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Dim Sum

I am taking my 3 year old son to a show at the Wang on Saturday. He and my husband are big Chinese food fans. I was thinking about taking them for dim sum before the show. However, we have never had dim sum. Can anyone recommend a good place for dim sum, close to the Wang, and good for beginners?

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  1. What time are you planning on going?? most dimsum places serve dimsum 9-3pm. If you are looking for ones with carts that circle around the room they are all like with in a 4 block radius 88 (Hei La Moon) on beech street under the parking garage is the easiest for me to go to. Winsor dimsum cafe (10 tyler street) has a menu you order from so maybe simpler and they are open 9 am - 10 pm.

    1. Winsor Dim Sum Cafe is my favorite for Dim Sum in Boston. Some people really enjoy the whole experience with the carts, in which case I think Hei La Moon or China Pearl is the best. I don't particularly, and unless I'm going with a very large group, I much prefer the food and experience at Winsor.

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      Hei La Moon
      88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

      China Pearl Restaurant
      9 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

      Winsor Dim Sum Cafe
      10 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

      1. If you're not familiar with dimsum, a place that serves from the rolling carts like Hei La Moon may be the way to go, since you can see what you're getting before you get it. Also the 3yr old son might enjoy the more interactive experience. You might find the cart(s) with fried or baked items to be more accessible taste-wise than some of the steamed items, keep an eye out for that cart or flag it down if you see it so that it doesn't run out of selection before it gets to your table. You can also order a (for example) panfried noodle dish on the side to supplement the dimsum. PS. If its a warm day out and if your kid likes water, take him to the (artificial) waterfall/streambed in the pocket garden just north of the chinatown arch at Beach/Hudson and let him wade down the stone streambed (bring a towel) which kids enjoy doing (a popular spot for a picnic lunch as well).

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        Hei La Moon
        88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

        3 Replies
        1. re: barleywino

          Emperor's Garden (Washington at Kneeland) is a little closer to the Wang and that might be useful with a 3-year old in tow. It is comparable to the other cart places. I agree that the cart experience might be better though ordering off the menu at Winsor has the advantage that the items are hot (especially important for the fried items).

          1. re: gourmaniac

            I actually think for total rookies ordering off a menu is less intimidating and more familiar than the chaos that is the cart system, and would recommend Windsor for the first experience.

          2. re: barleywino

            There's also some free entertainment there sometimes at the waterfall - saw a fella heeding the call of nature, and adding some of his own "stream" to the bed a few weeks back.

          3. We take my son to Dim Sum a lot. He is 4 and has a few favorites. The "fun" ( a white sheet of noodle) wrapped around 4 shrimp, the turnip cake, Sue mai(pork dumpling) and Don Tat( little egg custards)That is about it for him. If the place has a fish tank ask to sit near it as toddlers love it for entertainment. Bring his milk or what ever and put it in one of the tea cups. They love acting just like adults drinking tea.

            Dim sum is easy, when you are out of tea. Open the tea pot and they will re fill it for you. When the carts come around its a simple yes or no. They will load you up till you tell them you are done. When you are ready to pay you can waive down the host by holding up the check that is left on your table.

            18 Replies
            1. re: Jay D.

              Thank you for all the help. I agree that the cart experience would be more entertaining and interactive, and there's something about seeing the food that you are about to eat. I hope this goes over well. I am excited about trying something new.

              If Emperor's Garden is closer to the Wang, I might focus on that one. It's listed at Empire Garden on Yelp. Same one? It's in a converted theater, I guess.

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              Empire Garden Restaurant
              690 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111

              1. re: Marisa23

                yep same place. It isn;'t the holy grail of dim sum places but they do a good job.

                1. re: Marisa23

                  It's the coolest-looking (converted theater) but the food is by far the worst of the carts places (very unfresh ingredients, often insufficient turnover for maintaining temperature/texture). I really wouldn't recommend it to anyone on the basis of food.

                    1. re: barleywino

                      i agree as well. My dimsum group refuses to eat there.

                      1. re: hargau

                        No carts but I recently had dim sum at Bubor and it was outstanding.

                        1. re: bakerboyz

                          Bubor does dimsum?? Their website has no mention of it. Many items? Cantonese type stuff? No idea what sort of dimsum a Malaysian place would do.

