Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Feb 15, 2009 04:26 AM

chau chow city or china pearl?

Going for Dim Sum in Boston tomorrow with a friend I haven't seen in a long time. We used to go to Dynasty, changed to China Pearl, and now I'm wondering about trying a different place. Since I haven't been for a while and most of the Boston dim sum posts have some age on them, I'm wondering...should we stick with CP or head over to Essex st. to CCC? My mouth is watering as I write this...I so love dim sum and have only a couple of friends who will go with me (hubby too freaked out...) Thanks, hounds.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: Luther

      I second that - been going to Hei La Moon for years now instead of China Pearl.

      1. re: lantheaume

        Not to revive an old argument, but I have had nothing but bad experiences at Hei La Moon, and nothing but good experiences as China Pearl. I am totally willing to accept that my Hei La Moon visits are not the norm, but regardless, it makes China Pearl my go-to place.

        1. re: litchick

          I haven't been to HLM recently but my experience was that from roughly the summer of 2007 until the spring of 2008 that HLM was generally on a decline. I am not sure if I've been to HLM since then - if so it wasn't noteworthily good or bad.

          We originally switched to HLM from China Pearl in 2004 (maybe 2005) and it was noticeably better (to my taste buds, and those of most of my friends) than CP at the time. I haven't been back to CP since we switched so I couldn't compare/contrast during the HLM "downturn".

          If you have a smaller group and don't need the carts, definitely check out the Winsor Dim Sum House.

          1. re: jgg13

            I dunno man, the quality at Winsor is definitely worse than either HLM or Chau Chau

            1. re: Luther

              Granted I'm a gringo, but to my tastes I've generally enjoyed everything I've had at Winsor over the other spots. Add on that I can always get exactly what I want (ok, not completely true - sometimes I can't figure out what an item is on their translated menu, whereas I can id stuff on the carts by sight) and voila. I do have one friend so far who didn't like Winsor as much, but I just figured that he was weird :)

              1. re: jgg13

                Here, I'll lay down some specifics so future readers of this thread will have a reference point:

                I dislike Winsor because of things such as their cha xiu bao (the meat is mostly a sweet jelly with only a few pieces of actual pork, while the bao is shriveled and gummy, like it's been sitting around too long); the ribs (small portion and similarly congealed); and the sai mai lo (they used totally unripe, crunchy mango bits, which I think shows a total lack of care for the quality of the food). I feel like if you're going to order off a menu and all that, the food should be impeccably fresh. The ham seoi gok were fresh out of the fryer, at least the last time I went.

                I think the dim sum items at Emperor's/Empire Garden is bad because the flavors aren't fresh at all. I had a daan taat that tasted watery and some fried shrimp that tasted seriously past their expiration date, and vowed to never go back. So that one is based on a single experience.

                I've never gotten anything at HLM that tasted expired or congealed, though on a few occasions the food has seemed insufficiently seasoned, like someone was asleep at their station. And of course, unless the place is packed, there can be a poor variety available. Sometimes this happens even when it is packed- you might wait for an hour to get some vegetable or some stuffed tofu, because there's only one of those carts for two floors and they just don't come around very often.

    2. We went to Hei La Moon..probably we went a little early, even tho it was a holiday monday. Still, as reported: good food, hot, better service and atmosphere (somebody came by and refilled my water glass! Before I asked!) Never got the spareribs...the fried turnip cake etc. didn't come out until about 1:00 and we were too full by then. No stuffed eggplant (sigh) one of my faves from China Pearl, but vegetarian dumplings were outstanding. All in all...yes, this is our new Dim Sum place, at least for now...

      1 Reply
      1. I've been a long time Chau Chow City fan. I find they have more seafood offerings than Hei La Moon. But I have a problem with headaches after eating at CCC. This has happened for several years now. I still have the one from this past Sunday. So I think I will be going to Winsor Dim Sum Cafe or to Gitlo's in Allston.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chuck s

          I, too, have been a longtime fan of CCC and was there about a month ago. Have never come down with a headache tho'.

        2. I would go with either China Pearl or Hei La Moon. Gitlo's in Allston is pretty good too--everything is made fresh (which means you have to wait for a while sometimes). Gitlo's also has variations of the typical dishes, so if you're looking for something a bit different, Gitlo's would be good. But beware--the last time I went by Gitlo's, it looked like the sign blew off! Unless they fixed it, the old sign of the restaurant that used to be there is up. It's pretty much directly across from Privus Lounge if you are going to try to find it. Damn, now I want some dim sum!

          1. shangri-la in belmont has really good taiwanese dim sum on the weekend