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Monday, 09 February 2009

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Sandy

My goodness, what a zoo! But thank you for the write-up; now I will know what to expect when I get the nerve to try the place.

The monstrosity called the House Special Bun is called a Big Bao (literally). I think its size makes it hard to not have a soggy bottom.

What does the $1.39 banner say? (Drat these places that only Chinese on their signs).

Passionate Eater

You done made me depressed anyway Kirk, those prices (SD and SGV) are both WAY under the SF prices... And we still have the "pushy elderly grandparents" to deal with!

Carol

That's it, I have to pop over now during an "early" lunch to pick up some dim sum. Thanks for the heads up on the ins-and-outs of the place. Wish I could take my Mom with me cuz she could elbow with the best of them. Huh, she's even been known to bring dim-sum waiters to brink of tears with her fierceness!

Liz

It is chaos in the San Gabriel one too. The banner says each plate of dim sum is $1.39. Luckily I had a late lunch, or I might head over there now.

clayfu

I've gone twice so far, be still my cheap chinese heart.. the amount of food you get for under $20 is astounding.

But you're absolutely right about timing, sometimes the food is cold.. sometimes it's excellent!

Dennis

Thanks for the post Kirk, I'm glad I waited.. :) I will definitely look for what looks the freshest but the Shrimp Shumai is on top of my list!

Denver

Thanks for the write-up! Yeah, I've swung by the place twice but saw it was a zoo (plus the language barrier doesn't help), so I went elsewhere. This makes it easier. I'll probably just use the sheet and mark what I want. I wish they had signs near the food. Ah well. The food looks good!

Kirk

Hi Sandy - They now have numbers....but no one seems to use them! I've emailed you a copy of the menu.

Hi PE - Really. I used to remember some really inexpensive stuff in Chinatown.

Hi Carol - I just picked-up some chicken feet fot the Missus tonight!

Hi Liz - Yes, it gets crazy there....but this is pretty unique for San Diego. I must say the workers here are much nicer than those in the SGV. But it is even less organized.

Hi Clayfu - You spent $20 here? That could feed a small army. The Missus and I still have not spent more than $12.....and we were stuffed silly.

Hi Dennis - You'll have no problem...everything is there for you to look at. Plus they'll never give you what's stacked on top. That's only for display purposes.

Hi Denver - I'd suggest just getting up there and pointing at what you want.....the ladies have always been really nice with me. Say "take -out" or "for here", and start pointing. You'll do fine...plus it is quite cheap.

kat

after all those yum cha photos, I may have to find some for lunch tomorrow :)

Kirk

Hi Kat - Great! I know you'll do a post on it.

Kirbie

What a great detailed post. Thank you so much! I have recently come across this food blog, and it is now my food bible, which I have been reading obsessively!

After reading your first post on yum cha, I couldn't wait for your second one, and went to check it out for myself last Sunday. It was definitely chaotic, which was expected given that it was a Sunday. At first, I had no idea what to do. Then I saw the numbering system and was searching frantically for the ticket machine to pull a number. Luckily, I then ran into someone who had been to yum cha a few times. I asked her how it worked and she told me the numbers are basically just decoration and that they have been stuck on the same number for the past half hour. Sure enough, for the hour and a half I was there, the number was stuck at "54".

The cheap prices and decent tasting food is definitely worth fighting my way into the disorganization of the place. I managed to spend $35, but that's only because I ordered almost one of every fried/dessert item. (And there are a lot!) They looked so yummy, I wanted to try them all. It was still a huge savings though. I take my siblings and their significant others out to eat every weekend and it gets costly. Normally dim sum is +$100. So to see only $35, I was nearly weeping with joy.

rob

Hey Kirk, nice post. What are their hours and when do you suggest as a good time to go?

madi

This place has pretty good dim sum. They are worth fighting for. You seriously have to be ready to fight your way to the counter.

Kirk

Hi Kirbie - Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it. You spent $35....how on earth did you do that? I could get a whole roast duck, 1lb roast pork, and maybe 10-12 orders of dim sum..... I'm glad you thought the food was worth the effort. Thanks again, and don't be a stranger.

Hi Rob - They are open 8 to 8 daily. I've had the best luck at about 830am on weekends. By late afternoon most of the good Chinese BBQ is almost gone, and I've had the worst luck then. On weekdays, right after the morning market rush, and right before the lunch rush, maybe 10-1030?

Hi Madi - the one good thing is that everyone has been really nice.

foodhoe

looks like a cool spot, I have been overwhelmed at the walk up dim sum counters and this sounds extremely hardcore! but what do you expect for those prices... I'm lazy and prefer the places that bring the stuff to your table on the carts

Kirk

Hi FH - This one is easier, mainly because the ladies are really nice.....

Gastronomer

It's incredible how the food looks just like the SGV location. Is Jasmine tops in your dim sum book. It is in mine ;-)

Kirk

Hi G - It'd hard to say....Dim Sum in San diego is very inconsistent.

Minh

The Dim Sum in San Diego is extremely inconsistent, you never know what you gonna get... This place however is quite consistent (they do not make it in the store, it's made somewhere else and deliver there in the morning in a very large truck, they probably cook n keep it warm at the location).

I eat here quite often (most of the time it's quick fix) prices are quite cheap.

Just a few notes for those that wanna come and try.
1) anything with a har gow wrap (white clear wrap) is no good, the wrap is very hard to make (the right way), and in no shape or form suppose to be suspend over hot steamy water for that long (they melt). go for the yellow wrap, those are just regular siu mai wrap and they fare much better in steamy water.
2) Get the small buns, the large buns soak up alot of the moisture from the steamy water, they get soggy after a while.
3) The pork steamed with black bean is quite good :)
4) They have the 3 BBQ items combo with rice + pickled vegies for less than 5 dollars, it's really cheap.
5) the fried food section isn't very good, they're greasy, order 1 and try it with 2 more friends is about right, it's very hard to gobble all that grease down in 1 session.

And ofcourse just jump in and try to get your order in, it's a jungle there during peak time :).

Minh

When I said cheap, it's really cheap. you can get 12-15 items for less than 30 bucks. No chance pulling this off in jasmine or emerald or any dim sum restaurant.

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