BERKELEY (KCBS)— The Great China restaurant in Berkeley has certainly settled into its new restaurant space beautifully, but it took a long time. A fire in their old location destroyed and shut the eatery down in January 2012.

The new, larger building at the corner of Oxford and Bancroft— after several permits and remodeling, has been completed for several months. They have a complete liquor license and everything seems to be coming together very well.

I can’t start a meal here without the water dumplings. They look a bit like pot stickers, but instead of being fried they’re boiled. They come with a delicious sauce on the side and their double skin is something I’ve never seen anywhere else.

The cellophane noodles are literally made fresh to order, cut into strips and tossed with all kinds of goodies. The salt and pepper shrimp is the most unusual way I’ve ever seen the seafood prepared. The shrimp’s skin is peeled back, away from the skin, but left attached to the tail end. Then it’s deep fried so that the skin gets so crisp and crunchy, when you bite into it, it feels like you’ve just bitten into a potato chip. At the same time the shrimp is not overcooked.

Great China is back and in full force and they do accept reservations for larger parties. I recently dined there with a group and certainly welcome them back to the Bay Area’s restaurant world.


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