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Dim Sum Go Go

  • p

I can't find (or, really, effectively search for) a topic for this place, so I'm starting my own. I'd like to thank everyone who's recommended this place, including the late Bux, who often spoke of his appreciation for the place on eGullet's Manhattan board, and the folks on Chowhound who've been touting Go Go's dim sum as being in the modern Hong Kong style, which they explain is lower fat compared to the 1980s Hong Kong style that is featured by the big dim sum eating halls in Chinatown (forgive me, many are touting the place but I fear I've forgotten the name of the one who explained the style of its dim sum). Now that I've tried the place out, I wonder why I waited so long.

I went there for lunch yesterday (Wednesday) with a friend, arriving around 11:50. I think one other table was occupied, but by the time we left around 1:10, the place was busy.

We had the following:

Turnip cakes (fine rendition, with finely minced strips of ham)

Roast pork bun (thin dough, very tasty filling)

Baked egg custard (another very good rendition - the crust was firm and not excessively flaky, and the filling was a lot better than one gets used to in Manhattan)

Rice rolls with shrimp (the long, thick noodle stuffed with shrimp - I found this rendition rather uninteresting, and the sauce tasted like straight soy sauce)

Chicken bun (too doughy, but the filling was tasty)

Chives and shrimp dumplings (very good and clean-tasting)

Duck dumplings (also good)

Jade dumplings (a vegetarian item which included some kind of green bean [edamame?] and I'm forgetting what else [carrot?], but it was nice)

As you can see, we had a substantial meal. The cost was something like $22 and change plus tip.

In general, I would characterize the items we had as well-made from good ingredients and relatively light, especially for dim sum. This is good Cantonese food, and I will surely return to try other items.

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  1. I agree wholeheartedly. Also, while it may lack the "authentic" environment of some of the bigger dim sum houses, I'll take better quality food over an authentic environment any day.

    Love those duck dumplings!

    20 Replies
    1. re: Kanger

      Pan and Kanger, I am joining this group! I mentioned a few times in the past about Dim Sum Go Go, but it appeared that the more traditional dim sum restaurants got their fans as well. I can understand because this style of dim sum, with thicker dumpling skins, bigger sized buns, etc. is what have been serving in Chinatown for years. It is a matter of personal preference, I guess.

      Pan, back to what you had at Dim Sum Go Go, I completely agree with your descriptions and comments. I also like their roast pork bun because of the thin dough and the pork fillings - not the dried out or overly sauced version that most places have. I was pleasantly surprised by a lot of their vegetarian dumplings. I am not a big veggie fan, but their veggie dumplings were made with fresh greens and hence tasted light and refreshing. I like the one with young green pea shoots a lot.

      Their fried items are also quite nicely done, not too oily and not pre-fried ahead of time. I like their shrimp with mango rolls a lot.

      last but not least, their dim sum are available all day, and sometimes my mom will buy dim sum for take out as late afternoon snacks. The people there are very nice and they will serve tea to my mom while she is waiting. The dim sum, after reheating at home with a steam, taste as good as what you have there!

      1. re: kobetobiko

        I like this place. The non dim sum dishes like the garlic chicken and edamame with bacon and shrimp are great, too. My only complaint is that ordering is needlessly complex.

        1. re: a_and_w

          I am going here in a few weeks, what is so complicated about ordering?

          1. re: angelo04

            You don't just pick dim sum from a cart or order it off a menu. As I recall, you fill out a confusing little form with the various dishes listed. I've seen English-speaking customers get seriously frustrated over miscommunication with the staff.

            PS: Almost forgot -- the Go Go dim sum hamburger is quite tasty, too.

            1. re: angelo04

              NOTHING is complicated about ordering, at least at lunch! You simply have a menu that consists of a list of items, and you write down the number of each item you want in a blank space with a pencil they provide you with for that purpose.

              1. re: Pan

                That is needlessly complex -- you should be able to point to the menu as you do when ordering every other type of food. As I said, I've actually seen someone get into a fight with staff over miscommunications over what was ordered, how much, etc.

                1. re: a_and_w

                  I guess I don't see what the complication is. In Asia this is the standard way of ordering way nowadays. Only more traditional restaurants still have carts with dim sum rolling around in the restaurants.

                  Ordering from the list is better as the dim sum are steamed right after you place your order instead of ahead of time. Most of the time when dim sum sit in the carts for a long time the skins become gummy and sticky, not to mention they are not as fresh.

                2. re: Pan

                  That is precisely what I'm talking about. What is the point of the form? It just adds another layer of complexity that can be very off-putting if you're not familiar with the process. The staff, moreover, is not the friendliest or most responsive. I like the food but there are customer-service issues...

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    Those forms are pretty ubiquitous at dim sum restaurants when you order take out dim sum, even from a restaurant with cart service, as well as the new wave Hong Kong/Vancouver style of cooked to order dim sum. That's just the way it is.

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      The form allows the restaurant to steam the dim sum right after you place the order, instead of steaming them ahead of time and place into the cart for "display". Using the card means you can have fresh dim sum right out from the steamer instead of dim sum with gooey skins due that have been sitting around from a long time. It is now the "standard" way of ordering dim sum in Hong Kong and better dim sum places in Asia.

