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Sunset Park Dim Sum: First visit to East Harbor for this Pacificana fan...I'm a convert

famdoc Nov 27, 2011 07:43 PM

After years of loyalty to Pacificana for dim sum in Sunset Park's Chinatown, we decided a change of venue was appropriate. So, we made our first visit to East Harbor, the other Dim Sum emporium in Sunset Park. East Harbor is a giant hall seating, perhaps, 300 guests at tables for four, eight or twelve. In addition, there are a number of rooms for private groups and "VIPs"

Upon entering, you get a number and wait until your number is called, in Cantonese, to be seated. Several other guests waiting to be seated helped us be aware when our number was called (waiting time on Sunday at 1 PM: 30 minutes).

Like any other dim sum restaurant, servers circulate with carts replete with all manner of dim sum. Menus were left on our table to enable us to order other dishes (we chose not to, but several families seemed to be ordering from the menu as well as selecting from the carts).

The variety of dim sum was great, many servers spoke the rudiments of English, enabling us to know exactly what was being presented. Having been told that the clams and the squid were both excellent, we asked one server to send that cart our way. Five minutes later, both were brought to our table. We asked another server for a plate of sauteed greens and, again five minutes later, delicious sauteed bok choy arrived. Both the clams and the squid were magnificent.

Gao, bao, congee, rice noodle rolls, lotus leaf wrapped rice,rolls and cakes of tremendous variety were offered, as were the usual assortment of sweets. Service was excellent and the four of us had approximately 12 plates, including the special order bok choy, for $46. Highly recommended.

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Pacificana
813 55th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

East Harbor
714 65th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

  1. Miss Needle Nov 28, 2011 12:22 PM

    How was the selection at 1P compared to Pacificana? I've only been to East Harbor around 9:30A (and had to wait 15 minutes even at that time!). Dim sum was good but was disappointed to find that they only had the basic things available -- actually, I take that back as they told me that the hau gau wouldn't make it to the carts until 11A.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Miss Needle
      famdoc Nov 28, 2011 12:48 PM

      At the time of our visit, you could choose from more than 50 different items circulating on carts.
      All in all, the selection was better than at Pacificana, where, by 2 PM, they start to close the dim sum kitchen down.

      -----
      Pacificana
      813 55th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

      1. re: famdoc
        Miss Needle Nov 29, 2011 08:56 PM

        Thanks. I thought I was being wise by going early to avoid the crowds. Guess not.

    2. Peter Cuce Nov 29, 2011 01:49 PM

      I'm not a big East Harbor fan. There's nothing wrong with it, but then again there's nothing great about it either. It's solidly average. For a point of reference, I prefer Asian Jewels and Dong Yi Feng/Tung Yi Fung in Flushing, Ping's in Elmhurst, Red Egg in Manhattan, or World Tong in Brooklyn, although I haven't been to the latter in years so it may be different. I'm looking forward to trying Grand on the top floor of the New World Mall in Flushing - I've heard good things about it.

      17 Replies
      1. re: Peter Cuce
        Miss Needle Nov 29, 2011 08:58 PM

        According to Yelp, World Tong is closed. Flushing is definitely better, but can sometimes be difficult to get to. What's your fave in Brooklyn?

        1. re: Miss Needle
          Peter Cuce Nov 29, 2011 09:47 PM

          No faves in Brooklyn then I guess. There must be something else out there.

          1. re: Miss Needle
            squid kun Nov 30, 2011 02:07 AM

            >According to Yelp, World Tong is closed.

            According to Chow as well. Anyone tried its successor?

            -----
            World Tong
            6202 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11204

            Friend's Villa
            6202 18th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11204

            1. re: squid kun
              l
              Lau Nov 30, 2011 08:12 AM

              well chinatown brasserie now red farm is sort of the successor b/c joe ng (the chef) was head chef at world tong i believe

              when world tong first opened it was very heralded, but i never made it out there during its heyday

              1. re: Lau
                famdoc Nov 30, 2011 08:30 AM

                Glad to see you chime in on this subject. Took a look at lauhound.com, but you haven't reviewed any Sunset Park dim sum joints. Have you been to any of them? Any opinions?

