HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Chau Chau City Dim Sum Recent experiences?

h
hargau Aug 4, 2011 12:33 PM

Thinking of bringing the gang (8-10 people) to Chau Chau City this Sunday instead of the usual Hei La moon. I have not been there in years. Any recent experiences? Recent comparisons to Hei La Moon??
Thanks

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. g
    Grammaton RE: hargau Aug 4, 2011 02:06 PM

    Definitely not as busy as it used to be, but food still solid IMO. I find their dumpling skins not as thin as other places but no other place has their "special cart", containing things like lobster dumpling and King Shu Mai. Hei La Moon seems to do the basic dumplings pretty well, but do not offer much variety.

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

    1. j
      jumpingarcher RE: hargau Aug 4, 2011 02:11 PM

      I'd say go for it! My boyfriend and I go often to C3 and sometimes to Hei la moon, sometimes just the two of us and sometimes with a large group. Especially for a bigger group, C3 will be much more manageable for getting a table without much, if any, wait at all. Hei la moon is larger, yes, but seems to have umanageable crowds and long waits, especially on weekends and for larger groups. The people are also nice - when we were looking for two specific dishes, shaomai with shrimp and steamed cha shao bao, the manager and a serving lady brought them to us!

      Both of us also prefer the food at C3 by a lot. I am Chinese, he's american, and the dim sum at C3 tastes great for both of us.. Always fresh, has that 'delicious' flavor, doesn't make us feel uncomfortable afterwards. Go for the hargow (nice name btw =p), shaomai, the white pasta/noodle wrapped around shrimp, anything cha shao, and other stuff I can't name, lol.

      We also feel like the prices are cheaper at C3 than Hei La Moon - Not sure of exact prices at both, but C3 is 2.40 for 'small', 2.80 for 'medium', 3..50? for 'large'...and our overall bills are usually ~5-10 dollars lower per person depending on size of group when we go to C3.

      Oh, and during the summer they give iced tea instead of the usual hot tea (available too upon request for free!) - the iced tea was unexpected and so refreshing.

      Let us know how your visit turns out and how you think it compares!

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

      7 Replies
      1. re: jumpingarcher
        h
        hargau RE: jumpingarcher Aug 4, 2011 02:20 PM

        Thanks for the info! Funny we never wait at HLM since they opened the downstairs.. 11am sunday is our normal time...

        1. re: jumpingarcher
          nsenada RE: jumpingarcher Aug 4, 2011 07:09 PM

          Do they still have the cheesy mussels? That was always my fave there.

          1. re: nsenada
            t
            Taralli RE: nsenada Aug 5, 2011 05:48 AM

            Ours too.

            1. re: nsenada
              j
              jumpingarcher RE: nsenada Aug 5, 2011 05:55 PM

              I've never looked for them, but it seems like the people working there are very nice and if you asked them, they would bring it out. Dimsum usually includes regular dishes, so the kitchen can make other dishes if you want them.

              1. re: jumpingarcher
                Science Chick RE: jumpingarcher Aug 7, 2011 05:49 AM

                Yes, they will definitely bring you anything you want, but don't see, if you ask!

                1. re: Science Chick
                  s
                  Spike RE: Science Chick Aug 7, 2011 06:40 AM

                  FYI, this is a fairly standard thing at most chinese dim sum places. Most people don't know about the custom though...

            2. re: jumpingarcher
              Luther RE: jumpingarcher Aug 5, 2011 07:40 AM

              Another mention that HLM no longer has waits if you're willing to sit downstairs (for a few people or for 10+).

            3. Science Chick RE: hargau Aug 5, 2011 05:52 AM

              Love CCC. We usually go a couple times a year. Last time was about a month ago during the week and it was way too quiet. Only a few carts. But every other time we've gone it's been hoppin', the food's been fresh and wonderful, and we love their variety. Don't forget the self-serve bar over in the alcove (3rd floor "big room"). That's where we usually get the clams w/black bean sauce. Yes, we had the cheesy mussels sometime recently, but I only see them when its busy. On a Sunday, you should get the best selection though. Sorry I can't compare to HLM.......we also go to CCC b/c we don't eat meat and they have a good number of seafood only options.

              1. h
                hargau RE: hargau Aug 7, 2011 11:09 AM

                Well 9 of us went at 11 today. It was only "ok".. not nearly as good as HLM. Not many people there either compared to years ago when we used to go. Nobody on the 1st or 2nd floors and the 3rd floor at aprox 3/4 capacity. Some things just were not as fresh or as tasty as HLM. A few standout items but overall nobody was very impressed.

                22 Replies
                1. re: hargau
                  j
                  jumpingarcher RE: hargau Aug 7, 2011 11:28 AM

                  =/ Sorry to hear that...

                  1. re: hargau
                    Science Chick RE: hargau Aug 8, 2011 08:05 AM

                    Bummer! So sorry......I hope they aren't going downhlll overall. As I posted, our last visit was quite empty so I wasn't expecting as great an experience. But if they were 3/4 full, I would think things would be quite fresh. Hmmmm......I don't want to snowball here, but maybe we should try HLM next time......

                    1. re: Science Chick
                      h
                      hargau RE: Science Chick Aug 8, 2011 09:25 AM

                      Some things were ok but some were just not very good. The sticky rice had a weird fishy taste.. The custard buns with the yellow tops were stale/dry tasting.. The snails/mussles and noodles from the walkup bar were a hit though.

                      Also worth noting, if you spend more than $100 they add the tip into the bill but are not clear about telling you so.. We had to ask several people in Chinese to figure out what the charge was supposed to be for. We almost tipped on the new total with tip...

