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Jul 29, 2001 04:54 PM

dim sum and Chinese in the 'burbs?

  • g

We're visiting relatives in Boston in early August. Any suggestions for good dim sum and good Chinese in the Wellesley, Newton, Needham, Dedham area?

Our two teenagers were raised on Flushing, NY dim sum and have been in withdrawal since our move to the South. The relatives in Boston have taken us to several ghastly places in the past. I'm doing my own research this time!

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  1. If you're going to be THAT close to Boston, you might as well bite the bullet, and go into Chinatown for the real thing, cuz nothing else is gonnah come close to those places in Flushing....Chau Chow City is the best,IMHO. Other chowhounds seem to second this.

    3 Replies
    1. re: galleygirl

      Parking is the problem. I remember the last foray into Boston's recurs in my nightmares (and I'm used to city traffic).

      The T is not an option due to the four elderly relatives who will need to be driven to the restaurant.

      1. re: grits

        Arrange ahead of time for handicapped parking passes for the relatives, then you can probably find a space easily.

        1. re: grits

          About a block away, at the corner of Beech and Lincoln, is a parking garage that is $3 a half hour. You could drop them off, then walk over. On the weekend, I think that lot is $6 for the day. I took my parents for dim sum Friday, and $9 included our shopping at the Asian grocery store...There is a lot right next to Chau Ckow, but I think it's $5 a half-hour....

      2. While we're on the subject, I thought I'd mention that I tried China Pearl in Woburn last night. My wife and I were totally unimpressed with the bland, celery-laden food we had. I had Szechuan sauteed chicken and my wife had tofu w/vegetables in a brown sauce. The latter we have found to be a pretty decent test of where a Chinese restaurant rates. The idea is to order some kind of mixed-vegetable entree and ask them to add fried tofu to it and also to use a brown sauce. If they do it well, there's a pretty good chance other things will be good, too.

        Anyway, I thought. China Pearl was overpriced and nothing special. The four things we tried (the preceding plus H&S and wonton soup were completely unremarkable. Nothing was bad, just no reason to go back. Perhaps the one in Boston is better?

        1. You might want to try Chung Shin Yuan in Newton. I've seen the folks lined up for the weekend "brunch" and they are all Asian...usually a sign that the food is authentic. I've eaten here, but only at dinner time.

          I suggest giving them a call to make sure they aren't on vacation and to double check the serving times on the weekends. They have a tiny lot but there is street parking and they are next to a McDonalds with a big lot.


          2 Replies
          1. re: Julie

            Hey, I know that place! I used to work right across the street from it (this was in the mid-1980s). I'm glad to hear it is still good.

            1. re: Julie

              I just realized that we're all talking about the same place. I guess I should have read through these posts a little more carefully before entering the discussion. I have to say however, after reading that Boston Phoenix review, what a crappy article! It was minimally informative, and only seemed to reveal to me what an amateur the writer is. The writer couldn't even write about the food on its own terms, and only revealed a completely gwelo-centric perspective. A pity.

            2. I'd be genuinely surprised if you found anything half way decent in the burbs of Boston. As a previous poster wrote, you're better off going the extra miles to chinatown for dim sum. However, I was once taken to a Taiwanese place in Watertown for brunch. The place was packed with chinese (Taiwanese, I'm assuming, since they seemed naturally familiar with the language and cuisine) and I believe we were the only table with non-asians. From what I remember, the food is not so similar to a cantonese dim sum house with the carts and steamers, but the dishes we had tended to be very spicy with many meat and noodle dishes (not much in the way of seafood). It was a nice meal and a good learning experience, as my view of Chinese brunches were biased towards dim sum more than other varieties available (though perhaps not so widely known). I don't remember the name of the place or if it's still there, but I believe it was on Pleasant Street in Watertown next to a McDonalds, and adjacent to a Stop & Shop strip mall (it could possibly be California St.). I remember taking a right turn off of Watertown Square coming from Cambridge. So, does anyone know more about this Taiwanese place???

              5 Replies
              1. re: Eric Eto

                The name of the place you are referring to escapes me, but it is in Newton, on California St, next to McDonalds. Take Rt.16 West out of Watertown Sq, California Street is the right at the fork by the gas station, running along the Charles.
                If you drive by this place on a Sunday morning you will see a long line of Chinese people waiting to go in-- always a good sign.

                  1. re: M

                    A wonderfully authentic dim sum can be found on Route 9 in Chestnut Hill. I went with a Chinese friend a few months ago and was thoroughly impressed. I was very skeptical about getting autentic dim sum outside of Chinatown, but was very surprised. The clientel was 90% Asian. Besides the trditional dim sum carts, they offer a small buffet of authentic Chinese dishes. The sticky rice is to die for!

                    Unfortunately, I'm having a senior moment and can't remember the name of the place. It's on route 9, across the street from the Chestnut Hill cinema complex. I believe that dim sum is only available on Sunday mornings.

                    1. re: Frank

                      The place you are referring to is Ming's. I've not been there for Dim Sum, but their food is only acceptible if you are looking for authentic-tasting dim sum. I lived in HK for several years and the closest I've been able to come for good dim sum is in Chinatown.

                  2. re: Alan H

                    The non-dim sum food at night is also quite good. They often have authentic specials that are written on brown paper and taped to the cash register. One especially interesting dish is on the appetizer side, called "pork rolls." It's bean curd skin stuffed with minced pork and shrimp. It's very hard to find in the US, let alone the Boston area.

                1. If you're close to Waltham, try on Sat or Sun a place on Main Street near, but across street from, the large supermarket

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: M

                    I believe the place is called Beijing Star ... wonderful food, I lived around the corner for a year and ate there often, still go back for take out.