King Tsin, Berkeley

Finally got to try this place after reading about it here. The menu is huge, so it was helpful to have some suggestions here. The waiter was also helpful and suggested some interesting dishes that i’d like to come back and try with a group (for example, lamb hot pot). We ordered 4 things for 2 of us, and it ended up being enough food for 4 people. Portions are big.

Sesame bread was big and fluffy and I liked it! Most of the sauces we had were on the oily side though, so dipping wasn’t as ideal as if we had had a more broth-like sauce.

Eggplant with garlic was a nice version, but it was very oily. Huge portion.

Double cooked pork tasted like versions I had in China. Also a bit oily, but a really deep pork flavor along w/ spice from chilis and garlic.

Wok charred cabbage was served in a sauce that was bubbling over a flame. Good, and another huge portion.

Total bill was about $50 for tons of food. Rice was served on plates, which was awkward—bowls would have been easier to eat out of.

Will definitely try it again with a bigger group to order a more balanced bunch of dishes. What we got was good but heavy and greasy. Thanks all for the tips on this place.

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I’ve eaten here or from here a few times in the past year, but haven’t kept notes (my bad).

The wok-charred cabbage is quite good.

I liked the Umami Frog, but you do have to be prepared to pick out/spit out small bones.

The Steamed Black Bean Sauce with Fish Fillet arrives as pieces of fish atop squares of soft tofu. Huge portion.

Another fish fillet dish I order for takeout looked like a complex sculpture: the fish was not sliced all the way through, so it remained connected on one side. Dredged in flour/starch and fried, it looks very dramatic, although it was a little challenging to pull apart with chopsticks.

The “Roasted Garlic Pea Shoots” seemed to have stir-fried raw garlic rather than what I expected from the word roasted.

Why do some Sichuan restaurants refer to paocai as kimchi? They’re both pickled and spicy, but beyond that…

Unrelated to the food, compared with the wonderful place several blocks West, it’s great always being able to get a table here without having to stand in line – and I can hear myself think.

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, Yuanyang County, Yunnan
Credit: inkelv1122, Flickr