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Dim Sum in Miami

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Any recs for good Dim Sum in Miami area? We recently moved to Sunny Isles Beach from NYC and are willing to travel north or south. Thanks!

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  1. Tropical Chinese in South West Dade, great dim sum, not too expensive, gosh I got hungry myself...

    4 Replies
    1. re: Mario
      s.m. koppelman

      South Garden, too, in the same area.

      N.B.: when I had dim sum there a few months back, something had a TON of MSG. May have been a one-time error in one batch of something, probably a roast pork filling. Everything was otherwise very good.

      You're not really any farther from most of Broward County. Honk Kong City BBQ on US 441 near COmmericial is one of several places with dim sum, and it's a terrific (mostly HK, of course) little place across the board.

      1. re: s.m. koppelman

        Hong Kong City has been closed since the owner was murdered in the restaurant earlier this year, (very sad). Try Toa Toa instead - it is maybe even better.

      2. re: Mario

        Where exactly is this place? I think it's the one I saved info on for over a year then threw out yesterday and now need to find since we're finally going down there. wouldn't you just know it?

        1. re: JmVikmanis

          Tropical Chinese Restaurant
          (305) 262-7576
          7991 SW 40th St
          Miami, FL 33155

          Palmetto to Bird Road West, Less than two blocks on the north side on a (what else) strip mall, in front of the tropical park, martial arts place in the same mall,

      3. Not north, but west is Bambu Garden on Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines. Some carts, but mostly off a check-off menu. The food is good. Doesn't compare to dim sum in other places we've had like San Francisco, NY and Vancouver, but decent. Usually we're the only Americans there. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Welcome to the "neighborhood".

        1. Dragon Buffet (formerly DuBerry's) in Plantation has great dim sum.

          2 Replies
          1. re: baday

            Had a delicious (and filling!) lunch yesterday at Dragon Buffet in Plantation. I am leery of buffets and don't usually partake but this was different since I had access to very fresh and authentic dumplings...shrimp, peanut, seafood and chive, shui mei, rice noodle rolls, turnip pancakes, pork buns, and others. The rest of the offerings were a cross between usual Chinese buffet items (and not bad at that...lots of nice fresh fish, veggies, noodles) and authentic Chinese offerings....duck, clams, crab, frogs legs, crawfish, Chinese dessert items. There was also sushi and a stirfry chef to whip up your customized order. Very clean with lots of Asian families enjoying Sunday lunch. All this for $10! I'm told dim sum is only served there on Sat. and Sun. til 3pm.

            1. re: baday

              do you have an address for it? I am coming to lauderdale area this week, and I love Dim sum. :D

            2. Jumbo's is just west of you on 163 Street and supposed to have good Dim Sum, though I have not tried it.

              4 Replies
              1. re: keysrat

                Try Sang's near Jumbo's. Two friends of mine, unrelated, recommended the place to me on separate occasion and claims that it has the best dim sum in Miami.

                1. re: mialebven


                  Sang's is a great all-round Chinese place. Best to listen to the servers when they make suggestions. We were there last week and asked after the fresh veggies and the lady suggested "pea leaves" which are a more tender steamed dark green side dish than the traditional "rappini" (leaves from broccoli) we get at Jumbo's and other Chinese places. The greens are served in a toss of light garlic and are really delicious. While the regular greens have chewy/fibrous stems, the pea leaves were softer. We like both.

                  We had dim sum yesterday at Jumbo's and saw that the fish tanks - the "food" tanks rather than the decorative Koi tank - were stocked with giant Maine lobsters, eels and a full rack of GEODUCK. If you watch Tony Bourdain on his Travel Channel show, the "Dirty Jobs" Geoduck episode or Top Chef Season 3 Miami, you may have seen episodes featuring these giant phallic clams.



                  We did not sample the clams - though I recalled Tony Bourdain eating a sashimi of the clam he just dug up and wished I could have just a slice to see what the fuss was about... We did have a really delicious dim sum brunch including those "clam cakes filled with roast pork and caramelized onions" I liked so much last time. They are on the top center of the check off paper and are called roast pork roll? roast pork bun? I can't remember! I asked after scallion pancakles and got these instead. They are delicious but the waiter and I were trying to decide how to translate the name as they are not that "tennis ball" looking soft steamed bun, but more like a croissant shell... 3 to an order and AB and I had to fight over the third one. We split it.

                  If you're in NMB today and want to try the GEODUCK and report back - I am still fixating on this!


