Dim Sum Garden
My husband has been wanting to get here since reading Craig LaBan's review.
We really miss the dim sum at Lakewood Deli.
The ambience - a hole in the wall, formica tables, mostly people (just off the bus) ordering at the counter - you can go here in a bathing suit and not be out of place. Almost empty.
Noise level - no noise. Of course you can talk.
The food - really good. The dumplings are melt-in-the-mouth delicious. We had the chicken and the pork/chive.
The "Chinese pizza" was the best we ever had - very crispy.
The turnip cake was juicy turnip strips inside a crispy roll/cake.
Beverages come from a refrigerator case. You can get a cup if you ask for one.
Total bill for the two of us, including the diet Coke - $17.00.
Will we be back? Sure thing!
I was a guest of the local Slow Food chapter a few years ago when they had a custom 12 course dinner at Dim Sum Garden. With the neon signs, dubious clientele and choking odors of the underpass, I NEVER would have gone inside except for the SF recommendation and that they thought enough of the place to hold an event there. It was my first encounter with soup dumplings and I thoroughly enjoyed everything (except the sea cucumber - undoubtedly an acquired taste.) In contrast with sylviag's experience, there was a short line waiting to be seated by 8 p.m. Now, when visiting my friends at 11th and Arch, its our only place to go for take out.
Sylviag thanks for the great review...
I am curious what you meant by chinese pizza.. is that the scallion pancake?
Also, which dumplings did you have? I have heard that they have a new version of the soup dumplings aka "juicy buns" , one that is pan fried, rather than steamed, the result being that there is less soup in the dumpling. Did you try those?
Yes, by "Chinese pizza" I meant the scallion pancake. Many years ago, we frequented Peking Mandarin restaurant in Cherry Hill. The chef was the reknowned Uncle Louie, and his family and workers went on to open many other places.
One of his progeny was Patrick, who opened TasteKIng in northeast Philly. I don't know if it's still there. He had imaginative food, and that was the first place I had the "Chinese pizza."
We really didn't know which dumplings to order. We ordered the steamed dumplings, both the chicken and the pork/chive. What should we have ordered? Should we have ordered the soup?
Chefpaulo, what do you order for takeout?
Always fun to have a new experience!
TasteKing is still going strong on Bustleton Avenue, though I do not know if it has changed hands.
Dim Sum Garden is known for its juicy buns or soup dumplnigs. They are a specialty of Shanghai, and are a dumpling that is steamed and has soup inside it. The challenge is to be able to bite into it, slurp the soup without it all falling out, or you burning your tongue.
If you are ever in Chinatown in NY, Joe's Shanghai used to be the best place for them and the gold standard to which every other restaurant should be compared. Today, I am sure it is some newer place in Queens where all the best chinese food is being made.
In terms of other dumplings there, I think you made very good choices. The pork chive are my favorite. I like them both pan fried and steamed.
One thing I've noticed at Dim Sum Garden is that you're better off telling them you want the pork juicy buns instead of saying "soup dumplings." If you say "soup dumplings," you'll get soup, with dumplings in it and then there will be a bit of confusion before you work out with the server that you wanted the dumplings with the soup *inside*.
I love this place. One of my favorites is the duck noodles (no soup), also we usually get a big plate of steamed bok choy. Every time I get called to jury duty (which the City likes to try to do as often as possible), I use my lunch break to down an entire steamer basket full of juicy buns by myself.