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Sounds like you had a good time, Nadya!

I'd try Oriental East and New Fortune as well. MD dim sum is better than the dim sum you find in VA. Don't get me started on the dim sum I had at Dragon Star restaurant in Eden Center. Note to all: NEVER order anything Chinese in a Viet place...ai ya!

As for the old Chinese waiter commenting on your physique - you are just experiencing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Chinese unsolicited "concern"/criticism. (Hey, could've been worse - at least he didn't say you were as strong as a water buffalo...)

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We used to be regulars at Good Fortune adn then were won over by Hollywood East. Hollywood East fell into some bad habbits right after opening and we almost switched back. But our last three times at Hollywood East have been pretty fabulous. I mean scallops in the shell with cremed corn and mayonese or pork meatballs steamed in a clam shell are pretty wild stuff!

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We used to be regulars at Good Fortune adn then were won over by Hollywood East.  Hollywood East fell into some bad habbits right after opening and we almost switched back.  But our last three times at Hollywood East have been pretty fabulous.  I mean scallops in the shell with cremed corn and mayonese or pork meatballs steamed in a clam shell are pretty wild stuff!

After years of heading to New Fortune and Good Fortune, the dim sum presented to us at our JohnB-organized banquet at Hollywood East was so good that I would definitely be a convert next time I need a local dim sum fix.
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We used to be regulars at Good Fortune adn then were won over by Hollywood East.  Hollywood East fell into some bad habbits right after opening and we almost switched back.  But our last three times at Hollywood East have been pretty fabulous.  I mean scallops in the shell with cremed corn and mayonese or pork meatballs steamed in a clam shell are pretty wild stuff!

We've been regulars at all 3 at various points in time, but currently I think New Fortune in Gaithersburg is superior to Good Fortune and Hollywood East.

The restaurant is substantially larger than the other two COMBINED, and there may be twice as many items, or more, to choose from, on carts, seven days a week. That's right - they serve from carts on weekdays, too, though the selection is reduced from what you see on weekends.

There are probably individual items that are better at GF or HE. Pan-fried dumplings, inexplicably, are nothing more than mediocre at NF. But for most items, you'd be hard pressed to beat the NF standard.

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Good Fortune is well worth the drive, and Wheaton is hardly suburban...it's been it's own place since 1869.  Washington has just expanded to meet it.  :P

Wow. I had no idea. Rocks had better add GF to the top of his list of oldest DC area restaurants.

:lol:

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Wow.  I had no idea.  Rocks had better add GF to the top of his list of oldest DC area restaurants.

:lol:

Of course I meant Wheaton, and not the particular place. But you knew that, right?

I have to agree with DanielK about New Fortune. Dim sum seven days a week, and an amazing variety.

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We've been regulars at all 3 at various points in time, but currently I think New Fortune in Gaithersburg is superior to Good Fortune and Hollywood East.

I have been several times to NF. My issue there has always been service and not the food. I do like cart service during the week so that is a plus in their fvor. But HE is on my way to and from work (nothing like a 1am bowl of shrimp dumpling soup) and NF is way Way WAY out of my way.

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...The restaurant is substantially larger than the other two COMBINED, and there may be twice as many items, or more, to choose from, on carts, seven days a week. That's right - they serve from carts on weekdays, too, though the selection is reduced from what you see on weekends...

I personally prefer Oriental East for dim sum over the 3 restaurants mentioned in this thread.

In terms of restaurant size, that may not be the best factor in determining whether or not a restaurant is good for dim sum. Unless you can score a prime table near the kitchen when the carts are rolling out with fresh, hot dim sum it doesn't benefit you to be in a large restaurant. The food will loose its "wok hay" (breath of a wok) by the time if gets to you if you're unlucky enough to sit far away from the kitchen. This is compounded if the restaurant is large, a la NF.

Dim sum is not just about eating - you have to have the skills to snag a good table in a prime location and work your relationship with your waiter so they can snatch goodies off the cart for you before they're all sold out. Think of it as an intricate game of skill.

I tried explaining this to an ex-boyfriend and he just didn't understand it...then again, he dipped all his dim sum in soy sauce prior to eating it so that should've said something! :lol:

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I tried explaining this to an ex-boyfriend and he just didn't understand it...then again, he dipped all his dim sum in soy sauce prior to eating it so that should've said something!  :lol:

I tell ya...so much can be predicted about future problems by simply taking someone out to eat and observing carefully. No dessert? Hmmm. Doesn't want to give me a taste of his or take a taste of mine? Hmmm. Too prissy? Hmmm. Doom. Doooom!

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The sad, sad, sad part was he was Asian... :lol::P

But back on the topic at hand. You really need to scope out the dim sum restaurant carefully before you sit. Make sure you're seated in a good location where it's near the kitchen doors. Don't make the mistake of being on the wrong end of the loop - i.e. when the carts go BACK INTO the kitchen.

My favorite dim sum - ha gaow (crystal shrimp dumplings) and dan tat (egg tart)

Edited by Gastro888
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In terms of restaurant size, that may not be the best factor in determining whether or not a restaurant is good for dim sum. Unless you can score a prime table near the kitchen when the carts are rolling out with fresh, hot dim sum it doesn't benefit you to be in a large restaurant. The food will loose its "wok hay" (breath of a wok) by the time if gets to you if you're unlucky enough to sit far away from the kitchen. This is compounded if the restaurant is large, a la NF.

That's one advantage of weekday dim sum - with vastly fewer customers to service, the carts make the rounds more quickly. (this also means the cart contents are more likely to make a second trip, so it's not all good) I've had New Fortune's weekday dim sum quite often, and always solo. By some incredible coincidence which has nothing to do with my addiction to dim sum, my doctor's office is quite close by and my appointments with her always just happen to be scheduled right before lunchtime.

We haven't been to GF for a few years. The dim sum is very good, but the parking and the crowds are a problem. We've rarely had to wait for a table at NF, even at noon with a party of seven. I'm itching to try HE, but it would be a bit of a waste since my husband and friends rarely want to stray beyond sui mai and har gow. Sigh.

I love cheong fan and steamed spareribs. And since my friends won't touch them, I get to eat the entire order of both. Come to think of it, I like going to dim sum with my friends...

Edited by perrik
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Off topic to be sure.... but on my first date with Kay, perhaps 24 or so years ago... we went to a Jazz club to see my favorite Chicago area big band. Kay had set up a "Chance meeting" with a friend in case I turned out to be a weirdo. The friend found out I was from LA and proceeded to trash LA and everyone who ever lived there. Kay fell asleep and, in general, showed a disdain for jazz. She ordered her hamburger well done.

Post date, I shared a recap with my best friend in LA, Lorin. Lorin said to me "You hate LA too so what's the big deal? I don't like jazz and you would marry me if I let you. But do you really want to go thru life with someone who eats her hamburgers well done?!?!?

Good thing I was too smitten. These days Kay loves to eat Fiorentina served a sangue!

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Food & dating...that could be a great new thread! hee hee

Anyways, my benchmark for a good dim sum restaurant is the quality of the ha gaow. I had really good ones at Kim Phong in Montreal. They were superb!

Checklist for ha gaow:

1. Is the ha gaow piping hot and fresh from the steamer? Extra points awarded if it's got steam rising from the container when the waiter lifts the cover.

2. Is the wrapper thin, translucent YET sturdy enough to withstand being plucked from the basket by eager chopsticks? Extra points if the pleats on the ha gaow are small and fine (instead of lumpy and mishapened). Negative points if it falls apart the moment your chopsticks touch them.

3. Is the filling mostly shrimp with a bit of bamboo shoots for textural contrast? Is the filling firm and fresh? BONUS POINTS if the shrimps are deveined and in large pieces with just a bit of finely chopped bamboo shoots. Negative points if the shrimp filling is mushy, not fresh, overloaded with veggie filler - i.e., water chestnuts (ONLY SHRIMP AND BAMBOO SHOOTS IN HA GAOW!) and is too finely chopped - we're not making quenelles here, people.

Sidebar: Double negative points to your dining companion should they take said ha gaow and dip it in soy sauce without tasting it first...but I digress...

Edited by Gastro888
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I love dim sum and have been going to Good Fortune and New Fortune ever since Tung Boar closed in Wheaton. I prefer New Fortune, mainly because the place is huge and there are more choices, especially on Sunday.

When my son was about five we went to Good Fortune. The person seating us said to him "Oh little boy, you like dim sum? What is your favorite?" When my son responded "Duck feet!", the look on the man's face was priceless. :lol: About 5 minutes later, here he came, a serving of duck feet on the tray just for my son. Great duck feet btw. My wife hates duck feet, but my son and I look for it everywhere. Unfortunately, NF seldom has it on the carts when we go. GF on the other hand makes a great version.

BTW, Good Fortune is only about a 5 minute walk away from the Wheaton Metro.

Edited by dinwiddie
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When my son was about five we went to Good Fortune.  The person seating us said to him "Oh little boy, you like dim sum?  What is your favorite?"  When my son responded "Duck feet!", the look on the man's face was priceless.  :lol:   About 5 minutes later, here he came, a serving of duck feet on the tray just for my son.  Great duck feet btw.  My wife hates duck feet, but my son and I look for it everywhere.  Unfortunately, NF seldom has it on the carts when we go.  GF on the other hand makes a great version.

NF always has chicken feet on the steam table, but they usually don't offer it to non-Chinese. You have to ask for it when the steam table goes by.

