Good to Eat Dumplings

This is my second time eating here, and I was lucky enough to be treated by a friend to one of Good to Eat Dumpling’s Ja Ban Bae (translation: “have you eaten yet?”) Taiwanese Banquet dinners. Much more than a prix fixe, we were greeted warmly by co-owner Angie Lin and her wife, Chef Tony Tung, and informed that we would be getting a lot of food. A lot. So much so, that we would be taking food home, and were encouraged to take a bite or two of a dish, then ask to have it packed so that we would not be too full before the end of the meal. They were true to their words - we were hungry when the meal started and the flavors were so intriguing that we plowed right through most of the first five beautiful dishes and ended up being very full well before we were halfway through. There were a total of 15 dishes (we’d been told 13), and besides our leftovers, a takeaway extra dessert.

The menu:

the first five dishes that came out all at once:

What I first thought was fried chicken was actually pork rib meat in a fermented rice flour batter and fried until crispy and delicious… I could have eaten the whole plate on my own. The dish in the center that appeared to be a tofu dish was actually soy braised egg whites. Very good, and the ever-so-delicate 5-spice-y sauce went well with the pork, too.

The bamboo shoots were fresh and super juicy, and the mayo on top was almost translucent, and sweet. A surprising dish.

I loved this - very creamy kimchi made with fermented soy.

this gorgeous dish was made with 1000 year old salted eggs, the yolks, and the whites of eggs.

Very beautiful and so interesting that the salted eggs looked almost like gelatin. They were neither salty nor funky as I had expected. In fact, despite the wow factor of how this dish looked, the taste was of a simple hard-boiled egg. We actually did decide to save one piece of this to go home.

Lovely poached white shrimp in a 5 flavor sauce (we were only told that there was tomato in the sauce) which was slightly sweet.

Cherry blossom stuffed squid rings - minutely cut vegetables wrapped in delicate squid.

Meant to be eaten with:

The little dried shrimp echoed the seafood flavor in the stuffed squid.

Here’s about where I started to be incredibly full.

The knife work on this was astounding - carrots, bell pepper, ham, taro, and I’m not sure what else, folded around what I believe was ground pork, scallops and mushrooms, in a richly savory broth - and the petals were made of egg. The only problem with this dish is it was lukewarm, almost cold. I wanted to believe that it was intentional, as so many times soups are served so hot that you lose the flavor, but it really should have been hotter.

Minced lobster, sliced lotus root, I believe mushrooms, all wrapped in tofu skin, topped with that gorgeous mayo.


a tiny piece of fabulous fried pork in a yeast batter came atop a little dish that covered a small bowl…

filled with simply marvelous, fragrant, lard-cooked rice with scallions.

So incredibly good, rich, and simple. We were told that this was served in many households when money was tight - perfect comfort food.

By this point we were having most of everything packed after a taste or two.
This soup was just too much - a deep urn full of all the elements we’d already had in the other dishes - scallops, ham, shrimp, pork skin, tofu, dates, lotus, etc., in a lovely broth - but we were just too full. most of it got packed to go.

gorgeous poached greens (we were told mustard greens although they tasted more like a choy of some sort) with garlic in a scallop broth was a welcome, light break.

it actually made me sad when this arrived:

because I was so full! Still, I ate one luscious bao stuffed with that utterly delightful pork and, per our server’s suggestion, dipped it into the deep, rich, savory broth. This was probably my favorite dish, in a night full of incredible dishes.

Dessert number one was this sweet “almond” “tofu” dish:

the liquid was apricot seed milk, often mistaken for almond, and there were cubes of what I believe was tofu; the white fish was made of the same. the darker fish was made with sesame seed and had a nice, nutty flavor. Served with Oriental Beauty tea.

the 2nd dessert was a take-home Taiwanese taro and salted egg yolk swirl pastry, and a teabag of oolong tea. I ended sending all of my leftovers home with my friend, so i didn’t get to taste that second dessert, but I’m sure it was good. It’s just such a thoughtful thing to do! And as Angie said - you know us by now, how could we just give you one dessert?

What stood out most, even above the food, was the incredible warmth and friendliness of every person we encountered, and how knowledgeable and eager they were to share the stories of this food, coming to crouch down by our table anytime we had a question. I’m a little in love, i have to admit, with all of them, and with this queer/women/immigrant-owned jewel of a place. I’m not sure if I’d go back to another banquet tasting as it was really just too much food, but I love their regular, ever-changing menu too. And I am glad I went and tried all the thoughtfully prepared, incredibly well executed, exquisite dishes.


Fantastic!!! Very nice to see these well done and presented Taiwanese dishes. Nice mix of items, well chosen. Enjoy your take home portions!!!


Ah - one correction - the “tofu” in the dessert was actually not tofu, but little cubes also made of the same apricot pit “milk”.

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unfortunately i did not take them home, i gave them to my friend. i was still full the next morning!

Holy wow, that looks and sounds absolutely amazing!! What a wonderful experience!

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Wow - I think I may have to lie down after reading this! :smiley:


omg yes, i needed a nap, but instead, i accompanied my friend to a 2.5 hour (we arrived an hour late!) showing of the Beyonce tour documentary afterward! it was a very good film but i was tiiiiired and FULL!


Stunning meal! How lucky were YOU!

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Amazing! Thanks for such a great job photographing and describing everything!



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Lovely to see you here @L.Nightshade!


What a fab experience! Reminds me a bit of the Chinese meal we had with alanbarnes back in the day, though I don’t know that we had that many dishes.

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Amazing food, amazing pictures, amazing write up! Were is this place, or is that a secret?

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Curious, how much was the meal?

Do the dishes progress well?

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Ah! Emeryville! My daughter lives there! ( I only recently learned this; I thought where she lived was called Oakland).

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no! it’s in the title, i put the address in and everything in the title section!

tell her to check it out!
Very near Oakland.

I believe $110 pp. their regular menu is fantastic too, and changes quite often.

They did, they built upon each other, but it was just too much. unlike at a banquet where you have them all in front of you, they were served in courses and there is a tendency to eat too much up front.


Good idea! I try todo that, but don’t quite understand how it works. I can’t see it! Is it just me?

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