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

  • l
  • Lau Apr 6, 2009 08:17 PM

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.

                    2. My favorite so far are the lamb chops and the red egg puff on the happy hour menu. It's one of the best bargains around.

                      1. I've been meaning to try this place and almost went yesterday. Now, I'll definitely go and report back. Thanks for the detailed report!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Pan

                          Red Egg double charged my credit card. I dont think they did it on purpose, i think just mass confusion. At one point they gave me a bunch of cash back that wasnt mine. They get very busy.

                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                            Thanks for the warning. I'll plan on paying cash.

                        2. Thank you, Lau & all for recommending Red Egg. The happy hour (thanks, Simon) on Friday was a most enjoyable experience. The dumplings were very large, very fresh, and chock full of the main ingredient. Everything sampled -- and that was a lot -- was just great and the price, well not a thing to complain about there. Loved this place and can't wait to get back.

                          1. Just went to Red Egg with DF and in-laws last night, and it was as wonderful and inexpensive as this thread suggests. We had two drinks apiece, all the dim sum we could handle (about 10 dishes), and two desserts for $85 + tip. We could have done without the dessert, but the coconut pudding was too tempting to pass up! A definite thumbs up.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: drysil

                              Actually the evening dim sum prices are probably more than I would want to pay for dim sum, but on the other hand for those who are looking for dim sum at night I'm sure it's well worth it.

                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                I think the happy hour half-off prices run from 4 to 8 pm. That sounds like a pretty good deal on what is supposed to be some really good dim sum. I will be hitting the Red Egg for the first time during my next trip in early May.

                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                  The regular price dim sum is indeed more than I would like to pay, but it is nowhere near as expensive as Chinatown Brasserie and the quality is even better. Moreover there are certain items that they do especially well that are only available on the regular menu such as their sesame balls and coconut pudding.

                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                    Yeah, regular price ran from $4 - $7.50, and that high end is a bit steep. At half-price, though? Totally worth it!

                                    1. re: drysil

                                      true, and the 7.50 items are things like lamb chops, etc (i.e. not dumplings)

                                2. I'm really looking forward to returning to Red Egg. My first visit was rather unfortunate because I went with 2 stubborn eaters unwilling to venture past the "lettuce wraps" and "general's chicken."
                                  Hoping to try the dim sum soon.

                                  www.thelunchbelle.com

                                  1. i ate here again on sunday and it was sort of inconsistent:
                                    - steamed shrimp roll (ha cheung fan / xia cheung ran): the rice dough seemed to be a bit thicker and the shrimp were noticeably overcooked...i was disappointed since it was quite good last time
                                    - steamed roast pork bun (cha siu bao / cha shao bao): pretty much the same as last time, pretty decent
                                    - stuffed green pepper: very good again, this is the best thing i've had there
                                    - beef rice noodle (niu rou cheung fan): these were decent, the rice roll was a bit on the thick side, but the beef was done correctly, it was minced finely (as it should be) and tasted pretty good...interestingly it happened to have alot of cilantro
                                    - shrimp dumplings (ha gow / xia jiao): these were not good at all, the skin was ok, but the shrimp was ridiculously overcooked, we barely touched these...very disappointed
                                    - chicken and abalone bun: this was basically a baozi (steamed bun) with a chicken filling, apparently there was abalone in it, but i couldn't tell...it didn't taste much different than the baozi you get under the LIRR bridge in flushing, just a little less greasy (and flavorful), but overall not bad
                                    - egg cream roll: this was great, just the typical cyclinder shape steamed roll (its sorta light yellowish-orange) with a very light cream filling...i liked this alot
                                    - beef chow fun: nothing special, just sorta typical greasy chow fun

                                    34 Replies
                                    1. re: Lau

                                      that LIRR bridge bun is crack yo.

                                      1. re: bigjeff

                                        they are good

                                        1. re: bigjeff

                                          what are the like?

                                          1. re: michele cindy

                                            just the typical sen-jian-bao (pan-fried dumplings, fried on the bottom and the tops end up steamed); this rendition is particularly juicy and the bun itself, very nice and moist and steamy. big too, say, 2.5" diameter half spheres. there is definitely some MSG up in those suckers which is the only drawback, but it is so savory and tasty and delicious. 4 for $1.25 maybe? can't remember. delicious.

