red egg chinatown dim sum report
first time at red egg this past weekend. we arrived without reservations and were lucky to be seated at the last available table. For the uninitiated, they give you a dim sum menu, you mark your order with a pencil and they make your dim sum to order. For the first time we let our 17 yo son do all the ordering. We had no idea what was coming, here's what he ordered in arrival order:
sui mai - I've come to suspect a lot of sui mai is bought bulk/frozen as it tastes about the same at most restaurants. The red egg version tasted very fresh, with terrific flavor.
Sticky rice in lotus leaf - the chunks of meat and sausage really set this rendition apart. I didn't realize my son liked this so much, he ordered two dishes.
garlic spare ribs - a little like southern fried spare ribs, the dish just didn't offer enough flavor to justify the accordant caloric and cardiac damage.
steamed roast pork bun - average, would not order again.
pork, shrimp and peanut fun gaw - delicate, open wrapper, very good, i've not had this before, not sure if it's a red egg creation.
vegetable fun gaw - good but too close to previous dish, not sure why he ordered both.
pan fried turnip cake - great, this came nice, hot, and a little crispy. this dish really benefited from the "made to order" treatment.
vegetarian spring rolls - son liked, we didn't try. have to break our kids of this habit.
scallion pancake - first real miss. small, tasteless triangles.
pan fried shanghai bun - this looked like it was going to be heavy but instead it was light on it's feet, greaseless, very nice. still, I prefer the versions found in shanghai restaurants.
stir fried radish cake with duck meat - for me, this was the best dish of the meal. The radish cake was soft in the middle, a little crispy on the outside, the duck gave it a little fatty goodness, eat this while it's hot.
ok, so we're three people, trying to work our way through this mountain of food when an entree of:
peking duck sliders shows up - The bun and preparation are similar to the $1 flushing duck bun stall but instead of a couple of bites of random duck meat they place beautiful whole slices of unctuous peking duck on the bun. They also throw a little apple into the slider which adds welcome palate cleansing acidity between bites. Would definitely order this again but it's not cheap, works out to $24 for six sliders. we should have asked if we could pick at the duck carcass.
my wife has one slider, I'm full but bravely choke down two and my son wolfs down three as if he hasn't eaten in a week. I look around the table thinking we did a pretty good job, but of course I should have known dessert was coming:
sweet sesame balls - My son loved these, a little smaller, fresher,, more delicate and hotter than the usual fare, I took half a bite and stayed out of my son's way.
our check before tip came to $86 which I thought very fair for the quality of the food, excellent service and nice surroundings. It was also something of a relief to sit in a dim sum restaurant in Chinatown and have waitresses speak better English than I (me?).
Thank you for the detailed report. It might get me to try Red Egg again. My last experience was not a good one. Your's for the most part sounded very good.
I really like Red Egg tho Nom Wah is still my favorite. Both make dim sum to order. I think I prefer that now, as it can be frustrating to flag down passing carts with often surly wait staff that don't care to elaborate on each dish and the dumplings often have been sitting in the cart too long. The radish cake with duck is wonderful as stated, one of the best dishes on the menu. I LOVE the shrimp stuffed spicy peppers too. The food at Red Egg tends to be a little under seasoned but always very fresh tasting and I don't mind that since I like to use soy and chile oil or mustard for dipping. My friend didn't care for the under seasoned food, but I wonder if we got used to other places where tons of salt and possibly msg are the norm.
That said the only thing at Nom Wah that I didn't like was their fried radish cake, weird off tasting meat on top.