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Where to go for dim sum on Saturday morning in San Francisco?

Swankalicious Aug 29, 2012 05:59 PM

One more question. I want delicious dim sum in SF! We are traveling with kids and staying downtown. I know that there's a great place in Richmond, Ton Kiang, but that's a long haul. I have my eye on Yank Sing, but is it kid-friendly? Anywhere in Chinatown not to miss out on? We are overwhelmed by options and want to eat well!

  1. Robert Lauriston Aug 29, 2012 06:01 PM

    I always see families with kids at the Rincon branch of Yank Sing on the weekend. Make a reservation.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      klyeoh Aug 29, 2012 08:26 PM

      I'd second Yank Sing. Ton Kiang's nice, but I did not discern any significant difference in standards between their dim sum items and Yank Sing's.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        Robert Lauriston Aug 30, 2012 08:39 AM

        Tips for a Yank Sing first-timer: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7321...

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          jinet12 Sep 12, 2012 06:33 AM


        2. Ruth Lafler Aug 29, 2012 07:31 PM

          All Chinese restaurants are kid-friendly, since dining out is very much a family affair for Chinese families. Yank Sing can be expensive, though, so it might not be too wallet friendly if your kids pick some high-priced items off the carts.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            DillMuncher Aug 30, 2012 08:52 AM

            Sometimes expense has it's perks. There is a lot of cheap dim sum but it is the stale whack and serve type of bakery/counter dim sum. It can be good but you have to get up at 6 in the morning.

            When dumplings sit too long in the steamer/warmer trays they get stale. Getting proper hot fresh dumplings can well be worth the extra price.

            1. re: DillMuncher
              Ruth Lafler Aug 30, 2012 09:41 AM

              There's a huge middle ground between cheap bakery dim sum and Yank Sing, where it's easy to run up a tab of over $30 a person if you're not careful.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                DillMuncher Aug 30, 2012 09:52 AM

                Quality has it's price...Cheap bakery dim sum can be good if you get up early for the hot and fresh stuff.

                Still 30$ a person is not all that bad...But I could probably eat 50$ Myself. I love dumplings.

                1. re: DillMuncher
                  wolfe Aug 30, 2012 09:59 AM

                  How do you say fresser in Cantonese?

                2. re: Ruth Lafler
                  huiray Sep 4, 2012 07:33 PM

                  To me $30 for dim sum for one doesn't seem like that much at all, even if I am more familiar with current Mid-West prices. Perhaps it's the amount of food that I like to have to be satisfied when I have dim sum?

                3. re: DillMuncher
                  Robert Lauriston Aug 30, 2012 10:38 AM

                  Ruth's right, there are cheap dim sum places and dumpling shops where everything's fresh and hot.

                  I think Yank Sing's worth the higher cost because the quality is higher. I spend not much over $20 a head unless somebody I'm with still wants one or more of the expensive specials after I point out the price.

              2. c
                curiousgeo Aug 30, 2012 12:15 PM

                I agree with most everyone here about Yank Sing. Clean restaurant, attentive service, good quality food, nice variety of dishes and kid friendly. As long as the price point is not an issue, this is a good choice for a visitor.

                1. r
                  rccola Aug 30, 2012 01:26 PM

                  Go to Good Mong Kok take out and buy a huge assortment dirt cheap and delicious. Drive to a view point for the Golden Gate and let kids run around while eating their fill. Make sure you have warm and not so warm clothes!

                  You can probably rent a car for the difference in price between authentic cheap dim sum and Yank Sing.

                  1. steve h. Aug 30, 2012 02:23 PM

                    I'm firmly in the Yank Sing camp. There are a few pricey dishes (Peking duck, sea bass) that can inflate the tab. I average under $30 when I visit and that includes a beer. The place is very kid friendly. Make a reservation for Saturday morning. Be sure to sit inside.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: steve h.
                      walker Sep 1, 2012 11:02 AM

                      I love Yank Sing and a big bonus is that they take reservations.

