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A couple months ago, a friend joined me for a quick bite at the new Dim Sum Corner in Chinatown before a night out. Dumplings are sourced from the same commercial kitchen that supplies Koi Palace, Dragon Beaux and Palette Dim Sum. A smaller selection, and regulars of those other dim sum palaces will recognize the dumplings. They're cooked to order here. The kitchen team were trained by Koi Palace management.
Dim Sum Corner has a fast-casual model with counter service. The cashier managed to input our order and process payment, but she was unable to answer any questions I had about the food or beverages.
Since the vegetarian dumpling was the best among too many misses at Palette, I wanted to try the Farmers Dumpling, 3/$5.66. Filled with savory mushrooms and vegetables, it's not identical but still delicious with thick chewy tapioca wrappers and properly cooked here. We also ordered the Spinach Seafood Dumpling with spicy sauce, 5/$6.66, and these continue to please.
The BBQ Pork Scissor Cut Noodles, $12.99, were irregular in width, toothsome and infused with slightly sweetened umami-packed soy sauce. The prep included plenty of wok charred cabbage and thick strips of sweet peppers, yet not so much BBQ pork in evidence. A taste delight though on the small side, but it's not quite as advertised.
One big disappointment is that it's not possible to order a pot of hot tea for two people to share. Further, only disposable cups are provided. Eating dim sum in the evening already violated one held fast cultural tradition, and I'm even more loathe to abandon tea service with my meal. A tea bag in a paper cup does not work for me.
Dim Sum Corner executed the food better than my recent visit to Palette Tea House. It delivers a premium culinary product with a minimum of service and atmosphere. In the labor-short San Francisco Bay Area, this is what our future holds.
Dim Sum Corner
601 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA
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