SF dim sum--not too pricy or crowded
Hello: I'm looking for good dim sum in SF.
I'd prefer not too pricey, and since I'll be bringing my 80+-year-old parents, not too crowded--the wait for a table is hard on them.
Are you planning on going on a weekend or weekday. I find that any Dim Sum worth its soy sauce is pretty crowded on weekends. On a week day I would check out "The Dim Sum King" in the Skyline mall in Daly City (not in S.F. proper. I know, but by car it's probably easier to get to and certainly easier to park than in Chinatown).
I also thought Dim Sum King was very solid. I agree that any good place will be very crowded. Beat this by getting to a restaurant right when they open. Lots of multigenerational families go out for dim sum, hence, lots of elderly people. Most places will have places to sit if you have to wait, and I'm thinking that elderly people will always be given priority for sitting down.
Also dim sum needs to be fresh to be good, so even if you were to find someplace that wasn't crowded (unless it was close to opening time) you probably wouldn't want to go there if the food doesn't turn over very fast. Like the others I would advise you to arrive early to avoid having to wait.
I'll disagree with Lichee Garden. Went there two weeks ago, and six of us waited more than 30 minutes. What's more, the selection was strange -- at first nearly every single dish they offered us had shrimp in it. I like shrimp, but I wanted more variety. It seemed like the Chinese families there were eating regular dishes, not dim sum.
Instead I'd recommend City View restaurant on Commercial. The food is tasty, it's not as expensive as Yank Sing, and it's large enough that you might not have a wait there.
re: Sharon S.
The nice thing about Tian Sing, too, is if your parents have a tough time with the clatter, the chatter and the general chaos, this place is quiet, well-appointed, and the dim sum has been pretty good, though I've not gone there since it opened. I know I simply do not talk to my father in dim sum restaurants in general because he cannot hear me, even with his hearing aid, which magnifies the clatter, even in the kitchen. City View would also be good.
re: Hao Chr
Speaking of quiet -- has anyone had dim sum at Louie's recently? It's also very quiet, mostly because they don't use carts; they have a combination of circulating trays and a check-off menu. Ordering off a check-off menu means you get fresh dishes, even when they aren't crowded.
Anyway, a while back I heard they had a new dim sum chef, but I haven't been, and I haven't heard any recent reports.
re: Hao Chr
Here are some previous Tian Sing reports:
Maybe Sharon S. was making an implied comparison with YS's prices (or Toronto's Lai Wah Heen's!)
When I went to TS last year, you could pick up a colorful menu at the desk as you walked in which spelled out the pricing (including specials) and defined which items fell into which categories (S/M/L etc.), so at least there was no need for sticker shock when you got the bill.
Just discovered Great Eastern this year, so far I've been happy with their Dim Sum offerings, no carts, you just order from the list.
Was less impressed with their head-on prawns, tasted a bit like the tank-very strange. They are prompt,even when it's super busy, try to sit upstairs however.
Good shrimp and chive dumplings. It's in Chinatown on Jackson, I believe.
We went to Hong Kong Seafood S&T on Noriega (at 33rd Ave.) yesterday and were quite pleased. We had been there previously for dinner but not dim sum.
We were able to park within 1 block and were seated immediately. We originally arrived at 11:30am and there was a huge line so we ran an errand and returned closer to 1pm. The place was still full and busy but it was mostly large tables of families. Since we were only a table of four, they are able to seat us right away.
The dim sum was quite good, very fresh tasting (not salty, greasy or MSG-laden) and inexpensive. We had 7 plates/baskets of dim sum & tea for $26. The shrimp dishes were above average (& way better then Ton Kiang). We would have eaten a lot more, but we were just there for "research", it was our second lunch and we knew we had four more to get through that afternoon.
Anyway, I'd recommend it and we'll definitely move it into regular rotation.
S&T Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant
2578 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122