Congee Dim Sum House - Chinatown (Manhattan)

Congee Bowery has rebranded, and is now serving pretty much its old menu, with the addition of 37 dim sum dishes. I went with a party of nine today, and the food was at worst respectable, and at best very good. But its real advantage is that it takes reservations, and it’s huge and uncrowded. The main floor - of three - was full, so we were the only party seated upstairs, which made me nervous that the service would be inattentive (as Yelp complains). It was not. Dishes came out fast and furious, and the servers were never far away.

The very good: watercress and shrimp dumplings, tofu/vegetable roll. The shrimp in these rolls were noticeably better than those in the har gow, and in the shrimp rice rolls, I think because they were properly cooked. The dumplings were well made and didn’t tear or fall apart. And this version of a tofu/vegetable roll was one of the better ones I’ve had, since the vegetables were distinct, as opposed to one big mush, like usual.

The pretty good: har gow, mushroom spring rolls, shrimp rice roll, vegetable rice roll, fish ball. No one liked the fish ball but me, but trust me, it’s pretty good. Everyone was very mistrustful of them because they are, of course, basically gefilte fish. I guess I’m also the only one who likes gefilte fish. And I can live with that. Oh, and there was Chinese broccoli. It was fine. We felt there should be a vegetable.

Stuff that other people liked that I didn’t eat: pork soup dumplings, barbecued pork buns, piggy lava buns, pineapple buns. Our coconut pudding aficionado was gravely disappointed that the restaurant was out, but we did get some mooncake - happy mid-Autumn festival!

No pix, unfortunately, because we are a swarm of locusts.