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Dim Sum in Boston

johnnycake1 Jun 8, 2009 07:29 PM

Hi There...

Looking for good Dim Sum suggestions in Boston for Weds. lunch.


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  1. j
    jessabella617 RE: johnnycake1 Jun 8, 2009 08:04 PM

    For downtown Boston, HeiLaMoon is great, Gitlo is great out in Alston

    6 Replies
    1. re: jessabella617
      ScubaSteve RE: jessabella617 Jun 8, 2009 08:23 PM

      i think Gitlo's has slid quite a bit since the original chef left.
      as i'm not a fan of cart-based Dim Sum i'd recco Windsor Dim Sum House in ChinaTown.

      1. re: ScubaSteve
        BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: ScubaSteve Jun 8, 2009 08:36 PM

        I tend to agree: I would not recommend traveling to Gitlo's from outlying areas anymore, although I'm still happy to walk the four or five blocks there from my house.

        Winsor is not my favorite in Chinatown, but is probably the OP's best bet for a Wednesday lunch, because the cart places will not be at optimum speed and freshness. For me, China Pearl at around 11 a.m. on a busy Saturday is one of life's great pleasures, but if there's not enough turnover, the quality can slide.

        1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
          jessabella617 RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jun 8, 2009 09:08 PM

          very very true, didnt notice the Weds lunch bit...has gitlos really declined that much? I always get the turnipcake w xo sauce and havent noticed much of a variance.

          1. re: jessabella617
            BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: jessabella617 Jun 8, 2009 10:09 PM

            Gitlo's is now merely good to very good. When the original chef was there, it was often transcendent. None of the puff-pastry items are close to what they used to be.

            But yes, the daikon cake with XO sauce is still resplendent.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
              galangatron RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jun 8, 2009 10:52 PM

              what about the creme brulee?

              1. re: galangatron
                BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: galangatron Jun 9, 2009 09:55 AM

                Don't think it's on the menu anymore, alas.

    2. Luther RE: johnnycake1 Jun 9, 2009 06:31 AM

      I'd recommend Hei La Moon for cart dim sum. I think Winsor sucks. I haven't been to Gitlo's since shortly after it opened. I do have a favorite that makes the best dim sum items, but I'll never tell.

      14 Replies
      1. re: Luther
        StriperGuy RE: Luther Jun 9, 2009 06:41 AM

        Awfully anti-chow of you.

        That kind of attitude and the place will go out of business for lack of clients.

        1. re: StriperGuy
          Bob Dobalina RE: StriperGuy Jun 9, 2009 08:52 AM

          Yeah, Luther - don't hold out on us - which place makes the best dim sum items?

        2. re: Luther
          barleywino RE: Luther Jun 9, 2009 07:02 AM

          hmm, maybe you're steering people away from Winsor to Hei La Moon to alleviate the crowding at Winsor? personally i like Winsor much better than Hei La Moon.

          1. re: barleywino
            Luther RE: barleywino Jun 9, 2009 07:58 AM

            Yeah, Winsor does tend to get a lot of love here... so I'm sure there is some portion of the population that will enjoy it.

            1. re: barleywino
              nonaggie RE: barleywino Jun 9, 2009 10:48 AM

              What do you like at Winsor? We tried it for the first time this past Saturday (we usually go to Hei La Moon) and were not impressed.

              We had:
              - Pan Fried Turnip Cake - Almost entirely rice flour, with very little shredded radish and no discernible radish taste.
              - Sticky Rice In Lotus Leaf Packets: The rice was overcooked, very mushy.
              - Steamed Shrimp And Chives Dumpling: Nice, but DC got one that tasted "off".
              - Steamed Roast Pork Bun: Fine.
              - Lotus Seed Paste Bun - The filling was fine, but the bun (especially the bottom) was dense and tough rather than soft and fluffy.

              We've had these all at Hei La Moon and enjoyed their versions more.

