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Dec 29, 2012 10:08 AM

Dim Sum - Anything within an hour of Lancaster?

Anything anywhere between (and including) Harrisburg and King of Prussia? Better yet, anything good? Cart service a plus but not mandatory.

I'd also be interested in great Chinese food of any type in the area.

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  1. Personally, I haven't found any great Chinese food in the Harrisburg/Lancaster area, certainly not cart service dim sum. I'd love to be proven wrong.

    Since you are willing to go as far as KoP, did you post this on the Philly board to see what is available in that direction? Good luck, and let us know where you end up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: centralpadiner

      Thanks. I've found some good information on the Philly board in the past and we've been exploring when we have the chance. Just looking for something a little closer to home. And I'm still hoping to find a hidden gem.

    2. Is Mitaka on 29th Street in Harrisburg still open?

      9 Replies
      1. re: nemo

        Yes, but I'm not sure if they still have dim sum. I haven't been there in a couple of years. The other place that serves dim sum in the Harrisburg area is the China Tea House in Mechanicsburg, which has better dim sum than Mitaka. Neither place has cart service, though. There aren't enough people in central PA wanting dim sum (or even aware of what dim sum is) to have cart service anywhere in the area.

        1. re: cheesemaestro

          Thanks. I'll put China Tea House on my short list for the next trip to the Harrisburg area. If central PA can support dozens of sushi restaurants, I'm sure it could support at least one restaurant with dim sum cart service. If someone does it right, I bet they could do really well.

          1. re: ahab

            I've been to the China Tea House, and I was not impressed by the dim sum. The shimai dumplings left a lot to be desired, nothing but tough dough wrapped around mystery meat. Not a lot of selections! Even the Hong Kong noodle soup was bland & tasteless I' m afraid there IS no good dim sum, or non buffet Chinese food up this way. There should be a flashing beacon around this area, "signaling no good Chinese food here, look elsewhere":-(

            1. re: kpaumer

              Again, if one's standard for dim sum is what one can get in Hong Kong or a US city with a vibrant Chinese(-American) community, the Chinese food in central PA will be disappointing. That includes The China Tea House, although I'm not as down on their dim sum as you are. If I lived 50 miles from CTH, would I make a special trip for their dim sum? Probably not, but I don't travel to the big cities, even to Philly, as often as I used to. I can get a quick "fix" at CTH and still feel relatively satisfied.

          2. re: cheesemaestro

            Trying to find ANY decent Chinese has been a challenge. Is CTH really as good as you say?

            1. re: melpy

              It is good for central PA, but if your standard for Chinese food is San Francisco's or New York's Chinatown, it's not at that level. Still, I think they are a cut above other places in the area. They will also make dishes not on the menu if you ask for them (and they have the ingredients). Expect very plain decor, but that doesn't bother us.

              1. re: cheesemaestro

                At the moment standard is the buffet places in Carlisle. Had high hopes for Chen's when it changed venues and style to table service but so far all the dishes we have tried taste like sugar. Have not ventured to Mei Linn's in Shippensburg or anywhere east of Carlisle because I was told everything is basically the same.

                1. re: melpy

                  Update: finally made it to China Tea House. Nothing special compared with NYC but considering my Chinese options in Carlisle, this will be my go to place!

                  We did dim sum and one entree. The Mongolian three meat was pretty good. Not sure I would get it again right away. The meats were almost too tender but the shrimp were good.

                  We also had the shrimp toast and fried potstickers. The potsticker were decent. Not heavy like some dumplings in the area and the meat had a nice texture. The shrimp toast were not my thing but I had never had them anywhere else so I can't compare. Very heavy, almost battered and fried.

                  For the dim sum we enjoyed the shrimp dumplings and pork bun especially. Spring roll, crispy chive pancake, pork sui mai were all ok. Looking forward to trying other things. For those who can't get them anywhere else, they do have chicken feet.
                  Sat in front which was very casual counter service type place but if you eat in they being nice menus and come to your table. On the table they had little containers of hot chili, mustard, duck sauce and dumpling sauce. At the beginning of the meal you received crispy wonton strips that appear to have been fried on site. Tasty but a little greasy. I definitely plan to return.

                  1. re: melpy

                    Went back again this week. Had the shrimp dumplings and pork bun again. Also split the corn soup for two which was very good but very similar to egg drop and not like what I have eaten in other restaurants. It is definately for two though. Huge bowl I think we each had two cups worth.

                    I had hot tea which was nice and floral.

                    For entrees we did General Tso Shrimp, so delicious we were practically fighting over it.

                    we also had the steamed chicken, shrimp and broccoli with black bean sauce. Good but chicke was "soggy" again. I don't know if this is due to the steaming or just the type of chicken being used. I'm thinking shrimp is definitely the thing to order though.

                    No other dim sum items tried. Husband was sad we didn't get other kinds of dumplings. He especially wanted soup dumplings but they don't offer those.

        2. In the KoP area the best you can find is Margaret Kuo's in Wayne. Susanne Foos in Radnor is another possibility. Note that neither of these places is a traditional place with carts etc but rather a la carte. Philadelphia itself has a few places with the carts serving traditional dim sum but it really isnt a strenght of the Chinatown community. You would be better served to go to Washington DC area for that or to NJ.

          1. I'm reminded of a full-page photo montage I recently saw in the Chinatown issue of Lucky Peach magazine. The caption reads: "Remember - there is no Chinatown in Lancaster, Pennsylvania."