Good Dim Sum?
Fortune is closed, Chinatown is good, but way too expensive imo, are there any other places for Dim Sum in Austin? Preferably up North, but I'm willing to drive for tasty Dim Sum.
I like Shanghai pretty well. We used to go to T&S a lot but just felt it was too dirty and crowded. The atmosphere is better at Shanghai and I have no complaints about the food.
It's too bad Fortune closed - they were really excellent.
I've never tried the dim sum at Chinatown but I've had dinner there a couple of times and was quite underwhelmed. Is their dim sum better than the quality of their dinner entrees?
Put me down in the T&S camp. It may look a little rough around the edges, but the food has never been a problem for me. Chinatown is also good, so long as you stay away from the custom items, which they sort of gouge you on. My experience with Shanghai was that the service was slow and the food merely warm-ish and swimming in grease. Fortune will definitely be missed, though, both for the quality of the food and the carnivalesque atmosphere of the Dim Sum on Sundays. Truly a fun meal to participate in.
Now that Fortune is closed (I shall deeply miss their curried squid - by far the best version in town I've had), H and I go to Chinatown and T&S Seafood. Chinatown is consistently good across the board and I really like the pan-fried dumpling cart a lot. It is the most spendy dim sum joint in town. T&S is also good overall as well, is cheaper than Chinatown and has salt & pepper shrimp so good that I was obsessed with it for six months or so.
Shanghai was alright, but both H and I thought that both T&S and Chinatown's versions of our favorite dishes were much better. We went to Get Sum Dim Sum once and didn't care for it at all. I saw food, put it in my mouth and chewed it, but tasted nothing; it was all completely flavorless.
I love Shanghai - its clean, with great food, good variety, and excellent waitstaff which is unusual in a dim sum restaurant. The pan fried pork/shrimp/chive dumpling is my favorite dish and Shanghai's is the best in town. Chinatown has them on a roll up frying cart but since they are precooked, then reheated on the cart they end up gummy and the wrapper is overcooked and too chewy. The xiao long bao was best at Fortune (RIP) but they have been better lately at Shanghai. The har gao and other steamed dumplings are great also - the wrappers are just the right texture, and the filling holds together without being hard and overcooked (like they are at Get Sum Dim Sum). Chinatown was ok, had some interesting nontraditional dim sum dishes but some of their dumplings had a bit too much ginger for my taste. Overall many good choices
I've heard T&S is great, but I'm really seriously shocked nobody's mentioned the fabulous Pao's Mandarin House in this thread--best Dim Sum I've had in Austin...
Pao's Mandarin House
2300 Lohmans Spur, Lakeway, TX 78734