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Feb 17, 2014 10:57 AM

Canton Dim Sum or Yank Sing (Stevenson)? [San Francisco]

Headed down to SF this coming weekend and would like to do Dim Sum on Sunday. I've narrowed it down to Canton or Yank Sing (Stevenson); criteria were walkablity from St Francis and food quality.

My only question is about the service/crowding problems at Yank Sing - everyone seems to agree the food is better. Being from Seattle, we know from good Dim Sum and it seems to come hand in hand with surly service and packed dining rooms. I can remember in particular sitting at a table for 10 with 14 people at it; we all sat at an angle with the shoulder of our chopstick hand pointed inward :-)

Given the above, thoughts please? Are the complaints from people not familiar with the normal dim sum atmosphere?

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  1. First of all, I've never been to the Stevenson location of Yank Sing, only the Rincon Center one a few blocks away, but I've been there a lot. Both food quality and service are great. They take reservations so make sure to get one if you are going on a Sunday.

    As for Canton, they are definitely a step down from Yank Sing in pretty much all respects. The positives that I can think of would be less pricey and carrying more somewhat exotic dishes, the likes of tripe, chicken feet, and duck tongue.

    3 Replies
    1. re: nocharge

      We went to Canton yesterday morning and had delicious tripe. It said "broiled tripe" on the menu and it definitely tasted smokey, while still being super tender from braising. Everything else we had was good to great, with the exception of some pretty thick, doughy skins on the potstickers.

      1. re: srr

        Yeah, the tripe is usually what attracts my Asian wife to Canton although we go to Yank Sing more often.

        1. re: nocharge

          We usually go to Koi Palace and I can take or leave the tripe there. My husband likes it and I usually have a bite or two. We actually discussed ordering a second order at Canton because our 5 year old daughter took a shine to it as well.

    2. To me the food seems the same at both branches of Yank Sing. Never felt remotely overcrowded at either location. Both take and honor reservations.

      I find most complaints about Yank Sing impossible to reconcile with the consistent high quality of the food and service.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        The wait at the Rincon location of Yank Sing can be 45 minutes on some weekends if you don't have a reservation. So it would probably be a good idea to get one regardless of the location you go to.

        As Robert pointed out, the food quality, service, and ambience at Yank Sing are high end. Canton, not so much, even though it's not necessarily a bad place. Compares well to a lot of places in Chinatown, which of course does not have the best Chinese food in the Bay Area.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          On my last visit to Yank Sing last year I found most of the dim sum really mediocre. I was surprised because though I am not a huge fan I have had better Dim Sum there in the past. When it comes to Dim Sum I am a Koi Palace partisan.

        2. Thanks for the reassurance, everyone! Will call tomorrow and make reservations at Yank Sing.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Cowprintrabbit

            Also, a word about parking... if you park in the parking garage of Yank Sing (Rincon Center), get your ticket validated after your meal for FREE parking!

            1. re: Shibi

              Validation gets you three hours free on weekends, two hours for $4 on weekdays.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Great to know the details on this... I was just so elated to have a $0 charge for parking after our party's $400 bill for dim sum that I missed the fine print about parking duration. Thanks!