Lucky King Bakery on Grand St
I guess it's worth a try if you've got a craving and don't want to fight the crowds at one of the big dim sum houses. But it's hit-or-miss, since you don't know how long the stuff sits back there in the cabinet.
We dropped in a couple Sundays ago, early afternoon, and did better with non-dumpling bites. Fish balls were light and soft, slightly spicy green chiles with minced fish were also tasty, black bean pork ribs were OK though not exceptional. But shumai and pork-cilantro dumplings tasted tired and their skins were on the mushy side.
This is not the most convenient place for the Chinese-challenged, since dishes are listed only in Chinese and you can't really see what's on those trays in the cabinet without asking someone to pull everything out and show it to you. But they seem happy to do just that, or at least they did when we were there.
By the way, their bao, which others have commented on, are quite good. Steamed buns have a great filling of shredded (not minced) pork.
Sighting just down the block: A second location of Egg Custard King Cafe (the place on Mott that replaced Sweet N Tart Cafe) is going to replace the little Cantonese place that used to be at Grand and Forsyth (SE corner).
no steamed pork buns ready when i dropped by, so i got a combination bun. i was expecting it to be just chicken and pork, but the filling was a huge ball of both of those plus shrimp and chinese sausage and mushroom and quail egg. the entire thing was nearly the size of a softball and weighed about as much. totally delicious - wonderfully savory and greasy in the best possible way. even the dough was great, though i tore a lot of it off in a no doubt vain attempt to shave some calories off the thing.
Old thread but thought i would bump this since i have been going to this bakery for years. I was too late for the dim sum today, but enjoyed a plain rice noodle with soy sauce and a hong kong style tea while trying to warm up. What makes this bakery a must stop for me are these sweet rice pastry balls- no idea what they are called, not many items are labeled. There are a few of the ladies who speak english (my chinese is non existant!). Inside the fried green ball is a black sesame peanut filling that is just a little sweet. I haven't seen anything like it at any other chinatown bakery. (See photo). I also picked up one of the very rich lotus paste pasteries- again no idea of the proper name of it- but i have tried these at several bakeries and here is my favorite. (See photo)
Worth a stop if you're in the area! 280 grand street just off of bowery, near the F train