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Jan 1, 2013 01:05 PM

Flushing & Dim Sum

We are taking a 1/2 day or so to visit Queens on an upcoming trip (March) to NY. Just planning to do Chinatown area and Flushing Meadows. Was considering Dum Sum for breakfast/brunch. I thought Dong Yi Feng looked good - none of us have ever had Dim Sum before (we are not Asian, so language would be a barrier) but are very much looking forward to this! Has anyone been there or have a better suggestion? How much should we plan to pay?
Also, anything else we should not miss in the Chinatown area?
Thanks much!

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  1. To be really honest, I don't think that dim sum is the best option in Flushing, although some of the places are quite good. Dim sum is quintessentially Hong Kong and Cantonese, and Flushing has mostly Northeastern, Sichuan, Taiwanese, etc. Imperial Palace is great Cantonese, but they don't have dim sum. Dim sum is however fun and easy for non Chinese speakers, since one looks and points.

    1 Reply
    1. re: swannee

      I enjoyed Jade Asian very much and there's a big Municipal Parking Garage right across the street.

    2. I agree with both swannee and fourunder, while there is many better options in Flushing than Dim Sum when I do get it its always Jade..

      1. you will probably enjoy dim sum since you've never had it before and its probably one of the most outsider friendly type of chinese foods (since they still do it the old school way here in NY with carts, so you can just point). jade asian is probably fine for your purposes

        that said dim sum in NY is not outstanding, the "best" places are just decent. However, I think you should probably go as I find it's probably the easiest intro into chinese food and i've yet to find someone who doesn't really like dim sum

        here are the things you should definitely try (i gave links to pics so you know what they should look like):

        ha gow: these are steamed shrimp dumplings, alot of chinese people say this is how you are supposed to judge a dim sum restaurant

        siu mai: steamed pork dumplings sometimes has a scallop and or crab roe on top; i like these with a little soy sauce

        cha siu bao: these are a type of steamed pork bun (the sauce is semi-sweet); they come steamed or baked, i much prefer steamed

        cheung fan: this is steamed rice noodle filled with usually either beef, shrimp or roasted pork and topped with a light slightly sweet soy sauce. i prefer beef or shrimp (get both

        lo bat go: this is a fried minced turnip cake with chinese ham, you eat it with oyster sauce

        dan tat: this is dessert and its a sweet egg custard tart

        pai gwat: these are steamed pork rib tips cut up and put in a black bean sauce; they are bone on, so you will need to bit them and bit the meat off the bone

        lo mai gai: this is a sticky rice dumpling

        4 Replies
        1. re: Lau

          Lau....I just wanted to say you are a generous guy with your time and has not gone unnoticed by me and your posts are always appreciated.

          1. re: fourunder


            im one of those people that is always kind of doing something, so even "relaxing" at home i'm usually writing something or reading something haha

          2. re: Lau

            Lau, thank you so much for letting me know what these dishes are called! l know what l like, and l always point to them on the carts, but until now l've never known the names of them. Pai gwat is an especial favorite of mine.

            l echo fourunder's sentiments: your posts and comments are always informative and most appreciated!

            1. re: howdini

              no problem at all, happy to help

              fyi, those names are in cantonese which will give u the most bang for the buck since dim sum is cantonese and alot of the workers in NY dont speak mandarin very well

          3. For those of you naysayers about Flushing dimsum, a visit to Lake Pavillion today with a fifteen minute wait at 11:00 am proved that it is a very popular choice . I am sure Jade Asian is similarly crowded. The choices were pretty standard and a steamer of soup dumplings was also available as well as greens that looked broccoli rabe. It all was delicious. The staff was friendly and helpful. The only negative is the parking. We landed a spot on Horace Harding, west of Main St, a five minute walk.

            12 Replies
            1. re: budcar

              ill give lake pavilion a try for dim sum, ive obviously tried it for dinner

              did you think its similar to jade? jade is competent, but not great dim sum

              1. re: Lau

                Lau, Lake Pavillion is similar to Jade Asian both in the scope of the dishes and quality of the food. I enjoy both and can't comment on "great dimsum." as opposed to " competent". Grand Restaurant was the only parlor where the food had an offbeat assortment which I found less enjoyable. Lake Pavilion did have soup dumplings which I think belong in a dimsum restaurant.

