We recently heard from our friend Francis Lam, a connoisseur of Chinese food who had some intriguing things to say in response to our post on the wooing of Chinatown Brasserie's Joe Ng by Bensonhurst restaurateurs.
"Frankly speaking, the dim sum I know of in the city just doesn't match up to the best stuff in Hong Kong and Vancouver. What you can get in those and other places is much more in line with Joe Ng's work at Chinatown Brasserie, which I would definitely call head and shoulders above anything else here. (Secretly, I'm glad he's being headhunted back to a Chinese community in Brooklyn, where it will be more affordable and the product turnover will be higher.)"
Okay, Francis. So where do you get decent dim sum in the city?
"The turnover of cooks here in New York is so ridiculous [that] a place can vary wildly week to week. Still, here are some places where I've had good experiences: HSF on the Bowery (where I've had really good and really mediocre food), Ping's Seafood on Mott, or Sweet and Tart in Flushing. Here's one tip: I have heard that the Golden Unicorn on East Broadway is making a serious comeback — when it opened 20 years ago, it was the acknowledged champion of dim sum in a city where the Chinese middle and leisure class still came to Chinatown in droves, and the market demanded old-world quality. It went far downhill, but now I'm told that they're back on their game."
Could this example, we wonder, signal a New York City dim sum renaissance? We can't help but coyly suggest that it does.