This restaurant was recommended to us by a local who was working at the California Welcome Center at Pier 39. We had asked for a good place for dim sum in China Town that wasn’t touristy and he mentioned that he remembered going here as a child. Although the service was not great (reason for the 4), the food was very good and we enjoyed the experience. Tips:
- When you enter, they will put your name on a list and give you a ticket with a number written on it. They will call out this number when your table is ready. To the left they have tables for 2 and 4 and to the right the larger group tables. After waiting about 20 minutes, we were able to get our requested table for 4.
- They bring a pot of hot tea and each person who pours a cup is charged $1.30. In our party, I was the only one who drank it but since we poured everyone a cup, we were charged $5.30. I was expecting this as I’ve been to plenty of Asian countries. It tasted just like normal Chinese tea. They did not offer sugar, sweetener, iced water, or any other drink. There is a refrigerated case at the front that had soft drinks in it, so we could have ordered one, but my family insisted to me that they were fine (I was actually a little parched during the meal). When I looked around the restaurant, no one had another drink on the table, no water, no nothing — they were just drinking the hot tea.
- You are given a Sharpie and one plastic menu for your table with pictures of most of the food items when you are seated (there are extra printed takeout menus with the same items at the front of the restaurant). The items are listed in English and Chinese. The food is not described on the menu, but we had no problems ordering from the names and pictures. You just mark how many of each item you want and then place the menu on the edge of the table (at least that is what we did). Most people in the restaurant appeared to be speaking Chinese (both wait staff and guests) and our receipt was in Chinese.
- Don’t expect friendly service. It took a bit of effort to catch someone’s eye to indicate that we wanted to order and that we wanted them to take the menu. It seemed like the waiter kept scanning our area and missing us. Not sure if that was intentional or not.
- Once you get the order placed, it starts coming out pretty quickly. One nice service feature is that they do ask if you want the larger items cut in half, which is nice when you’re sharing a pork bun.
- The prices are very reasonable and much cheaper than what we paid for Din Tau Fung in Santa Clara. But then again, DTF’s food is also a bit better (not to mention the service).
- Be sure to check their hours before you go as their lunch hour ends at 2:30 and then they reopen for dinner. Not clear if they have the same menu for dinner or not. We probably arrived around 12:30, maybe later, and there were plenty of folks that arrived after us.
Overall, a fun authentic experience.
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