                  1. re: advisor_Girl

                    Now I have to add Sang's to my "hit list"! Have you tried their dim sum?

                    Char siu bao (roast pork bun) you can get either steamed (the puffy doughy "tennis ball" form) or baked (the browned on top, flakier type). I think on Jumbo's check-off menu the former is "steamed pork bun" and the latter is "baked pork bun".

                    We saw the geoduck at Jumbo's last visit too and were duly impressed. I wonder what preparation they do - sashimi is not typically Chinese. Though I actually prefer these cooked a little bit to raw - a little bouncy.

                    The greens you typically see in most Chinese places I've always heard called "Chinese broccoli" is not to my taste the same as rapini - the stalks are thicker and the flavor is not as bitter. There are a huge variety of other Chinese greens that I have no clue what the names are, but they're often delicious.

                    1. re: Frodnesor

                      The greens at South Garden are often some of the most expensive things on the menu -- either in oyster or garlic sauce.

              2. Ok, as someone who grew up here, and lived in NYC, Shanghai, SF, I have to tell you the best dim sum around Miami was Jumbo's. However, the family that ran jumbo ended up selling it two months ago, and the food isn't the same (since it was the father who used to do all the cooking). That being said, Sang's is good for dim sum - they have some really interesting dishes (fish piece congee, roast pork pastry), as well as the usual complement of normal dimsum affair. Tropical is good if you don't know what you want to order, and need to have it shown to you, however, I'd go a couple blocks down to Konchau if you know what you really want to eat, since their food is actually must better, fresher, and dim sum is available all day and night there (a great great thing, in my opinion).

                Now...how bout finding me a decent ramen and gyoza shop....

                1 Reply
                1. re: fonger

                  There aren't necessarily any places that specialize in noodles. Only place I can think of is the Noodle Shop at O on Lincoln Rd btwn Collins and Washington. Went when I felt a little under the weather and the shoyu ramen was pretty good. Other places are Yakko-san in NMB and Matsuri on Red Rd @ Bird Rd. in Miami.

                2. I have to heartily agree that Tropical has the best overall dim sum down here.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: EDBM

                    Su-shin in the Gables does all the Japanese noodles perfectly. I still vote for South Garden before Tropical with Konchau only a place for last resort if you're at Lucky's and get hungry!. It's too poorly kept. There was a Chinese owned noodle shop that went out of business there.

                    1. re: taiga

                      Sorry, I can't agree with the noodle comment at Su-shin. I really like the izakaya at Su-shin. However, the ramen there is horrible. It was the single most disappointing item I've had to date. I got the tonkotsu ramen. The portion was huge but the broth was thin and lacked the richness or the subtle sweetness of well made tonkotsu broth and the noodles were soft and lacked any chew. The total failure of the ramen dish has prevented me from even attempting to try the udon.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Really? I've had the kimchee ramen and while the broth isn't stellar, the noodles had a definite chew, to the point where we let them rest in the broth a little more to cook. Maybe you should give it another shott?

                        1. re: lax2mia

                          Historically, ramen recipes -- the stock -- are the "property" of chefs, meaning no two recipes are ever identical and they are often "closely guarded secrets." The regional varieties of ramen, the broth, the noodles, the extras are astounding; there are literally tens of thousands of varieties. I believe the Su-Shin folks are Osaka oriented -- and the Kansai region is "famous" for its recipes. So it may be fair to say you don't care for it, but wrong to allude to "well made tonkotsu broth." I don't think there is such a thing. That said, Su-Shin is my favorite, I've never eaten the ramen there, and I think the blackboard specials there are consistently delicious.

                          1. re: taiga

                            Certainly there are countless variations in broth, however, all well made broths have a constant which is flavor and depth broth...be it tonkotsu or shio or shoyu. Try the ramen at Su-shin. Let me know if you think the broth a Kansai variation or just watery and not very flavorful. They advertised it as "tonkotsu" and it's the least flavorful "tonkotsu" I've had to date. I'm not even judging it by Japan standards, just comparing to versions I've had in NYC, LA, and SF.

                            The other key to ramen is the noodles. Again, there are variations in noodles but "soft noodles" is not something that's prized in a bowl of ramen.

                            It was the combination of the weak broth and the soft noodles that lead to my disapointment.

                            I also agree that the izakaya and specials on the walls are the way to go.

                            1. re: Porthos

                              I understand. I was not questioning your experience or judgement, just shedding some broth on the ramen experience from a Japanese point of view. I've had more than a few hundred bowls.

