Providence Dim Sum: Lucky Garden review...
On the advice of posts here, I went to Lucky Garden on Smith St in North Providence this past weekend to satisfy my Dim Sum craving and I came away very satisfied. I'd say it was slightly below the quality of the best Dim Sum I'd had in Minneapolis (NYC, SF, and Vancouver Dim Sum exist on another level... I won't compare Lucky Garden to those). However, it definitely is much better than the other two Providence Dim Sum options (Phoenix Dragon on Broadway and a place in Rolfe Sq in Cranston that I can't remember the name of right now) and better than I've had at some of the "big name" Boston Chinatown Dim Sum outfits.
My sister and I got sticky rice in lotus leave wrappers, vegetarian dumplings, scallion pancakes, choi sum, sticky rice buns, vege rice rolls, and chicken spring rolls. All were very good, with the rice in lotus leaf being especially tasty. The choi sum was also very well done, being well cooked but still quite crunchy. The vege rice roll may have been the weakest element, being perhaps slightly overcooked compared to what I'm used to and consequently a bit too soft, but it was still very good. Everything came out of the kitchen right when ready and steaming hot.
All of the above, far more than we could finish (and we took quite a bit home) came to about $33 with tax and tip, quite good for such a complete dim sum. Ordering more realistically, we could have shaved 10 dollars off easy...
Atmosphere is what you'd expect in a North Providence strip mall, but that's not why you're there. Also be aware that like all our local Dim Sum offerings, you order off a menu here (no carts).
In all, I'm shocked this place doesn't get more attention given how few our Providence Dim Sum options are and the high quality of the food.
Their menu (regular and dim sum) is at www.luckyandpearl.com.
Just went to Lucky Garden for dim sum (second trip), and had a mixed experience... The fried things were verrrrry greasy. We got the salt and pepper squid and fried taro dumplings stuffed with shrimp and pork. The squid was good for a few bites; but the taro things were so greasy I couldn't finish even one.
Other things were wonderful: the steamed rice roll with roast pork (much more flavorful than the steamed rice roll with shrimp that we got last time), the sticky rice in lotus leaf (stuffed with pork, mushrooms, and chicken, although the description only mentions chicken), and the choi sum were all delicious. One hint: ask for hot sauce and hot mustard (if you like that kind of thing).
The waitress encouraged us to get the egg tarts, which were... eggy. A bit like a sweet, light flan in a pie crust. They were fine. We also ordered the pork shumai, which tasted more like bland Italian sausage in a rice-paper wrapper than anything Chinese.
So, we'll definitely be back, but now we know a few things to avoid. In terms of amounts, the three of us couldn't finish everything I've listed here (brought home one of the egg tarts and one of the lotus-leaf packages), and the tab came to $38 with tax and tip.
We have been there a few times. I would agree, not quite on the level of NYC or Hong Kong, but quite pleasant. In general, we have found the steamed dim sum better than anything fried, although the scallion pancake was quite good yesterday. Also, the bok choy was decent, not outstanding, but we had the pea shoot leaves in garlic sauce on a previous visit and that was excellent. Our 4 year old ate more than half of a giant plate! I will say that the staff is always accomodating and pleasant to our child, providing french fries and fortune cookies on request with a smile. I just wished they delivered to the East Side.