Monday, August 3, 2015

Oakland's Chinatown

After taking off from the Tenderloin and checking in at our AirBnB lodging, we headed over to Oakland's own little Chinatown! Our host Jackie recommended the area to us and we're happy to have taken her up on the suggestion. While fairly small it comprises a fairly well-rounded community center, with banks, restaurants, medical facilities and shops all nestled tightly together.

Personally, I felt like this was a bit more authentic to my experience in Hong Kong than the larger Chinatown in San Francisco as it was a lot less tourist oriented and more for the locals. The groceries and restaurants were so much fun to explore! Right in the nostalgia. Fun fact: this was also the first time we really encountered a diagonal street crossing in the US. I've seen them in Asia but Antho was super excited to see one!

Talk about your lunch special...Only $3.99 and it includes dessert!

Bulk bins galore and people going about their business.

Can you recognize any of the ingredients?

This reminds me of the small fresh market I went to in Urayasu, Japan. :) 

Fresh wasabi root, I believe.

This butcher counter legitimately reminds me of the ones I saw in Hong Kong, right down to the signs/menu.

Black silkie chickens and geese, I believe.

Fresh seafood tanks!

Oh, those geoducks...

Frogs and turtles!

Have you ever seen a naked turtle? Well, now you have!

Ever wondered what the inside of a snapping turtle looks like? Wonder no more for your inquiry has been photographically remediated.

Leopard shark...

Big ole' dangly mirugai, or geoducks…strange creatures. 

One of the butchers found me amusing, what with my photographing the turtles and all, so he humored me and plopped this big fella atop the table so I could marvel at the beast in all his glory. 

Live crab and lobster. Mm!

So much fruit, including mini bananas, rambutan, lychee and more.

Dried shrimp, plums, fungi and more.

All sorts of dried seafoods.

Anchovies, mussels, shrimp, squid, seaweed, etc...

Dry squid are pretty impressive looking, really. 

Sea cucumbers on the other hand never really look very appealing, huh?

Just not an attractive critter, live or dried, I'm afraid.

A bounty of tea!

A piece of petrified tree, I believe?


Mm, fresh roasted meats and goodies!

Cute little interior.

Tubers, gords, rhizomes, etc. The long tubers towards the bottom right are yamaimo or nagaimo, mountain yam or long yam respectively. They have a uniquely slimy texture.

Tubs and tubs of dried aromatics.

Ooey gooey glazed ribs.

Jackie recommended we check out this small bakery while down here, especially around 2pm when they rolled out their egg custard tarts. We were still in the area by then so we made sure to pop in.

So many sumptuous selections!

Antho caught me off guard while buying some of the egg tarts for us and our hosts. 

Tasty little tarts, fresh from the ovens.

Moon cakes! They have a delightfully chewy texture. 

Their cakes looks lovely, too. All of their food looked so yummy! Probably a good thing we were ballin' on a budget. :P

Narrow tea shop. The walls are lined with canisters full of a wide variety of (many very expensive) teas.

When I asked if we could take any photos inside the shop, the woman working eyed me suspiciously and asked for what purpose. "For memories!" we replied…she allowed us one, watching us like a hawk all the while. After perusing the rest of the shop we quickly headed out as we didn't feel particularly welcome. 

After filling our bellies and stretching our legs, we returned to our lodging for a brief reprieve before heading out for Jack London Square. Check back tomorrow for the photos!

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