                          1. re: hargau

                            they open earlier than 11am (also not on the website) and serve cantonese style dim sum off a large glossy picture menu. i really like their beef tripe with ginger and scallions and the mini dan tat (egg custard tarts). the latter being one of the better versions i've had at most dim sum restaurants

                            1. re: hargau

                              it's new...we noticed the sign in the window when we walked by last weekend but didn't go in. I'm going to wait for more user reviews. Their current menu is way too big that they only seem to do most dishes decently but not well (e.g., Penang seems to nail the Malaysian dishes much better)...

                              1. re: hargau

                                Cantonese style; I happened to be walking by and saw the sign in the window. Over the years I have been to just about everywhere in Boston for dim sum: Hei La Moon, China Pearl, Emporer's Garden, Winsor, Chau Chau City, Gitlo's, etc and I found the dim sum at Bubor (only took out about 4 items to go) to be the best I have had in Boston.

                                -----
                                Hei La Moon
                                88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                                China Pearl Restaurant
                                9 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                                Gitlo
                                164 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134

                            2. re: hargau

                              Mine, too. And it isn't THAT much closer to the Wang than China Pearl or Winsor.

                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                Only by about 1/2 block or a couple hundred feet closer.

                          2. re: Luther

                            "converted theater" = "former strip club" as well. It was an unforgettable landmark for quite a while.

                            1. re: Fukui San

                              dude pretty much everything in chinatown is a former strip club

                              1. re: Luther

                                The Washington St. places certainly were. Pho Pasteur was one of the more notorious ones.

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                                Pho Pasteur Restaurant
                                682 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111

                            2. re: Luther

                              I went there not too long ago and it seemed a lot better than I had remembered. Similarly, my most recent fave (hei la moon) has seemed worse to me. I've been wondering if it was part of the natural ebb & flow of these places.

                              1. re: jgg13

                                I've also been there recently and it was fine. It was busy, turnover was high, and food was fresh. I got tired of the cattle-car experience at China Pearl and HLM, and i like carts.

                                1. re: drb

                                  There is also Chau Chau City. Have not been there in a few years but it used to be ok provided that you made sure they sat you on the top floor only.

                        2. I'm a big fan of Winsor (but have they changed ownership recently?) Getting my food fresh and hot is a very important to me (that's why I go to Patsy's in East Harlem for pizza--i can walk in, order a pie, and have it three minutes later.) Even a few minutes' delay is a long time for any fried food and many baked foods.

                          I think Great Taste now has dim sum, but I haven't been there for anything but pastries (which were decent.)

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                          Great Taste
                          201 Main St, Milford, MA 01757

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: KWagle

                            The turnip cakes at Great Taste are pretty tasty.

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                            Great Taste
                            201 Main St, Milford, MA 01757

                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                              I think this discussion is drifting.. I think "best dim sum in boston" and "best dim sum for this family in question who have never had dim sum" are not going to be the same thing perse. While Great Taste has some great items, i really wouldnt send a newbie dimsum family toting a 3year old there for their 1st dimsum experience. I also love Winsor but i dont think it has the excitement/experience and there is a big value and actually seeing the food you are going to eat before randomly picking things off a menu. I would go to Hei La Moon or perhaps China Pearl or Chau Chau City (3rd floor only).. Yea you might get a fried item or 2 that are not too hot. Yea you may have to wait 10-15min for a table. Yea its loud. But this is closer to the dimsum experience and you get to know what you like/dont like for foods. You can then go to small cafe type places and order the gems you liked and appreciate the small differences in quality/temperature,etc...

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                              Hei La Moon
                              88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                              China Pearl Restaurant
                              288 Mishawum Rd, Woburn, MA 01801

                              Great Taste
                              201 Main St, Milford, MA 01757

                              1. re: hargau

                                I agree. It's much easier to point at cart food. At Great Taste you have to deal with 1) interpreting the English names on the paper menu and 2) the frustratingly awful service which could make ordering very intimidating.

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                                Great Taste
                                201 Main St, Milford, MA 01757

                                1. re: hargau

                                  This conversation drifted days ago. I strong concur that the best thing for this family to do would be to go to one of the cart places--I prefer China Pearl to the others, but any will do--instead of a paper menu place. I was merely stating that there are in fact at least a few tasty items to be had on GT's dim sum menu.

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                                  China Pearl Restaurant
                                  288 Mishawum Rd, Woburn, MA 01801