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NYT Travel Section article re: Dim Sum in the Boroughs

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livetoeat Dec 17, 2006 07:32 PM

Can anyone give their opinions on the dim sum restaurants profiled in this week's NYT Travel section? They are:

Sunset Park, Brooklyn:
Diamond on Eighth
New Seawide Seafood Restaurant

Flushing, Queens:
Gu-Shine Taiwanese Restaurant
Noodle House
Happy Noodle Beef House
Flushing Mall

Also Manhattan:
Golden Bridge
Mei Lal Wah Coffee Shop
Yuen Yuen Restaurant

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    budcar RE: livetoeat Dec 17, 2006 08:39 PM

    I thought it strange that the significant dim sum emporiums like Gum Fung, Ocean Jewels, and Gala Manor in queens were omitted. I wonder why?

    1. teresa RE: livetoeat Dec 17, 2006 09:36 PM

      I don't think any of those Flushing restaurants mentioned even serve the typical dim sum. Maybe they were confused what is considered to be "dim sum"? In Chinese, it actually means "snack", so maybe they were taking the literal translation?

      The Flushing Mall is good if you want to be able to try different Chinese cuisines. There is a Taiwanese stall that my mom is very fond of. You can get the oyster noodles. I prefer the knife cut noodles (dao xiao mian). They also have boba, shaved ice, fried dough (you tiao), scallion pancakes, shabu shabu, etc. It's a lot of variety. It reminds me of Taiwan's fantastic food courts.

      1. jen kalb RE: livetoeat Dec 18, 2006 12:46 AM

        the article seemed like a not-too-intelligent touristic cruise of the neighborhoods - it really didint try to select good places, as far as I could see.

        For example the visit to Hong Kong Supermarket was that of a gawker not a food shopper. Yeah, there is a certain amount of exotic seeming, improbably stuff in the front of the store (notably the writer did not seem to actually sample any of it) but Im not sure he made it very far into the place.
        Still and all, he may have pointed a light at some interesting stuff - id be interested in hearing.

        1. squid kun RE: livetoeat Dec 18, 2006 02:00 AM

          I think the headline was misleading. The story does mention dim sum, but it never says it's supposed to be the focus of the piece.

          2 Replies
          1. re: squid kun
            b
            budcar RE: squid kun Dec 18, 2006 11:25 AM

            The title is "Dim Sum, Borough by Borough"

            1. re: budcar
              squid kun RE: budcar Dec 18, 2006 04:27 PM

              That's what I'm saying. Whoever wrote that headline (and it's never the author of the story) misread the piece. And at least a couple other editors must have failed to catch the error, so that's how it ran.

          2. csw RE: livetoeat Dec 18, 2006 05:15 AM

            Damn sometimes I hate NyTimes. As if the lines aren't long enough..now its going to be even longer!

            1. z
              zorgclyde RE: livetoeat Dec 18, 2006 06:45 AM

              Sorry I disagree with the poster that said NYT did not select good places.

              Gu Shine is one of the best and most consistant places there is. And writer is on spot when describing shaved ice.
              I can't comment on Brooklyn and Manhattan ones, as I dont really go there.

              Sigh I can just imagine the wait the next time I go to Gushine.

              2 Replies
              1. re: zorgclyde
                bigjeff RE: zorgclyde Dec 19, 2006 03:23 AM

                is gushine the taiwanese place around the corner from the sago place, and across the street from the church? thought it was ku-shiang, or something like that . .

                1. re: bigjeff
                  Brian S RE: bigjeff Dec 19, 2006 06:48 PM

                  Yes. It's at 135-40 39 Av They got to be known as gu shine among English speakers and now have a big sign with that name in English.

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              2. g
                GeoJack RE: livetoeat Dec 18, 2006 03:34 PM

                I completely agree with Budcar and Teresa. The article does not speak to dim sum in Flushing.

                1. l
                  livetoeat RE: livetoeat Dec 18, 2006 03:47 PM

                  so....with all of this being said...what are everyone's favorite dim sum restaurants, in any borough?

                  1. csw RE: livetoeat Dec 19, 2006 01:44 AM

                    It seemed like the writer did his research on chowhound.

                    1. famdoc RE: livetoeat Dec 19, 2006 02:44 PM

                      Re: Diamond on Eighth.
                      I can't address the dim sum situation at this sparkly joint in Bay Ridge's Chinatown, but I did have a fine meal there recently. I told the host my food preferences and asked him to make suggestions. One plate stood out: grouper two ways, I'll call it. The plate featured a generous serving of grouper, half prepared salt-baked and the other have sauteed.
                      The fish was fresh, the flavors were complex and stimulating.
                      The price: $14.95. Enough food for three people.
                      It's a seasonal dish and might not be available all winter.
                      A tofu/vegetable casserole was also enjoyed by all.
                      A meat eater at our table ordered an appetizer of duck and chicken, which was overcooked and tasteless.
                      And get a load of the real shark fins on the wall.

                      1. s
                        Smokyduck RE: livetoeat Dec 19, 2006 05:32 PM

                        For most of the people posting here, Define "Dim Sum".

                        Dim sum is a Cantonese pronounciation for snack. Here in US, people took this word and refer it to what people in Hong Kong and Canton will phrase as "Yum Cha" (drink tea) when going to a restaurant to have tea and snack. Dim Sum in Chinese does not limit to Cantonese style of tea drinking. Anything in a small portion and not a full meal is Dim Sum which includes but not limited to all sorts of street vendor food. My grandmother from north of China would give me a small bowl of noodle or dumpling when I came home from school in the afternoon. My grandmother from Shanghai would give me some bake flaky bread (shao bing)as snack instead. These are all Dim Sum (in Cantonese pronounciation)from different parts of China. So I would think that NYT reporter did not make any mistake in the headline they used.

