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Best Dim Sum on the weekend?

rebloonin Oct 21, 2008 11:12 AM

Have a friend from Canada coming to visit me next weekend and she has only ever been to Times Square!!! Yikes. Anyway, looking to take her for traditional, choose off a roating cart, Dim Sum and looking for advice. I myself have never been- I've had Dim Sum but had to check off a paper list and then got my small dishes brought to me. That is what I don't want.

Thanks in advance for your responses!

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  1. k
    KTinNYC Oct 21, 2008 11:48 AM

    If your friend is from Toronto or Vancouver you might want to skip Dim Sum in Manhattan because she can do better at home. I haven't eaten much Dim Sum in the past few years because I've developed a shellfish allergy but I can tell you all the Dim Sum halls were pretty bad back then. I was at Pings a few months back and from what I ate things hadn't changed much. There has been recent chatter about Chatham Square http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/545785 but I can't comment having never eaten there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KTinNYC
      rebloonin Oct 21, 2008 03:53 PM

      Oh shit, really? I had no idea. Well she is FROM Halifax, and was living on Montreal for several years until just 3 months ago when she moved to Toronto. I guess I'll just have to ask her. If you're well versed in the availability of cuisine on TO and Vancouver, what would you say she CANT get good up there? She is coming to NYC for essentially her 1st time and I want to give her a true experience, including the food. I was thinking a fun thing could be Grimaldes and then a walk on the Promenade to see the city. I live in Park Slope and will prob hit up a brunch spot out there but other than that I think she'll want to be in the city.

    2. Chandavkl Oct 21, 2008 11:49 AM

      Many threads on the subject (one of the longer ones linked below) and many differing opinions. Most recent favorable discussion on this board has been as to Chatham Sq. at 6 Chatham Square. In part it's a matter of what you're looking for. For people who haven't had much in the way of dim sum I tend to recommend Jing Fong, even though it may not have the best dim sum, due to the ambience of the carts careening and the feel of being whisked away to a large Hong Kong dining palace.


      3 Replies
      1. re: Chandavkl
        Miss Needle Oct 21, 2008 12:25 PM

        I agree with what you're saying. While people on this board care about the food the most, I find that's not the same with a lot of people. They're looking for the whole experience. I actually prefer Golden Bridge to Jing Fong because there's a larger selection, and if you're lucky you can get a table overlooking the Manhattan Bridge. I also prefer the food at Golden Bridge over to Jing Fong.

        1. re: Miss Needle
          rebloonin Oct 21, 2008 03:55 PM

          No no no, I DEF care about the food. A previos post said she may have better dim sum where she lives in Toronto so perhaps I'll take her for soomething other in Chinatown. I personally think Sunset Park is where its at but I'm aiming for the city since she's never been.

          1. re: rebloonin
            Chandavkl Oct 21, 2008 04:17 PM

            Toronto? Forget Manhattan for any kind of Chinese food.

      2. r
        rugburn Oct 21, 2008 01:39 PM

        The Golden Unicorn in Chinatown is very yummy...though it WILL be crowded, which i think makes it more of an experience. Prepare to wait for a table, even if you call for a reservation...totally worth it. I love the roaming carts and lively atmosphere!

        1 Reply
        1. re: rugburn
          cidonie Oct 23, 2008 09:40 AM

          2nd vote for Golden Unicorn! Love that place.

        2. g
          gorlanko Oct 21, 2008 03:59 PM

          I think Jing Fong is excellent and I've been there a lot. Only one experience with Chatham and it was mediocre with the ulitmate sin, stale har kow.

          Pings is good too and Grand Harmony.

          2 Replies
          1. re: gorlanko
            foodwhisperer Oct 21, 2008 10:01 PM

            Chatham is good quality, limited choice, I dont recall any carts at Chatham, I t will be very unimpressive to your guest,,, A better choice is Golden Unicorn, perhaps Triple 8's. Jing Fong I think is overrated.

            1. re: foodwhisperer
              Simon Oct 23, 2008 03:40 PM

              i used to like Triple 8 (now called 88 Palace, i believe) -- it was never great, but reasonably tasty, less touristed, and the grungy mall reminds me of Asia, so it was my standard place...but i went there a couple weeks ago and it was wretched...dry, old-tasting awful dimsum...downhill alert...

          2. j
            JMJD Oct 21, 2008 06:25 PM

            I have relatives in Toronto and yes, their chinese food/dim sum is probably better than ours. Same with vietnamese, thai, etc. My relatives tend to want real NY pizza, and good deli -- maybe try Katz's?

            1 Reply
            1. re: JMJD
              rebloonin Oct 21, 2008 10:30 PM

              Ok, good feedback, good feedback. I like it. I had no idea about the Asian grub in TO being that good. Good to know. Yeah I suggested Katz's as part of our Lower East Side (bialys, pickles, the Tenement Museum) day but she says she isnt so into pastrami and corned beef. I told her I wasn't either until I tried Katz's. We'll see on that front. Definitely was thinking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge ending up at Grimaldes for pizza would be a solid bet but what do you think is other good fair NYC style?

            2. g
              gorlanko Oct 21, 2008 06:48 PM

              I find it exceedlingly hard to believe that Toronto Chinese food is better than NYC Chinese, especially considering the 130 odd years of expertise here. I've been to Toronto and the Vietamese food that I had, was mediocre.

              3 Replies
              1. re: gorlanko
                KTinNYC Oct 21, 2008 06:57 PM

                If you can find a 130 year old cooking in Manhattan's Chinatown I will buy us both dinner cooked by said chef.

                1. re: KTinNYC
                  rebloonin Oct 21, 2008 10:32 PM

                  Ohhh, snap from KT. Maybe I'll forget Dim Sum altogether and keep it simple with some roast duck. Mm.

                2. re: gorlanko
                  kobetobiko Oct 23, 2008 09:24 PM

                  You must have not visited Toronto for the last 20 years, because Toronto's dim sum is far better than the dim sum in Manhattan. The Chinese food in Manhattan is still like the food that Chinese people ate in 70's or 80's. Toronto has Chinese food that is like what current Hong Kong people eat, the much better styled dim sum IMO.

                3. g
                  Gelaine Oct 22, 2008 03:51 PM

                  Best dim sum I've had (other than Hong Kong) was in Vancouver. Would a place like Balthazar be of interest?

                  1. kissy28c Oct 23, 2008 05:35 PM

                    Ok I'm going to ask the stupid question. What is Dim Sum?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kissy28c
                      Simon Oct 23, 2008 08:24 PM

                      this link , which includes photos, should help:


                    2. p
                      phoenikia Nov 10, 2008 08:25 AM

                      For a traditional dim sum resto with carts, which has the most impressive ambiance- large, grand (even if worn or dated) room, with dragons and other traditional art on the walls, etc. out of Golden Unicorn, Golden Bridge, Ping's or Jing Fong?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: phoenikia
                        Chandavkl Nov 10, 2008 12:00 PM

                        I think Jing Fong is best in ambience given the size of the room and the impressive escalator that ferries you up to the second floor dining room.

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