Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Philadelphia >
Oct 21, 2013 12:53 PM

dim sum - Joy Tsin Lau, Ocean Harbor, or other?

i moved to princeton, NJ, and there are NO real dim sum options around here. i moved here from NYC, where there are good spots, but from checking out the philly board, it doesn't seem like philly has too much to offer on the dim sum front either.


i really want some dim sum! it sounds like the debate is between joy tsin lau and ocean harbor as the best options - which do you think is the better cantonese dim sum? or is there another contender? we'll likely go this weekend. i don't need carts going around, but i'd like things like cheong fun, har gow, shumai, taro dumplings, turnip cake, steamed ribs, etc.

we figure we'll make a day out of it... dim sum for brunch, nam phuong for late lunch, federal donuts for a snack, and then something entirely different for dinner. can't wait!

let me know your thoughts - thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You could also have dim sum at Ocean City or Imperial Inn. None of the places in Philly are any better than what you'll find in NYC, but each place is fine. Depending on the number of people in your party and your arrival time, you could always try a number of dishes at each restaurant and report back. =D Also, I see that Wonder in Edison has been recommended a number of times on CH; have you been?

    Your other plans sound fun! Maybe check out the E. Passyunk area for dinner?

    1. There is also the newly expanded Dim Sum Garden at 10th and Race. No carts, and I haven't been yet, but everything from the old location was excellent. Here's a menu:

      Have fun!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

        I looked at the manu. It is not the kind of Dim Sum that jen223 was looking for. Jen223 was looking for the Hong Kong/Cantonese style Dim Sum and not the northern kind.

        1. re: Hungryin theBurbs

          The original poster is looking for Cantonese Dim Sum, and this is not.

        2. Ocean Harbor is the place to go. Outstanding vegetarian options, steamed specialties, clams in black bean sauce, turnip cake, har gow. As good a NYC.

          1. <the debate is between joy tsin lau and ocean harbor >

            Ocean City is actually gaining a lot of backing now. In fact, managers from Joy Tsin Lau and Ocean Harbor acknowledge this.

            <cheong fun, har gow, shumai, taro dumplings, turnip cake, steamed ribs, etc>

            All three have these. I put these three at about the same level, and each has their own strengths. For example, I find Ocean Harbor and Ocean City have better Cheong Fun. Whereas, I like the turnip cake better from Joy Tsin Lau -- cook to order.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              thanks everyone - may actually stay in NJ this weekend to save on the toll and gas, but i'll check these out eventually!

              1. re: jen223

                Sunny Palace in New Brunswick also offers Cantonese Dim Sum on the weekends. However, it isn't really that much closer to you.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Crown Palace is little bite closer.

                  1. re: wcl

                    Never been there. Would you recommend? Is it 7 days a week or only weekends?

              2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                "Ocean City is actually gaining a lot of backing now." Could you elaborate on this? Ocean City has seemed really busy this past year.

                1. re: mookleknuck

                  By backing, I really meant consumers and support. All I want to say is that Ocean City has been getting a lot of consumers in the past 2 years now (maybe longer), and this fact is acknowledged by those from Joy Tsin Lau and Ocean Harbor. I know people in these three restaurants well, and they know me.

                  Ocean City has hired a good Dim Sum chef and that the Dim Sum dishes have significantly improved. This is one of the major turning point.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Thanks for the info. Ocean City's food has improved from when I first tried them and is much busier than then, too.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I last went about 4 years ago and was very disappointed. Do you think it's time to give it another shot?

                      1. re: lost squirrel

                        <Do you think it's time to give it another shot?>

                        I think so. As mentioned before, I didn't try Ocean City 4 years ago. Rumor is that it has much improved sometime about 2 years ago.

                        Let me put it this way. Have you tried Joy Tsin Lau and Ocean Harbor? Do you like these two? I would put the current Ocean City on par with these two.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          Oops, I think I got confused about Ocean City and Ocean Harbor.
                          I've been going to both Joy Tsin Lau and the Imperial for over 30 years and like them both.

                          Ocean Harbor is across the street from JTL right? I tried that 4 years ago and didn't like it.

                          1. re: lost squirrel

                            I guess we have different tastes then. To me, Joy Tsin Lau, Ocean Harbor and Ocean City are about the same, whereas Imperial Inn is not nearly as good. I have been there 4 times now, and still do not really like it.

                            I actually tried my best to like it (due to historical reason), but I just cannot like it.

                            The main advantage of Imperial Inn is that it usually does not have long line, so the wait is nonexistence.