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Dim Sum with 3.5 year olds?

Hello! One daughter is having her 40th BD, and has expressed an interest in dim sum brunch on a Saturday AM in April. We'll be 13 people (5 kids, 8 adults) and would like to find somewhere (1) good, and (2) that would take a reservation for a table that large. Kids are pretty omnivorous (will bring emergency chicken fingers) but think we'd do best at a place that will hold a table for a large group, rather than asking four 3.5 year olds (twin sets of cousins) to wait a long time for a table. Any suggestions will be HUGELY appreciated!

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  1. Do you have a budget/price range? Dim sum options vary greatly and some of the more expensive places will reserve tables.

    1. You will have many options. Jing Fong might be your best bet. They handle many school and tour groups and should be able to take a reservation. You might have to go there in person to ensure that though. You should be able to try to get one large table and squeeze in. The earlier you eat the better off everyone will be.

      Nom Wah and Dim Sum Go Go will have trouble putting you at one table.

      Dim Sum Go Go

      Jing Fong:

      Nom Wah:

      Red Egg

      Chinatown Dim Sum:

      Time Out NY Best 12 Best NYC Dim Sum Places:

      Serious Eats Food Guide:

      2 Replies
      1. re: scoopG

        Second Jing Fong.

        Don't know if they take reservations. You put your name on a list and wait at the bottom of the escalator.

        Push cart style. Huge place, family friendly.

        I like Dim Sum Go Go but don't think it is a good fit for your large group. No push carts. Smaller space. More shi shi.

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          Totally agree on Jing Fong -- great fun with kids!

      2. Golden Unicorn is still very good. Go early though wherever you head

        2 Replies
        1. re: jen kalb

          +1 Golden Unicorn. My dai lo eats there religiously

          1. re: AubWah

            +2 for Golden Unicorn. The best of the chinatown bunch.

        2. Agree with Jin Fong, and you should have no wait there on a Saturday if you get there 11am or before, I would think.

          I will throw Red Egg as the next best bet, as they will take a reservation for that size, I believe. There food is probably slightly better, but without carts the atmosphere is different and the cadence is slower (it is fine, but there isn't the instant gratification of a cart arriving 30 seconds after you sit.)

          1. Thank you all... budget was kind of open, so we are more concerned about wrangling toddlers and not making a complete pain of ourselves with a large group in a restaurant. Jing Fong and others sound good - will check these out. Many thanks and much appreciation!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Nancy C

              when our kids were little (Im saying from babyhood on up) we used to take them for dim sum almost every weekend. The tables are big, with spaces in between so usually you can stick the kids in an inside location so they dont wander off. Its a friendly environment with lots of big family groups and you will not stick out or be a pain, believe me. Going as early as you can is a key to having a more peaceful experience, Hopefully, you will not need those chicken fingers!

            2. Jing Fong for sure. They have chicken fingers too!!

              4 Replies
                1. re: Monica

                  If the kids want to roam around it won't be a problem. It is like Chinese Chuck E Cheese.

                2. re: Motosport

                  Motosport-did you mean to say chicken feet? that's my favorite dim sum!!

                  1. re: UES Mayor

                    Chicken fingers, wings and feet too!!!

                3. Thanks to all... I totally forgot about vegetarian options for the birthday lady... does that shift the Jing Fong recommendation at all? Bless you for your help! And we are aiming for 10:30AM - is that early enough? :-)

                  8 Replies
                    1. re: Nancy C

                      Does the vegetarian lady eat seafood? If she doesnt you are going to have to order carefully and get a menu to order a plate of greens, noodles without meat, etc..
                      Maybe you ought to consider the Vegetarian Dim Sum House if she is serious about her vegetarianism - many of the "green" dim sum in these places have shrimp etc.

                      10 is better than 10:30 but either are better than noon!

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        I'm veg (no fish)and found more than enough at jin fong and other non veg dim sum- definately ask for a menu to order from, but also on the carts plain rice noodle,braised greens, sometimes there's fried tofu or a cold tofu with soy, and a plain congee, and of course the desserts!

                        1. re: jen kalb

                          Jing Fong has a nice tripe dish. That's vegetarian, right?

                          1. re: Motosport

                            Tripe vegetarian? If you consider part of the cow's fore stomach a vegetable!

                            1. re: UES Mayor

                              Looks just like cabbage!! Just kidding amigo!

                              1. re: Motosport

                                it's funny how most people unfamiliar w tripe think it's fish when they see it in supermarkets.

                      2. Hello all... we wound up at Dim Sum Go Go at 11AM. They took a reservation, put us upstairs at two generously sized, pushed together tables. Handled the happy crowd with ease. Vegetarian options were great, good steamed pork buns, etc., You can pass on the steamed spare ribs. Helped with birthday cake plates and lighting candles. It was delightful and calm. We left around 1pm - by then, the crowd had arrived and were no doubt happy to see our wee herd leave (tho' they were remarkably well-behaved that day for their first round at dim sum). Thanks and look forward to trying Jin Fon next time.