Where in San Francisco did I eat dim sum in the early 1990s?
July 14, 2011 11:44 PM   Subscribe

Help me find the San Francisco Dim Sum restaurant of my childhood memories. Barring that, what is a decent weekday morning dim sum option in or near Chinatown?

I visited this restaurant sometime in the early 90s. The only thing I remember about it was that it was definitely in Chinatown, was a sit-down restaurant, and it was both huge and packed -- a sign on the wall said it had a seating capacity of 1000 or thereabouts. I remember our whole family discussing this remarkable number. I believe it may have had 2 floors of diners. Two dishes that I still remember: some kind of large folded noodle dish filled with chicken, and sesame buns filled with red bean paste.

I'm sure it may not have been the most authentic or best dim sum in SF, but I really enjoyed it. If anyone knows what the restaurant may have been and if it's still offers the same quality, please let me know!

Otherwise, I'm looking to have dim sum tomorrow morning in or near Chinatown. I'm aware that, as in many cities, the best Chinese food is now far from the city center, but as the city center is where I'll be, I need the best I can get in Chinatown or thereabouts.
posted by Deathalicious to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
New Asia Chinese Restaurant
posted by marais at 12:15 AM on July 15, 2011

Hmmm. I've never been to New Asia, but your description could be of my preferred dim sum place, Gold Mountain Restaurant on Broadway. It's enormous (three floors).
posted by trip and a half at 12:34 AM on July 15, 2011

That does sound like Gold Mountain perhaps, which is enormous. It's also possible you're thinking of Yank Sing, which isn't in Chinatown, but used to be located in the Financial District very near to Chinatown and had a two-story dining room at that location. They've since moved further away from Chinatown and have two locations, but is still incredibly packed and delicious.

It is also possible that you're remembering one of the dim sum places out on Clement St., as there are a couple multi-story ones there. The neighborhood there does "look" like a Chinatown in some respects (Chinese language signs, restaurants, etc...), but it's a good three-four miles away from Chinatown, doesn't attract tourists, and lacks the souvenir stands and packed alleys of Chinatown.

Personally, I have a soft spot for Yank Sing. It's a decent bit more expensive than others, but is also commonly regarded as some of the best dim sum available outside of Hong Kong. If you're looking to save a few bucks, there are many delicious choices, but if you want the best, you can't go wrong with Yank Sing. If you do decide to go, I'd call ahead for a reservation, as it gets crowded and being on the list can help you get seated quicker. All this talk is making me starving for some good dim sum, and I happen to have just started working across the street from Yank Sing's Stevenson St. location, so now you might just find me there tomorrow! Enjoy your lunch and your trip.
posted by zachlipton at 2:47 AM on July 15, 2011

I thought all the Dim Sum was in the new Chinatown now, along Clement Street -- but seating for 1000 sounds more like something you could have found in the original Chinatown, back in the day.
posted by Rash at 8:37 AM on July 15, 2011

Well I'm at Golden Mountain now and it definitely isn't the place I went to. The place I went had two floors. The dim sum is perfectly fine, though.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:56 AM on July 15, 2011

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