Best dim sum/Chinese restaurant?
OK, i'm going out on a limb here, but having lived in Singapore, Hong Kong and made the rounds for years in Boston's Chinatown and 'burb restaurants like Chung Shin Yuan, I think Bernard's in Newton (Chestnut Hill mall) is my top pick:
* Owner Bernard Leung used to run the fancy Leung's in Back Bay and is now focused on 1 restaurant. He knows how to run a tight ship
* Dim sum is available for Sunday brunch. The most delicate I've had since Hong Kong, and it's all made to order. Chee cheong fun, har gouw, shu mai, stuffed bean curd skin, char siu pao, fried szechuan-style buns, etc.
* Lunch and dinner menus are unique. Not all dishes are your classic Cantonese dishes, but the ingredients are incredibly fresh, presentation is thoughtful and the seasoning is quite balanced and usually delicate. Great noodle soup dishes. There's usually a dinner special that's quite good: steamed foot long prawns in garlic (in season during the late spring), Thai-style pork ribs reminiscent of delicate SE Asia, etc.
* Excellent service. Waiters do a great job of memorizing your name after 2 or 3 visits, and Bernard himself makes a point of saying hi if you're a regular. Very impressive touch
A great restaurant in a high-end mall, who would have thought? No wonder that the place is packed with Chinese students from BC, as well as Chinese families. OK, any opinions?
Sorry, I tried Bernard's on a weekday night in August and was very disappointed. The details fade now, but I do remember having a salt and pepper shrimp that I've had elsewhere and loved, and which was recommended in a recent review of Bernard's. The shrimp were flabby, the shells were tough, and the salt and pepper was minimal. No zip at all. I keep hearing about great dishes there, but all I managed to get, and all I saw at the tables around me was very predictable suburban upscale mall Chinese food. Which fit the setting, decor and ambience, but I had really expected something better. I have not been there for dim sum.