                      1. re: hargau
                        Science Chick RE: hargau Aug 8, 2011 11:25 AM

                        Was it because the total was over $100, or because you were a large party? I thought most restaurants add in the tip once there are more than 6 dinners, no?

                        1. re: Science Chick
                          h
                          hargau RE: Science Chick Aug 8, 2011 12:14 PM

                          I dunno about "most" but some do.. No they said it was the $100 amount when we finally got them to explain the bill. Not an issue for us, they short changed themselves as we always tip at least 20%...

                          1. re: hargau
                            threedogs RE: hargau Aug 8, 2011 12:55 PM

                            Not specifically about this restaurant, but the policies of many restaurants to add the tip automatically to the bill for large parties - I know some who have FOH positions who tell me stories about HUGE parties who leave nothing for the waitstaff. So I think it's a decent policy for the protection of underpaid waitstaffs. But I agree - CCC and any other rest should make this clear upfront.

                            Too bad it wasn't that great. I want to go to dim sum soon, so I'm taking note!

                            1. re: threedogs
                              h
                              hargau RE: threedogs Aug 8, 2011 01:03 PM

                              yes I have seen it before but NEVER at dimsum anywhere and we almost always have a party of 9-12. not a big deal, just figured id mention it to people to look out for...

                              1. re: hargau
                                threedogs RE: hargau Aug 8, 2011 01:08 PM

                                Yes, and I'm glad you did. Many of us, as I'm sure you realize, can't speak Chinese, so it would make it all the more difficult.

                        2. re: hargau
                          j
                          jumpingarcher RE: hargau Aug 8, 2011 04:20 PM

                          Ah they did that with our group of 5 - we only had a total of 50 something but they still added on the tip. We were surprised when we saw the bill - couldn't really figure the scribbles out!

                          1. re: hargau
                            jgg13 RE: hargau Aug 8, 2011 06:59 PM

                            I've experienced weird autograts at all the dim sum houses in boston, never noticed any rhyme or reason in terms of total or size of party. It sucks because it's not always clear what's going on'

                            1. re: jgg13
                              j
                              jumpingarcher RE: jgg13 Aug 9, 2011 08:25 AM

                              Agreed! I'm okay with it though, because they don't tack on a large percentage like 20% that some restaurants automatically do; they usually end up being around 10-12%

                              1. re: jumpingarcher
                                jgg13 RE: jumpingarcher Aug 9, 2011 09:10 AM

                                Oh I don't mind, it's just *really* confusing.

                              2. re: jgg13
                                h
                                hargau RE: jgg13 Aug 9, 2011 09:17 AM

                                Well in that case i have possibly double tipped hundreds of times because i have never noticed this before at dimsum. a per person "tea charge" is quite common though...

                                1. re: hargau
                                  Science Chick RE: hargau Aug 9, 2011 09:22 AM

                                  Now you have me wondering if they do it on small parties too and I never noticed..... :(

                                  1. re: hargau
                                    barleywino RE: hargau Aug 9, 2011 10:46 AM

                                    usually i ask for "no tea" (just ice water) and they then deduct the tea charge fwiw (although some places still maintain that it's a service charge and do not deduct it)

                                    1. re: barleywino
                                      h
                                      hargau RE: barleywino Aug 9, 2011 11:14 AM

                                      I dont mind the $1-2/pp for that..

                                    2. re: hargau
                                      j
                                      jumpingarcher RE: hargau Aug 9, 2011 11:20 AM

                                      I get irritated for the 'tea charge' at some restaurants...just my opinion, but I feel Chinese restaurants should serve tea per...tradition? per custom? It confuses me a bit when there is a tea charge, especially in a place in a Chinatown. I believe that Chau Chow does not have a tea charge though!

                                      -----
                                      Chau Chow Restaurant
                                      699 William T Morrissey Blvd, Dorchester, MA 02122

                                      1. re: jumpingarcher
                                        Luther RE: jumpingarcher Aug 9, 2011 12:11 PM

                                        Tea charge is pretty common, and if you want a more expensive tea like bo lay it makes sense to vary the price according to cost

                                        1. re: Luther
                                          9
                                          9lives RE: Luther Aug 9, 2011 01:06 PM

                                          In 35 years of dim sum eating, I think I've had a tea charge every time. This is in NY, Boston and SF.

                                          Non dim sum Chinese, I don't know if I've ever seen a charge for the tea. I've never ordered anything other than the house tea.

                                          Getting back to the original question, I occassionally get takeout from CCC, especially if I'm lazy cuz I don't need to lock my bike. I find them to be pretty good overall. I ususally just have a few dumplings, turnip cake and eggplant/shrimp.

                                          My favorite "go to" place has been Winsor.

                                          1. re: 9lives
                                            h
                                            hargau RE: 9lives Aug 9, 2011 01:09 PM

                                            I agree., No issue with the tea charge...

                                            Sometimes we order a different tea, never a change to the charge.

                                      2. re: hargau
                                        jgg13 RE: hargau Aug 9, 2011 11:56 AM

                                        My feeling w/ dim sum is that it's usually so cheap anyways that it doesn't really matter.

                                        My larger DS group is pretty varied and involves a very wide range of ideas as to the proper tipping amounts at DS (from the "I'm chinese and you DO NOT tip for dim sum!" to "more than a normal US resto") so it's always kind of a cluster-you-know-what anyways.

                                        1. re: jgg13
                                          h
                                          hargau RE: jgg13 Aug 9, 2011 12:58 PM

                                          Well we always tip at least 20% at dimsum and it does matter if your tipping 20% on top of a tip that was already secretly added in...Typically out bills are around $125-$175 before tip...

                              Show Hidden Posts