Long considered among the best Chinese restaurants in the area, Great China opened in its current location in December after a fire closed its doors at its prior downtown Berkeley home. It took nearly two years to plan and complete the new space on Bancroft Way, which is large and modern, and has roughly 50% more space than before. Even with the increased space, lines are a common sight.
The menu, which centers on Northern Chinese cuisine with the occasional Cantonese dish thrown in, did not change much as a result of the physical overhaul, according to James Yu who oversees the cooking. But there are some new additions, including a tofu dish with shrimp and mushroom sauce, and some new braised dishes, including beef shank cooked for four hours and served with star anise, soy sauce and ginger. Reservations (for parties of six or more) can be made online.
The restaurant is also known for its great wine list, curated by Yu who trained as a sommelier and will suggest pairings for particular dishes.
Great China is located at 2190 Bancroft Way in Berkeley. See the menu here. If you’ve sampled the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (Photographs by Emilie Raguso.)
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