Dim Sum at Golden Unicorn
Perhaps the last thing this board needs is another dim sum post, but I thought I'd put in a plug for Golden Unicorn. Just got back and I thought it was great. The dumplings were excellent -- fresh and with more vegetables than I'm used to seeing. I basically ate every dumpling on offer and each was better than the last. Particularly good were the pan fried leek and shrimp dumplings as well as a dumpling that involved nuts of some sort. Also had the sticky rice (delicious) and the tripe and turnip (bit chewy but overall pretty good). The staff was efficient, but pleasant. It was a happy surprise. Better than Jing Fong. Dumplings were on par with Dim Sum Go Go (some were better), but I have a soft spot for the carts and the bustle of the huge places. We had walked into Ping's beforehand, but the dead prawns in the fish tank didn't inspire confidence (even if it is just for decoration).
I had the worst dim sum of my life at Pings so you didn't miss anything. I know it sounds harsh but nothing they gave us fresh. The shrimp hargaow was mushy in a decomposed sort of texture. The phoenix claw was waterlogged and tasted like yesterdays dim sum. The fried stuff was rubbery to the bite. The steamed spare ribs had some 'dark spots' on the parts exposed and not submerged in its own pool mixture of oil and water from the steam. Yea..I would rather go to Jing Fong and sit in its farthest table from the kitchen than to come back here.
I agree completely, and thanks for bringing Golden Unicorn back to the board. We have never had a bad dim sum meal there. Yes, they can get packed on the weekends but, if you go a bit early, or are prepared to wait ten minutes or so, its well worth it. And, since they have three floors, the line usually moves quickly. And, to their credit, their carts often have pictures of what the cart offers, a great idea. As for the "regular" food there, unfortunately, I haven't found it to be nearly as good as the dim sum.
Regarding Jing Fong, boy has that place gone down hill. Years ago it was a regular stop on our dim sum visits but, about a year or two ago we had a very average meal there. But, what was worse was the absolute bedlam that was going on there. The place is huge (allegedly it is the second largest restaurant in the city.) And, because the carts were slow in coming out, people huddled around the kitchen and mugged the poor dim sum women as they came out from the swinging doors. Literally, it would take a couple of minutes for the cart to depart that scrum and then wind its way through the rest of the restaurant. And, after all that, as mentioned, the dim sum wasn't great, though it is less expensive than a number of other places, and definitely less expensive than Golden Unicorn. I walked by Jing Fong just last week and it actually seemed as if there were new owners, or similar. The place had newish signs downstairs and looked a bit different. Yet, until I hear they are on top of their game, I will opt for other dim sum spots, including Oriental Garden, which is almost next door.