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Triangle Dim Sum Summary

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Triangle Dim Sum Summary

David A. | Aug 15, 2005 11:45 AM

In anticipation of Jujube's grand opening, I thought I would summarize the dim sum status quo in the Triangle. As far as I know, only three restaurants serve dim sim: Neo China in Cary, China One in Durham, and Hong Kong Restaurant in Durham. These restaurants are roughly comparable, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.

China One has the best food and most interesting variety, but the service is sluggish and chaotic, and food often arrives cold. You may have to wait in line -- a tribute to the food, but also an annoyance if you happen to arrive late. The restaurant itself is slightly down at the heels.

Neo China is extremely spiffy. Service is prompt and friendly and professional (all waiters are equipped with walkie talkies!), but the food seems subtly toned down for Western eaters. Not much to surprise or excite the dim sum veteran, but a pleasant dining experience.

Hong Kong is a dump, but the food arrives hot and service is friendly. The fried food is done extremely well -- I especially love the shrimp and taro cakes -- but the steamed food is mostly a disappointment.

I rank the three restaurants as follows (three being the highest score).

Overall Food Quality:

China One: 3
Neo China: 2
Hong Kong: 1

Food Temperature:

Hong Kong: 3
Neo China: 2
China One: 1

Service/Cart Frequency:

Neo China: 3
Hong Kong: 2
China One: 1

Food Variety/Authenticity/Novelty:

China One: 3
Hong Kong: 2
Neo China: 1

Decor:

Neo China: 3
China One: 2
Hong Kong: 1

TOTALS:

Neo China: 11
China One: 10
Hong Kong: 9

The thing to do, clearly, is to alternate between the three restaurants, as we do.

In comparison to the great dim sum houses of the north-- China Pearl in Boston or the Phoenix in Chicago -- none of these stand out, by the way. As we have Triple A baseball, so we have Triple A dim sum.

Happy eating,

David A.

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