                1. re: famdoc
                  l
                  Lau Nov 30, 2011 09:25 AM

                  i dont have any opinions on the bk places b/c ive actually only been to sunset park once

                  i haven't heard about anything that seemed worth the trek and everyone keeps saying that its not really worth it plus chinatown is walking distance from me and flushing is much easier for me to get to than sunset park, so ive always opt'd to go to flushing

                  id go out there though if i heard of something interesting

                  1. re: Lau
                    Miss Needle Nov 30, 2011 03:55 PM

                    The only thing I think would be distinctive is Yunnan Flavor Snack. Other than that, you can pretty much find similar or better versions of foods in Manhattan and Queens. I know a lot of people laud Ba Xuyen in Sunset Park. But after 2 consecutive bad experiences, I'm not one of them.

                    -----
                    Ba Xuyen
                    4222 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232

                    Yunnan Flavour Snack Shop
                    775 49th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

                    1. re: Miss Needle
                      Peter Cuce Nov 30, 2011 06:19 PM

                      I love Ba Xuyen and consider it the best traditional banh mi in NYC. I'm the first person who wrote about it on Chowhound around eight years ago (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/240696) and I've been going ever since. I've probably eaten at least a hundred banh mi from there. I haven't been in a few months, but I can't imagine they've fallen too far. What was bad about your experiences?

                      1. re: Peter Cuce
                        l
                        Lau Nov 30, 2011 08:42 PM

                        yunnan flavor snack is the one place that i have comptemplated going to check out...and the thing with banh mi (and viet food in general in NY) is that i go home to CA alot and basically any of the viet food you've tasted here is basically garbage, so i never really go out of my way for viet food here (and yes i am being a bit of a snob here).

                        btw, how does yunnan snack shop compare to the yunnan place in the new world mall in flushing?

                        1. re: Lau
                          Peter Cuce Nov 30, 2011 08:52 PM

                          I don't like almost any Vietnamese food in NYC more than averagely, meaning there are none that I would go out of my way for (sort of like dim sum in Brooklyn), but Ba Xuyen is quite good. I've brought people from all over the world there and they loved it.

                          Yunnan Flavor Snack appears to be far better than the one in NWM based on my limited sampling at the latter.

                          1. re: Peter Cuce
                            l
                            Lau Dec 1, 2011 04:27 AM

                            interesting maybe yunnan flavor snack and ba xuyen will be my first trip out there!

                            its really unfortunate that ny doesnt have a bigger vietnamese population b/c vietnamese food is literally one of my favorite foods in the world, its so amazing

                        2. re: Peter Cuce
                          Miss Needle Dec 1, 2011 06:37 AM

                          Both times they did not heat it properly. Flavors didn't meld and I was eating warm bread with cold cuts (which I couldn't taste cuz it was ice cold) and cold greens. Second time the same thing happened. I took it back to get it reheated, which, of course, she did with the greens intact. Made for a not-so-tasty experience as the greens got so soggy. I think the best thing about a banh mi is the interplay of the crunch of the bread with the warm meats and the cool garnishes. And I know I've read about how nice the people are in there. Both time I think I dealt with the same woman who was on the nasty side.

                          I'm not going to rule the place out based on all the great reviews. If I'm in that area (which I hardly am -- the two times I went to Ba Xuyen were both destination visits -- which made it worse), I may give it another try. But I won't go out of my way to visit. So it will probably be a while before I try it for the third time.

                          -----
                          Ba Xuyen
                          4222 8th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11232

                          1. re: Miss Needle
                            famdoc Dec 1, 2011 06:51 AM

                            This thread has strayed from the OP subject of dim sum in Sunset Park.
                            Perhaps Chow central can create a separate thread on the subject of Vietnamese joints in the boroughs and Manhattan?

                            1. re: famdoc
                              Peter Cuce Dec 1, 2011 10:26 AM

                              Well that's what the threading is for right? People can continue talking about Brooklyn dim sum up above and it won't interact with this part of the thread.

            2. re: Peter Cuce
              scoopG Nov 30, 2011 04:34 AM

              Peter, I thought the Grand was only so-so, based on one visit. Our group may have been put off by an almost inedible jellyfish appetizer.

              1. re: scoopG
                Peter Cuce Nov 30, 2011 07:48 AM

                I remember your review, which is why I haven't checked it out yet, but Joe DiStefano gave it a pretty good writeup, so I thought it might have improved. Looks like I'm going on Sunday, so I'll report back:
                http://www.ediblecommunities.com/quee...

                Anyway, to me, jellyfish is almost always inedible :)

                1. re: Peter Cuce
                  scoopG Dec 1, 2011 02:53 AM

                  Ha! Like Joe, I only went once so it is worth re-visiting.

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