Dim sum at City View - report [SF]
- Amy H. Jul 7, 2005 03:57 PM
I hadn't been to City View before last Friday -- went with a group of eight total from work. Not sure how I'd never managed this, since I like dim sum and this place is quite close to the office. (Full disclosure: I'm in the Yank Sing camp -- but until usually would only make it to Harbor Village with comrades from work, since they didn't want to walk all the way over to Rincon Center.) I was very pleasantly surprised. . . absolutely delicious lunch and extremely reasonable -- ended up at right around $20 each. We had made reservations that day.
Highlights were the sugar snap peas, turnip cake, sticky rice with pork (not wrapped in leaves), flat wide noodles with beef and with shrimp (can't remember the name for these), potstickers and pork buns -- once we finally got them. The long-awaited pork buns arrived nearly an hour after we first sat down (at just after noon). Not sure what was going on there, but they were worth the wait. We cleaned out the stock the server had with her -- four steamers of three buns each -- and polished all buns off in a few minutes. Much better than the pork bao at HV.
Only disappointment were the soup dumplings, which had decent flavor, but no broth at all and an odd, lumpy texture. I liked the ones I'd had at Yank Sing a month or two ago much better.
That said, I'll be back to City View very soon. Great food and far more reasonable than Yank Sing (plus closer!).
City View Restaurant
662 Commercial Street (between Montgomery & Kearny)
San Francisco, CA 94111
I guess $20/person is cheap compared to Yank Sing, but it doesn't sound particularly cheap to me, especially since you didn't mention any of the high-end items (like roast duck) that drive the tab up. For the basic dim sum items you mentioned, $20/person actually sounds quite high (it's about what I usually spend at Harbor Village, where I always get the roast duck).
re: Ruth Lafler
Ruth, we did have the Peking duck and the chicken (or squab?) in lettuce cups as well -- 6 to 8 of each of those two items probably drove the bill up a bit. Though I'm probably still recoiling from last time at Yank Sing, with four people, which was much closer to $40 per person.
Went on Friday. Standouts for me were scallop siu mai, turnip cake (best I've had anywhere), taro dumpling, pork bao (small, good ratio of filling to bread), and custard tarts.
Pork and shrimp siu mai was very good, as was that spherical steamed dumpling with the thickish translucent wrapper filled with greens. Rice rolls with BBQ pork were good.
Two kinds (bamboo and mushroom) of large half-moon-shaped steamed dumplings (same shape as potstickers but much largers) were bland and meh.
My friend grabbed the check so I don't know how much it cost.
City View is our go-to place for dim sum in Chinatown ... And really, in the entire city. I haven't eaten anything there that suffered by comparison to either Yank Sing or Tong Kiang, both of which (heresy alert) appear to me to be coasting on reputation.