Boston area dim sum

We don’t appear to have a dedicated thread on this, yet, and it’s time.

I’ll start the ball rolling by saying we had excellent dim sum at Shangri La (in Belmont, for the person who does not know) recently.

  • Steamed red bean bun (steamed from a frozen state, but tasty nevertheless).
  • Sweet soy milk, with a cruller (“Chinese fried dough”).
  • Boiled dumpling in hot sauce: Thin-skinned pork dumplings on a bed of spouts, sitting in a pool of hot sauce. Very good.
  • Steamed vegetable ravioli: Greens and tofu in a thin-skinned cover, with dipping sauce of finely slivered ginger in vinegar. Very, very good.
  • Steamed Taiwanese sweet rice in bamboo leaves: Don’t know why they call it “sweet rice”, but this was an excellent rendition of `rice-in-leaves’ with peanuts, sausage, bits of pork, etc.
  • Five spiced sesame beef in scallion pancake: The virtually greaseless, flaky, crisp pancake stole the show.
  • Fried steamed layered bun: Slightly sweet dough folded over and over, steamed, then fried; the exterior was crisp, the inside layered (as promised) and the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.

Cost, before tip, $31 and change. Three of us ate there, and left full.


Yum, that all sounds delicious. Used to be a long wait for tables for their dim sum, was that your experience?

great idea for a thread! I’ve opined before that Boston area dim sum tends to be generally good in spots but not great anywhere. But there’s places to go. I really like Shangri La too, and I am also a big fan of the beef pancake thing. I also think that the turnip cake here is aces and the cold tendon dish there is really good. Have had a fair pig ear salad here as well.

If I’m eating dim sum downtown, Winsor Dim Sum is my fave–though I admit I haven’t comparison crawled for a bit. Hei La Moon on the fringes has its uses, though–the dim sum is average, but if you have a large party and/or small, wailing children in your party it can be fine. I always tell friends with babies to go here–it’s total cacophony with ok dumplings and clams in black bean sauce.

Also have to put in a plug for Sun Kong in Malden, where generally I’d rather go than anywhere downtown. The parking is easy, the dim sum is competent if not outstanding. Sometimes can be uneven but the atmosphere is good, the salt and pepper shrimp have great flavor and the durian puffs are awesome. Can get jammed on weekends, but that’s what you want to see, right?


I’ll be following this thread - haven’t been to enough places to contribute that much. Curious too, which places (if any) are a la carte versus roaming steam carts …

But ShangriLa I’ve been to also - some of our go to items have been (I keep a list on my phone)

29 sesame beef in crispy pancake
16 pan fried pork bun
41 stir fried rice vermicelli
32 turnip cake
39 Taiwanese fried noodle
46 beef noodle soup
35 minced pork rice
26 boiled dumpling in hot sauce.

Edit: 41 39 and 35 aren’t anything unusual or particularly interesting but we like a few more neutral notes on the table when experimenting.

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Went 2:07 ish on Sunday, and there was no wait.

I’d heard about the lines and the waits, too, and that’s why I’d avoided dim sum there till now. But, we were in the area that day, and decided to drive by. We were lucky: there was a parking spot and there were three available tables.

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I don’t know if 39, the Taiwanese fried noodle, is the same as the Taiwanese noodle(s) on the dinner menu. The dinner ones are, although simple, surprisingly sensational (how’s that for alliteration), with fantastic “wok hei” (char) most times. (We’ve had it, at a conservative estimate, over 200 times – really.)

Yong Yong in Malden is my favorite, partly because you order ala carte. Food is cheaper during the week. Food is generally good, haven’t had anything outstanding, but nothing bad either. The jellyfish needed more garlic, it was bland. On street parking and they also have their own lot. There is also free parking across the street after the metered spaces.
The food at Sun Kong is good, parking can be iffy. You have no idea what the items cost until they stamp your ticket.
Ming’s Seafood Malden. Same issues as Sun king.
Ibasaw doesn’t do dim sum anymore.

We like to go to Shangri La as well; the wait was never too long, but we can just kill some time looking at the goodies at Eastern Lamejun if we had to. In addition to the items @fooddabbler already mentioned, we like their Gua Bao (steamed bun with pork) and pork/mustard green noodle soup as well.

And to copy over what I wrote in anther post:
As an alternative of Windsor since it’s always packed, we like Great Taste Bakery. It fills up quickly too but it doesn’t hurt to check if you are willing to share table. Great Taste has a deep fried turnip cake triangle dish with XO sauce; absolutely satisfying when it’s done right with a crackling crust and some hoisin sauce (ask the waitress for it). I also like the egg yolk bun that has a runny egg-y custard center; it’s a popular dim-sum item in HK but surprisingly rare in Boston Chinatown.

On the other hand, Windsor has a great stir-fry turnip cake with xo sauce (and chinese leeks and bean sprouts) that’s not on other menus - it’s hard to say which turnip cake dish I like more but either is better than the plain pan-fried slices (in my opinion).


Yes we often do a Shangri La / Eastern Lamejun double run as well at dinner time. Going there early for dinner (5:30 to 6) always guarantees a table, we’ve found. EL is closed on Sunday, though, so you cannot do the combo with Sunday dim sum.

Winsor Dim Sum in Chinatown is a la carte.

Great Taste and Bubor Cha Cha too.

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I always call it sticky rice" and then people think I’m talking about sushi rice. Sticky rice, which has nothing to do with sushi or rice cookers, is low in amylose and high in amylopectin. Some people call it “glutinous rice” and then people either think it contains gluten, or point out that rice doesn’t contain gluten. So they call it “sweet rice” which is a pretty common name, but it’s not sweet. The whole thing is a lose-lose.

Mulan has an excellent sticky rice sausage, and Winsor (still my favorite dim sum after the place in Allston closed) makes an amazing pan fried sticky rice cake.


New to me, what are these?

Interesting where I come across new items. I found a few things in Columbus, Ohio recently that I hadn’t seen before. They also have a dongbei restaurant with at least a dozen things you don’t see on the menu at the allegedly dongbei Golden Mountain, but I haven’t had more than a taste of their menu, a spicy crispy potato dish that was excellent.

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Okay as an ex-Columbus resident. Where on earth was this?

I can’t speak to Sun Kong’s version, which is the one passing_thru praised, but they’re generally durian flavored custard in flaky, shell-like pastry.

Thanks for the primer on sticky/glutinous/sweet rice. I always think of it as “sticky rice” myself.

fooddabbler is right on the durian flavored custardy filling, but at Sun Kong the outside isn’t flaky buy more chewy and soft. Also kind of psychedelic green!

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I don’t know if I’d order that based on the pic.

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haha. to each their own. I liked them!

North High Street.

There’s also a dim sum place where I found a couple of new to me items, and a third place I can’t remember that had a pretty interesting menu. I found all of these on Yelp.

That sure is a pretty color! Just like my old del Sol. And I bet that’s sticky rice flour!

If this place is still around when I get back to town, I’m going to have to try them.