                  2. I just ate Dim Sum at Tropical Chinese for the 2nd time in the past 3 weeks because its that damn good. I dont think Ive had one thing there that I did not like. The cart ladies are awesome and you usually will have food on the table before your butt hits the seat! Its great because you can get a killer meal and be in and out in no time without feeling rushed or anything. Sushi Ko next door is also a decent sushi joint, but pales in comparison to Matsuri down at Bird/Red Road.

                    1. While trying to locate Yakko San recently, I stopped by Jumbo's to see about their dim sum since I had read others post about it. It was a Sunday at about 1 and to be honest there was literally no one in the room except for the inhabitants of the infamous fish tank. Correctly or not, I left and headed down south to fix my dim sum itch at my old standard for this area, Tropical. What a difference in patronage (by now it was closer to 2) and ambience.

                      I am not issuing judgement on Jumbo's (willing to see about trying another day) but from my experience, a dim sum place is generally busiest on weekends through late afternoon, although mid-morning may be the "height". And while "busy" doesn't guarantee "good" in this case being totally empty on an early Sunday afternoon doesn't bode well either.

                      As to food, we will leave the comparison to another day. However, let me just say for now that I have rarely been disappointed with Tropical, be it dim sum or their regular dishes. And until further notice, they remain the standard for dim sum in Dade and probably also our top overall chinese restaurant as well.

                      BTW, I've been eating/ordering out from Kon Chau for longer than I care to remember, and while they are a solid choice, albeit in a small local dim sum arena, the taste is not equal to Tropical's Hong Kong style IMO.

                      1. Tropical
                        Kon Chau
                        China Pavilion
                        maybe South Garden
                        would rotate among those and forget the rest...
                        for previous reference:
                        Good (not decent) Dim Sum in Miami - Jumbo
                        Dim Sum - Jumbo over Mr. Chu's
                        Dim Sum Tour #3 - Kon Chau
                        Dim Sum Tour #4 - Tropical Chinese

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ankimo


                          Porthos seems to agree with me thus far since I haven't had a chance to taste past Kon Chau. Must agree with other posters in that none of these compare to Ocean Star, Empress Pavilion in LA more because of lack of variety than primarily taste I think.

                          Enjoy 2008!

                          1. re: eatnbmerry

                            I ate yesterday at South Garden with my wife, two friends, a teenager, a nine year old, and a 5 year old. They renovated, and are doing more to make the room a bit more pleasant, the Chinese blackboard was gone, but the room was full with Chinese. There are perhaps 125 seats, and at 1:30, all were filled. The carts were filled with all kinds of new things, and even as I was leaving, there were things I had never eaten there before. All in all, simple, tasty, efficient, and cheap. Shrimp and scallop xiao lum pao were my favorite along with the congee. I also liked the turnip cakes, 5 spice laced spring rolls, and greens in garlic sauce. We all left terribly full, and the expense with tip was less than $100.

                            1. re: taiga

                              TY taiga,

                              Will make a point of trying in future and let you know how it goes.

                        2. Looks like this post can use some updates. Most of the names mentioned here were once a pretty good place to go to, but I wouldn't recommend any of them anymore.

                          Tropical Chinese is Dim Sum for Americans. you'll see more Americans there than Chinese. South Garden is still pretty decent, But it changed hand a few years ago and I can't say the quality kept up to Mrs. Chan's.

                          Sang's, Bamboo, Jumbo were all once pretty good place to go and NW 163st was once a China Town in the making. But the neighborhood has gone south and most of the newer Oriental Immigrants are now living north in broward areas. Hence the better Dim Sum places are up north. IMHO.

                          Fortunately there is a bright spot in Miami opened up about six month ago in Sunny Isle area.
                          Chef Philip Ho
                          16850 Collins Avenue, Sunny Isles
                          Philip Ho originated Kou Chow 20 years ago. I see someone still recommending it here. But it is more of a sweet and sour pork place now. The new Philip Ho is a classy place now with push cart dim sum. Variety is good and service is excellent. I find the taste tend to be lighter, which is a good sign, less MSG.
                          Highly recommended and the only place I'd go in Miami.

                          China Pavillion on Flamigo and Pines has been my favorite for a few years now. Still very consistent in quality and service. Comparable to the Bamboo Garden a block east. Until just a year ago, you'd need to wait an hour for table in Sat, Sun Brunch time.

                          Some of my friend still swear by Tao Tao Chines Restaurant on Sunrise. a few item they make are as authentic as it can get, the soy sauce noodle and the congee, but it isn't worth the bad service.

