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Dim Sum Go Go - crowds?

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Am going to Dim Sum Go Go this weekend (not sure if we're going Sat or Sun), group of 4 adults and one kid. The earliest we could get there is around noon. To avoid the long waits, would we be best to go on the later side (3 pm?)? Any advice would be appreciated!

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  1. 11:00 - 2:00 is prime time for any dim sum place in Chinatown. My experience is anytime after Noon is not a good idea for not having to wait. Dim sum Go Go is a small place, but at least the selections are not a concern like the cart house, as you are ordering off a menu. In this case, after 3 PM would be a better idea in my opinion if it does not interfere with your plans

    1. I just tried Dim Sum Go Go for the first time yesterday, quite good. Though it was a holiday it was not at all crowded. Probably more so on a weekend, but I noted they do take reservations so you may want to consider making one.

      1. I was there around 3 Sunday and had to wait, but only maybe 10 minutes. Either the early side (before 11) or the late side (after 2:30) is a good idea. You could see if they'd give you a reservation; I'm not sure how big a group has to be before they'd give reservations. Looks like City Kid suggested the same thing, with more assurance.

        1. Agreed with others. Since Dim Sum Go Go isn't using cart, your dim sum should still be fresh even if you go after 3pm. However, some items may run out, so that's something you should keep in mind.

          Avoid cart service dim sum if you are going on late hours. Not only are the dim sum over-steamed at that point, most likely there will be very very limited selection for you.

          7 Replies
          1. re: kobetobiko

            Agree with the above and you will likely wait at DSGG if you go at 12 although ive never waited more than 20 mins

            1. re: Lau

              Really? When i went there over weekends at prime time (12-ish or 1-ish) the wait was often more than 45 mins if not an hour!

              1. re: kobetobiko

                Just want to re-state, they do seem to take reservations. When I was there on Monday I saw 2 tables with reservation signs on them.

            2. re: kobetobiko

              Have you ever been told they were out of items? That has yet to happen to me.

              1. re: Pan

                Yes, desserts. One time they were out of desserts (though I don't remember what kind...)

                1. re: kobetobiko

                  Ooh, I would HATE it if they ran out of the tapioca/coconut custard dumplings! Come to think of it, that might have happened to me once.

                2. re: Pan

                  Went on Sunday two weeks ago and they were out of two entire categories (dont recall which ..) when we arrived at 4 pm. Otherwise a nice meal though

              2. Just to let you know, I believe you can order dim sum at Dim Sum Go Go during dinner time as well. If you are arriving a little late, you can try to eat an early dinner there and order dim sum at that time. (I understand that, culturally, dim sum is a breakfast/brunch item but if you really like them and they are available at dinner time, why not?) I was there a while ago during dinner time on a Sunday and it wasn't as crowded as lunch time. There wasn't a wait.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bearmi

                  Yes, they'll serve dim sum at dinner, though each item costs somewhat more. As I recall, the price changes at 4 P.M.

                2. go early, put name on the list. go around the corner and get some bao. or cross over and go to chatham for a bao , just to hold you over until youre called. I think the quality seemed better earlier than later. Maybe they stock up with some items for the late part of the day. The dim sum is overpriced at dim sum a go go, but the quality is good. Some dishes are unique to this place ( in a more anglo upscale way). No carts, and i dont think they have chicken feet, or congee.

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                      they definitely have chicken feet...no carts is a good thing in my mind although i know alot of people like the carts for nostalgia / fun factor

                      congee is usually terrible at dim sum places

                      1. re: Lau

                        Congee I find excellent at dim places,,, not sure exactly how to phonetically spell it , Cho, or in mandarin Tso ,,i have it everywhere and it is great in some places, far superior to places like congee village, or 17 mott st. I prefer carts not for nostalgia, but because like sushi, i dont like to decide all at once i like to see the dish and then go by feel. I also like to get pan fried noodles at dim sum. and egg custard, and lately the peppered beef.

