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Dim Sum Go Go Disappointment

gorlanko Nov 9, 2008 11:40 AM

The wife and I went to this much talked about dim sum joint today for a quick bite. I was expecting great dim sum with all the raves but was very disappointed.

First of all, as a native HK person, this place had zero atmosphere, no carts, little chatter, tons of hipsters and tourist types.

One of the joys of dim sum is seeing all the dishes roll by and grabbing whatever strikes your fancy, not too crazy about ordering stuff off a mini menu.

On to the food,

the beef cheung was awful, just slices of chewy beef in a noodle skin rather than the traditional superior cheung fun served in traditional Cantonese dim sum places. Like I carved a slice of beef from a sirloin and rolled it in noodle and steamed it. Yuk

the shrimp and chive dumpling didn't have whole shrimp in it but rather chopped/diced up mushy shrimp with tons of chives. Not fresh at all.

Chicken feet was okay, a little tougher than some other places, but not bad.

The meatballs with tofu skin was okay as well, not great, not bad.

We left after the four dishes and hightailed for some real food.

All in all, a disappointing experience, reminded me of a dim sum joint you'd find in Disney World.

  1. m
    madkittybadkitty Jun 9, 2009 09:59 AM

    so, a good place to go in NYC? carts, no carts, never mind, it doesn't bug me.
    i'm from singapore and have been to hong kong many times and more than half the time there are no carts there anyway.
    what's a good, reasonably authentic dim sum place with a low tab?

    1 Reply
    1. re: madkittybadkitty
      Pan Jun 10, 2009 02:03 AM

      You're probably best off posting to Outer Boroughs for recommendations. I'll say this, though: For a cheap place, Red Egg is pretty good, but I found my meal there inconsistent - some very good things and some ordinary things. I don't think it would impress someone from Singapore.

    2. OC Mutt Jun 6, 2009 04:01 PM

      OK, so where is the best dim sum in NYC? The best I've EVER had, is at Yank Sing in San Francisco. No one else has come close.

      14 Replies
      1. re: OC Mutt
        Chandavkl Jun 6, 2009 04:06 PM

        Probably Chinatown Brasserie. But I'd never go back because it's so expensive and not worth the differential to me. But I don't think it's any more expensive than Yank Sing (another place which I'm not planning to revisit unless somebody else is paying.)

        1. re: Chandavkl
          scoopG Jun 9, 2009 11:46 AM

          Because Chinese food has a reputation for offering inexpensive food there are many who cannot unwrap their minds around the notion of paying more greenbacks at CB for fancier digs, better food, plusher ambience, a full bar with exotic drinks, outdoor seating and spotless bathrooms.

          1. re: scoopG
            Chandavkl Jun 9, 2009 01:22 PM

            Also because you can get comparable quality for the fraction of the price in other cities.

            1. re: Chandavkl
              scoopG Jun 9, 2009 05:21 PM

              Manhattan is one of the most expensive cities in the world.

              1. re: scoopG
                Chandavkl Jun 12, 2009 12:33 PM

                Yes, but you can eat cheaper in Manhattan Chinatown cheaper than LA or SF Chinatown!

                1. re: Chandavkl
                  scoopG Jun 12, 2009 01:42 PM


                  That's because over 60% of the Chinese who now live in Chinatown are foreign born and have less then a high school education. 50% only speak Mandarin, Fujianese or Cantonese. Wages are 50% lower than the regional New York average and 20% live in poverty. This according to Peter Kwong and Miscevic Dusanka in their book: "Chinese America: The Untold Story of America’s Oldest New Community." (W.W. Norton and Company, New York; 2005.)

                  1. re: scoopG
                    Chandavkl Jun 12, 2009 10:10 PM

                    Thanks for the reference. I have 2 other books by Kwong but somehow I missed that one. I used to think that the LA area had the most inexpensive Chinese food due to the sometimes cutthroat competition, but that was before I waded into Fujianese east Chinatown.

        2. re: OC Mutt
          kathryn Jun 9, 2009 10:05 AM

          NYC = the five boroughs, right? :)

          In Manhattan, I think the contenders for consistently fresh, high quality, and interesting dim sum are Chinatown Brasserie, Red Egg, and Dim Sum Go Go (listed in decreasing order of price).

          In Queens, my vote is for Perfect Team Corporation although there is a lively debate on the OB board as to which Flushing joint is best. In Brooklyn, the only contender seems to be World Tong (chef for Chinatown Brasserie used to work there).

          1. re: kathryn
            madkittybadkitty Jun 9, 2009 10:30 AM

            yeah, i figure i'll give go go a go go. will go go before noon though, so things are fresh.

            1. re: madkittybadkitty
              bearmi Jun 9, 2009 12:55 PM

              Please let us know how it turned out. I think their dimsum are made to order so all the wrappers and uncooked filling are prob sitting in the fridge up to the point when the dimsums are ordered and cooked... so if you get there a little late it will still taste ok (I have ordered them during dinner time and they tasted fine.).

              1. re: bearmi
                Ike Jun 9, 2009 01:17 PM

                I have to agree with the people who said that Dim Sum Go Go is disappointing, and the portions are a bit small too. However, I was eating there very late at night (around 10) so maybe that makes a difference. Around that time, there isn't much else open in Chinatown, so we could've done worse. But we should've gone to NY Noodletown.

                1. re: Ike
                  Pan Jun 10, 2009 02:01 AM

                  In what kinds of dishes do you find the portions to be small? 3 dumplings per order is standard. Do you mean things like the honeycomb tripe? OK, that could be bigger, but I think it's a substantial portion.