                        Anyway, my point is, Dim Sum is widely used in China, not just in Canton...

                        1. designerboy01 RE: livetoeat Dec 20, 2006 03:29 AM

                          Yuen Yuen is not known to be a Dim Sum place. It would probably be the last place I would go for Dim Sum

                          Mei Lal Wah Coffee Shop
                          Does a few Dim Sum dishes but they do it well because they make it like it is suppose to and they make good coffee. I think they use an old trick to make it less bitter which I'm not going to mention.

                          Golden Bridge
                          I had better experience in the past.

                          I can't imagine bringing anyone to Flushing mall and telling them we are going for Dim Sum.

                          I haven't been to the other places. But the ones with the name of 'Noodle' in it makes me think it specializes more as a noodle shop than a dim sum joint.

                          A Taiwanese Restaurant is not the first place I would pick if I wanted to eat Dim Sum which is totally a Cantonese invention.

                          Dim Sum means touches of the heart and its a Cantonese term. It may mean other things in orther areas.

                          That is my 2 cents.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: designerboy01
                            Polecat RE: designerboy01 Dec 22, 2006 10:56 PM

                            Ditto re Mei Lei Wah, one of my favorite Chinatown haunts. Was just there this morning, got a coconut bun and some coffee. I'm curious, though, as to what you mean when you say they do like it is supposed to be done. I don't doubt you, but, not having been to China, and only having other NYC bakeries and teahouses and dim sum parlors as a frame of reference, I'm curious.

                            1. re: Polecat
                              designerboy01 RE: Polecat Jan 8, 2007 07:20 AM

                              Mei Lei Wah has been around for quite a while. I still remember going there when I was a kid, more than 35 years at least. Back then it was packed, and their shui mai is still done pretty tasty. Its done by an older generation of chinese who are more closer to traditions back in China.

                              1. re: designerboy01
                                Polecat RE: designerboy01 Jan 8, 2007 08:06 AM

                                So say some of the long-standing customers that I've talked to over coffee and shrimp buns. One guy, wearing a pork pie hat, once told me, "this is the way I ate in Canton", refering to his browned pork dumpling and his custard bun. The place attracts a lot of great characters telling their stories. If I knew Chinese, I would be able to listen fully. For now, I just dig the rhythms, cadences of the language, and, of course, the combination buns (MLW's answer to the SuperSized Quarter Pounder). Of course, there is, every now and then, the chance exchange in English, well worth hearing.

                                I should mention that my wife found this place as the result of thumbing through a Japanese guide book for NYC. This was my kind of guide book. They also listed the Donut Pub, up on 14th. Mei Lei Wah, Donut Pub...the secrets of the universe lay in wait as you stare at the open door of the kitchen, from where men enter at inconsistent times of day, carrying trays like Alaskan ice sheets from who-knows-where into the ancient hot-boxes they got behind the counter. I sometimes think those guys at Mei Lei Wah have discovered this black hole in time/space, from where they have mined this inexhaustible source of breakfast bun goodness. I mean, they just keep coming out.
                                P.

                          2. teresa RE: livetoeat Dec 20, 2006 02:15 PM

                            I've been to Taiwan and the food is awesome there, but their dim sum (Cantonese style with carts) is not very good. They don't even have half the dishes we have in New York! I am a big fan of Gum Fung and Gala Manor. I would not recommend Ocean Jewels.

                            In Chinatown, Jin Fong is good, only if you arrive by 11:30 am on the weekends. Otherwise they will have no dishes left. Ping's was also pretty good. Although they do not push carts there, they do go around with dishes and you can select what you want. Dim Sum Go Go is good if you don't mind skipping the cart experience. I noticed there are a lot more non-Asians at this vendor. I 've been to Golden Unicorn and I wasn't very happy because it seems to only attract tourists and there wasn't a lot of variety in the dishes.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: teresa
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                              budcar RE: teresa Dec 21, 2006 11:14 AM

                              What is your exception to Ocean Jewels?

                              1. re: budcar
                                teresa RE: budcar Dec 21, 2006 04:30 PM

                                Well, I've only been there once and I did not enjoy it. The shrimp dumplings (har gow) seemed to have filler stuff in it instead of just big shrimp like Gum Fung and Gala Manor's dumplings. My family agreed that the quality of the dishes wasn't as good or fresh. I felt that it was a bit pricey for its quality. I do remember we went when they first opened, if anything their quality should have been better then. I just hate being disappointed when it comes to dim sum especially the basic shrimp dumpling. Gala Manor and Gum Fung also both have my favorite baked pork buns (chao shao bao). Maybe I'll try Ocean Jewels again when I feel like being adventurous!

                                Have you been there recently?

                                1. re: teresa
                                  b
                                  budcar RE: teresa Dec 22, 2006 11:06 AM

                                  No, I haven't. I've been going to Gum Fung, but I didn't realize the har gow contained chopped shrimp. Since this is only one of their offerings, and it may not ultimately be a negative because its texture may be an improvement over whole shrimp, I still think Ocean Jewels is on a par with Gum Fung. I still have to try Gala Manor. Thanks, Theresa, for your response.

                                  1. re: teresa
                                    Brian S RE: teresa Dec 22, 2006 04:00 PM

                                    You might want to go there for dinner.

                                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

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