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3/22/08 Yank Sing , DimSum: It's Still Great, but.....

but you may have to hoc your laptop........
Yes, we both have very healthy appetites. And yes, we do combine breakfast and lunch into dimsum brunch. But still, HOW can it be that we spend $95-$100, BEFORE tip, every year when we eat here? I think I've figured out that it's because the average price, per PIECE, of whatever dish it is, is $1.50-$2.

Our favs are: Shiitake dumplings, Chicken Mushroom dumplings, Shanghai Pork Soup Dumplings, Shrimp Har Gau, Shrimp and Chive Dumplings,Foil wrapped Chicken,
Sticky Rice packet,,Sesame Balls filled with Bean Paste(Lotus Seed).Chilean Sea Bass in thin yam wrapper, deep fried., Chicken and Lotus Patties, Curry Chicken Puffs(flaky turnovers), Fried Shrimp Wontons/Rangoons.

****Note*****the Rincon Center location has the full dimsum selection on weekends but Stevenson Place does not.The last 4 items in my above favs list- are not available at Stev. Place on weekends, unless you order them in advance(they will send them over from Rincon center along with their deliveries of other dim sum that they do not produce at the Stev. Pl.location on wkends.)

For those of you who frequent other dimsum spots, do any of them have alot of the items on my favs list? we tried Ton Kiang a few yrs ago but found Yank Sing's variety and delicious quotient far superior.

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  1. Well, other dim sum spots have many of the items you listed, though not all. Call me cheap, but I am not willing to pay that kind of prices for dim sum.

    11 Replies
    1. re: PeterL

      The first time we went to SF in 2003, I somehow found a recco for a dim sum place out in the Richmond (this was way before I discovered CH or any other foodie sites/blogs). I can't remember the name but we had the best dim sum ever ingested including a stellar dimsum version of Peking duck that we all drool at in memory to this day. HOWEVER, it was insanely expensive. We paid the equivalent of $80 Cdn each, something I've also never forgotten. The exchange rate was really high then ($1.40 or so) but it was still some serious sticker shock, especially coming from Vancouver where at the time you had to work hard to spend more than $15 for a dim sum outing. We also had to wait nearly an hour. I wonder if that place is still there...

      1. re: grayelf

        Undoubtedly this was Ton Kiang

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        Ton Kiang
        5821 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

        1. re: Paul H

          It's hard to believe that they could spend that much at Ton Kiang, though. Even discounting $80 by 40 percent and subtracting the tax, it's still more than anyone has reported spending at Yank Sing, I believe.

          I don't know what Peking duck service grayelf had, but if it involved a whole duck that may be a big factor. (YS charges by the slice).

          1. re: Xiao Yang

            Don't mean to hijack the thread but I was thinking it might have been Ton Kiang based on subsequent reading. It was huge, long and narrow with two floors and myriad small rooms. It had nice white tablecloths but was otherwise relatively plain, although the service was really good. I don't believe there were carts.

            1. re: grayelf

              Or the long-gone King of China?

                1. re: artemis

                  Maybe it was Parc Hong Kong (formerly Flower Lounge)?

                  1. re: asianstamp

                    No second floor that I can recall there.

                  2. re: artemis

                    I think my idea of small is out of whack, I just meant that the second floor (as I recall) was divided into more than one rooms. My bad but it was five years ago :-)

          2. re: PeterL

            Oh yes, I'm cheap too. The only times I've went to Yank Sing was when someone else took me there (yes when my manager paid). I do not go there on my own. Their dim sum is ok but not for that price (I also think they do a lot of quasi-dim sum dishes that are not true to the spirit of dim sum. Too much mixing and matching).

            The places I'm willing to go to for dim sum is:

            Dim Sum King (Daly City)
            Golden Gate Dim Sum and Seafood (Inner Richmond District. They have the best chicken feet!)
            City View (I know some people are not fans but they do traditional right).

            1. re: asianstamp

              Golden Gate Dim Sum is in the 'Outer" Richmond between 19th and 20th...I will have to try them as I do love my chicken feet....! Thanks

              http://www.yelp.com/biz/golden-gate-d...

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/477878

          3. Sure, Yank Sing is more expensive than most dim sum places. But you don't have to spend $100 there to have an outrageously delicious experience. On Easter Sunday, my partner and I walked in to the Rincon Center location at 11:45am and got a table. We ate for an hour and a half. Our bill, including beverages, was $65 and we were so full we could barely walk. And we even had an order of the special sea bass, and that had to be $10 of our $65 check. So while it's true that you'll pay more at Yank Sing, it's not that much more. And their quality and freshness are unsurpassed, in my opinion.

            6 Replies
            1. re: foodiesf

              The Sea Bass is $15, according to the menu. One can protect oneself from sticker shock by printing out the dim sum menu (menupages.com has it) in advance.

              I'm one of those who find YS's Value/Cost ratio unacceptable, which is another way of saying I am a cheapskate too.

              1. re: Xiao Yang

                that $15 sea bass is a large filet, not the fingers wrapped in yam and fried at $8.50 approx.

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  foodiesf identified it as "the special sea bass." "Specials" or "Chef's Specials" often refer to plates cooked to order that are larger orders than dim sum, and not delivered bite-sized. IIRC, the seabass rolls are part of the regular cart/tray circulation. Anyway one cost $15, the other $8.30, whichever foodiesf is talking about.

                  1. re: Xiao Yang

                    The seabass was not cooked to order. But it was larger than dim sum. It was brought around on a tray like everything else. It was a full-size portion of fresh sea bass, about 4-5 ounces, drizzled with a slightly sweet glaze and topped with a cilantro sprig. Given the size, it had to cost at least $10. I didn't see the check, so I don't know. I saw the "regular" dim sum sea bass -- it was fried.

                    1. re: foodiesf

                      That was the $15 sea bass you had.

              2. re: foodiesf

                i'm sure i envy your stomach size and you would not envy mine! it takes $100 for the 2 of us.sigh.......

              3. Thanks for the tip about Stevenson Place. There was some discussion about that recently. Did you go to Rincon or Stevenson this time?

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                Yank Sing Banquet & Catering
                101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105

                Yank Sing
                49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                5 Replies
                1. re: rworange

                  rw, sorry i didn't see your question until tonight. we went to stevenson place (so pretty) but when we called to reserve and we asked if they had the wrapped chilean sea bass and the lobster filled Goldfish dumplings, we were told that they would have them brought over for us; how many orders did we want! As we were eating, we had further conversation w/ the manager and found out that other favs were only avail at rincon on wkends- the chicken and lotus patties , the curried chicken puffs and the curried wontons. so we went over and picked them up from the rincon take out section(we took these up to Elk for one of our hinterland lunches.) Next time we'll just go to rincon though i assume that parking will be even worse than stev. pl.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    Rincon Center has validated parking in the garage underneath the building.

                    1. re: Xiao Yang

                      ooooh, i love it when you talk to me like that! thank you!

                      1. re: Xiao Yang

                        Yes, I think it's free with validation on weekends and a reasonable charge with validation during the week. On Sundays, I can find street parking within 2 blocks, usually, since I dislike trying to park in cramped garages.

                  2. I liked Yank Sing but it didn't really taste all that much different then lots of Dim Sum I'd had over the years at some of the better greasy take out places when they were good (I can't say I swear by any of those little hole in the wall stands anymore). I just know we barely ordered anything because we didn't want to spend a lot of money, and the bill was still outrageous.