                1. re: budcar

                  yah there is nothing wrong with Jade's dim sum and it tastes good. My point was rather that it's just decent on an absolute basis. NY has never really had an excellent dim sum restaurant to my knowledge, so i think the people's gauge about what great dim sum is are a little off (out of no fault of their own). In fact, the only dim sum restaurants I've been to in the US that I would consider very good would be Sea Harbour (LA), Elite (LA) and Koi Palace (SF), which would all be considered pretty decent in HK. I'm probably coming off kind of snobby right now, but I just think there is alot of room for improvement in NY dim sum and i hope somebody comes in and steps up b/c dim sum is definitely a favorite type of food for me, but i honestly dont go that often in NY anymore b/c i've gotten kind of disillusioned with it here.

                  also, soup dumplings are not a cantonese dish, they are a shanghainese dish (although they've become somewhat popular at dim sum restaurants now). So they're not a traditional dim sum offering although you see alot places offer them.

                  That said one of the best soup dumplings I've ever had were at a upscale dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong who makes them hairy crab row (unbelievable)

                  1. re: Lau

                    Joe Ng's Chinatown Brasserie served excellent dim sum by any standards.

                    1. re: scoopG

                      IMO, Chinatown Brasserie had better dim sum than Koi Palace in some ways (high quality ingredients but more inventive). Hakkasan NYC has better dim sum (very delicate, wonderful textures)

                      California Chinese restaurants, especially Bay Area, are overrated. There may be more and of an overall higher quality (Cantonese restaurants), but when it comes to their top Chinese restaurants, NYC is just fine in comparison and has more variety.

                      1. re: Pookipichu

                        I forgot about Hakkasan's dim sum, which I have not yet had yet.

                        1. re: scoopG

                          re: CB, i dont agree with that (although clearly a matter of personal opinion), KP is both more innovative (by a long shot) and definitely superior quality wise. i dont think they were in the same boat although i did like CB, i was on the verge of writing a pretty positive review and then they close unfortunately (i literally have half the review written out...oh well). Not going to get into the CA vs NY debate as I think you already know where i stand on that one.

                          re: Hakkasan - havent been yet, but its almost top of my list b/c a friend who's taste i trust recently told me that Hakkasan actually has very high quality dim sum (i think his exact words were this is lightyears better than other stuff in NY) and i dont have any negative predisposition about them or that its expensive. so very much looking forward to that

                2. re: Lau

                  I think Jade has a wide variety of dim sum so I prefer it. But Lake Pavilion had the most tender tripe dish(the white, not brown one) I ever had.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    Yesterday, i had to make a JFK Airport @ 1:30pm to pick up mys son coming back from a Barcelona/Paris naturally I headed to Flushing early to have Dim sum at jade Asian. I arrived at 11:30am and the place was nearly full....even as a single diner, they sat me at an 8-top all by myself. After a few minutes, I was joined by a young Chinese couple. Service was good and there was a good variety of items to satisfy, but not quite as plentiful as on a weekend visit. I was also given the choice of tea desired..the pot refilled twice, for a .60 charge per person.

                    It should be noted that during the week, small plates are on special for only $2/plate, dine-in only. If you ask for extra items and take them out, then you will pay full regular pricing. It's clearly stated on a printed menu/table tent.

                    The items were all great, but slightly under-seasoned for my tastes....not a problem and I still enjoyed my visit very much and meeting my new young friends, both who spoke very good English.

                    1. re: fourunder

                      wow u ate all of this by yourself?? haha nice work

                      1. re: Lau

                        $42 before tipping......six items for 12 bucks....the rest, full price....3.95/4.95 per plate.

                        1. re: Lau

                          Giving this a bump. You ate all that yourself?????

                          But, yeah, we ate there a few years ago and liked it a lot.

                3. Asian Jewels -- the big restaurant on 39th St. (now near some troublesome construction) has their own parking lot and there are plenty of English-speakers there. The dim sum is wonderful albeit a bit more expensive -- but worth it.

                  Now, if you want a real taste of Flushing, go to Gu Shine also on 39th Ave but one must park in the municipal lot across from the Sheraton, on the same block. Gu Shine is traditional Taiwanese food. Of course, the Taiwanese eat dim sum as well. But this restaurant's as "authentic" as I've eaten here in the U.S. for Taipei-style Taiwanese food.

                  Recommended dishes: san bei gai (three cups chicken); chou tofu (stinky tofu -- only eat if you can stand it). Clam soup (don't remember the translation). You can also get a "soup and three" for very little money; Soup, maybe san bei gai, and beef with green veg.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shaogo

                    not meaning to shoot you down, but i find the food (including the dim sum) at Asian Jewels to be pretty mediocre; i dont think its much better than the places in the city (i think nom wah / DSGG are better than AJ actually)...don't think it's worth going to flushing for, Jade Asian etc is better

                    gu xiang on the other hand i like although not for their street food, if you stick to their stir fries and other non-street food taiwanese i think you'll do pretty well; i think their chou dou fu isn't stinky enough at all and a little too dry. However, the the clam soup and san bei ji are definitely two of the best dishes there