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Ruby

THE BEST: Chinatown Dim Sum

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Yes. I also had a good experience at Grand Harmony when I went there some time ago for breakfast around 9 A.M. The atmosphere was very relaxed, the service was excellent (because they have more time and don't have to rush around at that hour!), and all the food was hot and fresh.

The main point is, to reinforce what beayang wrote, it's best to go for dim sum at 10:30 or earlier, wherever you go.

If you don't limit yourself to dim sum, you could always go to a place like New York Noodletown if you want Hong Kong-style food.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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at Jing Fong a lot of the meal must be taken in "seek and destroy" mode. you kind of have to have yor eyes peeled.

LOL!! :laugh: I know the feeling - and that is definitely the best way anyone can put it. However, I find this phenomenon particular to U.S. dim sum restaurnats... When I lived in Hong Kong, "seek and destroy" didn't seem necessary... there was usually such a surfeit of desirables that you had to almost bat the carts away. Thankfully, I had learned to (quickly) adopt and affect the H.K. diners' haughty "ignore-your-servers-insufferably" attitude... it really does garner you more respect. (Did anyone read Ruth Reichl's description of her Flushings dim sum experience with the young Columbia University student in Garlic and Sapphires? She describes this "affect"/"attitude" very well. LOL!! :laugh:)

I never order off the menu, but also I'm a bit lazy.

Often, I find myself "ordering off the menu" at American dim sum restaurants inadvertantly. It usually happens when I ask one of the cart ladies whether they have one of two of my favorite dishes that are often (sadly) missing from the carts. More often than should be, they tell me that I haven't missed them (on the carts), rather they're only available by order... grumble... :hmmm: so sometimes it is a good thing to check with the cart ladies if you don't see something you want.

I've digressed from my initial mission...

So, from the foregoing posts (I've noticed that this thread has been largely dormant for a surprisingly long while), I've surmised that Jing Fong, Ping's and Golden Unicorn are my best bets for a Sunday "quintessential" Chinatown dim sum fare?

u.e.


Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

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Golden Unicorn for carts, Dim Sum Go Go for best.


I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

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Golden Unicorn for carts, Dim Sum Go Go for best.

I totally agree with your statement.


South Florida

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Yes. I also had a good experience at Grand Harmony when I went there some time ago for breakfast around 9 A.M. The atmosphere was very relaxed, the service was excellent (because they have more time and don't have to rush around at that hour!), and all the food was hot and fresh.

The main point is, to reinforce what beayang wrote, it's best to go for dim sum at 10:30 or earlier, wherever you go.

If you don't limit yourself to dim sum, you could always go to a place like New York Noodletown if you want Hong Kong-style food.

Wow, I'm excited to try a new dim sum place! Pan, how does Grand Harmony compare to Golden Unicorn and Jing Fong?

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I haven't been to Grand Harmony in quite some time, but I think that those three are on about the same level. I'd hate for your expectations of any of them to be too high, though. I haven't had any really excellent dim sum meals in Manhattan.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Oriental Garden. OK, it's small, they don't use carts much, they carry stuff around on trays, selection is a bit smaller, they tend to put shrimp in everything, but I think it does good dim sum. Slightly more expensive than say Jin Fong.

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Just to report back. Dim sum at Golden Unicorn was unacceptably bad. While the food was okay - the service was abismal!! You'd think that with the crowds, they'd be rushing us out of there. Instead, we were left sitting unattended to for such an excruciatingly long time between services... especially, things ordered from the kitchen required flagging down waitstaff numerous times to remind them of our orders.

Selection was also poor. Also, we found a huge disparity between the 2nd and 3rd floor services. The 2nd floor service was much better, the carts had more variety... I have a feeling that "foreigners" are relegated to the 3rd floor.

Will not return. All in my party were disappointed. Will try another spot next time. Thanks for all the suggestions!

u.e.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Lunch this Friday in Chinatown. Husband had other plans, which was unfortunate as I wanted dim sum and dim sum is much better when you've got at least one other person along, and ideally even more so that you can try lots of things.

