As lunar new year celebrations unfold across the Bay Area this month, food is always part of the festivities — and we have a great weakness for dim sum. Alameda food writer Carolyn Phillips, author of “The Dim Sum Field Guide” (Ten Speed Press, 2016), suggests that you begin your dim sum foray with tea. Order steamed dumplings first, then add pan-fried dumplings, roasted dishes, deep-fried items and finally sweets.
Hungry yet? Here’s where to get your dim sum fix in San Francisco’s Chinatown and points beyond.
Great Eastern Restaurant
Tuck into this Chinatown tea house — which counts President Barack Obama as a fan — for a sit-down meal. Try the savory deep-fried minced meat turnovers ($3.80) and earthy eggplant ($4.50), stuffed with shrimp paste ($4.50).
Details: Dim sum is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily at 649 Jackson St., San Francisco; www.greateasternsf.com.
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Pick up translucent shrimp dumplings ($2.10) and steamed B.B.Q. Buns ($1.10), bursting with sweet barbecued pork, at this popular Chinatown spot for dim sum to-go.
Details: Open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. daily for takeout. Cash only. 1039 Stockton St., San Francisco; 415-397-2688.
When President Bill Clinton visited San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1996, he ordered the Lotus Moon Cakes ($6.25). But we crave the melt-in-your mouth sesame balls ($1.25), filled with sweet black-sesame paste and served piping hot.
Details: Open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m daily at 720 Grant Ave., San Francisco; www.easternbakery.com.
Peony Seafood Restaurant
The steamed dumplings at Oakland’s Peony Seafood Restaurant are terrific. (Courtesy of Mary Orlin)
Place your order for dumplings, rice noodles or roasted crispy-skin pork (weekends only) and they’ll arrive at your table via that iconic dim-sum cart. This tea house’s specialty is savory stuffed Truffle Mushroom Buns ($5.68), which resemble large mushroom caps.
Details: Dim sum is served from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekends at 388 Ninth Street, Oakland; www.peony388.com.
Koi Palace’s steamer baskets arrive at tables via dim-sum carts. (Courtesy of Mary Orlin)
Ever since this Daly City dim sum parlor opened in 1996, Koi Palace has become a Bay Area favorite with locations in Milpitas and Dublin, too. Don’t miss the Instagram-worthy Five Guys XLB ($9.90), a sampler of delicate soup-filled dumplings, including pork, spinach-kale, beet, turmeric crab and squid-ink black truffle.
Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle