Berkeley >Food & Dining > King Yen Restaurant
2995 College Ave, Berkeley, CA | Directions 9470537.856210 -122.252948
Mon - Thu, 11:30am - 9:30pm; Fri, Sat, 11:30am - 10pm; Sun, closed
It's reliable and good. – Okay, I've been living in the Berkeley area for most of my entire life and King Yen has been around longer than my existence.
I've been going to this restaurant since it was once across the street, where a mediocre curry joint now resides, and I was in diapers. So, for about 20 plus years, it's been serving up something remarkable that makes people want to go back.
Some reasons why I go back:
I've always been a stickler for good pot stickers and King Yen does it better than most of the food stalls in Beijing. King Yen has been there for my bouts with vegetarianism and catered their delicious potstickers for me and the like (I still prefer the veggie pot stickers, though I've changed sides).
The dry cooked string beans are fabulously flavorful and retain their crisp even when I devour them. The Rolling Lettuce Chicken is a marvelous dish that balances the hot and aromatic with the crispness of the iceberg lettuce. And honestly, who doesn't love using thier fingers to dress up chicken in lettuce? Mofo's, I say. Also, I know on good authority that the manager/owner goes out every single morning to pick up the fresh groceries and the hand-made noodles so that he's not swindled of quality ingredients. It is clearly evident.
The Wanton Soup is heavenly light and yet completely satisfying. I love it with the heavier Chow Fun noodles with it's assortment of vegetables combined with chicken or beef. SOOOO GOOD.
To that cry baby that commented about the prices, do you even know what the rent must be like on that end of College Ave? If you want dirt cheap Chinese food, go to China town where the rent is low, lack of customer service is mandatory, and the floors stick. Plus to-go food is a completely different experience than when you dine-in... like a pasta bolognese is gonna taste like ass if you put in plastic and wait for it to get soggy.
I love Love LOVE King Yen and you will to.
Fresh Ingredients and Excellent Preparation – Honey-glazed walnut prawns are fabulous, and the appetizer "Steamed Shrimp Dumplings," which is always slow to arrive, is well worth the wait. King Yen has been a favorite restaurant for me for many years. The ambiance in the small front room with three large windows is charming and that area is quieter than the other two larger dining rooms. I have been eating there for over 10 years and the food consistently meets my high expectations.
disappointing and a rip off! – This place used to be good...expensive, but worth it. Not any more...I called in a to-go order:fried prawns, garlic chicken, chicken chow mein and combo fried rice. I went and picked it up in the time frame I was told, and it still wasn't ready, but I thought "thats not a biggie, it is Sat. night, and a CAL game had been earlier that day" When she rang up my bill, it came to $39.73 (damn, just for that?) anyway, I drove home, and opened the containers, and both the chow mein and garlic chicken containers were barely 3/4 of the way full! They couldn't even fill the containers all the way! The vegetables were soft--like overcooked...not crunchy like they should have been. And on top of that, there was a hair in the garlic chicken! I'm never going there again...very disappointing. The only thing that was good about the meal was the big chunks of chicken in the chow mein...they did use white breast meat and not the rubbery thigh meat. Which I did like, but everything else was a HUGE turnoff.
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