Tuesday, September 6, 2011

China Pearl: Dim Sum in Boston

Usually when I go to eat dim sum in Boston, I go to Hei La Moon, but when I told my friend they served chicken feet she got some cold feet of her own about going to try dim sum there. I had gotten recommendations to go to China Pearl from some of my non-Asian friends for dim sum. I wasn't sure if that meant it was going to be less authentic, but I thought I'd give it a try. I was very pleased to find out that, while I didn't see any chicken feet, this place was still very authentic. (Just to explain my criteria for authenticity, since I am no dim sum expert, there was a waiting line at the door and we were among the very few non-Asians here. Seems to be a huge hit with the folks in Chinatown for weekend brunch.)

I felt that the options here were much more varied then Hei La Moon (despite the lack of chicken feet on the particular day that I went). They had a huge variety of dumplings! 

I loved this pork dish, but my friend did not. Actually, it is very reminiscent of something I'd eat at an American style Chinese restaurant, but I loved the fact that it was served cold, which seemed to be the main deterrent against this dish for my friend. It reminded me of when I was in Nanjing and got some Chinese style roast beef served cold... also a big deterrent for the boyfriend as well. I guess people don't like cold meat. I, on the other hand, love it! 

This one was a bit luke warm and I don't think it was supposed to be. But, despite this, it was still fine (again, not being hot doesn't bother me) but it would have been better if we had gotten it hot off the frier.

But the best part of the meal was the steamed buns. I have searched everywhere for steamed buns since I was in Hong Kong (yea yea, I know the convenience stores serve them in Korea, but for some reason I'm kinda weirded out by anything cooked by a convenience store). These things were no where in sight at Hei La Moon, and unfortunately these babies came by just as we were finishing our meal and were feeling stuffed, but I had missed them so much I had to grab them. And oh were they good!

Overall I think I actually liked China Pearl better than Hei La Moon, although I think everyone should go there once for the experience. I found that nearly every dumpling at Hei La Moon had shrimp in it, where as here, though they had a lot of shrimp filled dumplings, they also had a lot of other options as well. I also saw some amazing tofu that I wanted to try, but there was just too much, it was impossible to get everything. Prices here were decent I'd say. We got these four dishes plus several others and the bill came to $27.00 for the two of us. Not bad I think! Anyone out there have an idea how to tip in these places? I feel like whatever I left on the table probably didn't go to the ladies walking around with the food carts.

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