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Dim Sum

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dumpling Kitchen Might Have the Best Xiao Long Bao in S.F.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 12:00 PM

STEPHANIE KUO
  • Stephanie Kuo

There has been an ongoing debate about the best place to eat dumplings, specifically of the XLB (xiao long bao) variety. For those of you that don’t know, XLB, also known as soup dumplings, are a dim sum staple. A fluffy filling — primarily pork — and heavily gelatinized broth cubes are enrobed in a partially leavened wrapper and then steamed. Upon steaming, the broth cubes melt to reveal a brothy pool of delicious suspended within the dumpling.) What happens when a last-minute contender enters the race? Bust out the chopsticks and soup spoons and get ready to slurp, that’s what.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hakkasan Ushers in Year of the Shrimp, Oops, Sheep, with Chinese New Year Menu

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 10:47 AM

This gorgeous dim sum platter for two begins an eight-course extravaganza of a menu at Hakkasan, celebrating Chinese New Year. - ALIX WALL
  • Alix Wall
  • This gorgeous dim sum platter for two begins an eight-course extravaganza of a menu at Hakkasan, celebrating Chinese New Year.
If you like your Chinese food on the high-end side, and your wish for prosperity was granted during the Year of the Horse, you may want to visit Hakkasan for its Chinese New Year signature menu that ushers in the Year of the Sheep and is available now through March 1.

The $138.88 per person eight-course menu (again, we hope your wish for prosperity came true) includes three appetizers (one of them a gorgeous dim sum platter featuring four types of dumplings), four mains, a fried rice and dessert.

At a press preview of this food orgy, we thought that given its prevalence on the menu, we were actually celebrating the Year of the Shrimp, as the crustacean played a starring role in no less than three of the eight courses. 

Even the scallop shumai, in which the dumpling top is left open to expose its plump filling, tasted mostly of sweet shrimp, and didn’t have a lot to distinguish it from the har gau, a translucent, perfectly pleated dumpling that was filled only with shrimp. A slick of chili oil was just the right thing to cut the sweetness of both. But this was a minor quibble, as this course was visually beautiful, with four perfect dumpling specimens brought out in a bamboo steamer, with the other two dumplings, an herbaceous Chinese chive and an earthy black pepper duck surrounded by green and brown dough respectively.


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Four Dim Sum Dishes To Know At Millbrae's Enormous Tai Wu

Posted By on Wed, Nov 5, 2014 at 8:01 AM

Tai Wu in Millbrae's Pan Fried Noodles with Fish. - TREVOR FELCH
  • Trevor Felch
  • Tai Wu in Millbrae's Pan Fried Noodles with Fish.

At a massive 400 seats and 460,000 square feet over three stories, the 8-month-old second outpost of Tai Wu (original remains in Daly City) can be, oh, just a tad intimidating. Add in the usual whirl of carts during lunch dim sum and the fact that you’re ravenous and all the dishes whizzing by and on the menu look so promising, a visit here can rapidly become overwhelming. Nearby SFO might even be calmer. 

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Take a Gander at the New Lucky Peach Guide to Dim Sum

Posted By on Wed, Jan 2, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Over the weekend Buzzfeed published an online version of S.F.-based Lucky Peach magazine's new guide to dim sum, which appears in the latest issue (number 5) all about Chinatown. The online version is pretty damn comprehensive, with plenty of text and a complicated classification system involving phrases like "Chicken Buns: Leavened wheat dough wrapper family" and 16 symbols denoting everything from the preparation technique to whether it's likely to be spicy.

See also:

- M.Y. China: S.F.'s Most Expensive Dim Sum

- San Francisco's Top 10 Dim Sum Restaurants

- We Dare You to Watch This Video Without Getting Hungry for Chinese Food

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

M.Y. China Has San Francisco's Most Expensive Dim Sum

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Pork and black truffle juicy dumplings at M.Y. China. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Pork and black truffle juicy dumplings at M.Y. China.

We live in a magical land called the Sunset, where delicious dim sum dumplings can be had for 50 cents apiece, so paying $18 for five dumplings is definitely a seismic shift. That's the price of the pork and black truffle juicy dumplings at M.Y. China (845 Market), which opened December 3 in the Westfield Centre.

See Also:

- This Holiday Season, Give The Gift of Dim Sum Earrings

- Wonderland's Red Oil Wonton Is a Carnivore's Must

- Two-Dolla Holla: Sticky Rice Balls at TC Pastry

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Monday, December 3, 2012

This Holiday Season, Give The Gift of Dim Sum Earrings

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Hang Ah Tea Room earrings. - CHANTAL DEFELICE
  • Chantal deFelice
  • Hang Ah Tea Room earrings.