                    2. cagey Aug 30, 2012 02:43 PM

                      I'll throw in for an alternative to yank sing... While of lesser quality, we've taken our son to New Asia in chinatown for the "cart service" deal for breakfast. (cart service being more fun?). They start around 10 a.m. but it's in Chinatown proper. Some here have derided, so I'll leave it at that... I found it serviceable compared to LA and San Gabriel V dim sim.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cagey
                        steve h. Aug 30, 2012 02:58 PM

                        Yank Sing has cart service. It is fun.

                      2. c oliver Sep 3, 2012 09:00 AM

                        A few years ago we started going to House of Banquet on Clement in the Inner Richmond but OP doesn't want that. I just can't do the Yank Sing thing. IMO, unnecessarily expensive. For us. YMMV. For Chinatown, we go to Happy Chinese on Powell nearby Broadway, close to the fire station. It's carts (I prefer menu but that's not so easy to find it seems) and everything is fresh and hot. Their chicken feet are especially good. It's a busy place but we've never had to wait. Dim sum for two is around $15 which I think is the right price.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: c oliver
                          Robert Lauriston Sep 3, 2012 10:35 AM

                          $15 for two is impressively cheap. That's what Y Ben House cost.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            c oliver Sep 3, 2012 11:00 AM

                            We used to pay less than that when we went to Dal Ho. And House of Banquet is in the same price range. Happy Chinese is very plain. House of Banquet much more tarted up :) Don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing Yank Sing or those who patronize it. But for me, part of the whole dim sum 'culture,' if you will, is not expensive. And atmosphere counts not at all. Maybe even enhances :) Makes me feel like I'm experiencing something "exotic." Goofy, I'm sure.

                          2. re: c oliver
                            huiray Sep 4, 2012 07:22 PM

                            I'm curious what you eat - for two! - for $15!! only. How many dishes, what kind, etc?

                            p.s. I haven't seen you around CH for a while! Good to see your tag back here.

                            1. re: huiray
                              Melanie Wong Sep 4, 2012 07:27 PM

                              Here's my old post on Happy Chinese in SF Chinatown. As she says, it is very plain, maybe a bit scarey for some. Cash only.

                              The rice noodles used for the soup are steamed in-house. Might be a candidate for checking out cheung fun.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                huiray Sep 4, 2012 07:43 PM

                                Thanks. Interesting!

                              2. re: huiray
                                c oliver Sep 4, 2012 07:29 PM

                                Hey buddy!

                                (Excuse my not using the Chinese names. I know some but not all.) Chicken feet, rice flour rolls with shrimp, har gow, bean curd wrappers stuffed with pork and vegs, etc. It's pretty much we pay at House of Banquet also. Usually five dishes and we roll out of there :) Thanks, kiddo, been on an enforced hiatua. You'll only see me on regional boards.

                                1. re: c oliver
                                  huiray Sep 4, 2012 07:46 PM

                                  Hey there!

                                  Thanks for the info, that explains it. I guess I just eat more gluttonously. :-)

                            2. e
                              emu48 Sep 9, 2012 12:52 PM

                              Went to House of Banquet yesterday. Amused to realize it used to be King of China, a fine, inexpensive dim-sum place I frequented regularly in the 1980s when I lived in the hood. Other than the fact that the cognac bar has disappeared, it's still excellent, still inexpensive. Two of us ate ravenously for $27. Check it out. We were there on a Saturday. People online say it's cheaper on weekdays. This is your cavernous Hong Kong-style dim-sum place, easily seating several hundred people. Service was pretty good.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: emu48
                                c oliver Sep 9, 2012 01:43 PM

                                Glad you checked it out and liked it. Cavernous indeed :) I guess that accounts for the very big selection on the carts and how hot things stay. We were there a couple of months ago with a visiting CH and had the eggplant stuffed with shrimp paste. Though we picked it from the cart, she took it back to the kitchen to reheat. Perfect.

                                1. re: emu48
                                  Ruth Lafler Sep 9, 2012 02:31 PM

                                  I remember King of China -- I think it was the first place I had dim sum -- maybe 1981? Wasn't it a Russian restaurant for a while?

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