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Oct 14, 2000 05:04 PM

Chinatown next weekend

  • k

My daughter and I will be visiting Boston next weekend. We'd like to have a meal in the North End and one in Chinatown, preferably dim sum, which we don't get here in Maine unless we make it ourselves. (Now there's fusion for you: me and my cookbook.) I looked up the old threads, and found differences of opinion. Does anybody have any recommendations for Chinese food, not too expensive-she's in college and I'm paying for it? Also, addresses would be most helpful, as we're out-of-towners who will be wandering around on foot, looking at a map.

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  1. For Dim Sum, locals' favorites are China Pearl and Chau Chow City. Both in Chinatown.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Leo

      My daughter and I went to Chinatown today, looking for dim sum, as I previously posted. We didn't find it. First we went to China Pearl, which it turns out stops serving dim sum at 3:00 (we showed up at 4:00). This was our first choice, because they take credit cards. The enormous dining room was empty, except for the help, who were eating and shouting loudly to each other across the room in Chinese. Tables had not been cleared of dishes. We were seated at one of those square tables which seats four, but can be opened in a pinch to a round table which seats eight, which is how many chairs were crowded at our table. We were given menus, and a pot of tea which had tea leaves coating the outside of the pot was placed on the table. The tea poured into the cup full of leaves as well.

      Bad karma was going over us in waves at this point, and we bailed.

      While my daughter waited on the sidewalk for our guest to arrive, I went around the block to look for Chau Chow City, which was supposed to be on 52 Beach Street across from Chau Chow Seafood. There didn't seem to be any business operating at that location, however.
      Several doors down, up a couple of steps behind a sidewalk fruit vendor, past a couple of indoor hot snack sales booths, down a steep flight of stairs into the basement there is a room full of fishtanks with eels, shrimp, crabs, and other seafood. We had Peking dumplings (ordinary) Yee Mein (good, a little bland), Sauteed vegetables with fried tofu (good) and Crispy fried eel that was excellent. It needed only a tangy dipping sauce to make it perfect.

      Sorry, gotta go. My daughter needs to type up a report, and she's getting restless.

      1. re: Katherine

        Dim Sum is served from 8-3. Best time to go is after 10 and before 1:30. No resturants serve Dim Sum after 3, because Dim Sum is brunch food.

        Wait for the tea leaves to settle before pouring. You'll still get leaves in the tea cup, but less.

        1. re: Katherine

          For future reference, china pearl is the best dim sum, but their dinner is miserable. you were smart to leave. For dim sum they serve an incredible variety of authentic, and more "modern" dim sum, including salt and pepper shrimp, cha sui boa, chicken feet, pork ribs... But at dinner they serve the americanized versions of chinese like sweet and sour chicken with the gloopy red sauce and canned pineapple.

      2. j
        Janet Repucci

        Sorry you found China Pearl so disappointing. It really is the best for dim sum. I was first introduced to it by a chinese student whose uncle owned a bakery in chinatown. We've always gone around noon; often sharing a table with the locals. Of course it was always good when our student came with us because he knew the food and the language. But pointing works quite nicely. Give it another try - around lunchtime. Expect a wait. The food is the reward. Incroiable!

        Next trip to Boston, go to China Pearl and then try Boston's local version of cajun for dinner, Dixie Kitchen - Mass Ave. Boston - close to Berklee School of Music.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Janet Repucci

          We only go to Boston once a year, by train on a weekend day trip, and this time we were limited by our dining guest who wasn't available for lunch, or we probably would have gone to the China Pearl at that time instead. My only regret is that I do not live in an area where the "Chinese" food is either authentically Chinese or reliably edible.