                          The Newest hot spot in broward area now is
                          Pine Court Chinese Bistro
                          10101 Sunset Strip
                          Sunrise, FL 33322

                          Open about the same time as Philip Ho, oh and incidentally, . Also features push cart dim sum. This is the trendy place to go now. Not only the food is good, Restaurant is clean and nice. Right in the same plaza opened up the largest Oriental food market of S. FL (New York Mart). So, Chinese families go there for Brunch and buy their grocery for the week right next door. This is a winning combo. Hope this helps.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: keithtang

                            Just moved this thread to the Miami-FTL board where it belongs. Getting stranded on the Florida board (which no longer includes Miami-FTL) is probably partly why it was so neglected.

                            I think Chef Philip Ho is great - it's my favorite Miami dim sum place these days - but there's plenty else here with which I don't agree.

                            Tropical is "Dim Sum for Americans"? Why - because of the food or because of the customers? I couldn't care who is eating there and I don't find the food particularly Westernized in any way. I don't think it has the same level of refinement as Philip Ho but there are still things I prefer there (char siu bao) and it has the virtues of being busy (quick turnover) and offering a fairly broad selection.

                            Jumbo on 163rd St. became Hong Kong Noodle and then closed, more than a year ago. I had no idea Bamboo Garden even served dim sum (and don't believe they do).

                            If by "Kou Chow" you mean "Kon Chau" on Bird Road, yes there is a connection with Philip Ho and I'd hardly say it's a "sweet and sour pork place" now. They've got a pretty extensive dim sum menu (including some items I've not seen elsewhere) and while it's not at the level of Philip Ho either, it's also very reasonably priced.

                            Sunrise is awfully far for me to travel for dim sum but I may have to check out Pine Court.

                            1. re: Frodnesor


                              Not to be a gerbil but perhaps a stickler:

                              Jumbo/Noodle/WTF is open, under new management, and cleaner... and I know this because we ate there yesterday and it was - without a hint of sarcasm -> merely adequate neighborhood Chinese food.

                              Dim sum was via checklist. Servers (some the same folks as last d.b.a./iteration) were unusually friendly and prompt. Place was crowded with locals and "landsmen." Usual suspects...

                              I'm thinking future 163rd Street Chinese food ventures may only include King Palace BBQ & Sang's - in a pinch.

                              In this region - Philip Ho is the way to go (though service is still SPOTTY). And Hakka$an remains the best on MIAMI Beach.

                              LAX2MIA is spot on about NYMart!



                              1. re: advisor_Girl

                                These dim sum places are like the Terminator, they keep coming back. What is Jumbo / HKN calling itself these days? "Cleaner" would be an improvement over where HKN left off before it closed, and the food would need to get a lot better too for me to go back.

                            2. re: keithtang

                              Chef Philip Ho > Pine Court. I don't know what was off about Pine Court, but something just wasn't right. After my first visit to Chef Ho I said "wow". After my first visit to Pine Court I can't recall what I said because the experience was so immemorable, from food to service. New York Mart was a different story. Here's a write-up from my first visit.


                            3. Most dim sum in miami is pretend dim sum, much like the city itself. They cater to undiscriminating palates or those who like their foods heavy, or foods with a good dose of Crisco. Stay away from Tropical, Kon Chau, Tao and Jumbo - they specialize in overly thick wrappers, fatty pork, tasteless frozen shrimps and goey gelatinous rice paste products, sprinkled with oil for a bright sheen to look more appealing. About the only restaurant that can claim decent dim sum is Hakkasan in Sobe when available. Even then stick with deep fried items which are surprisingly lite and crispy, along with the usual dim sum fare of ha gow, sui mai, stuffed tofu, gai lan and the like. Be aware their "specialty dim sum" such as xlb's, are average and not worth the extra fare in an already spendy restaurant. In general, be prepared to be disappointed with Miami's dim sum scene for those whom are point of heart afficionados.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: barfinmia

                                It's great that this post has been resuscitated so people can complain about closed or nonexistent restaurants.

                                - Jumbo became Hong Kong Noodle which closed more than a year ago.
                                - No idea what "Tao" is.

                                Hakkasan is, no doubt, much more refined than Miami's other dim sum options (though for several items I would say Philip Ho is nearly at the same level). But it is preposterously expensive, the selections are limited, and - though I'm surprised to say this - I find many of their items disappointingly bland. I'd note as well that though I've been several times I have never seen XLB at the Hakkasan in Miami.