                                            1. re: bigjeff

                                              yeah except they aren't fried on the bottom they're steamed

                                              1. re: Lau

                                                oh ya oops! sorry. these are xiao-long-bao ("little basket buns"), and the lack of a fried bottom takes nothing away from these suckers. "healthier", haha!

                                        2. re: Lau

                                          I ate there for the second time last night...loved it the first time but thought it even better yesterday (disclaimer: I'm inclined to be less critical at 50% off).

                                          Loved the seafood sui mai and cilantro dumplings as well as the shrimp dumplings (ha gow) and assorted seafood. The last time the dumpling skins were steamed so much some were falling off, same with pork buns, oversteamed last time and sticking to the basket as well as a dumpling that had pork, shrimp, and peanut -- all were delicious and perfectly cooked this time. The lamb chops and sweet bean sauce octopus were tender and flavorful. Didn't love the beef skewer -- a bit too tough and chewy or the stuffed tofu, which was a bit bland and the tofu had a mushy, weird texture. My Ginivere drink with gin, fresh lemon juice, and mint was refreshing and potent.

                                          Service was very pleasant and the overall experience one I am eager to repeat, though based on my two visits and reports, inconsistency may be an issue.

                                          1. re: City Kid

                                            ya that oversteamed issue, I almost think its because we're more used to steamed stuff that circulates the room for about 20 minutes and "hardens", versus the freshly steamed stuff. it might just need a couple minutes on the table for them to form a "skin" and firm up.

                                            1. re: bigjeff

                                              In this case, on my prior visit, they just got mushier from sitting, but no complaints last night.

                                              1. re: bigjeff

                                                in red eggs case, i dont think thats right...i think they have an issue of oversteaming some of their dishes (i noticed it the last two times I went), which is definitely one of the weak points of the restaurant

                                                i need to eat here more as some of the dishes are quite good and some have been so so, but its got the potential from the few times ive been here to remain one of the better dim sum places in manhattan

                                                1. re: Lau

                                                  went to DSGG last nite, usually wouldnt eat dim sum at nite and most places dont serve it at nite. DSGG says they serve fresh dim sum all the time.. So, most items they were out of. The Lo May Gai was not bad. ;a vegetable dumpling thathad some nuts a little spice was good. The turnip cake was very good and fresh made , the har gow was not good seemed like it was steamed and re steamed, the peppered veal chop was grizzly and not fun to eat., the egg custards I returned and asked the waiter if these were from last week, the color was so off and they just looked horrible. The pea shoot dumpling was good. Overalll I was disappointed, perhaps because it was at night.

                                                2. re: bigjeff

                                                  haha! I ain't no physicist, that's true. and ya, that's pretty much the universal complaint with their steamed stuff. will mention it next time.

                                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                                    I went there yesterday for the first time and noticed the same thing- oversteaming. I ordered the cilantro pork dumpling, which tasted great, but the skin was hard and slightly gummy around the edges. I also ordered the shrimp cheung fun and the 3 rolls on my plate were all stuck together (maybe from over-steaming too?) but the cheung fun and the Chinese broccoli on the side were actually kind of cold when brought to my table.... not sure what has happened...

                                                    Overall, I was very impressed by their friendly service and nice seating arrangement. The variety of dim sum they offer is also impressive. The price was definitely good but since I am not really on a budget right now I might opt for Chinatown Brasserie next time I am craving dim sum....

                                                    1. re: bearmi

                                                      do you think CB is better?

                                                      1. re: Lau

                                                        Based on my experience a few weeks ago, it's a terrific value, but in terms of overall quality, Dim Sum Go Go on a good day is probably better. I found the items of inconsistent quality - some quite a bit above average, others ordinary. I'll post more about the experience some time later. I also had dim sum recently at World Tong in Bensonhurst, and I thought that was better.

