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Modern or unique dim sum in San Francisco?

b
ButtMunch Jul 24, 2010 10:08 AM

Hello San Francisco! I'm a Boston hound about to take a trip over, and i was wondering if there were any dim sum places in san francisco that served up some new stuff aside from traditional dim sum? Are there any young dim sum chefs out there innovating dim sum and bringing new stuff to the dim sum carts? Like for example taiwanese dim sum or making new creations or variations of dim sum that won't cost me an arm and a leg to eat?

Being from Boston, we mainly only have the old traditional stuff that i still love but would rather treat my tastebuds to some new flavors. I'm not really looking for the best dim sum place, just a more progrssive and good dim sum restaurant that i could try something new.

hope im not asking for too much :x.

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  1. b
    ButtMunch Jul 24, 2010 10:55 AM

    oh thanks for the advise!

    1. chefj Jul 24, 2010 10:27 AM

      I think that you will find the general quality and care in preparation better than what is available in Boston, that was my experience.
      As for creativity there are a few places that have Items you probably did not see in Boston but all the standard will be there too so you will have to pace yourself.
      I would suggest that you check out Koi Palace, www.koipalace.com in Daly City very large place and Mayflower, smaller place in the city (the one on Geary Blvd. check out the the speicial menu in the table tent.) www.mayflower-seafood.com
      You can also do a search on this board and you will find raging debate over the local dim sum scene.

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      Koi Palace Restaurant
      365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

      13 Replies
      1. re: chefj
        b
        ButtMunch Jul 24, 2010 11:01 AM

        I read many good things about Koi Palace and would love to go there! however dont think my companion on this trip is up for the extra traveling. Mayflower will check.

        I also read good and mixed reviews for yank sing but it sounds it bit too pricey for us.

        Do you know if Golden Mountain has a good selection of affordable dim sum?

        Thanks for the suggestions!

        -----
        Koi Palace Restaurant
        365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

        Golden Mountain
        21933 Foothill Blvd, Hayward, CA 94541

        1. re: ButtMunch
          chefj Jul 24, 2010 11:29 AM

          Personally I dislike Yank Sing. But as you can see there is much debate about it.
          I do not know about Gold Mountain. I think I went there once long ago. I remember it as being pretty traditional.
          When you say affordable you mean?
          Koi is very close to the city I would think a Cab wouldn't cost more than 15$.
          Be sure to check out the"specials" (they have been the same for a few years now) in the Table tent at Mayflower if you go.

          -----
          Gold Mountain Restaurant
          644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

          Yank Sing
          49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

          1. re: chefj
            wolfe Jul 24, 2010 11:52 AM

            Been a while since you took a cab? The cab fare computer says about $35 from Union Square to Serramonte,

            1. re: chefj
              n
              nocharge Jul 24, 2010 12:00 PM

              The cab fare to Koi would obviously depend on where you start, but from downtown, it's 12-13 miles which would imply that a cab would cost over $30 each way not counting tip. (SF cabs are $3.10 to flag and then 45 cents for each 1/5 of a mile.)

              1. re: nocharge
                wolfe Jul 24, 2010 12:07 PM

                Daly City Bart to Koi Palace is $15.

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                Koi Palace Restaurant
                365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

                1. re: wolfe
                  m
                  ML8000 Jul 24, 2010 12:34 PM

                  Downtown SF to Daly City BART is $3 bucks, $6 RT. Of course if you double up (or more) cab rides go down. Koi however isn't exactly affordable. It can get pricey if you start an ordering frenzy.

                  1. re: ML8000
                    n
                    nocharge Jul 24, 2010 02:38 PM

                    So for two people, BART to Daly City plus the 3.5 mile cab ride to Koi would come in around $40 RT. Conclusion: if you are in downtown SF without access to a car, it's way less expensive to eat at Yank Sing than to take a cab or BART+cab to Koi. And a lot less hassle.

                    1. re: nocharge
                      c
                      chuckl Jul 24, 2010 02:53 PM

                      the simple answer to that is yes.

              2. re: chefj
                b
                ButtMunch Jul 24, 2010 12:20 PM

                oh thanks a lot for everyones help! i guess affordable meaning nothing really overpriced in realtions to the portions.

                1. re: ButtMunch
                  wolfe Jul 24, 2010 02:58 PM

                  Keep tuned we may eventually get back to dim sum.

                2. re: chefj
                  l
                  lapizzamaven Jul 24, 2010 03:46 PM

                  Ive eaten twice at Gold Mountain on Broadway in Chinatown w/ a friend who's very dim sum experienced...weve also eaten at Elite and Sea Harbour in LA and we both found that the shrimp(Har Gow, rice noodle shrimp) were juicier and tastier at Gold Mtn....traditional, fairly large restaurant where we had 2 excellent meals.

