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Yes, yes, I know Chinaman is totally not the preferred nomenclature. I am from Shanghai and love dim sum, especially Xiao Long Bao. I'm sure there have been many dim sum threads, but can a fellow Chinaman -- or Chinawoman -- or any barbarian with a truly sinified palate recommend a good dim sum restaurant for someone like me? I will be in Brooklyn Oct 27-30 and am hoping to find something much better than what's available in Austin. I have a friend who lives in NYC, so if you give me some recommendations I can send him out to recon those spots for me before I arrive.

Oh, and for those curious what Xiao Long Bao is, Wikipedia has a good description:

Shanghai steamed buns (上海小籠包 seong hoi siu lung bau, 上海小龙包 Shànghǎi xiǎolóngbāo)

These "little juicy dumplings" are filled with meat or seafood and are famous for their flavour and rich soup inside. Shanghai steamed buns can be recognised by their unique design, as the filled wrapper is gathered up into fine folds at the top, prior to steaming. To eat this you must make a small hole in the buns, suck out all the hot soup inside, then dip it in Chinese vinegar, finally you can eat it.

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Since I've been to Shanghai and had dim sum there and, therefore, know how good it is, I'll offer the opinion that you probably won't be satisfied with xiaolongbao anywhere in New York, though people will argue for New Green Bo, Yeah Shanghai, Joe's, and perhaps some other place or two. Undoubtedly, Jason and some others will steer you to China 46, which is in New Jersey and not very close to Brooklyn. As for Cantonese dim sum, try World Tong, which also has the virtue (for you) of being in Brooklyn.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Since I've been to Shanghai and had dim sum there and, therefore, know how good it is, I'll offer the opinion that you probably won't be satisfied with xiaolongbao anywhere in New York, though people will argue for New Green Bo, Yeah Shanghai, Joe's, and perhaps some other place or two. Undoubtedly, Jason and some others will steer you to China 46, which is in New Jersey and not very close to Brooklyn. As for Cantonese dim sum, try World Tong, which also has the virtue (for you) of being in Brooklyn.

Joe Shanghai is good but don't you think it's a bit overrated??? Just my opinion.

Leave the gun, take the canoli

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I got converted to DimSum A Go Go by Pichet Ong and the gang. We have dim sum there every sunday morning whenever he's in town, and so far, the place has been consistent. The food arrives nice and hot which is more superior to the pushcarts that tends to serve everything luke warm.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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Joe Shanghai is good but don't you think it's a bit overrated???  Just my opinion.

Not just your opinion; we agree. But it has its supporters.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Just curious, how does the dim sum compare in Flushing versus Manhattan?  Who has the superior dim sum?

The place in Bensonhurst I linked above has the best dim sum I've had in New York, but both Prince Restaurant and East Buffet and Restaurant are superior to any dim sum eating hall I've been to in Manhattan. Judging from one visit to each place, East Buffet seemed to have more variety than Prince, but the overall quality seemed better to me at Prince, which is not a very popular opinion.

I haven't had dim sum at either Oriental Palace or Dim Sum Go Go, though.

I'll have to check out 88 Palace; thanks for the recommendation, Phatlouie.

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Just hit Jing Fong on Elizabeth st. for some late lunch dim sum and i was totally unimpressed. After hearing that Jing Fong had a special from Mon-Fri, all dim sum plates $1.50 that was advertised in the Chinese paper, we decided to give it a try after years of hiatus. I know it was after 2pm but the selection was minimal. Some crusty cold spring rolls , rubbery beef tripe, uninspiring chicken feet , & oily fried taro dumplings. No signs of the standard fare like shiao mai, har gao, egg custards or the likes. What made it worse was the service. Nobody even acknowledged that we were there when we stepped up to the dining area. And there was plenty of staff on hand just standing there yapping with each other. We had to get one of the pushcart ladies to get us seated. I'll give the food another try on a busier day but the staff was aloof. Maybe they had hard luck at the OTB.

I had better experiences next door at Golden Bridge for dim sum . I have to try Oriental palace one of these days as well. Seems like most everyone gives it a thumbs up.

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I like the old school palaces, like Triple8 or the Golden Unicorn. DimSum A-go-go is pretty great, unless you want the random cart experience.

Joe's is good for appetizers, not Dimsum per se, imfho. My fave place was HSF and it's closed down now. They were attributed with bringing Dim Sum dining to NYC.