                                                        1. re: Lau

                                                          I think so.... but you will have to try out both places yourself to make a fair assessment since taste is so subjective, if you know what I meant. I really hate to say a place is not good because most people factor in service, decor, ambiance, cost, etc as part of their assessment in the overall dining experience.. and that's on top of their own eating habits and preference.

                                                          To me, I think CB's dim sums are more "modern" and a little more delicate (smaller pieces, more refined presentation, more complex flavor, etc.). But for people who enjoy traditional dim sum, they may like Red Egg better. Also, Red Egg has more varieties of dim sum so if you are into that, it would be the place to go (CB does offer a big range of entrees though.....). Further, CB is about 2x or 3x as expensive as Red Egg so that's another thing to consider... Finally, in my visits to CB, I never got cold dimsum.. everything was always piping hot... For me, I happen to like the more modern interpretation of dim sum and I don't mind the lack of variety or the price... so personally, I like CB better.

                                                          1. re: bearmi

                                                            i'm a regular at Reg Egg and imho it's the best in Manhattan (which is not saying much since i haven't been impressed by much dimsum in Manhattan)...i've found Red Egg varies a bit...the seafood shumai, which in the past have been a bit overcooked, were awesome last week (perfectly tasty even by HK standards!)...the cilantro dumplings and tofu/shrimp are pretty consistent...

                                                            i only went to CB once, and admittedly, it was during the first two weeks they were open...the dimsum i had there were wretched: gluey, cold, tasteless...we didn't even finish them...my experience at CB was so awful on all levels that it's a restaurant i'd never ever return to, regardless of buzz, even for free...

                                                            1. re: Simon

                                                              Sounds like CB's old dimsum from its first week of opening went to Red Egg when I visited on Sunday.. .haha. Honestly, I have only been to Red Egg once so I am not going to say that I will never ever return again, free or not. However, I may not go back any time soon, despite a lot of positive reviews here and elsewhere.

                                                              Nevertheless, it's good to see that others had experienced similar oversteaming problem. I was quite surprised when I first noticed it, especially given all the positive reviews. I am sure others have found negative things about CB, although I prefer it. It's good to see both sides of the story though. That tells me there is something for everybody and what's good for me may not be good for others (and vice versa). .

                                                              1. re: bearmi

                                                                when i wrote the original review, i didn't really realize the oversteaming problem was sorta common there, the siu mai was the one thing that was a disappointment, which as it turns out was due to the oversteaming problem. as this whole steaming issue, im leaning in the camp of DSGG as being the best (chatham ive decided is too inconsistent, sometimes its quite good sometimes its very mediocre)

                                                                as you probably know im not a fan of the old school dim sum (carts, excessively heavy)...i much prefer off the menu, fresher, lighter dim sum. price isn't an issue with me either and im not wedded to ctown either, normally though ive just found most chinese food with the exception of sichuan food outside of chinatown to be exceptionally mediocre (not that ctown's chinese food is all that great either). so i guess ill have to try CB to compare

                                                                1. re: Lau

                                                                  Agree with your point regarding location, which is important in most cities (including Los Angeles, but excluding San Francisco). However I think Chinese Brasserie gets a pass on this due to (1) the general lack of innovation in New York Chinatown and (2) its pedigree tracing back to World Tong in Brooklyn.

                                                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                    eeeh, i don't think any restaurant gets a free pass...and in my book, naming a restaurant that is *not* located in Chinatown "Chinatown Brasserie" is a big strike against it from the start...(similar to "Brooklyn Diner" in Midtown -- it smacks of an Epcot Center approach to dining)...

                                                                    1. re: Simon

                                                                      Ay - are we going to go through this again? I really don't think CB is exactly an Epcot approach. Didn't the chef once work for a well respected Chinese restaurant outside Manhattan?

                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                        That's the World Tong reference--some Chowhounds thought that World Tong in Brooklyn had the best dim sum in the New York area before Chef Ng jumped from World Tong to Chinatown Brasserie.

                                                                        1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                          Correct. Chef Joe Ng came from World Tong, but World Tong owners are not connected in anyway to CB.