                                Not sure if it's been mentioned on this thread already, but speaking of XLB, one of the only places I know of that reliably offers these in Miami is Chu's Taiwan Kitchen in Coral Gables. They have a full dim sum menu (checklist not pushcart) and some items are better than others, but the xiao long bao are pretty decent. This is the same Chu that used to be Mr. Chu's on South Beach.

                                1. re: Frodnesor

                                  So how preposterously expensive. I've reserved for dim sum lunch next weekend. I was just looking for a good place and unlike many hounds, ambiance is important to me. I assume the place is over the top but I'm not into $100 pp lunches. At least Chinese. LMF

                                  1. re: LilMsFoodie

                                    I doubt you will go as high as 100 but 75 would not surprise me if you drink.

                                    1. re: LilMsFoodie

                                      I love the look and feel of Hakkasan. Once you get inside the restaurant it's a pretty faithful recreation of the original in London, with lots of lacquered wood carved screens breaking the room up into a bunch of little intimate spaces, different shades of blue silk on the seating, nice plateware. It is not $100pp unless you really go nuts, but $50-60pp for food would not be out of the question. Most dim sum items range from $10-20 and more substantial items go $20-30 on the dim sum menu.

                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                        the restaurant design is the best in Miami IMO. The dim sum is good but not something I enjoy paying a premium for.

                                        1. re: Frodnesor

                                          Maybe the fact that the design replicates the one in London explains why Hakkassan is one of the most miserable places for lunch. They've got one of the best views of the beach and it's totally obscured by the opium den dividers. I like the place a lot, but it's so odd eating in a dark cold place knowing that the sun is completely shining outside.

                                          1. re: lax2mia

                                            London venue is in fact below-ground.

                                          2. re: Frodnesor

                                            thanks all. We will keep our reservation. I don't care about looking at the beach as I am a year round Floridian, but since it's in a beach hotel, it does seem a mis-step. I did interior design for years so I'm interested to see it. LMF

                                    2. Folks, we removed a bunch of unfriendly posts from this thread, and would ask that people keep the focus on the food, rather than on other hounds. Thanks.

                                      1. Had a disappointing lunch at Chef Philip Ho today. Most of the dumplings stuck to the paper and tore apart when lifted with chopsticks. Tripe and turnips was tasteless. All bones, fat and gristle on pork ribs w/black bean sauce, no truffle flavor and scallop taste was 'off' in those dumplings, lava custard roll was too sweet and filling was grainy. A few of the other dishes were ok, but not worth the drive and not nearly as good as previous visits. Will try to come on a weekend next time when more traffic = better quality 9hopefully).

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: ruthless2

                                          We were there on Sunday and the dumplings were fresh, hot and tender. I think the weekends are your best bet there when the carts are rolling and the place is packed. Last week when we left there was a line up for tables. We have found that their dumplings are close to the ones we have had in Hong Kong. Try it again on a weekend, you will not be disappointed.

                                          1. re: ruthless2

                                            Weekend is probably better for quality but I have to say that I find it annoying how frequently their dumplings stick to the paper. I still think Tropical is right up there with them for best dim sum, maybe even better because Tropical is more consistent. Plus, their leek dumplings are awesome.

                                            1. re: Blind Mind

                                              I have always enjoyed Tropical too, but live approximately equidistant between P Ho and Tropical so go whenever I get to either area around lunchtime. Have errands out west in a few weeks so will head to Tropical then. And wait for a weekend to go back to PH. BTW the leek dumplings at PH were one of the better items yesterday, but still really like the Tropical version, skins are much better.

                                          2. Tropical chinese used to be the best dim sum in town until Hakkasan came on the scene. It's hands down the best -- quality of the ingredients, innovative dishes, service, and handsome, loungey atmosphere. Check out these spring rolls, flaky, flavorful, delicate.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: miamicurated

                                              Hakkasan's dim sum is great but you can have 3-4 meals at Tropical or Philip Ho for what you'd pay for 1 meal at Hakkasan.

                                              1. re: Blind Mind

                                                Truth. Plus I think you will get much greater variety at Tropical or Ho than at Hakkasan.

                                            2. I respectfully think the quality is superior at Hakkasan plus in my opinion, the elegant atmosphere and service are also worth the price of admission. That being said, you do get more as in quantity for your money at tropical chinese. Hakkasan said they're going to continue their $23 dim sum menu which they offered during Miami Spice through the fall. You can tell, I love the place.