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King Tsin Restaurant on Solano (Berkeley) is a winner!

After seeing Woody Allen's tour de force film, Blue Jasmine at the Albany Twin Theater, I sauntered my way up Solano looking for a decent Chinese food stop-off.

The street happens to be lined with Asian, Indian, and Thai eating opportunities, but instinctively I was drawn to King Tsin at 1699 Solano in Berkeley.

Perhaps it was the window display that enticed me, but more than likely, I had imagined a few sumptuous forkfuls of Tofu braised to perfection and my growling stomach had no patience for an extended journey.

I picked a winner!

King Tsin, I quickly discovered, is  the oldest, surviving Chinese Restaurant in Berkeley!

Albert Lou (not Liu) confirmed an ownership history that goes back 46 years.

In an impromptu conversation that played out beside my table, Albert, the king-pin owner, said, his father, Fat Hing founded King Tsin in 1967 after emigrating from China.

"It was the first Mandarin restaurant to open on Solano," and has since amassed a  following that supports its longevity.

Albert is one of six LOU children, and all have been part of the dream their father realized when he emigrated from China to Berkeley.

According to Albert, Fat Hing originally left his hometown village of Shandong in search of a better living which led to an apprenticeship at the Hou Te Fou Restaurant in Beijing. There, he gradually mastered his skills as a chef in authentic Pekinese cuisine.

Eventually, he and the family moved to Hong Kong in the late 1940s to escape China's political turmoil, and from there it was smooth passage to the U.S.A. some twenty years later.

Firmly planted on 1699 Solano, King Tsin has a sprawling space and the decorative artwork of Astrid Rusquellas that embellishes its walls (I hastily left my plate of braised tofu with shiitake mushrooms and bok choy, to snap a few close-ups of the artist's eye-catching "relief sculptures")

Then back at my table, I indulged the perfect menu choice in the company of brown rice steamed to pleasing consistency .

After snapping a few more King Tsin indoor pics, I wrapped things up, taking two storefront angles.

Fully sated and without a growling tummy, I continued my journey home.

**

No doubt I'll be back to King Tsin sooner than later because its cuisine is outstanding and the price is right!

(Not to forget that good service and hospitality make the eating experience a real pleasure!)











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