                        1. re: foodwhisperer

                          congee village is horrible (they don't even have you tiao...which is a crime to have the words congee in your name and not have you tiao), not sure which one is 17 mott.

                          i generally like the congee at the bbq places in ctown, i personally like new wing huang on lafayette...congee is one thing that manhattan ctown does well

                          the reason the carts have been dying out in HK / LA etc is b/c the quality of the dim sum goes down markedly since its generally not as fresh. when you have menu ordered places the dim sum is much fresher...the way most of them are is they have a menu with pictures of everything thus taking care of your preference

                    2. IMO - This place iswildly overpriced for Dim Sum and lacks the authentic atmosphere of a place like The Golden Unicorn. It's like going to the "Olive Garden" for an Italian food experience.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

                        Olive Garden? Come on. You think that carts are necessary for the FOOD to be real? It lacks the atmosphere of a place like Golden Unicorn and serves BETTER FOOD to a modern Hong Kong taste. Right, Lau? Back me up on this if you agree.

                        1. re: Pan

                          Most Chinese people I know do not like Dim sum a Go Go , they prefer Golden Unicorn, for quality and taste. I think the quality is good a dim sum a go go , but it does seem geared toward upscale anglicized tastes , not chinese taste

                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                            I am guessing most people you know have been living in Manhattan Chinatown and am used to the taste of 80's Chinese (old-school). Most Chinese I know who grew up in Hong Kong prefer Dim Sum Go Go because they serve dim sum that is much more similiar to the contemporary Dim Sum in Hong Kong nowadays. There is nothing not authentic about dim sum in DSGG, you find the same style (just better quality) in Hong Kong. It's is VERY Chinese (hong Kong taste). Golden Unicorn is the taste for my grandparents, albeit authentic.
                            So I do agree with Pan on this one.

                            1. re: kobetobiko

                              Perhaps the people I know are older and have older tastes. However, they do not live in Chinatown, but they do eat there. They also eat in Hong Kong very often. One is related to the original owner of Chatham. My kids like DSGG more than I do. I have been to DSGG many many times and still prefer GU over it

                              1. re: foodwhisperer

                                I think it's perfectly legitimate to prefer Golden Unicorn to Dim Sum Go Go; that's a matter of taste. What's illegitimate to me is to compare Dim Sum Go Go to Olive Garden and call it "inauthentic" because they make food to order and don't have carts. Would you agree that Dim Sum Go Go is artisanal, not dumbed-down mass-produced nationwide-franchised lowest-common-denominator stuff for the masses? And by the way, we don't have much in the way of "Anglicized" food here in the U.S. Americanized is not the same as Anglicized. I don't think I'm being too nitpicky here. Again: To each his/her own, but let's please call a spade a spade. Olive Garden, my foot.

                                1. re: Pan

                                  Pan,,, im not the one who said Olive Garden compares to DSGG. Olive Garden is horrible.. DSGG is good, but I prefer other places over it. And the dim sum seems " westernized" with certain items. .Hopefully, that term will work for you. The clientele I think justifies my thoughts. Not too many chinese people eat there.

                                  1. re: foodwhisperer

                                    not to argue on semantics here, but which items do you think are "westernized"? (i dont really find their food westernized at all)

                                    also, i disagree on clientele. While there are plenty of non-chinese who go there (i think mainly on the basis of its not intimidating and its reasonably clean), there are alot of chinese who eat there although it tends to be a younger chinese crowd (hence my original theory on old people in ctown)

                                    1. re: Lau

                                      I agree with you that a lot of non-Chinese go there because it's less intimidating (menus in English, English-speaking waitstaff, cleaner). I also think it may have something to do with their vegetarian selection. Try asking a dim sum cart lady whether or not there's lard in the chive buns in English. She probably won't understand you, and there probably is lard in the chive buns.

                                      My view is that the main reason why you don't see a lot of Chinese there is price, not because it's more "Westernized." It is a bit more expensive than a dim sum parlor like Golden Unicorn.