Go to 66 at 241 Church st. and tell us how Jean Georges take on Chinese holds up to your authentic Chinese taste buds. As a contrast, then head off to a very very well known and long established chinatown house, WoHop. LOL.

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When I read "pork and peanut" dumpling, I thought of chiu jow faan gor, which I believe is a standard HK-style/Cantonese dim sum offering.

I don't eat as much dim sum as a civilized person should, but the last meal I had at G-M (Gala Manor) in Flushing was very good. They have an exquisite house-special sweet bao that I highly recommend.

GM blows away all the dim sum places (2.5) I've been to in NJ.

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Fann gor is typical for HK dim sum offering but Chiu Jow means that it's from Chiu Jow, not Guangzhou, right?

Or it could be the work of an incredibly bored dim sum chef who had lots of peanuts and pork to play with one morning.

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Fann gor is typical for HK dim sum offering but Chiu Jow means that it's from Chiu Jow, not Guangzhou, right?

That makes perfect sense, but then I'm reminded of well-known classics like Singapore fried noodles and ma lai gou.

All I'm saying is that at just about every HK-style dim sum restaurant I've been to, I was offered (and more than likely ate) chiu jow fann gor.

Edited by Laksa (log)
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88 Palace on 88 E. Broadway.  their pork and peanut filled dumplings are great.

When it was Triple 8 - It was god; they change hands and other of their Chefs who oversaw weekend daytime (dim sum time of me) left things started to slip - Last week much of what we ate was sub-par. However their snails and mussels at the way-station has the same consistency since the '90.

anil

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do not go to Jing Fong for Dim Sum. I think I can honestly say they have the worst Dim Sum in Chinatown. My friend who acompanied me was also shock by the crappy dim sum.

I agree with Laksa.

If you happen to be in Flushing go to Gala Manor. I use to go to East (both branches, Main St. and Kissena blvd) often but now I go to Gala Manor. I actually went this afternoon and I was not disappointed. IIRC they are located on the 2nd fl of a relatively new shopping center/mall on Main St and 37. The entrance is located on 37th St.

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Jing Fong is nowhere near as good as CBS Seafood Restaurant in LA, let alone really fantastic dim sum such as is available in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, etc. In addition, the places in the "Outer Boroughs" that I mentioned previously in this thread are significantly better than Jing Fong, overall. However, having said that, I don't think I've ever had as bad an experience with the food at Jing Fong as irongut or smgarsh and friends did. Generally, the closer to opening time (10 A.M., I believe) you get to the place, the fresher the food is and the wider the selection. If you're around there at 2 P.M., go somewhere else. Service? Yeah, it's hardly effusive, and if that offends you, don't go there. As for me, despite my criticisms of the place, I have continued to feel that it has its uses. But now that the objections have been corroborated, I'm beginning to wonder whether the place has slipped since the last time I was there (at least several months ago).

smgarsh, acknowledging that Manhattan's Chinatown probably does not have the best dim sum in the city, what dim sum places do you like in Chinatown?

I haven't tried Gala Manor, but I did Google it and got the following result:

37-02 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11354. Tel: 718-888-9293

It's right on the corner of 37th Av. and Main St. (3 blocks from Roosevelt and 1 block from Northern Blvd.) Sounds like another place worth trying.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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do not go to Jing Fong for Dim Sum. I think I can honestly say they have the worst Dim Sum in Chinatown. My friend who acompanied me was also shock by the crappy dim sum.

I agree with Laksa.

If you happen to be in Flushing go to Gala Manor. I use to go to East (both branches, Main St. and Kissena blvd) often but now I go to Gala Manor. I actually went this afternoon and I was not disappointed. IIRC they are located on the 2nd fl of a relatively new shopping center/mall on Main St and 37. The entrance is located on 37th St.

I just can't agree with this. Yeah, it's not China, but if for some reason Jing Fong failed you give it another chance...if it's not happenin', go next door to Oriental Palace..

Going to a dim sum restaurant when they are not within their peak hours (10- 2) is bad technique. It's like eating at the end of a street fair...they still have the food but, eh? It's hard to judge a restaurant when you catch them with their pants off.

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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smgarsh, acknowledging that Manhattan's Chinatown probably does not have the best dim sum in the city, what dim sum places do you like in Chinatown?

