Dim Sum at Jing Fong on Lunar New Year [Manhatten, NYC]

Shoot us, but we’ve had dim sum at JF at the lunar NY several times. It ranges from so-so to quite good. This is our experience from 2/24 :

  1. Pretty good:
  • Rice noodles with sesame, off a menu (and with undeclared squid).
  • Tiny fried fish.
  1. So-so:
    Steamed shrimp dumplings, and fried shrimp and pork dumplings – all cold, but tasty.
    Taro cakes
    Sticky rice in lotus leaves
    Roast pork
    Chicken feet
    Chow Fun with XO sauce (off menu, but XO more a hint than a presence)

I don’t know why Jing Fong is so popular. It is good, but not great. I always feel Golden Unicorn is slightly better. Again, don’t get me wrong, I do like Jing Fong.

Tim Ho Wan is the place I like to go to for dim sum in Manhattan now, but you have to go for lunch on a weekday and get there early.

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Jing Fong is a roll of the dice. I have never had anything less than decent/good dim sum, and at times really good to great. But I only go there every few years, but for more than three decades.

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To clarify, part of the attraction of Jing Fong is the drama of that long escalator ride up (when it’s my turn to MAGA, I plan to announce on an upward ride on that escalator – ascent over descent), under that spectacular chandelier, and the garish glory of that large dining room. We generally, as I said, do lunar new year there.

A few tips (which you savvy folk might already know):

  1. Go to the carts, don’t let the carts come to you. Hot dumplings emerge from the elevator region, and are loaded onto carts there. By the time a particular cart wends its way to you, the food can be cold.
  2. Visit the long steam station / food table. Pan fried dumplings are being pan fried there, as are taro and turnip cakes, and huge bundles of sticky rice in lotus leaves are steaming. You’re going to get much fresher food here.

For the record, we prefer the menu places over the cart places at other times (and I agree with Pan that Tim Ho Wan can be very good, if you can avoid the lines). But the new year is all about spectacle and JF provides that. Plus there’s the great upstairs bookstore across the street with its “Basic English for Nail Professionals” books, its “What’s up?” colloquialisms (a randomly selected page was on erectile dysfunction), and its myriad english-chinese editions of Shakespeare, and co.