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Restaurants & Bars 2

New Dim Sum Truck in Napa

Piperdown | Sep 30, 2010 11:07 PM

Went today to Dim Sum Charlie's which is an airstream trailer located in the construction site between soscol and oxbow. I think they're still in their soft opening stage, with their official opening occurring this weekend. They sell a wide variety of dumplings, and other dim sum offerings (although with non-traditional names), and state that they only use organic and sustainable products. I sampled quite a few of their offerings, and it's definitely the best Dim Sum in Napa....but then it's the only Dim Sum in Napa.

Overall the quality of the dumplings were quite good, but not great. Having grown up in Toronto and Vancouver I know what great Dim Sum can be, and this doesn't even measure up to the best places in San Francisco, which wouldn't be such an issue if their prices were a little more reasonable. That being said, it was good, and I'd happily go back and eat it again...and probably again, there just isn't any other place in Napa to get dumplings of this quality.

Some of their offerings included:

Sui Mai (Beef, pork, or chicken): I had the pork, and it was pretty tasty, with a good texture

Country Shrimp Almighty (Their version of Har Gow I guess): Shrimp as a bit rubbery, but the seasoning and flavor was good

Pork Rice Noodle Snotty: This is comparable to the long wobbly slippery noodle dish at dim Sum Places (name escapes me): This I did not like, texture was weird, and flavor just not great, but then I usually don't like these normally, but my friend wanted to try them.

BBQ Pork buns: They have both baked and steamed (although their baked also seemed to be steamed?). The Steamed buns, which they call the white fluffy, was really good. The filling was nice, with good flavor and not too much sweetness surrounded by a great dough that was soft and the right amount of chew. The Honey baked pork bun was OK, the honey and filling together made for too sweet a bun.

They also had sticky rice stuffed with pork sausage, chicken and scallops wrapped in lotus leaves. They was pretty tasty as well, and one of the better versions of this dish I've had (and this dish can be done very poorly).

The only real downsides was the wait and the price. Again, this was a soft-opening, and apparently there was a twitter event there, so the wait was crazy (around 40-50 minutes). As a cook I know what it's like to get killed on line, and this was was being killed big time. For this reason I can forgive the wait, and in talking to some others that had been before, the typical wait time is usually 5-10 minutes.

The prices though are just way too much for dumplings, especially from a trailer that must have pretty low over head. The prices range from $5-6.85 for 3-4 dumplings (or 2 buns), and that seems even more then what Yank Sing charges. The price is the only thing that would keep me from coming back often, but it's great to finally have a place in napa to get some tasty Dim Sum

Yank Sing
49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

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