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Chinahound Sep 21, 2001 03:49 PM

Besides Chau Chow City (or Chow Chau City) any recommendations? China Pearl? Others?

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    Matt Sep 22, 2001 06:48 PM

    China Pearl is hands down my favorite. Consistently very good to excellent, with good selection as well as lots of hot, fresh food coming out of the kitchen.

    Went to Chau Chau City last weekend (or maybe the weekend before) and it did not even come close to the quality. It was fine for a change, but sent me running back to China Pearl.

    Unfortunately, my first experience with their suburban outpost in Woburn was disappointing...luckily, I live in the city.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Matt
      d
      Dave Sep 23, 2001 12:53 AM

      I used to go to China Pearl, now always go to Chau Chau City. The har gau and some other dumplings aren't as good at Chau Chau, but the variety (esp. for seafood items like clams w/ black bean and calamari) is much better. I have tried others though, Imperial is pretty good, the rest as far as i know don't come close. Correct me if i'm wrong, but i'd stick to Chau Chau or China Peal

      1. re: Dave
        c
        Chinahound Sep 28, 2001 03:13 PM

        My office dim sum "team" abandoned Imperial Tea House after trying Chau Chow City ONCE. We were so impressed that the items were hot, fresh and so tasty, especially for me the tofu wedge with shrimp. Over the ensuing year, the quality and variety seems to be slipping. They don't always have tofu, sometimes it's served cold, spring rolls are absent or cold, etc. Last time we were there we had to special order the tofu and spring rolls, and waited 20 minutes, and they were fantastic. Not sure what accounts for the difference. Will try China Pearl and alternate. Thanks.

      2. re: Matt
        d
        Dr. Dog Sep 24, 2001 03:42 PM

        Sometime China Pearl is transcendent -- you can practically feel the breeze off the water in Hong Kong -- but sometimes it's a disappointing waste of calories and time spent waiting in line. Chau Chow City is consistently very good, in my experience, especially mid-day, but rarely reaches the heights reached at China Pearl. I hedge my bets, though, and almost always head to Chau Chow.

      3. s
        Slade Sep 24, 2001 02:01 PM

        For a different type of Dim Sum, try Chung Shin Yuan (183 California Street, Newton). They offer a Norhern Chinese and Taiwanese style brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It is wonderful. Expect a wait of up to an hour. The predominatly oriental crowd is an indication that the wait is well worth it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Slade
          c
          carrot Oct 1, 2001 02:00 PM

          We went to this little place on Sunday. Little did we know that it opened at 11:30 so when we showed up at 11:00 and there was one person lingering around the entrance I thought that it coudln't possibly be the place. But the person waiting in the front told us that they opened at 11:30 and in a few minutes there would be a long line forming. This was true and we were fortunate to find ourselves at the very front of the line.

          Anyway it was really very good and very much unlike the dim sum in Chinatown that I have had. We had tofu with picked duck egg, scalloped rice sticks (with snow peas and shitake mushroom and bamboo shoots), chive pie (VERY good), vegetable dumpling, red bean dumpling (good, not very sweet at all), and fried turnip cake. These were all vegetarian dishes as you can surmise. For meat eaters the meat options looked very enticing as well.

          Nice hidden gem-thanks!

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          Andy T Sep 25, 2001 10:26 PM

          Went to China Pearl this past Sunday. Got there around 2:30pm, and got seated right away. I thought it was all very good. I just wish I knew the names of everything we ate.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Andy T
            w
            wray Sep 26, 2001 01:00 AM

            One thing that added to my visit to Chau Chow City a few weeks ago was that as I was leaving I noticed they have a dim sum take out menu with descriptions of 8 items and a near complete bilingual list of their dim sum offerings. With that I could see the names/descriptions of some items I ate. Next time I will bring the menu to the table. Since it is bilingual, there is a good chance that when the servers come around I can more effectively ask questions.

            1. re: wray
              g
              galleygirl Sep 26, 2001 03:35 PM

              Good idea, but only to a point...I've found that one of the best things about Chau Chow City is they seem to make up new things according to the season, or the chefs whim, and lots of them aren't on that menu. They always seem to have new ways of stuffing a dumpling wrapper!!!! I do have to find out the Cantonese for bitter melon stuffed with shrimp, tho I hardly ever see that.

              1. re: galleygirl
                w
                wray Sep 27, 2001 01:42 AM

                Yes, only to a point, but at least a starting point besides simply pointing or just shaking head yes or no. Mmmm yes, bitter melon with shrimp is one dish that for me disproves the idea that no one really likes bitter melon, just eat it for supposedly medicinal reasons or because it "must be authentic." And how sad for me, I remember eating the dish within the last 4 to 6 months, but it wasn't at Chow Chau, but I cannot remember where. Ach, the brain is really slipping.

                1. re: wray
                  g
                  galleygirl Sep 27, 2001 02:00 PM

                  But pointing works so WELL!!! and in any language!! Once, I was lucky enough to share a table with a Chinese man who introduced me to pickled jellyfish and sweet tofu, also purportedly for medicinal reasons, but the ginger sauce is so good!! I can go to Chau chow city and make a meal of their smoked seafood congee,(the best in town, IMHO!!) and sweet tofu! Of course, that's on a weekday, when I'm trying not to be tempted..Have you had their lobster har gow?? !!!!!!!!

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