All through December, SFoodie is bringing you local gift ideas for the food obsessives in your life.

The crafty site Etsy is a great place to go when you're looking for a creative present for your food-obsessed friend who has it all. A search for "San Francisco food" or "Bay Area food" turns up a lot of one-of-a-kind finds.

Case in point: These paper and wood earrings ($28) by Chantal deFelice depict the Hang Ah Tea Room, San Francisco's oldest Chinese restaurant, which opened in 1920.

See Also:

- Hog Island Oyster Co. Now Accepting Limited Holiday Mail Orders

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wonderland's Szechuan Red Oil Wonton Is a Carnivore's Must

Posted By on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Red oil wontons at Wonderland. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • Red oil wontons at Wonderland.

Wonderland opened in the Lower Haight in July, a welcome spot that fills a big void for Chinese food on Haight street. The menu is a spiral-bound miniature binder that, like many places of its ilk, contains a dizzying amount of choices, including a whole section devoted to meatless chicken and a sauce on the side "healthy" corner of steamed items. This is a vegetarian-friendly place for sure, but if you're eating meat, one appetizer worth ordering is the red oil wonton.

See Also:

- Shanghai Tries to Break a Restaurant Curse

- House of Nanking vs. Chef Jia's: Different Shades of Chinese American Cuisine

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rice Paper Scissors Throws Dim Sum Warehouse Party

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Rice Paper Scissors' Katie Kwan and Valerie Luu. - PHIL CARTER
  • Phil Carter
  • Rice Paper Scissors' Katie Kwan and Valerie Luu.

Rice Paper Scissors Dim Sum Brunch

Where: Mission location revealed to ticket buyers on the day of event

When: Sunday, June 24, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m. seatings

Cost: $10 reservation ticket; menu items $5-8

Rundown: Katie Kwan and Valerie Luu typically focus on Vietnamese fare but this weekend they are busting out their little plastic stools for a warehouse party featuring an à la carte menu of small Vietnamese and Chinese plates. The former includes items such as pho cuon and pho cuon chay (beef or mushroom pho rolls), bap xao (butter-braised corn with dried shrimp), and xoi ga (claypot chicken with sticky rice), while the latter is repped by turnip cakes, Chinese long beans with housemade XO sauce, tea eggs, and salt and pepper prawns. Since the exact location is an old-school rave-style secret until Sunday, it's best to procure tickets in advance.

Buy tickets via Eventbrite

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

San Francisco's Top 10 Dim Sum Restaurants

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Pan-fried chive dumplings - W. BLAKE GRAY
  • W. Blake Gray
  • Pan-fried chive dumplings

What better way to spend a weekend morning than over dim sum? Waitresses keep offering you tidbits of pork and shrimp, your endless pot of tea gets refilled without asking if you leave the lid up (there's a veteran tip), and at almost every place on this list, six people can eat until you're bored, full or both for less than $20 a person.

San Francisco ain't Hong Kong or Singapore, but for dim sum outside of Chinese-speaking metropoli, we've got it pretty good. A couple months ago SFoodie brought a wine writer from New York to one of our favorite places and he said, "Wow, we don't have dim sum like this," and not because we made him eat chicken feet. Though when you get to number 5 on this list, we strongly suggest that you do.

The best dim sum in San Francisco is not found in Chinatown. Instead, look north of Golden Gate Park, although top spots are found as far afield as Daly City. And a warning to vegetarians, as well as people persnickety about service: You'll be happiest at the places with the fewest Chinese diners. Because for the rest of us, the best way to find a new favorite dish is to not ask questions, but point at it and dig in.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

River Side Seafood Restaurant: Good Enough if You're Nearby

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Pea sprout & white nuts in broth - PHOTOS BY W. BLAKE GRAY
  • Photos by W. Blake Gray
  • Pea sprout & white nuts in broth

Whenever we hear of a dim sum restaurant -- heck, any restaurant -- that has people milling around outside waiting to get in, we're intrigued.

Such is the case on Sundays at River Side Seafood Restaurant. If you don't get there well before noon, you're going to wait, unless you're a party of two.

It's not a huge room: there are 14 round tables, three booths, and exactly one table for two. Not many couples go to dim sum, apparently, at least on the southern edge of the Sunset. So we waltzed right in, past at least half a dozen large groups.

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