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Jun 8, 2009 07:29 PM

Dim Sum in Boston

Hi There...

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


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

    6 Replies
    1. re: jessabella617

      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

        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

          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

            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.

    2. 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

        Awfully anti-chow of you.

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

        1. re: StriperGuy

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

        2. re: Luther

          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

            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

              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

                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

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

            2. re: Luther

              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

                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

                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

                  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

                    Welcome, Dom !

                    Nice to see you 'round these parts.

                    Get in touch when you can please.


                    1. re: Nab

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

                    2. re: Dmnkly

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

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lowbuckbob

                    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

                      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. 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. 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

                        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

                          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.