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Sep 13, 2007 03:12 PM

[SEA] A dim sum sampler, to go?

My office is moving from the northern part of Seattle to downtown - much closer to the ID and dim sum! I'm thinking of those times coming up when I'd love to take advantage of dim sum for lunch, but can't find a group to join me. Are there any places that will sell a sampler of a single of 6-10 different types of dumplings/buns, for carryout?

I am thinking of a place in San Francisco - Yank Sing - that does this type of business. I think they call it Yank Sing express, and they have a little storefront/window adjoining the main dining room. Empress Pavilion in downtown LA has a similar adjoining to-go storefront, but I don't know about a sampler. I think they may require purchasing the whole 3-4 dumpling portion of any item.

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  1. I'm sure your average dimsum restaurant can probably help you pack up a sampler. Just ask.

    However, dimsum is definitely not something to be served as takeout. You would get similar food quality if you went to an Asian grocery store and got frozen dimsum and just pop it in the microwave.

    6 Replies
    1. re: HungWeiLo

      You know, I certainly appreciate the sentiment. But there have been times that I've sat in the restaurant, and been toward the end of the circuit, such that almost everything we were served off the cart was lukewarm. I complain about this when I'm dining in, and when I could have had it hot. But I still believe the quality is a good deal higher than anything I could get in the frozen aisle.

      1. re: sasha1

        Yeah, the lukewarm dimsum problem happens quite a lot in the ID, unfortunately. Not my favorite place for dimsum. You'd have to go to either Renton or the eastside for more quality dimsum, IMO.

        In many parts of Asia, dim sum is now rarely served off the cart. The items are ordered individually and brought to your table by waiters straight from the kitchen. Win win because you get hot food and the management can control production much better. But you lose the "flavor" and fun of picking out your food by sight on a cart.

        1. re: HungWeiLo

          Shiang Garden of Richmond used a check-the-box menu, in the style of an efficient sushi joint (not sure if this is farang or generally applicable protocol). It is phenomenal dim sum. I have heard that LA's current prolific dim sum palaces also tend to employ a menu-based system.

          Agreed that cart service has a bazaar-style atmospheric appeal, as well as a potential for instant gratification, that is lost with a menu.

          1. re: HungWeiLo

            Dim dum in Renton? Where?

            My daughter moved to Renton about 3 months ago. Each time we visit we have an awful time trying to find a place to eat, and we're coming from Spokane. ;) Maybe we could find it this weekend....

            1. re: colleend

              Imperial Garden - next to the 99 Ranch supermarket at the Great Wall Mall close to Ikea. Go Hwy167S from I-405, then take the 180th St exit.

              18230 E Valley Hwy, Kent, WA
              (425) 656-0999

              Actually, it's technically in Kent. Sorry. But close enough to Renton. I find their dimsum the best when they just open (10:30-11:00?)

            2. re: HungWeiLo

              There were a couple of places we used to get dim sum in LA, before we moved out here, that were menu not cart. The bonus was getting things hot and fresh. But we would sometimes order something and it would come out totally different than expected - which does not happen on a cart. In any case, I like them both.

              We haven't been to any of the southern places for dim sum, because it is such a long drive for us. We're north of Seattle. But have been to Noble Court several times, and Jade Garden once. I actually preferred Jade, despite the less good service. The food was firing on all cylinders that day.

        2. Go to Mee Sum Pastry in the market, everything they sell is by the item, and it is quite good. I reccomend their hum bao especially. Mmmm I'm drooling...

          3 Replies
          1. re: dagoose

            Inside the market, or across the street next to the place with the gigantic vegan cookies? My sister and her fiance were not impressed by the dim sum they got in the latter place...

            1. re: sasha1

              It's across the street, next to a juice place

            2. re: dagoose

              If you have a thing for microwaved bao . . . .

            3. Sadly there is no Yank Sing outpost around here...O'Asian (downtown) might do it on request

              1. I've gone to a few restaurants in the ID where people had to-go orders. Honey Court was one.

                In regards to dim sum takeout, SF has a thriving dim sum takeout buisness. There are many dim sum shops that do nothing but sell to go boxes - dumpling, rice rolls, rice tamales, hom baos (baked, steamed, chicken, pork and beef) at great prices too. I think dim sum holds up very well at room temp.

                However, while at a restaurant, you would expect hot food since it's coming straight from the kitchen.

                Sorry about the side track about SF... In the ID, you can order to go.

                2 Replies
                1. re: dave_c

                  but are the take-out orders in the ID assortments of individual pieces, or the usual 3 or 4 pieces per order?...i think that was the original question (I agree that an assortment would be a great idea)

                  1. re: barleywino

                    A few years ago, I looked into House of Hong they sold by the order not piece by piece.

                    Honey Court, I don't know. I just watched someone pick up a couple boxes which I think he pre-ordered. He came in, sat down and the boxes appeared.