After the great dim sum experience at East Ocean in Alameda, I've been trying to locate a similar calibre dim sum restaurant closer to the Castro Valley/Hayward area. My girl friend's family eats at the Oriental Tea House almost every Saturday, so I had high hopes about it (on MacArthur Blvd right off of 580). . . dashed.
We stopped by a bit after the lunch rush, so maybe that's the source of the glitch, but first off, NO steam/push carts? I know I'm a complete neophyte about this whole dim sum thing, but I love picking and choosing from the dishes that pass my way. Especially, as I haven't a clue about what's fun and flavorful. Instead, we were given a typed list of the dishes offered and a pencil to mark our choices. Is this typical?
Well, I got over my total intimidation factor (this being only my second time AND I was only with my 13 year old niece so I had no back up there). We ordered the sui mai(1.60/plate), the steamed BBQ pork buns (1.60/plate), the steamed Spareribs in black bean sauce (1.60/plate), the egg rolls (1.60/plate), shrimp dumplings (2.50/plate), pot stickers (2.50/plate) and sponge cake (1.60/plate). All of the dishes came out either cold, or old, or both. To make matters worse, we couldn't help looking around and seeing lots of good looking food -- steaming plates, bright veggies & more unusual choices -- and very happy diners around the rest of the large room.
The meal was only 14.00 without tip, but I wouldn't come back. At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, could the rotten food (and bad service to boot) have been because my niece and I are not Asian? Or did my pathetically uninspired food choices kill the deal. Or both?
Any other suggestions about where to find some fabulous dim sum east of Oakland? I appreciate any thoughts.