                                                                        2. re: MMRuth

                                                                          the decor is Epcot (some of the "authentic Chinatown" pictures on the wall are Korean for christsakes, like the designer said "gimme something like looks Asian!")...the little gluey red "eyes" on the dumplings are Epcot...

                                                                          yes, the chef came from World Tong but that just makes him a sellout to serving up this bland overpriced junk...

                                                                          1. re: Simon

                                                                            Simon, you said yourself you only went once early on. Maybe things have improved in the subsequent months. I really don't think it's fair to attack Joe Ng with your limited experience. I know restaurants are fair game once they start charging customers but it is not uncommon for there to be kinks early in a restaurants life.

                                                                            1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                              they may have improved, but the meal i had there was atrocious, so there is nothing unfair about stating so...

                                                                              1. re: Simon

                                                                                You called the man a sell out after one meal. That's a bit harsh in my book.

                                                                                1. re: KTinNYC

                                                                                  i had a full meal, which was, start-to-finish: bland overpriced junk...there was nothing authentic about it...i found the entire place unredeemable...it was what i imagine a PF Chang's would be like...

                                                                                  i think my harsh opinion was justified...but, of course, this is an opinion forum, and mine is just one opinion, based on one visit...

                                                                                  1. re: Simon

                                                                                    CB = PF Chang?

                                                                                    Now you really lost credibility

                                                                                    1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                      like i said, i've never been to a PF Chang...but if the food is bland and gluey then it's similar what i was served at CB...one calls itself a "bistro", the other a "brasserie"...etc...

                                                                                      1. re: kobetobiko

                                                                                        keke

                                                                      2. re: Lau

                                                                        Lau.. yeah.. if you get a chance, please check out CB.. I am curious to hear other's thought about it.

                                                          2. re: City Kid

                                                            > My Ginivere drink with gin, fresh lemon juice, and mint was refreshing and potent.

                                                            I've had that drink, and I agree (never eaten there, though). The cocktails are worth checking out.

                                                            -----
                                                            Red Egg
                                                            202 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013

                                                        2. I went again last night for the happy hour. I wish there was a bit more variety on the menu. Had the red egg puff, one of my favorites, the steamed pork bun was not as good as previous visits, too dry... the vegetable har gaw? something like that -- was really nice. It's like a vegetable dumpling round in shape, but it didn't have the typical overpowering cabbage carrot flavor you can find in these. The vegetables were really subtle. In error they brought me the pork & peanut version, which I tasted before I realized the wrong item was served, and I'm glad I mentioned it, because the vegetable version was so much better. The stuffed tofu was also really good, that's another favorite. Service was very nice & friendly too.

                                                          1. Went on Saturday for brunch. The outstanding dish was the fried turnip with shredded duck. Sublime. The stuffed tofu also knocked us out.

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: Brooklyn Returnee

                                                              I ordered the fried turnip with shredded duck when I visited yesterday. It was really good but a little greasy for me. I typically consume everything I order at dim sum restaurants but I wasn't able to finish it yesterday for the first time! I guess a good way to look at it is that Red Egg is generous with their portion size!

                                                              1. re: bearmi

                                                                I feel like it's trying to be a trendy dim sum place, but I think they charge for the trendiness. For me the food is a bit on the greasy side. Nice to take people from out of town or people who have never tried dim sum, but I'd probably stick with some of the more traditional dim sum places for myself. Oh also, the service is a bit spotty - we were not served all the dishes we ordered...but hey, bad service at dim sum is pretty routine, hehe.

                                                                1. re: YummyInTheCity

                                                                  Omg.. that's pretty bad to not receive all the dishes you have ordered. I hope they didn't charge you for the missing ones!

                                                                  1. re: YummyInTheCity

                                                                    I thought it would be more expensive than average, but they charged $40 and change for FOUR PEOPLE, and we didn't eat like birds.

                                                                    1. re: YummyInTheCity

                                                                      For value go during their happy hour 4-8. 1/2 price dim sum, 2 for one drinks. It's a great deal, not crowded so the serice is ok. Although I did receive one incorrect dish last visit, sent it back for the correct dish with no problem.

