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Dim Sum

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Today my SO and I took an out of town guest to Chinatown for the Dim Sum experience. After scouring this website we narrowed it down to either Jing Fong or 88 Palace. Now, I've never had a great experience at Jing Fong, but the SO has, so being that we've never been to 88 Palace and wanted something very fun and different we went to Jing Fong. When we arrived, the doors were open but the lights were off. Closed for health violations. So we headed over to 88 Palace. While it's tucked away under the Manhattan bridge, it's relatively easy to find and the interior is better than that of Jing Fong once you take the escalator upstairs, especially the outrageous chandeliers. We were one of 2 non-asian tables, typically a good sign, imo. The Dim Sum was by cart and all seemed very fresh and tasty. They also had a little buffet area where you could go and pick out other things, but we didn't try that. We had shumai, dumplings, pork buns, various other interesting things, and something like a sweet pork bun, but more hallow on the inside... all very good. Total was $20 for 3 people. Though I haven't tried any other dim sum places in that area besides Jing Fong (and never going there again) I'd highly recommend it to others, for atmosphere, food and experience.

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  1. Lici-

    I recently tried Golden Dragon on E. Broadway and must tell you to STAY AWAY! Not only were they closed by the Health Department, but they defied the closing order and were operating 'biz-as-usual' which, it just so happens, was when I tried it. Fortunately, we didn't get sick, but the food was nothing to write home about. I, too, like 88 Palace, but if you haven't tried Golden Bridge, that's become one of my favs. It's another 500+ seater, but the food is quite good and the variety is plentiful. It's just below Canal on the Bowery, up a never-working escalator. If you go, let me know what you think. Happy dim-summing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodluvngal

      Seconding that bad review of Golden Dragon. They put down a bowl of chicken feet once that made everyone at the table gag.

      I know this suggestion will not be popular, but Vegetarian Dim Sum place on Mott has never steered me wrong. The mixed gluten plate is a favorite, as is the rice noodle roll with deep fried dough (or kale, if you're not feeling that decadent) and the split pea cake(?)--not sure of the name but it's coconut-flavored jello/agar with dried yellow peas suspended in it. Wish I could remember the name--it cleanses your palate after a huge greasefest of a meal. I'd go just for that alone.


    2. There are no good dim sum places in Manhattan. You're better making the trek out to Flushing Queens.

      1. Tell me, where in Flushing would you recommend for Dim Sum?

        7 Replies
        1. re: foodluvngal

          Two favorites are Gum Fung and Ocean Jewels, both on 39th Ave.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            Hey Chandavkl- I finally dragged myself to Flushing for Dim Sum at Gum Fung. Terrific! Thanks for the rec. Everything tasted FRESH and you could tell they use much higher-quality ingredients than the Manhattan Dim Sum places I've been eating at. Next trip, Ocean Jewels. Thanks again.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              Dave, I've seen other reports that stated that the best dim sum in all of NYC is at World Tong in Brooklyn. Any thoughts on that place?

              1. re: Gary Soup

                Hey Gary. Never made it to Brooklyn at lunchtime, and I've only been to World Tong for dinner and it's just OK. In any event with the recent departure of their dim sum chef I think everybody on this board is waiting for a definitive update.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  I figured you would know. Where did their dim sum chef go?

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    The dim sum chef from World Tong, Joe Ng, is now at Chinatown Brasserie...

              2. re: foodluvngal

                I would add to that list Gala Manor, I believe that it is on 37th Ave. There is also an entrance off of Main St. via a little shopping mall.

              3. It doesn't beat dim sum in Flushing, but I like Golden Bridge on Bowery for dim sum in Manhattan.

                1. Here's a place for great food and service so vile it's funny.

                  If you are willing to take some feigned indifference and/or abrupt remarks from the waiters and can get past the tired glossy faux-wood laminate 60's interior, the dim sum at 9 Chatham Square (formerly known as Hop Shing) is surprisingly good.

                  In particular, for 'har gow' 'fun gwo' and their relations, I thought the steamed dumpling skins had that perfect texture which is elastic, not starchy, and just translucent enough to tease you with a peep into the filling.