                      1. re: kobetobiko

                        Totally agree with A&W, I much prefer the carts rather then the convoluted list thats offered. The idea of it being fresher, more so then if it was on a cart, I find to be misleading. How do I know it was instantly steamed especially for me and not pulled off some wheel cart kept in the kitchen.... unbeknownst to me. In any event, when it comes to dim sum, I perfer to see my dumplings upfront. Perhaps its simply of a matter of personal preference.

                        1. re: Mickey Blue

                          I guess that depends on the quality of the restaurants. It is the same for any restaurant really - how do you know if they cook your pasta and sauce fresh right after you place the order and not just slap some sauce on some pre-cooked spagetti? You can tell when you taste the dim sum, so that's one way of telling whether the dim sum are steamed fresh.

                          For the dim sum in the carts, while some customers may get fresh ones if they seat close to the kitchen and the steamers are just placed in the carts. However, there are likely to be some dim sum that have been sitting in the carts for awhile, especially if you go at a not so busy hour.

                          1. re: kobetobiko

                            So I went for the first time on Saturday. I've only done dim sum twice. Once was cart service and this the time the list thing. Think I prefer the cart but given that the service was so bad at this place, the list compensated for the lack of service. I think it's easier to hand them a list here. Imagine they did cart service? You might starve. 4 of us ordered 20-25 dishes over the course of 3 rounds. Each time I had to flag them down to take our order. Questions went unanswered, my guess is the waiters didn't speak English or I couldn't hear/understand what they were saying. That said, the order sheet was helpful. Aside form the bad service, the dumplings were pretty damn good. Not sure If I'd go back, I'm not in Chinatown often enough so I would probably try to seek out another place should I find myself there again.

                      2. re: a_and_w

                        Seriously, what is so complex about putting a number next to an item? I can hardly think of anything more straightforward and it makes it easier for the servers who probably have not yet mastered English.

                        1. re: eca

                          Agreed. And if you're not sure what something is, take a chance and order it. If you don't like it, so be it. It's not such an investment.

                          1. re: valerie

                            Maybe I'm missing your points or your missing mine. Agrred, the list is not complex and if anything more helpful in a place with sub-standard service. Their dim sum was awesome. And we definitivley tried some things where we didn't have a clue what they were. Everything was tasty. As far as not going back, just would like to try a different place as I don't get there often enough.

                            1. re: valerie

                              Hey, if it works for you, more power to you. I'd personally much rather point to the item on a menu like I do at every other restaurant where servers have issues with English. Valerie's comment is precisely what bothers me -- I shouldn't have to "take a chance and order it" when I'm paying money for what I want.

                              1. re: a_and_w

                                Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that I would just randomly pick out things and order them from the list. I'm not that adventurous and I would be too afraid that I'd get something scary like chicken feet or the like. If I'm really not sure, I wouldn't order it.

                                But I guess that my point is that when I was there most recently (last year), my husband ordered something that was described as an egg thing (I don't remember exactly what the description or conversation was), but he wasn't exactly sure what he was ordering. He likes eggs, so he figured he'd try it and if he didn't like, no great loss.

                                It was some egg custard thing that he absolutely loved and now he looks for it whenever we have dim sum (which isn't that often).

                                1. re: valerie

                                  Valerie, don't be afraid of chicken feet, unless you can't bear to see the sight of them - I could understand that. But chicken feet are fun!

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    It has some affects like birds nest soup. Good for the skin, but this is the "poormans" way.

              2. (Parenthetically, I felt I should reply to myself to clarify that I was able to find previous topics about this restaurant but probably because of the lack of a "sort by date" function, no recent topics focusing on its dim sum specifically, only general dim sum topics.)

                1. Next time you go, be sure to try the steamed pea shoot dumplings. They're my absolute favorite!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jimilady

                    Thanks for that recommendation. I like pea shoots and considered those as a possibility.

                  2. We eat there often, and I can eat (and often do) several orders of the chives and shrimp dumplings. We recently had snow pea leaves and sauteed bok choy (new diet plan!) which were clean and fresh and delicious. My kids love the sesame balls - nothing like the ones we used to get at UWS dim sum and the shrimp and mango roll.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: aimeezing1

                      The chive and shrimp dumplings are my favorite too. They're so tender and delicate, and I think they are steamed to order because they seemed fresh even when no one else would be in there. I used to have three orders for lunch and call it a day. I also like the little bowls of condiments they give you, particularly the dry strands of barbecue-like thing.

                      1. re: traceybell

                        am i the only one who's not entirely enamored with dsgg? i think its decent in a bind and better than most in chinatown. the flavors are fine. but maybe it's because for me, a critical component of dimsum is the wrapper, and in this regard the only place in nyc i've been impressed is chinatown brasserie. most others are way too gummy and don't "pop" in your mouth as you bite through hte skin.

                        the dimsum in nyc makes me miss the options in SF...

                        1. re: FattyDumplin

                          I still feel that at least my one meal at Chinatown Brasserie was at an entirely different and higher level in terms of taste than my one meal so far at Dim Sum Go Go.

                    2. I was supposed to have a date at Dim Sum Go Go on Sunday at 1:30 (I got stood up, but that's another story). There was a long line. When would you advise someone to arrive on a Sunday? Before 11?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Pan

                        We went a couple of Saturdays ago at 11am and there were a bunch of open tables. Around noon it filled up.

                        1. re: banquo

                          Good to know.

                          Has anyone tried to reserve for a large party at dim sum? Can you do that? If so, does anyone have any idea how many one can reserve for?