Uncrowded Dim Sum Restaurant
I will be visiting Boston, and would like to gather some friends for Dim Sum on Sunday - SEP 6th.
So, I am not looking for the best dim sum restaurant. I am looking for an OK dim sum restaurant that is not crowded - this way 5 friends can show up or 15 friends can show up, and we would be assured of seating.
I prefer Chinatown, but my friends would be coming from Arlington, Lexington, Woburn, and Reading - so, a dim sum place in the suburbs might work nicely.
I'll tell you my personal strategy. When I get a large (10+) group together for Dim Sum maybe 3-4 times a year, we always go to the Empire Garden on Washington St. We arrive at 10:30am sharp and I've never had trouble being seated right away. Usually when we are leaving, around 11:30-12:00, there's a line.
Empire Garden is so huge, though, that it doesn't have the long lines like some of the other places. Also, although there's endless debate about the best Dim Sum in Boston, I like the food here, and I don't think I'm sacrificing any quality.
Yangtze River in Lexington has a dim sum brunch/buffet on weekends. The dim sum comes around on carts, and the buffet has other food. The dim sum doesn't compare in quality to the other places mentioned in this thread - but it's good. The buffet includes a range of foods from utterly Americanized to quite authentic -- congee and salt-and-pepper shrimp, for instance. And it is uncrowded and convenient to your guests.
Yangtze River Restaurant
21 Depot Sq, Lexington, MA 02420
There have been mixed reports on whether/what days China Pearl in Woburn is still open. If they are open, they have good suburban dim sum and are very convenient to all the towns you mention. Check and see what's really happening - phone them, whatever - before you all head on over.
Yeah I agree with YSB, better to hit it at 1:30. There is no such thing as an "uncrowded" dim sum place at 11:00 on a Sunday. If there was the food would have to be unbelievably bad. You could hit any of the usual suspects at 1:30 with no problem:
- Hei la Moon
- Chow Chow City
- China Pearl
go to any dim sum place at 1-1.30pm. the rush is pretty much from 10.30am-11am and then it peters out around 12.30p. I've found that if you stay out of this window you've got a good chance of getting a table for as many people as you want.
I've also only been to 2 places for dim sum here in Boston, so I'm a little uneducated.