I'd been disgruntled about dim sum options lately. China Pearl left me cold -- literally -- as I'd choked down one too many gummy dumplings there. Chau Chow City smells strange, and the filth of the bathrooms made me wonder what the kitchen might look like. I loved Gitlo's -- and was sad to see it close. Hei Lei Moon had been my go-to, but slowly that too began to disappoint (especially after a few visits to Sunset Park in Brooklyn, where I found delicious, hot, fresh, varied dim sum at East Harbor). We'd been going to China Pearl Woburn simply for convenience's sake. It was *ok* but not wonderful.
Last weekend, out-of-town chums suggested we try Hei Lei again. So we went. It was raucous, wild, frenzied, and delicious. Shrimp noodles were marvelous -- pillowish and melty. Had absolutely delicious clams in black bean sauce, riddled with garlic. I sopped up the sauce with pork buns -- some of the most flavorful I've had in recent memory. Chive dumplings, shrimp dumplings, sesame balls, chicken feet--all went quickly.
The place was absolutely jammed with hungry people, and the cart-wielders moved quickly and cheerily. Miraculously, we waited a mere 15 minutes for a seat. My one complaint was the tea -- maybe we didn't know which type to request. It was extremely tepid and weak.
I'm happy that Hei Lei Moon was such a wonderful experience. We even paid to park (and we Swanks are a parsimonious bunch), but it was well worth the $10!!
Chau Chow City
81 Essex St, Boston, MA 02111
China Pearl Restaurant
288 Mishawum Rd, Woburn, MA 01801