                                                                      1. re: YummyInTheCity

                                                                        There is definitely a plus side to Red Egg, although I think the negatives are readily apparent as well. At Happy Hour (well, 4 hours, as others have informed us), the prices are great for both dim sum and drinks. And the other food seems nice enough as well, although a little pricier than the average. It's an attractive place with very earnest friendly staff and what they serve is reasonably tasty. But, to compare it with serious dim sum places like C.B. or World Tong in Bklyn is a bit of a stretch. Neither the quality of the food nor the variety of what's served even comes close in my opinion. All in all, I found it a friendly place to meet a couple of friends for Happy Hour... I probably wont be going for anything else.

                                                                  2. Lau, great tip. I really enjoyed this place.

                                                                    1. The food was very good and all of our dishes were freshly made to order. No issue with skins forming on the dumplings or mushy dumplings, probably in part because the restaurant was still fairly empty when we arrived. We had:

                                                                    - stuffed tofu (great, great, great... was this made with MSG? i didn't feel desert thirsty after eating, here, but the flavor was so enjoyable i have to suspect)
                                                                    - steamed spareribs with olive sauce (also wonderful flavor and texture... one has to enjoy eating the meat off bones to enjoy this properly, though; i loved it!)
                                                                    - taro cilantro dumplings (nice skin, maybe a teeny bit thicker than at CB, well flavored filling)
                                                                    - roast pork bun (i didn't eat the bun part -- wheat -- but it looked thinnish for this style of bun; the filling was made out of leaner meat than usual, but wasn't so lean as to be tough or badly flavored; it was just a tad sweeter than i find ideal, but overall was very good)
                                                                    - Red Egg's puff (good flaky pastry, the sweet and salty filling isn't for everyone)

                                                                    2. Our cocktails, a pisco sour and "honeysuckle", were excellent and okay, respectively.

                                                                    3. Other comments: The decor is cute and chic. It looks like a cafe you'd find in Shanghai or Hong Kong. Service is extremely gracious. And the bathrooms are very clean. (MAJOR bonus points in my book.)

                                                                    My only, minor complaint is that the staff (otherwise very nice and pleasant) seated us in the regular dining room, not the bar area, when we first came in and didn't offer the happy hour menu until we asked for it specifically. They were very nice about moving us to the bar area after we asked about the dim sum happy hour.

                                                                    Overall, great experience. It's a bit of a trek for me, but worth going out of my way for.

                                                                    1. Headed over to Red Egg this past weekend based on all the recs on Chowhound. It is now one of my go to places for dim sum. Overall, vibe/decor reminded me of Chinatown Brasserie but thankfully the prices are more like Chinatown - only $56 for 11 dishes.

                                                                      The truly great dim sum: cripsy green tea rice ball and pan fried pork dumpling

                                                                      Excellent/very good: sui mai, steam rice roll w/cilantro, cilantro pork dumpling and the home style triangular dumpling (DH's favorite).

                                                                      DH also loved the Steamed shanghainese dumplings - I did not like it because there was no soup! It can't be Shanghai dumplings without the soup inside!

                                                                      Needs improvement: the grilled beef skewer was overcooked, the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf was bland and missing the smoky, anise flavor and the scallion pancake was very heavy and doughy and barely any scallions present.

                                                                      The most interesting dim sum goes to the durian puff. DH refused to try it - he had a bad experience with a stinky durian. LOL Tastewise it was definitely unusual/different - you can smell the aggressive unique scent of the durian fruit but it was mixed in with some cream which helped mask some of the smell. There was a nice smooth, texture to the ouff - very nicely executed. I would recommend it along with the tea rice ball as dessert dim sum to end your meal.

                                                                      They need to work on the service though -our 1st waiter finished his shift after taking our order and I guess he forgot to tell the other waiters that we were there. The 2nd waiter was really nice but possibly a little inexperienced as he struggled to serve 3 tables and it wasn't even that busy.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: SeoulQueen

                                                                        My DH is disagreeing with my review and here is his two cents: He thinks the grilled beef skewer was not over cooked and that he did have a small nibble of the durian puff. He also thinks the vibe/decor was more minimalist and not on par to Chinatown Brasserie. He's a big dim sum fan and liked this place a lot.