My first choice was Hop Kee/Sun Hop Shing (two names, same street address at 21 Mott). But as I was about to walk in a woman who'd just entered walked out and said that they weren't serving dim sum. I took her word for this (and then realized that I never take anybody's word for anything, so I must have been suffering from very low blood sugar indeed). My second choice was Dim Sum Go Go, but I couldn't find E. Broadway on the map (really low blood sugar) and so decided that Sweet-n-Tart would work, particularly as it was after noon and they prepare the items as they're ordered. Plus it was right across the street at 20 Mott.

Three floors, with the top floor apparently not serving at that time. The middle floor was nice, with windows across the front and a nice fish tank for visual interest. If you're facing away from the window you can see into the kitchen, so also an interesting view. Service fine, especially by dim sum standards.

Since I was alone and couldn't have too many items I stuck to basics: stuffed eggplant (excellent), shrimp and asparagus steamed dumplings (very good), vegetable dumplings (not amazing, with undercooked contents and too-thick wrapper). I wanted something different as a sweet, and considered one of the sweet soups, but decided against that option as I was going for bubble tea later in the day. So I chose glutinous rice with hazelnut filling. This turned out to very different indeed: a white chocolate truffle (like a Lindor candy) with a hazelnut in the center wrapped in glutinous rice/mochi and rolled in coconut. Interesting, but not what I was in the mood for.

So it was fine, considering, and next time I want to try some of the more interesting dessert items.


Can you pee in the ocean?

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sorry to hear you had a bad experience! i feel like the service is never that good in chinatown, but i wonder if i'm just immune now...

i was also thinking, one doesn't normally want to sit near the kitchen, but at dim sum it can be a plus because you catch the carts on their way out. i've gotten screwed when seated on the far side, away from the kitchen.

Try dim sum go go next time. You'll definitely get better service!

Just to report back.  Dim sum at Golden Unicorn was unacceptably bad.  While the food was okay - the service was abismal!!  You'd think that with the crowds, they'd be rushing us out of there.  Instead, we were left sitting unattended to for such an excruciatingly long time between services... especially, things ordered from the kitchen required flagging down waitstaff numerous times to remind them of our orders.

Selection was also poor.  Also, we found a huge disparity between the 2nd and 3rd floor services.  The 2nd floor service was much better, the carts had more variety... I have a feeling that "foreigners" are relegated to the 3rd floor.

Will not return.  All in my party were disappointed.  Will try another spot next time.  Thanks for all the suggestions!

u.e.

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I was in NY 6/26-6/29

Had dim sum based on recommendations here at two different places. Jin Fong was awesome -- food was fresh, variety was good, and it was CHEAP, even by my standards (and I'm pretty frugal).

Decidedly different experience at Golden Unicorn. Food wasn't fresh. Chicken glutinous rice wrapped in leaves was SPOILED inside. It was sour and clearly past its prime. Variety was not there ( we had maybe 10 different items pass us) and we paid the same price we did at Jin Fong even though we ate about 1/2 the amount of food. Awful.

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[...]Decidedly different experience at Golden Unicorn.  Food wasn't fresh.  Chicken glutinous rice wrapped in leaves was SPOILED inside.  It was sour and clearly past its prime.  Variety was not there ( we had maybe 10 different items pass us) and we paid the same price we did at Jin Fong even though we ate about 1/2 the amount of food.  Awful.

magic, I'm really shocked by your experience at Golden Unicorn. I hope that was some kind of awful fluke and not indicative of their current level.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I hope it was a fluke too about the food, but the price is certainly indicative. We left hungry as we had to rush back to the hotel to check out, but there was no indication more food was about to come (and we weren't really hopeful og getting any good food anyway at that point).

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What time did you show up at each place?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Both times we arrived at around 12PM on a weekday (I know, not prime time, but both places still seemed to be full of people.)

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Both times we arrived at around 12PM on a weekday (I know, not prime time, but both places still seemed to be full of people.)