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                  Gold Mountain Restaurant
                  644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

                3. re: ButtMunch
                  Chandavkl Jul 29, 2010 10:25 AM

                  Gold Mountain isn't better for dim sum than what you can get in Boston. I'm not sure anything in Chinatown is. If I couldn't get out to the Peninsula, I think I'd go to Hong Kong Lounge on Geary. Incidentally, most, if not all of the best dim sum in California these days is ordered off the menu, not carts.

                  -----
                  Gold Mountain Restaurant
                  644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

                  Hong Kong Lounge
                  5322 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94121

                  1. re: ButtMunch
                    alanbarnes Jul 29, 2010 11:54 AM

                    Gold Mountain is reasonably priced. Quality is above average, selection is pretty typical. A good choice if you're nearby, but not worth a trip out of your way.

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                    Gold Mountain Restaurant
                    644 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

                4. v
                  vulber Jul 24, 2010 10:53 AM

                  Yank Sing has quite a lot of traditional and modern dim sum. Unfortunately, it might cost you an arm (but not a leg) to eat there.

                  And yes, Mariana in Baja is 100% about Frisco, my ears are actualy hurting even though you didn't actually say it. About 100 times worse than "San Fran"

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                  Yank Sing
                  49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                  1. c
                    chuckl Jul 24, 2010 10:58 AM

                    Harmony Restaurant in Mill Valley does a nice updated dim sum using local seasonal ingredients

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: chuckl
                      chefj Jul 24, 2010 11:30 AM

                      I would think that if Daly city is too far M.V. would be out too.

                      1. re: chuckl
                        chefj Jul 24, 2010 11:31 AM

                        Sorry Vulber, I didn't look at the time stamp.

                        1. re: chuckl
                          little big al Jul 25, 2010 10:24 AM

                          I occasionally enjoy the lunch special at Harmony , but the dim sum is, like the old joke, "Terrible food and such small portions". I recently got an order of steamed char siu bao (3 for $5.50!!) with such an overpowering taste of ammonia (where could that have come from?) that I threw them out. I don't do that often.

                        2. r
                          rotiprata Jul 24, 2010 12:19 PM

                          We enjoyed dim sum at South Sea Seafood Village on Irving a while ago. Most notably, there was a special rice cake with dried shrimp and pork with a wraparound banana/pandan leaf that looked like a salty version of the thai dessert Ta-Ko Haew and melt in the mouth lovely. Pumpkin puff was flaky and good. Cheong Fun was thin but shrimps within were overcooked.

                          1. b
                            ButtMunch Jul 28, 2010 10:19 PM

                            i think our first stop for dimsum when we touch down will be to mayflower. thanks to everyone who gave their opinions and suggestions!

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: ButtMunch
                              Melanie Wong Jul 28, 2010 11:23 PM

                              If you're headed straight from the airport (SFO) to dim sum, then it would be a shame to drive right past Koi Palace in Daly City to go to Mayflower. Koi Palace and the dim sum houses in Millbrae near the airport are all better than Mayflower in San Francisco.

                              -----
                              Koi Palace Restaurant
                              365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                b
                                ButtMunch Jul 29, 2010 09:35 AM

                                Oh you know i completely overlooked the fact that ill have to travel into the city from SFO. Ill give more consideration to koi palace and maybe try mayflower some other day if we are still down for more dim sum. I guess ill do some more searching on Millbrae dim sum houses as well. thanks!

                              2. re: ButtMunch
                                n
                                nocharge Jul 29, 2010 12:51 AM

                                Are you renting a car or taking a cab from the airport? And where are you staying? If I were staying in downtown SF without a car, I wouldn't consider either Koi or May Flower even "on the way" from the airport. With a car, the equation changes.

                                1. re: nocharge
                                  b
                                  ButtMunch Jul 29, 2010 09:51 AM

                                  I wont be renting a car. i will mainly rely on a cab or the bart for transportation. I was thinking of taking the bart straight to San Francisco but since Koi palace is closer to the airport, i was thinking of a cab ride over to Daly City as a first stop but im not so sure how good of a plan that is.

                                  1. re: ButtMunch
                                    Melanie Wong Jul 29, 2010 10:02 AM

                                    Hong Kong Flower Lounge in MIllbrae is a block away (across a big street) from the BART station. That would be my rec to you and you can click on the link for more reports. It is now part of the Mayflower group, but this has been a better bet than the one in the City. This is one stop away from SFO. Then you can easily hop back on BART after your lunch and continue on into the City.

                                    -----
                                    Hong Kong Flower Lounge
                                    51 Millbrae Ave, Millbrae, CA 94030

                                    1. re: ButtMunch
                                      PeterL Jul 29, 2010 10:03 AM

                                      You'll be carrying your luggage with you in the restaurant and then have to get another cab to go to the city. It's probably better, after you settle in your hotel, to take BART to Millbrae and take in the many dim sum places along El Camino Real. It's a good walk from the Millbrae BART station, but the quality and choices are much much better.