                                                                        1. re: SeoulQueen

                                                                          The durian puff was good. I didn't notice anything in it except durian paste and maybe some sugar, and figured that the mild taste was because they used Thai and not Malaysian durians. It's very creamy, but durians are all very creamy to begin with.

                                                                        2. Tried Red Egg for the first time last week. Pork cilantro dumplings, red puff, steamed pork buns, shu mai, seafood dumpling all very good. Waiter was nice enough to save me from myself as I was solo and initially ordered enough for 80 people (I can only eat enough for 40 by myself). I think the place compared favorably to DSGG and CB though each has their strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons. I need to do further research on Red Egg.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Steve R

                                                                            On one of my visits I ran into a fellow ch'er. I forgot how we realized who each of us was, but it was pretty amusing.

                                                                            1. re: michele cindy

                                                                              we realized it because we both flashed the Chowhound gang sign...*smiles*

                                                                              1. re: Simon

                                                                                :)

                                                                          2. Finally made it out here today -- it's a good find! They do not skimp on quality or details like some other dim sum factory-like spots, the service was very nice, and we filled up for a reasonable price (just under $40 for three people without tip). No wait at all at 11:30 although by 1pm it had filled up quite a bit. And they take reservations, which is nice. The bathrooms also are pretty large and handi-capped accessible for those who care about such things.

                                                                            It's not as delicate or refined as Chinatown Brasserie but the price is quite a bit cheaper and portions quite a bit more generous, although CB's pacing is definitely better. But CB is way more expensive.

                                                                            Regular sui mai were fine. Seafood sui mai were better -- very fresh and tender.

                                                                            No problems with oversteaming except for the pork buns. Mine was fine but my husband's bun were a little too soft. Inside was quite generous though and tasty and sweet, which you don't always find!

                                                                            Stuffed green pepper were OK, but not really memorable however the Red Egg's puff was amazing. Will definitely order again! So tasty and delicate, really wonderful.

                                                                            The steamed shrimp rice rolls were delicate and fresh but a little underseasoned -- the sauce seemed a little anemic. Probably could have used more sauce, but the rolls themselves were good.

                                                                            Red Egg's shrimp dumpling were also good. Nice rendition of your typical har gow but with the same good shrimp they were using elsewhere. No complaints here.

                                                                            Steamed tiny buns aka soup dumplings (5 beautiful looking specimens per order) were nice but awfully lacking in the soup department, though. For soup dumplings, I want a hot dripping mess! I wouldn't get these again, I was curious, and now I know that they're just not that great.

                                                                            Overall I left pleased and stuffed, and I don't mind paying a few dollars more for better quality.

                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                            1. re: kathryn

                                                                              I went back and didn't like the garlic fried spare ribs (who needs to fry a sparerib?). However, the steamed pork buns were top notch and I loved the Peking duck "slyders"-basically half a duck served on humbao (instead of pancakes) with traditional hoisin, scallions and cucumber. My 10 year old is already a Peking duck with pancakes fanatic but she loved that they looked like mini-burgers!

                                                                              1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                I actually loved the fried spare ribs. They were a garlicky Chinese take on cuchifritos to my palate. Their salt and pepper pork chops are a delicious take on a similar theme. I find their bao uniformly dry and the filling overly sweet, but it sounds as though I ought to give them another go.

                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                  You're right. I forgot about their Peruvian influence at Red Egg.

                                                                                2. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                  The Peking duck "sliders" are cute, I agree.

                                                                                  1. re: kathryn

                                                                                    also a Red Egg fan!

                                                                                    don't wanna repeat what's already been said but just thought i'd add that when i went it was pretty late--they were getting ready to close and we were the only group in the restaurant. still, they were very accommodating and kind. we did our best to eat quickly because we didn't want to keep them, but they never showed any sign of wanting us to leave. that says a lot about their hospitality.

                                                                                    1. re: waxyjax

                                                                                      lot of hype ,, ok food

                                                                                      1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                        Interesting comment you have about the Red Egg. I thought I was the only one who wasn't that impressed by it (you can see my review above). Can you tell us about your experience? Because of the variety they offer and their relatively low price, I was planning to go back again soon just to give them another chance. However, I am sure you have your reasons for commenting that their food is "ok"......