                  If you are dining alone, sit at the bar along with the Chinese grandpa's and ask for steamed buns from the glass display case behind the bar. Lucky groups of two might get private booth seating, otherwise expect to share tables with total strangers. Sit clear of the crowded aisles or risk having your feet run over by the trolley carts, or better yet, having a plate of soy sauce poured down your back (yes, this really happened last week.)

                  The best thing - $8 per person including the tip.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: vicki_vale

                    Thank you, Vicki_Vale.
                    Actually, "the tired glossy faux-wood laminate 60's interior" is one of the things that endears me to Chatham. I love the counter, too. They serve up a bun filled with sweet rice - kind of like biting into a balloon filled with sawdust, but, strangely, worth the 50 cents or so.

                    I don't think I've ever known the name of this place, so I can't say that I've forgotten what it is, but there is an excellent Dim Sum place on Bowery, south of Canal, north of Bayard.

                    Thanks to all who tipped us to the Dim Sum in Flushing. Let's face it - it's Flushing. How can you go wrong?

                    1. re: Polecat

                      > there is an excellent dim sum place on Bowery, south of Canal, north of Bayard.


                      1. re: squid kun

                        That's the place, squid kun. Thank you.
                        I take it, from your amazement, that you don't agree...?

                        1. re: Polecat

                          Not amazed, just asking if that was the place. I pass by there often but usually the wrong time of day, so I've never tried it for dim sum.

                  2. I've been going to Ping's more lately because even though it is more expensive than some other places in Chinatown, I think the food is fresher and mostly very well prepared.
                    I went on Monday at arond 11am (woke up with a dim sum craving!) and the quality/variety was even better than what you get even an hour later in the day, as it is only Chinese people at this time. I saw some things being offered that I'd never seen there before, such as big plates of fried squid and a few rice noodle dishes. I was by myself, though, so I didn't try them.
                    The most delicious dishes there are: seafood shu mai, pretty good har gow, tofu-skin wrapped pork, steamed rice rolls, little thin spring rolls stuffed only with shrimp, delicious sticky rice with cilantro and peanuts in it, and very good little flaky pastries filled with roast pork.

                    1. Actually, I just hit Gum Fung (Flushing) this morning, and it has immediately jumped to the top of my list by leaps and bounds. As foodlvngal mentioned earlier, everything was very fresh and lovingly prepared. Highlights, for me, were two items that I have never had with Dim Sum before: incredible stir fried squid (sided with hot sauce) and puffy, light and scrumptious egg custard tarts. I also had about three or four different kinds of dumplings, all very tasty. Another completely unique treat was a flat dumpling, perhaps filled with vegetables, sandwiched in between two crunchy lotus roots. Fantastic texture.

                      Here is a caveat for all of those who have never made the trek to Flushing's Chinatown on a Saturday morning. If you're driving, you might want to get there super early - parking in the street is downright impossible, the streets are very congested, and the gigantic lot across the street is a madhouse. I had to park about 20 minutes away by foot.

                      Well worth it, though. Thanks again to all the hounds who hipped me to this great place.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Polecat

                        Dan tarts (egg custard tarts) are very standard dim sum fare, in my experience, though not always very good. The stir-fried squid with hot sauce does sound less usual to me, and I'm not sure I've had that at dim sum before.

                      2. With respect to Manhattan, there's only two places I'd recommend for dim sum:

                        1. I agree with Bolletje, Ping's Seafood (22 Mott) is by far the best dim sum in Chinatown (again, if you've been to Vancouver or HK, this isn't saying much), but I'd stick with Ping's. That said, if you go, it's worth waiting for a table upstairs since the food (a) gets cold by the time it gets downstairs, and (b) the variety slims down considerably as alot of the food upstairs is gone by the time it is supposed to reach downstairs.

                        2. A second (but far-distant choice in my mind) is a place not far from Ping's, across Chatham Square, called Dim-Sum-a-go-go. This place is Taiwanese (which to my mind puts it in an entirely different category from dim sum which truly is Cantonese food) and I believe the restaurant is located in a venue suffering from sick building syndrome. That said, they are known for their dumplings and some of my less-enlightened dim sum-minded friends are known to frequent D.S.A.G.G. in lieu of Ping's.