I haven't tried Gala Manor, but I did Google it and got the following result:

37-02 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11354. Tel: 718-888-9293

It's right on the corner of 37th Av. and Main St. (3 blocks from Roosevelt and 1 block from Northern Blvd.) Sounds like another place worth trying.

I don't go to Chinatown often for Dim Sum, as I live in queens and Flushing is easier to get to. but I have to say I really like Dim Sum GoGo. Dim Sum GoGo is definitely worth the trip.

Luckylies, I wish I could say I was exaggerating about my experience at Jin Fong, but I wasn't. Maybe it was just an off day for them. IIRC I went midweek (weds?) around 12PM or possibly earlier. But so many dishes I had that day tasted "old".

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I used to go to Jing Fong all the time but have stopped. I think the quality has definitely gone down. Now I go to a place, don't know the name but on the corner of Bowery and Canal. It's the first building on the south side of Canal and you go upstairs. We went last weekend around 11:00am and it was already crazy. I was told about it by some Chinese friends and the clientele is definitely mostly Chinese. It was awesome and very reasonable.

I'll try to remember the name the next time I'm down there.

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I used to go to Jing Fong all the time but have stopped. I think the quality has definitely gone down.  Now I go to a place, don't know the name but on the corner of Bowery and Canal.  It's the first building on the south side of Canal and you go upstairs.  We went last weekend around 11:00am and it was already crazy.  I was told about it by some Chinese friends and the clientele is definitely mostly Chinese.  It was awesome and very reasonable. 

I'll try to remember the name the next time I'm down there.

I think you are referring to 'Golden Bridge' . The old silver palace.

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I had a dim-sum afternoon in Chinatown in July and forgot to post it, but I did write to a friend about it that evening, so I'll copy and paste it in here from when it was fresh in my mind:

I've never had really good dim sum in New York, and this was no exception.

Fresh in my mind was a wonderful place we found in Edison, NJ, (Wonder Seafood Restaurant) where everything was exquisite, delicate, and ethereal. Nothing in New York was any of those things.

I started at Jin Fong, with a billion tables, very pretty, with a billion fresh pink tablecloths. Maybe a dozen tables were occupied, it being 2 pm on a Wednesday. I started with the Har Gao, Siu Mai, and the Cheung Fun, stuffed with shrimp. Everything was just okay, and nothing more exotic was offered that I wanted anyway. The NJ place (Wonder) had all kinds of things like Steamed Snow Pea Leaf with Shrimp dumplings, Steamed Watercress with Pork and Shrimp dumplings - they had nothing like this. Had Jin Fong been better I'd have ordered more and called it lunch, but I decided to cut my losses and move on.

Next was Ping's Seafood, highly rated. I had the Har Gao and Siu Mai, and they tried to fool me and served me Shrimp Siu Mai instead of the Har Gao. I also had an order of the roast pork Cheung Fun. Everything was less good than Jin Fong, and I left a lot of it. Dull, thick, heavy, lackluster. Cut my losses and went for a stroll.

Then, on to HSF. Had the Har Gao and Siu Mai. Both were strange, and totally not enjoyable. Paid and left.

I was going to leave Chinatown at that point, but I remembered that we sort of liked Double 8 Palace when we went a year ago - didn't love it, but liked it, and I wanted to compare, so I walked over to E. Broadway. I had the Har Gao and Siu Mai. Involuntarily, I spit out the Siu Mai. It tasted very very strongly of stinking dried fish of some kind. I know that a microscopic amount of some kind of dried fish is used to flavor things like that, but this was putrid, and as I say, invoked an involuntary response from my mouth. The Har Gao were both cold, and lousy. They saw me spit out the one, and asked what was wrong, and I explained what it was, but of course the cart girls don't speak any English, and all they could say was “change? Change?” I tried to say “no, check please” but a woman came over and commanded me to “try pork with peanuts- very good” It was not. It could have been, but it was not, and was a lousy taste to end the day on, but what could you do. Then the owner, having lunch at the next table, came over to ask “Everything okay?” I was nice (I mean, even I don't get upset over a $2.80 dish of dumplings, although I would have loved to end on a nice taste), and I told him the Har Gao were cold and bad. He went rummaging through the cart and dug me out another one from the bottom against my protests, and as he watched, I tasted it and it was cold and lousy. He took another one from the cart and put it on his table, then took my check and adjusted it to $4.25 (don't know why - I couldn't really eat anything, nor did I care) and as he watched me leave money, I added several dollars for the girls and he beamed with pride and thanked me.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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