                                                                                        1. re: bearmi

                                                                                          I think the key is the original heading of this thread--dim sum in Manhattan. Red Egg is certainly right at the top for dim sum in NY Chinatown, but if you've eaten dim sum in LA, SF, Vancouver, Toronto or maybe even Flushing you're not going to be blown away.

                                                                                          1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                                            that is the key...none of the dim sum in manhattan is amazing, but some of it is decent to good (red egg, DSGG, chatham sometimes)

                                                                                            1. re: Lau

                                                                                              Yeah I hear you... I will try to go again soon and bring along a friend so I can try more dishes there.

                                                                              2. Went for dim sum happy hour tonight, & I have to agree with foodwhisperer - it's just ok. We arrived at 5:30, and the place was nearly deserted, and stayed that way. When we left at 7:30, there were maybe 10 people there. Some of the items on the website menu aren't available in the restaurant itself, so be warned. We had:

                                                                                seafood sui mai: very good. seafood had an excellent consistency and flavor, wrapper was thin, but held together.

                                                                                steam fish ball: not what I was expecting, but also very good. a loose, shaggy ball of coarsely chopped fish and cilantro. I was relieved that it wasn't exactly like the fish balls I have in my fridge.

                                                                                red egg's shrimp dumpling: nothing special, kind of overcooked, and the wrapper was so glutinous it was hard to pull free of the paper beneath it.

                                                                                sweet bean sauce octopus: awesome. a very generous portion of baby octopus, cooked perfectly, with a very tasty sauce.

                                                                                pan fried vegetable dumplings: standard issue.

                                                                                vegetable fun gaw: same filling as the dumplings, but in that super sticky glutinous wrapper & with a pea on top. eh.

                                                                                The service was very nice, and super, super slow. It took a dog's age to get anyone to take our order, and it's not like they were busy in the least. The food took a while, also. We weren't served dipping sauces (except with the octopus and fried dumplings) and had to ask for soy sauce.

                                                                                My companion also had spare ribs (which she said were dry, but ok) and pork dumplings (she liked those better).

                                                                                The best thing about the place is the price, at least during happy hour. I had two fancy drinks and left stuffed to the gills. My share was $27 all in. I'd go back, but with realistic expectations.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: small h

                                                                                  Thanks for sharing your experience. I think my visit a few weeks ago was similar too.

                                                                                  1. re: bearmi

                                                                                    I've only been there at happy hour, and if you go with the expectation that you will get a few decent dishes and drinks at a very good price, you're fine. Any higher expectations will leave you disappointed.

                                                                                    1. re: michele cindy

                                                                                      That's a good assessment. I will keep that in mind when I re-visit in the near future.

                                                                                2. I'm sad! I ate there for the happy hour with a group of 5 and we had a crazy amount of food; I gotta say tho, that I am less enamored with the place after last night. The happy hour is a great deal (monday to friday, 1/2 off dim sum, 2-for-1 drinks, 4pm to 8pm) and the drinks, all $11, apparently were strong and well-made. But on to the dimsum, we had:

                                                                                  $4 section (down to $2)
                                                                                  + beef balls
                                                                                  + stuffed tofu
                                                                                  + chicken feet with black bean
                                                                                  + siu mai

                                                                                  $4.50 section (down to $2.25)
                                                                                  + steamed sparerib with olive sauce
                                                                                  + steam fish ball
                                                                                  + veal chops with black pepper
                                                                                  + steamed veg fun gaw
                                                                                  + taro cilantro dumpling
                                                                                  + roast pork bun
                                                                                  + red bean in pastry (sorta like a pastry cigar)

                                                                                  $5.25 section (down to $2.625)
                                                                                  + shrimp dumpling

                                                                                  $6.00 section (down to $3)
                                                                                  + garlic spare ribs