                                      1. re: PeterL
                                        Melanie Wong Jul 29, 2010 10:08 AM

                                        I wouldn't take a huge amount of luggage into HKFL, but the staff are accustomed to air travelers bringing in their wheelies. I see it all the time.

                                        1. re: PeterL
                                          n
                                          nocharge Jul 29, 2010 08:05 PM

                                          BART between Millbrae and downtown is about 40 minutes each way not counting the wait for the train. If I were to spend that much of my vacation time on BART, the dim sum had better be beyond outstanding. But, yes, rolling my luggage around Millbrae after a long flight wouldn't be my cup of tea either.

                                        2. re: ButtMunch
                                          bbulkow Jul 29, 2010 11:39 PM

                                          Bad plan. Getting a cab to pick you up at Koi Palace may take quite a while. I once had to wait over 40 minutes somewhere else in Daly City when carpool buddies flaked on me.

                                          -----
                                          Koi Palace Restaurant
                                          365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

                                    2. c
                                      cakebaker Jul 29, 2010 10:48 AM

                                      Not new or innovative I understand...but I'd still rec Dol Ho for chicken rice. It is, to me, a totally San Francisco must. Not fancy...but very cheap and wonderful. I take all out of town guests there.

                                      -----
                                      Dol Ho
                                      808 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                      1. K K Jul 29, 2010 01:06 PM

                                        Asian Pearl in Millbrae probably has the most eclectic mix of old and "new"....and by "new" that's pretty much reviving something really old school, to the point where it is deemed as new because it's something in addition to the tried and true (which is also quite excellent).

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/700490

                                        And the receptionist normally takes an additional sheet of paper (in Chinese) of side dishes you can order, that looks like this:

                                        - Pig's blood cubes with chives (gow choy ju hung), a Chiu Chow style item
                                        - Curry fishball with pork rinds (reproducing the 80s HK street food snack pushcart vendor food) (ga lei yu daan ju pei
                                        )-Chiu chow style bitter melon soy bean pork ribs (Chiu Sik Leung Gwa Wong Dau Pai Gwut)
                                        -Chiu chow style salty veg and pork stomach (Chiu Sik Haam Choy Dzum Ju Toe)
                                        -Clams in spicy broth
                                        -Chinese herbal chicken stew (I can't even pronounce the herbs...)
                                        -Blanched book tripe (Ba cherk Ngau Pak Yeep)
                                        -Blanched goose intestines (Ba Cherk Ngor Cheung)
                                        -superior broth shui gow dumplings (Seung Tong Shui Gow)
                                        -Dried citrus peel duck (Chun Pei Ngap)
                                        -Daikon with beef tripe
                                        -Chicken Feet in abalone sauce
                                        -Pig Feet Ginger
                                        -Yeung Ji Gum Loe (a HK/Singaporean fusion dessert consisting of mango juice, mango pudding, pomelo, sago, coconut milk, evaporated milk...did not try but this is a common dessert staple at the fancier HK dim sum restaurants, wondering who does the best version, then again it's obviously better in HK with great mangoes from the Philippines that can't be beat)
                                        -Tofu Fa (custard)

                                        Koi Palace is the ever crowd pleasing experience but on weekends for the most part it's elbow to elbow crowds without factoring in the wait time (unless you come on a weekday really really early right around opening time). Also KP's MSG usage is a little heavy. Asian Pearl is a lot more refined in that regard.

                                        There's also Zen Peninsula which is probably closer to modern dim sum in Hong Kong.

                                        For Millbrae dim sum, I would pick ZP or AP only.

                                        -----
                                        Koi Palace Restaurant
                                        365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

                                        Zen Peninsula
                                        1180 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

                                        Asian Pearl
                                        3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: K K
                                          s
                                          sfbing Jul 29, 2010 01:50 PM

                                          Last weekend at Asian Pearl Millbrae, I ordered the wasabi pork stomach with chicken salad as a special dish. It was a little heavy on the wasabi for me, but it was an interesting combination of flavors and the pork stomach was remarkably good. Cold, tender, chewy with no ickiness at all.

                                          -----
                                          Asian Pearl
                                          3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

                                          1. re: sfbing
                                            wolfe Jul 29, 2010 02:05 PM

                                            Some sort of Chinese haggis?

                                            1. re: wolfe
                                              s
                                              sfbing Jul 29, 2010 02:35 PM

                                              Way better, but then I'm not a fan of oatmeal.

                                              I guess I'm wondering how unique the OP wants their dim sum to be?

                                            2. re: sfbing
                                              K K Jul 30, 2010 07:57 AM

                                              That must be a new item, didn't see it last time. Safe to classify under modern and perhaps fusion.

                                          2. wolfe Aug 5, 2010 02:42 PM

                                            Not in San Francisco but Mr. Lauriston describes a place that has dim sum he has not seen before, Happy Valley Restaurant.
                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7255...

                                            -----
                                            Happy Valley Restaurant
                                            400 E 12th St, Oakland, CA

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