That certainly should have been early enough for there to have been plenty of hot (or at least warm) food to choose from.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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<snip...>

My first choice was Hop Kee/Sun Hop Shing (two names, same street address at 21 Mott). But as I was about to walk in a woman who'd just entered walked out and said that they weren't serving dim sum. I took her word for this (and then realized that I never take anybody's word for anything, so I must have been suffering from very low blood sugar indeed). My second choice was Dim Sum Go Go, but I couldn't find E. Broadway on the map...

<...snip>

When we're in NYChinatown, we inevitably end up at Sun Hop Shing, mind you the dim sum is not very good, but it's the nostalgia that always sucks us in. It's a little place with cart service. Cheap cheap, too.

gallery_11814_589_1105375300.jpg

gallery_11814_148_1104635163.jpg

gallery_11814_148_1104634502.jpg

The beef balls are probably the main reason for our pilgrimage. They are bouncy, flavorful and satisfying.

gallery_11814_589_1105375317.jpg

We also absolutely adored Dim Sum Go Go on our first and only visit a couple of years back. They had a very nice selection of dim sum, hot and fresh. I'd love to go back.


Edited by spaghetttti (log)

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When we're in NYChinatown, we inevitably end up at Sun Hop Shing, mind you the dim sum is not very good, but it's the nostalgia that always sucks us in.  It's a little place with cart service.  Cheap  cheap, too. 

A couple weeks ago when I walked by Sun Hop Shing it was closed and had brown paper covering up all the glass in front. Not sure if they were closed or renovating. I'll try swinging by later this week to check.

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FYI....

Jin Fong has been closed down by the Dept. of Health.

Good thing I stopped going there since I've discovered Ocean Jewels in Flushing, Queens.

Totally worth the trip. Great service (suprisingly for a chinese establishment) and incredibly fresh food! Their roast pork buns goes quick (so grab them while you can) and their sticky rice is very good.

My favorite dim sum place!


Edited by ABC (log)

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FYI....

Jin Fong has been closed down by the Dept. of Health.

Good thing I stopped going there since I've discovered Ocean Jewels in Flushing, Queens.

Totally worth the trip. Great service (suprisingly for a chinese establishment) and incredibly fresh food! Their roast pork buns goes quick (so grab them while you can) and their sticky rice is very good.

My favorite dim sum place!

I just checked the Dept of Health inspection website, and apparently Jing Fong was re-opened after cleaning up. They were last inspected 11/29 and had 15 violation points, which was less than the other Dim Sum places I looked up.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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I just checked the Dept of Health inspection website, and apparently Jing Fong was re-opened after cleaning up. They were last inspected 11/29 and had 15 violation points, which was less than the other Dim Sum places I looked up.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Nancy, how crowded was it?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I predict they'll be (or are already) packing them in as always.

Nancy, who had more violations then them? (then again maybe I'm better off now knowing : )~


That wasn't chicken

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In answer to Pan's question - Jing Fong was pretty full - not completely, but a robust crowd for a Saturday.

Eatmywords - using NYC Dept of Health, I ascertained the following:

88 Palace (which was my favorite Dim Sum place prior to Jing Fong, though I always knew it as "888" or "Triple 8" Palace) had 15 points, but was cited for insects/roaches.

Grand Harmony ranged from 4-37 points in recent inspections, but even in the 4 point inspection, it was cited for roaches.

Ping's Seafood had 17 points.

Jing Fong had 15 points, but was NOT cited for insects/roaches.

So, at least for now, Jing Fong is highly recommended for Dim Sum.


"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" (coined while playing with my food at Lolita).

My blog: Fun Playing With Food

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Funny, I had a different experience at Jin Fong on Sunday. My friends and I went around noon and the place was packed. The dim sum was pedestrian. The skin on the ha gaow was thick and pasty, the black sesame rolls were flabby and lacked flavor, the cheong fun wasn't smooth and light and overall, the food wasn't hot enough. Also, there weren't enough carts going around and what was on the carts was subpar compared to the great dim sum I've had in Flushing at Gum Fung, Ping's and this seafood restaurant on 37th st (?). But I should try Dim Sum Go Go before pledging my loyalty to Flushing's dim sum.

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