                                                                                  we also ordered the kung-xing-cai (hollow vegetable) for $12

                                                                                  I think this was what we ate; we may have gotten 2 of some of those but basically; it was a ton of food! and came out to $10pp (pre-tax-n-tip). But definitely, I think it's a case of going too buckwild because it was so cheap and over-ordering (we doubled up on the veal chop and spare ribs) so it all started to taste similar; there was definitely an undercurrent of MSG since I had that familiar light buzz after the meal which sort of clouded things; there wasn't the freshness and sharp clean flavors that I had the first couple times; i still loved the steamed stuff (the tofu was nice, the beef balls, the fish balls were nice, the dumplings and siu mai all had quality fillings and expertly prepared) but the roast pork bun was bad, oversweet filling and bad bun. btw lau, I love the "stops"! the vealchops (snipped up) and spareribs (love the olive) was deliciously fatty! I enjoyed the garlic spare ribs; I thought they were sinfully fried although could use a dash of salt.

                                                                                  the vegetables we ordered were good, but really really saturated with oil. everyone left stuffed and satisfied but I was really missing some of the classics (didn't see any cheung-fun) and really, missed some of the charm of the carts (headed to Perfect Team on Sunday for what I hope will redeem me). Overall, I feel that I can't send people there any longer (and I really did rec the place to a lot of people); the prep is good but it all just kinda blended together in the end; it could definitely be a case of our ordering as well. I did enjoy how everything was made fresh (we ordered in two stages) so every once in a while, a new rack would appear when we already forgot we ordered! which was pleasant. Good service throughout the meal.

                                                                                  Regardless, hit this place up at happy hour if you are a newcomer and you can always come back to experience again; the pain on your wallet will be miniscule if you don't like it.

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                                                                    BigJeff thanks for spelling kung-xing-cai (hollow vegetable) i never remember how to say it and I probably would have spelled it Tsung shing Tsai ,,but sometimes its not even that close.... I love that vegetable. By the way , i tried the Golden Unicorn this weekend and they keep adding new items,, Ive never seen them with the dumplings grillin on the cart, maybe 5 items ive never seen there,,, everything was great , especially the chicken feet

                                                                                    1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                      ya they do the turnip cake, radish cake and some other stuff fresh on a grill cart.

                                                                                    2. re: bigjeff

                                                                                      I know there are a variety of opinions about the food and service at Red Egg. My experiences there have been first-rate on both counts. In fairness, though, I'm pretty certain they have not used MSG on the occasions I have been there. I am highly allergic to it and had it been used I would have known.

                                                                                      1. re: City Kid

                                                                                        maybe its effect varies; I used to never taste it until recently and for sure, it was present. strong lingering buzz on the lips which really marred the flavor. unfortunately, my meal at perfect team corp a few days later was marred by the same problem! I may just have to forgo dimsum altogether if its a standard thing; I've really not had it give me a problem until the last few years, which is a good thing I think.

                                                                                        1. re: City Kid

                                                                                          some of the already prepared bulk sauces used have msg in it already,, But traditionally chinatown restaurants use very little msg. Neighborhood chinese american restaurant use tons of it espcially in the won ton soup

                                                                                          1. re: foodwhisperer

                                                                                            i think it was in the savory meat dishes like the chicken feet, spare ribs, veal chop, that stuff. but let's face it, MSG is used everywhere, its just used with a heavier hand in certain places.

                                                                                      2. I'm one of the few who think that Red Egg's not all that, and after 2 tries, I will not return.

                                                                                        I thought the dim sum were decent and interesting variations on usual Chinatown ones.

                                                                                        Both times, at non-busy times, it took over 10 minutes to get menu, 10 more to get order taken, and at least one thing on order was wrong (I was hungry enough to just take, and price was right.

                                                                                        I had to wonder, was my servie experience related to my demographics - woman by herself, non-Asian?

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: yebo

                                                                                          you were there at happy hour?

                                                                                          1. re: Simon

                                                                                            No. I was there outside of prime lunch time (don't remember, there were other customers). I sat at a table.

                                                                                          2. re: yebo

                                                                                            I'm a non Asian, woman whose dined alone during happy hour only. I sit at the bar, and the service was fine. I also dined with a group of women once and the service was fine. Perhaps it was just an off shift time.