
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Asian Pearl Chowdown

more pix

Oct 12, 2007
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

Asian Pearl Chowdown

Thanks to everyone who has made the comments on the food. It truly was a wonderful balace of tastes. Thanks Yimster for talking to the managers and chefs to arrange! My input was restricted to agreeing with the suggestions!

As mentioned I am allergic to shellfish but the meal hade many great other options for me! (including a taste of the chicken feet soup that was very tasty!).

The BBQ bits (the roast pork!!!!!) were as good as they get.
I don't normally care for abalone (more of a texture food in most places) but here it was superb. concentrated taste. delicate. the mushrooms were a delight...
The steak and tofu was sweet and had an amazing texture.
My foi gras had too many veins left but was cooked perfectly.
Dragon beard was fun, but what is maltose sugar anyway???

the photos are attached.I will do several postings of pix to follow.

Great company! food!...this was the essence of chow houndness...cheers!

Oct 12, 2007
marlon in San Francisco Bay Area

2007 Chowing with the Hounds (SF Bay Area) Picnic Recipes

it is posted!

Oct 12, 2007
marlon in Home Cooking