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Nov 29, 2006 09:27 PM

Dim Sum in Orange County?

any recommendations for good dim sum for a saturday or sunday in orange county? i'm from new york and used to canton-style and shanghai-style places, which is what i'd love to find. thanks.

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    1. My favorite is China Garden in Irvine, because it's close, it's cheap, it's not too crowded, and it's good.

      Don't bother with Sam Woo on Culver (also in Irvine), I liked them for quite a while, but my last visit was a major let down. They actually seemed to have microwaved some of their dim least that's what it tasted like.

      Here are some Photos of what China Garden has to offer.

      2 Replies
      1. re: elmomonster

        I concur. The last time at Sam Woo was a let down compared to China Garden.

        1. re: cdmedici

          I also like China Garden, but I seem to go when there is always a crowd. Usually a 30-45 minute wait for me on the weekends. I probably go at the height of the busy time though.

      2. W/o driving all the way to LA, there's TEN TEN SEAFOOD on Euclid in Anaheim. The selection isn't huge, and I'm not sure if it's Cantonese or Shanghai style, but it fits the bill when I get a craving.

        8 Replies
        1. re: OCAnn

          It's Cantonese style, but if you go at any kind of "off" hour (like, say, 1 PM on Tuesday) you will be very, very, VERY sad.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Thanks for the warning. I'm usually @ any dim sum place by 11:00 a.m., before the crowd hits. I guess it's like any restaurant: go early for more attentive service, no reservations necessary (most of the time), shorter waits (if any) and solid food.

            1. re: OCAnn

              It SHOULD be okay, but when it's not crowded the dumplings are warmed over. Otherwise, it's fine. I actually prefer to wait because I know I'll get fresh food.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                I went to Ten Ten Seafood today(Friday) at 1:30pm for dim sum. Last time I ate here was about ten years ago. I was really hoping I'd love it. Shucks! It was not crowded. Unfortunately the food was not fresh, but I'm not sure I would go back even if it were fresh. The food was mostly overcooked or the flavor was off.

                We had:
                -Har gow (oversteamed so wrappers were mushy and the shrimp was chewy and water logged, almost tasteless).
                -Shu mai (Very rough grind on the pork, very dense, which some may prefer so it's not necessarily a bad thing, and flavor was ok).
                -Seaweed wrapped pork and shrimp (very fishy flavored and way over cooked and tough). Had one bite and that was enough, left the rest.
                -Shrimp balls, deep fried (tough over cooked and tasted very much like fish sticks).
                -Chinese brocoli with oyster sauce (Yaaay, very good!).

                PS. Forgot to add that there was mix up on the bill and we were overcharged $1.60. It was corrected only after a lengthy discussion.

                1. re: GrindzHound

                  Ten Ten Seafood is one of the few OC dim sum places I haven't been to yet, and judging from the review, I probably won't anytime soon. The har gow and shu mai are what I use as standard dishes to judge the quality of a dim sum place. When these are bad, the rest usually is.

                  1. re: GrindzHound

                    See, this is exactly my point. Go on a weekday, it's miserable. Go on the weekend at peak hours, and those same crappy har gau are now sublime. It's like night and day.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      I agree to a certain extent that fresher is much better, especially for steamed foods where sitting food will get oversteamed, overcooked and bland. I can tell you as far as my experience at Ten Ten is concerned, that the food sitting too long wasn't the reason that I would not go back. The seaweed wrapped pork and shrimp was reeeaally fishy and the shrimp balls genuinely tasted like fish sticks. I try to give accurate descriptions of the food I eat and not just give my preference personal good or bad, because everyone has different tastes. That's why I described the shu mai as roughly ground. Hopefully the har gow is much better when fresher, I just can't see going back when there is Seafood Palace and China Garden close by.

                      1. re: GrindzHound

                        I know it's old, but I just saw this reply. I have to say, GrindzHound, that your description of the seaweed pork and shrimp and shrimp balls at Ten Ten are spot on! They were brought out fresh to me on a weekend and the freshness made absolutely no difference. They ought to tweak the components of those two recipes. I can't imagine anybody liking that seaweed thing. They sell quite a few of them though. Of everything I've tried at Ten Ten, those were the worst. I have enjoyed everything else.

          2. You can also try the chinese places in and around Westminster (Little Saigon) area. Most of them are very disappointing, but you can try both Seafood World on Brookhurst/McFadden and Seafood Paradise on Westminster between Magnolia and Beach. I especially like the har gow at Seafood Paradise, they are so plump and delicious.

            1. I think the only two worth going to nowadays are Seafood Paradise in Westminster and China Garden in Irvine. Contrary to what Elmomonster said, I've always experienced crowds at China Garden, at least a 10-15 minute wait during the prime times between 11AM-1PM on the weekends, and that parking lot really gets jammed up sometimes.

              Have always had disappointing experiences at Seafood World on Brookhurst, even on weekends. I wouldn't recommend this place at all.

              Russell's Seafood on Main St in Irvine near the John Wayne airport is decent. Much better than Seafood World, but not quite up to par with Seafood Paradise or China Garden.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Wonginator

                Actually, Wonginator, you hit it right on the nose on the wait. It's somewhere between 10-15 minutes during the busiest times. And the parking lot *is* packed solid by then.

                But considering I've had to wait 45 minutes to 90 minutes at Sea Harbour and Ocean Star and other dim sum houses in SGV, I consider China Garden deserted by comparison! ;-)


                1. re: elmomonster

                  I waited two hours for Empress Pavilion in Chinatown, and it was so not worth it!

                  1. re: elmomonster

                    I usually set 30 min. as the longest wait that I can tolerate, and only if our party is so large that we can't all drive easily to another site. And now that I've compiled a list of dim sum restaurants from Chowhound, I always have 2 or 3 places as backups in case the first choice is too crowded.

                    The longest recent wait I had was at the former Sea Harbour location in Rowland Heights, which we waited about 30 min. Anything longer, and I just go elsewhere.

                  2. re: Wonginator

                    While Dragon Phoenix has fallen Seafood Paradise has risen. The shu mai, shrimp wrapped in seaweed (deep fried), shrimp wontons, pea sprouts and chinese brocoli are especiallty good. The har gow is a bit mild to bland in flavor. Overall this place is great because it's close.