still looking for great dim sum
I am still mourning the loss of 20 Mott Street to Sweet'n'Tart, and I'm even more bereft by my average dim sum experiences elsewhere in Chinatown. On the recommendation of some chowhounds on earlier posts, I've tried Golden Unicorn three times, only to be disappointed by inconsistency. The first time I went I was pleased, but the second time the choices were surprisingly limited, and this last time was the worst! The dumplings were room temperature at best and the fried things were greasy and lifeless, lacking any crunch.
Tried Hay Wun Loy (maybe not quite the right name) and the selection was definitely lacking. They also ran out of pork shumai by 12:00! Give me a break.
What about 31 Division?
I'm looking for hot, fresh, juicy dumplings, crispy fried goodies, and an ample selection of desserts, including Mexico buns and those small coconut balls with the candy shell, custard, and nut. I know there are great places in the outer boroughs, but there has got to be a better choice in Manhattan.
Why don't you try Sweet n Tart? The restaurant doesn't have carts, but the range and quality of dumplings is pretty extraordinary, and the breakfast/lunch prices are definitely in the dim sum range. Plus you can get things like great fried tofu, fried duck tongues, and the best steamed spareribs with rice powder I've had in NY.
re: j gold
Not exactly Dim Sum but I went to Shanghai Gourmet on Sunday - they have the soup dumplings - yeah, I'm still looking for them. This time was not disappointed. Typical Chinatown grunge restaurant but cooks are ex's from Joe's Shanghai. Soup Dumplings great, vegetarian duck good, chow mein (stupid thing to order) not good. Would actually only go for the soup dumplings, am more of a Peking Duck fan!
re: j gold
I will try Sweet n Tart, but traditional dim sum, with carts rolling around the all the hectic clatter, is something I love to share with family and friends from out of town. It's such a unique experience, especially for those who have no concept of it, that I wouldn't want to bring someone to Sweet n Tart to experince dim sum - it would be like cheating. I'll hit Sweet n Tart on my own, but I'm still hoping to find a good place.
re: j gold
We went to Sweet n Tart (20 Mott) for dim sum this weekend--and what dim sum it was! Since the carts are a thing of the past there (though a few random trays were offered around), you order a la carte now. A la carte instead of off the cart.
The bad news about this approach is that we didn't have the opportunity to see something intriguing and just grab it on the spur of the moment. But the good news is that what we ordered was so fresh and delicious. Never better. The dumplings were all pristine. The most memorable dish, though, was probably "vegetable treasures" with bamboo pith--a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth fibrous eating experience.
Does anyone know about the tradition of dim sum? Why the carts? And why not a la carte, if it's fresher and better that way?