                                      I think the items foodwhisperer was referring to as being "westernized" are things like the veal chop with black pepper sauce and duck dumplings -- just because it's not traditional dim sum. But items like that fried shrimp dish with mayo, condensed milk and walnuts originated from Hong Kong, not the US. I do agree with a lot of posters here that Manhattan's Chinatown is a bit behind on the times compared to places like Toronto or SGV.

                                      1. re: Miss Needle

                                        probably a good point on the price....my old relatives were pretty price sensitive

                                        1. re: Miss Needle

                                          I see plenty of Chinese people at DSGG. Until someone has hard numbers, I don't see this being a valid point of discussion.

                                2. re: kobetobiko

                                  You hit the nail on the head. For whatever reason, New York has been left in the dark ages when it comes to Chinese food. Stuff like Dim Sum Go Go, Red Egg and Chinatown Brasserie are in tune with what you see today in the Chinese communities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto, and definitely is not Anglicized.

                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                    my theory is that it maybe b/c the local chinese crowd in manhattan ctown is mainly a very old crowd, so you're not going to change things on a crowd of old people used to things a certain way

                                    think about how different the crowd is at say sea harbour in LA vs any of the places in NY....very different

                                    1. re: Lau

                                      Actually I'm thinking NY has just as many newcomers as LA or SF. Walking on East Broadway is a much more foreign feel than anyplace in California that I can think of. However maybe it has to do with origins--much of the new blood in LA is from Hong Kong and Taiwan (though the "Mainland" influence is growing). Can the same be said about New York?

                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                        yeah, but the newcomers in manhattan ctown are all fujian (you don't see many HK / cantonese new comers in manhattan ctown) and I don't see alot of fujian people at any of the dim sum halls. Also, generally, many of the fujian immigrants are quite poor, so i think they are generally looking for very cheap meals (the fujian places are usually ridiculously cheap).

                                        flushing is a much different story, the crowds there feel more similar to LA

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          Herein lies the difference I think: 38% of Flushing’s Chinese-Americans are business professionals while only 14% are in Manhattan’s Chinatown. 38% of Chinese-Americans in Flushing have college degrees compared to Manhattan Chinatown’s 7%. Four times as many Chinese now live in the outer boroughs than in Manhattan. (In 2000, Chinese-American median family income was $63,000, surpassing both the U.S. national average and non-Hispanic Whites.)

                                          Flushing is a relatively new “ethno-burb.” In 1946 when the United Nations began work in New York in temporary quarters on Long Island (near Queens) a small group of Chinese who worked for the UN moved there, unable to afford more exclusive North Shore property. Many remained behind when the UN moved to Manhattan in 1951.

                                          Today, over 60% of the Chinese who now live in America’s Chinatowns 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.

                                          While there are many immigrants from Fuzhou, it is not true that they are all poor. Lynn Pan’s “The Encyclopedia of Chinese Overseas” has much to say about the Fujianese. It seems if they've always been a people who marched to their own drummer (not to any of the imperial edicts) and have been coming and going between Fujian and many parts of Southeast Asia for centuries, staking out their own. Some 300,000 have arrived in the US in the last 20 years.

                                          1. re: scoopG

                                            Yes, the Fuzhou restaurants are a great place to get a meal for $2 or $3, but when you go to the banquet halls in and around East Broadway they can be quite pricey. I was reminded of this a couple of weeks ago when I stumbled into one of the traditional Monday night wedding banquets and don't recall seeing anything under $10 on the restaurant's dinner menu.

                                            1. re: Chandavkl

                                              those places tend not to be very crowded either from what ive seen

                                              1. re: Lau

                                                My guess is that they make most of their money off of the Monday night wedding banquets. (And also during last year's presidential campaign, Hilary Clinton fundraising events. Pictures of the Clintons at the restaurant seem to be de rigeur.) I went to one of these places and there was no English language dinner menu.

                              2. re: Pan

                                agree with Pan and Kobetobiko (see above post)

                                aside from the fact that it looks a little cheesy DSGG is authentic and the closest to more modern dim sum