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Nov 29, 2005 02:11 AM

Dim Sum Trail

  • m

Last Tuesday I made the rounds of the to-go dim sum houses picking up our favorites to take to Salinas. We'd snack on these in between turkey and the leftovers and to have a ready meal at hand for drop-in visitors.

Gourmet Dim Sum (Clement) - Har gau only, noted as appreciably better than the standard takeout by everyone who tried these.

Wing Lee (Clement) - Yau tieu, beef siu mai, sharksfin dumpling, chicken and mushroom jook, fun gwor.

Good Luck is closed on Tuesdays, otherwise I would have picked up a few things for an updated comparison. TC Pastry on Irving, the best spot for one-stop-shopping is closed on Tuesdays too.

Cafe Bakery (Noriega) - Bodacious baked char siu bao.

In Daly City, we found the other branch of TC Pastry near Seton Medical Center, which someone had posted was closed on Wednesdays. But it turned out to have the same day off as SF. At least I know where it is now.

Ranch 99 (Daly City) - Mom still wanted something sweet, and didn't seem much interested in Dim Sum King. The lo pau beng (old wife cake) was terrible, good thing it was only 30ยข for the last one in the case (usually 3/$1). The fried sesame balls, filled with sweet red bean paste, were very crunchy if a bit thick but not bad.


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  1. Yep, Tuesdays are not good for take out dim sum houses. I also tried the taro dumplings at Wing Sing (Judah & 9th) that Yimster recommended and they are, hands down, better than Good Luck's. The taro was diced rather than mashed and had a good 5 spice seasoning. However, in terms of freshness and dumpling skin elasticity, I still think Good Luck is the best in the City. I suppose if you are always working with a 10 people deep line, anything would be fresh!!

    Also did a blind Char Siu Boa tasting this last Sunday. We used to think Sunset Bakery on 9th, near Judah, has an awesome CSB...but no longer. We compared it to the gold standard (Cafe Bakery on Noriega) and the filling from Sunset's version lacked that requisit gravy and the dough was ...well, too doughy. The great csb at Cafe Bakery had that slight crunch before yielding to the bite and the filling is unsurpassed for freshness, flavor and just plain eye appeal.

    Side note, I am happy to report that perhaps Jook & Fun has heard my cry and decided to put more pork in their wontons. They're still a tat too big for my taste but the balance of pork and shrimp is good and the seasoning has that HK wonton taste. The soup is ok only.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Margret

      The time I tried the cha siu bao at Cafe Bakery the filling was full of hunks of fat and gristle. Yuk.

      1. re: LMC

        Sorry to hear that. Perhaps it was a bad batch or off day. Give them another try and see if it's the same. I found that when they are fresh out of the oven (not the holding one), they are the best. Of the many, many, csb I've had here, the meat has always been fairly lean and plentiful. However, I've found that there were times when the dought was thinner and the filling more abundant than other times. Perhaps they have differnt pastry workers out back?? hmmm


        1. re: Margret
          ChowFun (derek)

          Golden Gate on Grant in Chinatown makes a wonderful char siu addition to the egg tarts and macaroons!

    2. Curious about where "Gourmet Dim Sum" was on Clement I did a quick Google and right below one of Melanie's older posts was a Health Department Violation. Oops! Still, the violations weren't too bad. Nothing like building up a your immunity.

      Was Gourmet Dim Sum a favorite of yours, Melanie? I get so intimidated by the number of dim sum places on Clement. I'd like to narrow it down to one or two great places to sample.


      1. c
        chesney hoagland-fuchs

        I'm new to this area, and live in Oldtown, Salinas. Any suggestions for Dim Sum around here?