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Feb 4, 2010 01:13 PM

Fast replies requested: Dim Sum in Phoenix or East Valley?

Who's got the best dim sum these days? I suspect it's not C-Fu or Golden Buddhua anymore. Looking for the usual roving carts, not menu ordering, for weekend group of eight people.

I read the recent New Times review on Phoenix Palace. Any thoughts?

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  1. Phoenix Palace is every bit as good as Michele Laudig described it. I've done dim sum there twice and found all the dishes steaming hot and well prepared.

    Golden Buddha is hit-or-miss. The food starts off good, but since a lot of customers order from the regular menu, the dim sum items don't turn over as rapidly and can be lukewarm when served.

    No recent experience with C-Fu, but someone told me that Phoenix Palace's ascendance as the top place for dim sum had to with luring a chef away from C-FU.

    1. My usual place lately is China Chan over by Metrocenter. Unless it gets crazy busy, they cook the dim sum to order. You get a paper menu and mark down what you want just like at a sushi restaurant. Since nothing has been on a cart, everything comes out of the kitchen blazing hot. Shrimp spring rolls are an addiction of mine. Word of warning, don't get anything off the regular menu, only go for dim sum.

      I keep meaning to go to Phoenix Palace, but I'm usually halfway to China Chan before I remember about Phoenix Palace.

      3 Replies
      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

        Yes, China Chan is very nice if you don't need the carts. I neglected to mention it because I thought the OP was focused on the East Valley, but it's definitely worth checking out. Thanks for mentioning it.

        1. re: silverbear

          China Chan is my favorite place for dim sum since I read your review awhile back. My only problem is getting there early enough from Tempe to get the pork pastries and roast pork. To die for.

        2. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

          China Chan probably has the best dim sum in the Valley, both in terms of quality and price.

          But if the OP is looking for a cart-style place then China Chan won't do.

          Haven't been to Phoenix Palace to know whether it's any good, but if looking for a cart-style joint, one sure sign of good quality is the number of cart ladies to tables -- the lower the ratio, the better.

        3. China King is Chandler is good

          2 Replies
          1. re: azeater

            I was a huge fan of China King for many years, regularly making the trek from downtown Phoenix. Sometime in the first half of last year, all the dim sum recipes changed. I asked the staff about it and was informed that they had changed owners and that they had a new chef. The dim sum was decent, but not what it used to be and it's no longer worth the drive for me.

            1. re: fledflew

              Yes, ever since the ownership changed, my friends and I have noticed a very steep decline in quality and cleanliness. We've now all had our not so nice experiences there with bugs. So disappointing because it's so close to me, and CK was my first exposure to dim sum.

          2. My vote would be for Phoenix Palace. My wife and I are Chinese and have tried every place in the Valley. All of our Chinese friends also share the same opinion - trust us, we have conversations about it!

            3 Replies
            1. re: andyeats

              Ended up at Phoenix Palace and I'm a big time new fan. While I missed some of the old standards (black bean ribs), overall the selection and quality were outstanding. Only complaints (minor!) were that there really were too many items with shrimp, making it actually a bit hard on the non-shrimp lovers at our table (they even put them in the spring rolls, which I actually prefer without the shrimp). Also the only noodle dish we ever saw was rice noodles. I would have preferred to have an option of the thicker or maybe egg noodle dishes. Deserts were WAY above average and I usually find this to be the low point for most dim sum. Amazingly cheap and very pleasant servers. Thanks for the recs - you guys it it on the head again. (Ignore the Buffet in the link below - we didn't even see a buffet, but then, we didn't look either.)

              1. re: jkgourmet

                I'm pretty sure the Buffet part of the name is left over from a previous incarnation of the restaurant. The new owners are the ones who introduced the dim sum there, and I'm very glad they did.

                1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                  coincidently they are reviewed in today's Republic.(Online)

            2. The original comment has been removed