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Feb 27, 2008 01:10 PM

HELP Is there a real replacement for Lakeside Chinese Deli?

While booting up for our annual pilgrimage to Philly for the Flower Show I've learned that that wonderful restaurant has closed. After wiping away the tears for such a great loss I wonder if
there is any real worthy replacement for it in Chinatown? The owner recomended the Imperial. What do you guys think of that?

I expect to get my jook (congee) fix at Tin Wong, but where can I get dim sum as good and as
reasonable as that at the Lakeside? Thanks in advance.

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  1. I sound like a broken record. Ocean Harbor.

    8 Replies
    1. re: lawslaw

      i don't think ocean harbor came remotely close. i'm also wondering if i'm ever going to find (in ANY city) something 1: as good & fresh 2: as cheap 3: that understands "vegetarian" (ocean harbor does not, at all, be forewarned) 4: ...sesame balls...

      1. re: lawslaw

        I find the service at Ocean Harbor horrendous. If you pay by credit card and usually leave the tip on the card, don't because the service staff will think you stiffed them and come chasing after you as leave.

        And I don't think the dimsum is that great. Last time I went the har gau was mushy and other things tasted like it had been in the cart for several hours.

        I had an enjoyable experience at HK Golden Phoenix last Sunday. I didn't get try some of my usual dishes since the person I went with doesn't eat pork. But what I had was pretty good, I thought.

        1. re: bumble

          really? see, i didn't like HK golden phoenix either. nothing special / nothing great in my mind. hard to get the "vegetarian" point across at both places and find something not only edible but appetizing.

          1. re: rabidog

            go to Kingdom of Vegetarians! Everything in the place is vegetarian, and good. I'm a meat-eater and really liked it.

            1. re: Buckethead

              been there, and did like them. i'll have to revisit to see if i might really really like them.

          2. re: bumble

            I've always preferred Ocean Harbor. It's the closest thing to true Hong Kong/Cantonese style dim sum you will find in Phila. Considering the limitations of Chinese cooking in Phila, this means that OH is not the best, just passable, as compared to the great dim sum haunts of NYC and Boston.

            Most of these complaints are unfounded. One: if a vegetarian has trouble at a dim sum restaurant, it's not the restaurant's fault - it's the customer's fault for thinking that dim sum can be synomous w/vegetarian. This is like going to a BBQ joint for a garden salad.

            Second, food is best at early and peak hours. If you want non-mushy food, show up prior to 12pm. This is the rule for all dim sum places - not just OH.

            Credit card payment has never been a problem for me. And like most Chinatown restaurants, the tips are never really given to the waiters. You have a better chance if you pay in cash.

            1. re: FoolForFood

              well, lakeside managed to accommodate AND be delicious, which is why *i'm* seriously going to miss them, personally. i don't know much about dim sum, i don't know if what i had was true dim sum or not, and frankly i don't care, because what i've had has always been transcendent. and cheap. and served up with a friendly smile. still have yet to find that perfect mix anywhere comparable.

              1. re: rabidog

                There is really no replacement for lakeside, sadly.

        2. Has anyone tried Dim Sum Garden? It looks like they have a dim sum menu (as opposed to the carts). Thanks.

          1. We had a Chinese New Year's dinner at Dim Sum Garden Tuesday night (arranged by Slow Food) and it was great. Their soup dumplings were wonderful.

            1. Thanks everyone, but has anyone tried the Imperial Inn?

              1. Now that we;ve completed our annual Philly Flower show pilgrimage I can safely say that the Dim Sum Garden is a worthy successor to the Lakeside Deli. True, their menu is not as elaborate, but I suspect that's due to the fact that they still have no gas line. Everything we ate there was fresh and delicious. We met the owner, Tom Kuo and my wife and he had a
                pleasant conversation in Chinese. His staff is delightful. We also tried the Imperial Inn for dim sum and liked it.
                Their Hai Keem (stuffed crab claw) was outstanding. However their pressed boneless duck
                was Mama Hoo Hoo.

                Incidentally, upon advice of friends, we tried a wine bar callled Vintage on 13th at Sansome. The food was ok, as was their wine, but their sound system, which had its frequency response altered so that all one could hear was the thump thump of the disco beat which they played so loud as to be painful. When we asked the server to lower the level she replied that the owners liked it that way. As a result, we had our food packed up and ate in our hotel room. Don't say you weren't warned. Aside from that we enjoyed our
                trip and look forward to coming back. Thanks to all our Philadelphi friends.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Larry Racies

                  i will have to look up dim sum garden - never been! i went to vintage a long time ago when they first opened and while it was OK, nothing ever called me back. thanks for reporting back!! hope the flower show was lovely... i can't wait to get there!