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Red Egg - one of the better dim sum places in manhattan

  • l

I stopped by here with my GF the other weekend as some reports on chowhound are claiming that its pretty solid dim sum, so I decided to try it myself. I was sorta skeptical b/c its billed as a peruvian / chinese restaurant and its also pretty modern and nice, both of these terms (fusion and modern) are usually connected with horrible chinese food. However, when I got there, while there was clearly a non-chinese contingent there, there were alot of chinese people, which was a very good sign especially given the dim sum is more expensive than most ctown places (fyi, not saying anything wrong with non-chinese being there, i welcome it, but if you see none of the given ethnicity at a given ethnicity's restaurant I immediately become concerned). Anyhow, I had a good feeling as soon as I walked in that it would be solid.

The place is sort of modern decor with alot of wood and booths and white walls, its kind of got alot going on (too much if you ask me), but its much nicer than most chinatown restaurants (http://www.redeggnyc.com/gallery.htm). The servers are fairly nice.

The menu is ordering off the menu and if you've read my other responses on dim sum, I believe this is a far superior way to eat dim sum as the food is much fresher (carts are dinosaurs although I understand people's nostaglia for them as most of the places I grew up eating at in LA served cart food, but now most of the good places in LA and HK are off the menu). I was happy about that (and another good sign

)

On to the food:
- steamed shrimp roll (ha chueng fan / xia chueng fan): this was very good, in fact it was the best version I've had in manhattan. The rice dough was thin and soft as it should be (most places make it too thick) and the shrimp were nice, plump and fresh. I was very surprised at how good this was.
- steamed roast pork bun (cha siu bao / cha shao bao): these were good, they did have the sweeter sauce instead of the more savory one, but the bun was very fresh, soft and fluffy and a good bread / meat ratio. The meat itself was good with no "stops" (i.e. things you can't bite through). Pretty solid.
- stuffed green pepper: excellent, these were the long spicy green peppers (go chu in korean) that was stuffed with a steamed shrimp paste and then pan fried. We both thought this was quite good.
- vegetarian spring rolls: I hate these, but my GF likes them, so I got them. they were good for spring rolls as they weren't too greasy and nice and crispy
- siu mai (shao mai): the one disappointment of the day. They felt like they had been oversteamed and so the skins were a big soggy and the filling was too chunky, it should be more minced
- durian puff pastry: I got this as it was a special that day (i like durian), its a puff pastry with a durian paste filling. The puff pastry exterior was excellent, clearly was very fresh (nice and crispy) and the inside was a delicious durian paste that wasn't too sweet and tasted like durian. While i thought this was great, if you don't like durian you obviously wont like this

Overall, I thought the dim sum was very fresh and generally of good quality. I definitely recommend trying

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  1. Glad you enjoyed...

    My fav things on the dimsum menu are the tofu stuffed w/ shrimp, the har gow, and the cilantro dumplings...

    while i've enjoyed the siu mai, i agree w/ you that they aren't as good as some of the other items...and i should try the green pepper ones: they sound good...

    if you're in the area at the right time, i recommend trying the happy hour: the dimsum is half-price, drinks are two-for-one, and it's a fun little crowd that varies between middle-aged or older Chinatown businessmen and 20-something to 40-something chowhounds and plus some random walk-ins...

    1. Want to add that Red Egg is a great place for a group. At recomendations from Chowhounds went there as part of a birthday celebration with 40 people on a Sunday afternoon and it was great. Food was enjoyed, the service was good and we took over most of the side room which worked out well.

      1. thanks so much for this review! i'm always on the lookout for new dim sum places to try. also, just fyi--i was just in peru a few months ago...shockingly, their chinatown is pretty much on par with NY's in terms of food quality (but definitely not on variety). there are TONS of chinese people in peru.

        7 Replies
        1. re: kim e

          there are a ton of east asians in south america generally, there was a point in time when US immigration policy got very strict so many headed down there (mainly japanese and korean, but there are a good number of chinese)...i actually have very distant relatives down there. Funny enough in Brazil, my chinese was more useful than my english or spanish more than a few times

          1. re: kim e

            The chinese restaurants in Lima,Peru are called Chifa. Over the decades they have evolved into an unique fusion flavor of their own.

            1. re: anil

              Interesting. Chinese emigration to Peru pre-dates passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act in the USA in 1882. Some 400,000 Chinese laborers arrived in parts of South America, the Caribbean Islands and Cuba during the period oft known as "the coolie trade" in the mid 19th century.

              1. re: scoopG

                A fair number of Peruvian Chinese and Japanese residents have made their way to the U.S. In the L.A. area a significant portion of the Peruvian restaurants have Asian owners and the best fried rice in town may well be found at these places. When I first heard about Red Egg I was thinking it might be like these L.A. style Peruvian places, though that turns out not to be the case.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Thanks. Wow - the best fried rice...what's their secret?

                  1. re: scoopG

                    chicharron? at least, that's what I would do.

                    1. re: scoopG

                      I wish I knew. (Or maybe it's better that I don't.) It's a non soy sauce preparation, more akin to scallop egg white fried rice.

            2. Yours was one of the reports I was most looking forward to from Red Egg. I am glad to hear someone so knowledgeable on Chinese cuisine generally agreed with my assessment of Red Egg. I'm curious to hear what you think of other items on their menu on future visits.

              1. Thanks for the report. Interesting that it's been the unlikely places that have dragged New York dim sum into the 21st Century. I would have thought that somebody would open up a Sea Harbour, a Koi Palace, a Lai Wah Heen or a Kirin type of restaurant in Chinatown, or more logically, Flushing. Instead it's been Dim Sum Go Go, the touristy sounding place that doesn't look like a dim sum restaurant; Chinatown Brasserie, the place I wanted to hate based on the descriptions but whose food is too good and innovative to ignore; and Red Egg, which appeared to be a novelty pick but which has serious menu driven dim sum and enough new dim sum to distinguish itself.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Chandavkl

                  i havent actually tried CB yet, but if u say its that good i guess ill have to try

                  although to be fair the head chef is from New World Tong, so that is some credability

                  1. re: Lau

                    You should try it, but it's certainly not a place to eat regularly. I mean noodle dishes starting at $11 and dim sum starting at $6 represent a premium that can't be justified by the quality differential. I can't get my family to go to Sea Harbour even though I think the premium there is worth it.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      well im certainly not expecting sea harbour quality! and that is pretty damn expensive for dim sum

                      1. re: Lau

                        Yes it is, but it is quality. And when you go, make sure to have one or two cocktails, too.

                      2. re: Chandavkl

                        you have to try the happy hour. It's inexpensive. I've been there a few times, never more then $20.00 with 2 drinks and I come away stuffed.

                      3. re: Lau

                        between red egg and chinatown brasserie, I'd still pick red egg just cuz the prices are so different but the quality is pretty much the same.

                        been happy every time I go there; I mostly stick with the steamed stuff; like another poster said, get the cilantro taro dumplings; i like their beef balls and spare ribs (standard, but good; although I think it says veal spare ribs instead of pork maybe?)

                        1. re: bigjeff

                          I really like the fish cake at Red Egg. That's what convinced me that this was a serious place, not a novelty restaurant.