              1. re: nonaggie
                barleywino RE: nonaggie Jun 9, 2009 03:54 PM

                Interesting-- these are all items I usually do not order. I liked the panfried pork dumplings (thin skin, good crisp on the bottom, juicy inside, almost like xlb), scallion pancake (crispy and delicate rather than overly doughy like some versions), shark fin dumpling (good chew to the wrapper, usually not overcooked unlike some places), deep fried tiny fish (generally crisp and fresh), beef cheung fun (rice noodle rolls-- fresher tasting than the version i had at Hei La Moon, same with the hargau and ha cheung), baked roast pork bun (weekends only), deep fried shrimp chive dumpling (more like a triangular wonton, light and crisp, similar comments on the deep fried shrimp ball (only complaint-- some crab stick inside)...

                1. re: barleywino
                  ScubaSteve RE: barleywino Jun 9, 2009 06:43 PM

                  right there with yah. these were all things that are really not on my radar when ordering Dim Sum.

            2. re: Luther
              Spike RE: Luther Jun 9, 2009 07:50 PM

              LOL. Yeah..."sucks" is soooooo descriptive. That must have needed quite a bit of pen and paper and brain matter to write down :-)

              Hei La Moon has up and down days. I've gone when the dumplings had sat on the carts so long, the skins were soggy messes and other days things have tasted great. Every time, however, I've had MSG bomb thirst :-P

              Windows is usually good because stuff comes out as you order it. The only negatives are the baked items (egg tart, roasted buns) which aren't cooked to order. Gitlo's is still the most creative, but Windsor is easier for me to get to and is less expensive :-)

              1. re: Spike
                Luther RE: Spike Jun 10, 2009 04:04 AM

                If you want more detail than "sucks," just search the board. I made a pretty detailed dish-by-dish description of why I don't like their food. Given that there's a dim sum thread about once every month, it doesn't seem worth repeating all the details.

              2. re: Luther
                craveyummyfood RE: Luther Jun 15, 2009 07:52 PM

                somebody clue me in. what benefit is there in keeping a good restaurant a secret? i thought the whole point of this board was to share knowledge that is unbiased. since so many restaurants go out of business or change their menus, it seems that the more people who request the tasty items the more likely that those items will remain available for years to come.

                1. re: craveyummyfood
                  Dmnkly RE: craveyummyfood Jun 16, 2009 06:00 AM

                  In order from most charitable to least:

                  1) Misguided conceit: You're worried that if word got out, the place would be mobbed, fundamentally changing the character of a place that's so wonderful it should never change. Presumes you know what's best for the restaurant, and ignores what's in the best interests of the owners (I've yet to meet a restaurant owner who wasn't happy about more business).

                  2) Pure selfishness: You're worried that if word got out, the place would be mobbed, thereby making it harder for you to get a table.

                  2) Ego. Much like the person who won't share secret recipes, you want to be the person who's "in the know" with the secret spots, and if word gets out, you're no longer special in that regard. Had somebody actually tell me this outright when trying to convince me to keep a great find secret once.

                  Agreed, all three very anti-chow.... not to mention lame.

                  1. re: Dmnkly
                    Nab RE: Dmnkly Jun 16, 2009 06:09 AM

                    Welcome, Dom !

                    Nice to see you 'round these parts.

                    Get in touch when you can please.


                    1. re: Nab
                      Dmnkly RE: Nab Jun 16, 2009 06:11 AM

                      ETA 9-14 days... figured it was time to start lurking :-)

                    2. re: Dmnkly
                      yumyum RE: Dmnkly Jun 29, 2009 10:45 AM

                      I just wanted to shout out on this post -- I hear these reasons not to share all the time, from even my most chowish buddies. Understandable, but lame indeed.

                2. l
                  lowbuckbob RE: johnnycake1 Jun 9, 2009 08:09 AM

                  I'll vote for China Pearl. Hei La Moon is very good as well.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lowbuckbob
                    bakerboyz RE: lowbuckbob Jun 9, 2009 11:22 AM

                    I have been to China Pearl probably 1/2 dozen times in the past month and it has been consistently excellent. Chau Chau City use to be good but what concerns me is that very few people go anymore...when you drive or walk by even on weekends, it seems like the place is very quiet.

                    1. re: bakerboyz
                      Taralli RE: bakerboyz Jun 16, 2009 05:22 AM

                      Our crew was at CCC last Saturday morning around 10:30. By the time we left, close to noon, place was pretty packed. Had my favorite baked mussels w/cheese topping on the half shell and the shell & head-on shrimp, amongst other things. We were too full for the clams in black bean sauce by the time it they hit the steam table. The turnip cakes were, disappointingly ,dull & too dry.

