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Asian Pearl in Richmond - all the Dim Sum basics, good for kids?

c
cazique Apr 23, 2011 08:53 AM

thinking of going for Easter morning dim sum (tomorrow) at the Richmond Asian Pearl - I'm from out of town and our hosts haven't been but the reviews are positive here. Can you help me determine if it is good for kids and when/whether to expect a wait? "good for kids" means the standard cart scene and no concern about a standard slightly-loud 6 and 4 year old, doesn't have to be geared specifically towards kids. If it's anything like the big rooms in NYC manhattan, that sounds perfect.

If this doesn't fit the bill, any other suggestions near Berkeley are welcome. I did a board search but nothing addressed whether it's the standard scene (loud, lots of tables and carts) or more refined. Thanks SF hounds!

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Asian Pearl
3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

  1. s
    shanghaikid Apr 23, 2011 09:52 AM

    Asian Pearl is a pretty large place but the dim sum is below average, imo. their fare is pricey for other eats as well. Saigon Seafood Harbor (3150 Pierce St) has above average dim sum and a regular lunch menu. it's on the left side as you enter the road on the way to Asian Pearl. forget Daimo, it's the worst option in the area.

    Saigon is slightly smaller and not as cavernous as Asian Pearl but it's wallet friendly. parking lot can fill up fast but so does Asian Pearl's on the weekend. at saigon, look for the daily specials on the black board. some dim sum(s) are 1.99.
    near the end of lunch everyday, they have even more specials.

    good for kids? tough call, all dim sum places seem the same re: this. noise travlels far.

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    Saigon Seafood Harbor Restaurant
    3150 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

    Asian Pearl
    3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

    3 Replies
    1. re: shanghaikid
      s
      sydthekyd Apr 23, 2011 10:16 AM

      Daimo's the worst?!?

      1. re: sydthekyd
        s
        shanghaikid Apr 23, 2011 12:51 PM

        daimo's dim sum is off the menu, no checklist, no cart service. dim sum pricing high, limited to the usual suspects. nothing special nor extraordinary.

        also consider
        L & L Chinese Seafood
        10140 San Pablo Ave.
        El Cerrito, Ca.

        isn't too far away. essentially stay on central ave, turn left at san pablo ave. it's on the right.
        L & L's dim sum is above average, reasonably priced, regular chinese restaurant seating.
        maybe checklist dim sum ordering but they have a large variety.

        1. re: shanghaikid
          k
          kc72 Apr 23, 2011 01:17 PM

          L&L had a kitchen fire -- currently closed

          The 2x I had dim sum at Asian Pearl it was off check list (weekdays)

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          Asian Pearl
          3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

    2. chefj Apr 23, 2011 10:47 AM

      Peony in Oakland Chinatown.
      Kids should not be a problem, it is full of large Chinese families. It is a large place, cart service, good to very good Dim Sum and parking.
      Easter Sunday is going to be really busy at all the large Dim Sum houses in the bay area so arrive early or be ready to wait for a table.

      8 Replies
      1. re: chefj
        s
        shanghaikid Apr 23, 2011 12:55 PM

        unless you go early to peony, expect long waits. also, some dim sum (cheaper ones) don't seem to show up at all. doubt kids will sit quietly if there's nothing to eat.
        peony's catered to patrons are the geritol granny crowd (70+).

        1. re: shanghaikid
          chefj Apr 23, 2011 05:46 PM

          I have never had a problem getting the basics ("cheap ones") and the difference between getting plates that are $3.50 opposed to $2 probably is not a big deal for most people.The OP did not ask for cheap and it is never good form or manners to be cheap with friends.
          There is always a very mixed crowd encompassing all age groups and who cares any way?

          1. re: shanghaikid
            chefj Apr 23, 2011 05:49 PM

            ps The OP asked for all the basics.

          2. re: chefj
            bbulkow Apr 23, 2011 02:25 PM

            Kids should never be a problem at dim sum, or at most chinese restaurants. At The Kichen in Millbrea last night, there was a 3 year old (?) standing on a chair playing "plate drums" with chopsticks for about 15 minutes - and it blended in very nicely with the overall hubub.

            1. re: chefj
              c
              cazique Apr 23, 2011 03:37 PM

              Thanks for all the advice. What defines "early" as a good time range to beat the crowds?

              1. re: cazique
                chefj Apr 23, 2011 05:39 PM

                Check individual web sites for opening times.

                1. re: cazique
                  t
                  Thomas Nash Apr 23, 2011 06:05 PM

                  As soon as they open, definitely not later than 11 on a holiday or weekend.

                  1. re: cazique
                    s
                    shanghaikid Apr 23, 2011 08:40 PM

                    10 a.m. is when most places open on sunday. check via phone or website. going 1/2 hour after opening would be "early". at 1 hour, the crowd starts forming.

                2. r
                  Ridge Apr 24, 2011 08:42 AM

                  I think Asian Pearl is excellent. Items like Siu Mai, shrimp and snowpea dumplings, chicken’s feet, sticky rice, etc are as good or better as any we have eaten in the Bay Area. And it is kid friendly.

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                  Asian Pearl
                  3288 Pierce St, Richmond, CA 94804

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Ridge
                    r
                    Ridge Apr 24, 2011 09:10 AM

                    I should mention that we go there quite often, probably every other weekend so I strongly recommend it.

                    1. re: Ridge
                      myst Apr 25, 2011 11:13 AM

                      I often go with the grandparents and kids to the one in Fremont. My 2.5 year old can eat 6 Siu Mai by himself. He also likes fried shrimp balls and jook.

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