            2. re: kathryn
              StheJ Jun 9, 2009 01:14 PM

              I would definitely add Pacificana in Sunset Park as a Brooklyn contender...

              1. re: kathryn
                Pan Jun 10, 2009 02:00 AM

                Based on the meal I had at Red Egg last weekend, it's by far the cheapest. It cost $40 and change for _4 people_!

            3. a
              asnet May 28, 2009 06:19 PM

              • This is upscale dim sum: no carts (order from a menu), cool architecture, linen tablecloths. Food is also upscale: very delicate execution and flavors. Very fresh on a Sunday. Colorful. Not your down home dim sum by a long shot. So it shouldn’t be knocked for what it is not. What it is is very good. The portions are quite adequate and consistent with the tradition of many-small-plates-make-a-meal. Four dishes did me in. I chose the last dish because the meal needed some soul. Turnip cakes did the job. They were creamy, tasty and greaseless. The tab was $13.50 (before 4 pm)

              My choices and recommendations:
              • Mushroom Dumplings (very nice)
              • Rolls with shrimp and mango (original)
              • Fresh mango pudding (delicious)
              • Turnip cakes (Yes .....definitely.)

              A simple chart on the menu includes lunch and dinner prices and translates the Chnese characters stating prices into Arabic numbers. Dim Sum gogo is open from 10 am until 11 pm. Lunch is from 10 am to 4 pm. Dinner is from 4 pm to 11 pm. Give it a gogo. If you don’t like it, don’t go back. But spare us the snobbery.

              6 Replies
              1. re: asnet
                fourunder Jun 6, 2009 09:21 AM

                If you don’t like it, don’t go back. But spare us the snobbery.

                I'm a little confused. When a someone prefers the more pedestrian fare, down home dim sum, at the cart rolling dim sum halls...... rather than at the eclectic, inventive and upscale DSGG, whose dim sum has been made with delicate execution and flavors.......he can be accused of snobbery?


                1. re: fourunder
                  Chandavkl Jun 6, 2009 03:52 PM

                  Well, actually it's reverse snobbery. Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Francisco, Toronto all find menu driven dim sum categorically superior to cart dim sum. It's been that way for a few years, it's mainstream, and we're used to it. On the other hand, not only is New York slow to catch on to high quality menu driven dim sum, but it's been introduced at less traditional venues, like Dim Sum Go Go, Red Egg and Chinatown Brasserie. Consequently the resistance to non-cart dim sum by some New Yorkers is understandable.

                  1. re: Chandavkl
                    Pan Jun 6, 2009 05:13 PM

                    Dim Sum Go Go looks like a regular Chinese restaurant, doesn't it? The others, yeah, they have a different appearance.

                    1. re: Pan
                      Chandavkl Jun 6, 2009 09:31 PM

                      Well between the silly name, the relatively small size, and the decor, I thought it was a tourist trap when I first spied it. In that regard it seemed rather unlikely.

                      1. re: Chandavkl
                        Pan Jun 6, 2009 11:42 PM

                        I didn't go for years, because I had the misimpression that it was mostly for white people. But plenty of small places are Chinese restaurants. I guess I was being too literal, thinking of "venue" as referring only to the room(s) and its (their) look

                    2. re: Chandavkl
                      kathryn Jun 9, 2009 10:06 AM

                      Great summary! They need to make this come up automatically whenever this whole cart / menu thing comes up, as it does, time and time again.

                2. p
                  Pan May 12, 2009 07:53 PM

                  I think I'd better make clear that I disassociate myself from complaints about the lack of carts.

                  1. b
                    bearmi May 12, 2009 05:34 PM

                    Where did you end up going for real food?

                    1. c
                      CKOne Nov 10, 2008 09:16 AM

                      Is Dim Sum Go Go still open? I tried to go with a friend a few weeks ago and found a hair dresser there instead... I've been many times before, so I don't think I got the address wrong, but maybe I did. When did you go?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: CKOne
                        Pan May 12, 2009 04:24 PM

                        It's always been in the same place.

                        I've liked Dim Sum Go Go, but I wasn't as happy today. I got there a bit after 4 o'clock, when the prices go up ($3 items become $4 items). It was really the "break" between lunch and dinner, not the best time to go. I wonder whether that's why the Chinese Parsley Steamed Dumplings were seemingly overcooked (wrappers stuck to the paper, seemed a bit too thick, and the dumplings were a bit dry), but that probably can't explain why the chicken feet tasted of cod liver oil (that has to do with the chicken feed), and the sauce for them had very little taste and no evidence of black beans, whatsoever. The tripe was good, as usual, and so were the Steamed Shrimp and Chives Dumplings. But overall, that meal really wasn't worth $19 plus tip.

                        I followed up by going to Il Laboratorio del Gelato, though, which was definitely worth it. I'll post about that separately.

                      2. y
                        ywwan Nov 9, 2008 05:43 PM

                        Yeah, I am not a fan either... Try Ping's instead.

                        1. a_and_w Nov 9, 2008 11:54 AM

                          There are tons of cart places (e.g., Golden Unicorn) in Manhattan. I find the food is often not as fresh as menu places like Dim Sum Go Go. On that note, you've never ordered dim sum off a menu in Hong Kong?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: a_and_w
                            gorlanko Nov 9, 2008 12:10 PM

                            I've ordered from menus before but frankly I like to get stuff at the spur of the moment, see something appealing, snatch it. If the food is outstanding, then no problem, from what we sampled this is average to below average dim sum yet still priced above average. Portions were small too.

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