We just finished a too short visit for a family wedding.
Each of three mornings began with Stockton Street environs To Go Dim Sum.
First up was Good Mong Kok, the line out the door bakery with the great bacony cookies, good sticky rice, vg dumplings and excellent sui mai. From there, a wander down the street to Wing Sing where a crowd attracted our attention. Wing Sing delivered vg pot stickers and more dumplings.
On the second day I was alone. I walked up Clay Street from down by the water and started at You's, definitely the price performer of all places tried. As before, what drew me in was the crowd. Point, choose. The dumplings with handmade wrappers were all very good. Not surprisingly, those with machine made rice wrappers suffered in all respects. Pot stickers were doughy but good.
Then pot stickers redux at Wing Sing. Man cannot live by dumplings alone, however, and I walked along jonesing for BBQ. At a store that was busy, where the roast pig was$5.99 per pound--$2 more than the cheapest I had seen--I grabbed a half pound and ate it on the street.
Teetering now, I stumbled down Jackson St. I looked in an out of several places but finally, Delicious Dim Sum drew me in. One sticky rice and one Mustard Green/Green Chive/Shrimp round dumpling was all I could manage. The sticky rice was clean tasting and well composed. The round dumpling was more--it was perfect. Great interplay of flavors with a delicate thin fresh rice flour skin. Golden Gate Bakery was out of egg custard tarts, but their chocolate cookies were insanely good and intense with dark chocolate chips set into a crisp cookie.
Day three, I led nine wedding guests--mostly dim sum virgins, on a tour. At You's I could hardly keep them from ordering the whole store. We then proceeded to Good Mong Kok and Wing Sing. It was difficult, but I managed to focus the majority of purchases at Delicious Dim Sum. And they were all either vg or excellent. Too, Delicious Dim Sum had far and away the best packaging. Lovely pink bakery boxes for your selections held together with pink ribbon.
The most lasting lesson of the three day To Go Dim Sum event was this: every place has its strengths and its weaknesses. Nothing can be assumed. No one place can be crowned 'the best'. One must look, observe and act with confidence and full knowledge that with a fifty cent per dumpling price of admission, there are no really bad choices. Watch which stores are busy. Keep pointing at the stacked up trays and ask to see what is in them. Watch what comes out of the kitchen fresh. Very soon you will learn to tell by observation the difference between machine made wrappers and hand made wrappers. Once you do, you are three quarters of the way home.
Poc Chuc. Post wedding dinner for ten. A totally class act from start to finish. Tamales coloso pork and chicken and poc chuc were the big winners. Lamb stew was bland, rather British in fact. Roast chicken was another one to reorder. Flan was sweet but very well made, as were the hand made tortillas. Our hosts were doubtful about the neighborhood, but walking from the 16th street and Mission BART was little different than walking around Brooklyn.
Old Jerusalem. Excellent parsley intense falafel. Good kibbee. Ok chicken and lamb kabobs. VG baba ganoujh and good hummes. Good tabouleh and yogurt salad.
Humphrey Slocumbe. Terrific. I just wish that they weren't sold out of chocolate. Not only chocolate ice cream but hot fudge too. Apparently the superb weather that day just cleaned them out.
So thank you SF hounds for all your past posts. They were helpful beyond measure. You led us to Good Mong Kok, and from there Chinatown reached out and embraced us.
Delicious Dim Sum
Good Mong Kok