                  2. nsenada RE: johnnycake1 Jun 9, 2009 10:20 AM

                    When the food is actually hot, I actually like Chau Chow City - they have mussels in the shell covered with cheese and garlic (I think that's what it is, anyway) that are really unusual and delicious.

                    1. JohnnyQ1960 RE: johnnycake1 Jun 9, 2009 12:00 PM

                      As per a previous post, I'm a big fan of Windsor and have taken taken many friends and relatives, including overseas guests from Hong Kong and Taiwan. The response to-date has been 100% positive. Try the scallion pancake; roast pork buns; pork and egg congee; stuffed eggplant; seafood or beef noodles and shrimp dumplings. I've also been known to order the french toast. If you prefer another restaurant in Chinatown for dim sum, that's cool, but to say that Windsor 'sucks', you really have no credibility.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: JohnnyQ1960
                        y2000k RE: JohnnyQ1960 Jun 16, 2009 03:53 PM

                        My brother and I had dim sum at Windsor for the first time today. We grew up in Hong Kong so we've had lots and lots of dim sum in our lives. I definitely think Windsor is better than Hei La Moon.

                        We had shrimp dumplings, cheung fun with shrimp, chicken feet, custard bun, chive dumplings, and "boat" congee. Every thing is very fresh and well made. I also like the cook-to-order option here, as everything comes out steaming hot. My only quibble is the chive dumplings have mostly meat fillings with just a hair of chives. I prefer ones that are mostly chives with little meat. In any case, I will be going to Windsor only from now on, based on the high quality of the dim sum there.

                        1. re: y2000k
                          JohnnyQ1960 RE: y2000k Jun 16, 2009 07:21 PM

                          An endorsement from a Hong Kong person is about as good as it gets. My wife and I both enjoyed the dim sum at Victoria City Seafood, Sun Hung Kai Center in Wanchai. The way Hong Kong moves at the speed of sound, there are probably other great places for dim sum that have since stepped up.

                      2. r
                        RoxyB RE: johnnycake1 Jun 16, 2009 05:25 PM

                        I went to Hei La Moon today (Tuesday). It was very busy - there was a wait at noon and the four of us ended up sharing a table with 2 other groups. Other than 3 of us, not many Caucasians in the restaurant. All the food was quite fresh and hot. Lots of turnover.

                        My friend Xianming from Shanghai likes this place best, though she might not have been to Windsor (Winsor?). We used to go to China Pearl, but XM prefers Hei La Moon. I'm happy as long as I get those sesame buns with the bean paste. Yummmmmmmm.

                        1. f
                          f1champ RE: johnnycake1 Jun 26, 2009 10:35 AM

                          what's the chinese name for Windsor?

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: f1champ
                            kobuta RE: f1champ Jun 26, 2009 11:31 AM

                            Pronounced in Cantonese 'wun sah'. (or 'one sah' if you will).

                            1. re: f1champ
                              y2000k RE: f1champ Jun 26, 2009 11:39 AM

                              溫莎in Chinese character. "One Saah" is right.

                              1. re: f1champ
                                Luther RE: f1champ Jun 26, 2009 12:06 PM

                                Pretty sure it's just a phonetic spelling of "Winsor."

                                1. re: Luther
                                  kobuta RE: Luther Jun 28, 2009 10:25 AM

                                  I think more likely Winsor is the closest phonetically to what the Chinese name is. Very typical Chinese naming habit when it comes to Anglicizing Chinese names.

                                  1. re: kobuta
                                    Luther RE: kobuta Jun 28, 2009 05:48 PM

                                    I'm not fluent in Cantonese but having asked someone who is, it seems like it's most likely a transliteration of the English name. If 溫莎 is indeed the way it's written, that doesn't mean anything directly translated.

                                    1. re: kobuta
                                      y2000k RE: kobuta Jun 29, 2009 10:23 AM

                                      The name in chinese doesn't actually mean anything in particular. It is what Luther says, a phonetic translation of the English name. The same chinese characters are used for Chinese translation of Windsor Castle in UK, for example.

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