Saigon Maxim Dim Sum - Philadelphia
Last weekend we went to Saigon Maxim (formerly Sunrise) for dim sum brunch. We had been to this location (in a big plaza at 6th and Washington) several times over the past few years, and had really enjoyed the food and the overall experience. Well, no more - Saigon Maxim has gone downhill. The first clue was that at peak brunch hour, very few tables were filled. The restaurant was dirty, the carts weren't circulating, the variety of dishes was limited, and the food was mediocre at best. Since it was dim sum, we just left after trying a few dishes and realizing that it wasn't meeting our expectations. The change in ownership from Sunrise to Saigon Maxim took place about a year ago, and we wondered if after a transitional period, the new owners just weren't able to maintain the quality. It honestly felt like we were in a restaurant on its last legs.
We walked across the street to another dim sum place (not sure of the name, but it is a big yellow building at 8th and Washington). We thought that the manager provided great customer service, and the food was slightly better, but it also was an unsatisfying experience. I think that the places in Chinatown are the better bets these days for dim sum!
re: Main Line Tracey
We went to Lakeside last night for the first time, and it won't be our last for sure. Ha Gao (steamed shrimp dumplings) were the best I've had, and chiu chow shrimp balls were crispy on the outside and had good flavor. We weren't too crazy about the spicy satay squid b/c the sauce was too sweet, but the squid was perfectly cooked. 2 of us had 7 dim sum dishes with a big bowl of soup, and the bill was about $20. Highly recommended.
I also went to that big dimsum place on 8th and Washington and found most of it to be absolutely inedible. I should have heeded the warning of the empty, cavernous atmosphere. I hate to just take one bite and leave the rest, particularly when I
ve been craving something but this food was dreadful. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I have to get over to Lakeside in chinatown. That's supposed to be the best, according to other chowhounders.