I agree that duck feet are hit-and-miss. However, whenever I have a particular jonesing for something that I know they've made in the past, I just tell the waiter, and 90% of the time they bring me a fresh order in minutes.

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Since my son and I both like duck feet, it has gotten to be a running joke with us. We were in NYC at Ho Song Fook (I think that is what it is called, it's on Bowery) and the kid, who was about 11 at the time, asked the server if there were any duck feet. She went over to the steam table and ladled out about 12 of them into a bowl and brought it over. Delish. The table next to us had a Chinese family, with two kids about my son's age. The kids looked at him like he was crazy eating duck feet. But the father gave him a big grin and asked the server for some for himself.

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Since my son and I both like duck feet, it has gotten to be a running joke with us.  We were in NYC at Ho Song Fook (I think that is what it is called, it's on Bowery) and the kid, who was about 11 at the time, asked the server if there were any duck feet.  She went over to the steam table and ladled out about 12 of them into a bowl and brought it over.  Delish.  The table next to us had a Chinese family, with two kids about my son's age.  The kids looked at him like he was crazy eating duck feet.  But the father gave him a big grin and asked the server for some for himself.

Being dim sum ignorant, maybe we can have a dr.com instructional meal, what part of the duck feet do you actually eat? What is the texture like?

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Being dim sum ignorant, maybe we can have a dr.com instructional meal, what part of the duck feet do you actually eat?  What is the texture like?

Each place prepares it differently. The whole foot, usually with some leg meat, is prepared. You eat the skin and webbing. The feet are lots of bones that you just put on you plate after you have stripped them of everything edible. Sounds gross, but tastes delis.

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I'd be game for a dr instructional meal!

The whole thing with duck feet is texture - not like there's alot of meat on them there feet, ya know?

When duck feet are prepared properly, they have this ooey, gooey richness that you enjoy when you're gnawing on the bones. Myself, I like the padding in the middle of the webbing.

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I'd be game for a dr instructional meal!

A group from one of those other online boards did a trip to New Fortune about a year ago, but perhaps it's time to do it again. Maybe a Montgomery County dim sum comparo, and do NF, GF, and HE on consecutive visits?

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We could add a fifth place - Silver Fountain in Aspen Hill. I've yet to try it, but it gets favorable mention on another board.

My husband works on Sundays, and my friends are apathetic towards dim sum (they won't eat steamed spareribs, so you can guess their policy on duck feet). Meanwhile, I am thoroughly addicted - but really can't do dim sum solo anymore because I had gastric bypass surgery and have limited capacity, and thus would end up with either too many leftovers or too little variety.

In other words, I am more than ready to sign up for a dim sum comparo!

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D'OH! Good call! Completely forgot about Silver Fountain. I think they're OK. They've improved since they remodeled.

So what d'y'all like to get at dim sum? Me, I like:

Ha gaow

Steamed spareribs

Baked cha siu bao

Dan tat (egg tart)

Cheong fun (the long white "cannoli" like noodles filled with meat or shrimp)

Loh bak gaow (turnip cake)

Stuffed peppers with black bean sauce

Deep fried crab/shrimp balls

Tripe

Cha siu sow (Flaky pastry filled with Chinese roast pork. Yum!)

And if they have them - lap cheong bao (baked buns w/ Chinese sausage in them. Oriental East does a GREAT lap cheong bao!)

(Oh and extra points for the restaurant that serves the fancy rock sugar with the chrysanthemum tea instead of the coarse rock sugar.)

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D'OH!  Good call!  Completely forgot about Silver Fountain.  I think they're OK.  They've improved since they remodeled.

So what d'y'all like to get at dim sum?  Me, I like:

Ha gaow

Steamed spareribs

Baked cha siu bao

Dan tat (egg tart)

Cheong fun (the long white "cannoli" like noodles filled with meat or shrimp)

Loh bak gaow (turnip cake)

Stuffed peppers with black bean sauce

Deep fried crab/shrimp balls

Tripe

Cha siu sow (Flaky pastry filled with Chinese roast pork.  Yum!)

And if they have them - lap cheong bao (baked buns w/ Chinese sausage in them.  Oriental East does a GREAT lap cheong bao!)

(Oh and extra points for the restaurant that serves the fancy rock sugar with the chrysanthemum tea instead of the coarse rock sugar.)

You gots to add siu mai to that list.

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You gots to add siu mai to that list.

Also char siu bao (steamed bbq pork buns), Fun Gor (pork and bamboo shoots dumplings), and Lo Mai Gai (sticky rice with meat and sausage wrapped in lotus leaf).

>lamenting the news that Harbor Village in the Embarcardero Center in SF closed last week after a couple decades of deliciousness - my go-to dim sum lunch fix when I worked at the EC. sigh<

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Funny, baked are my personal litmus test versus the steamed in terms of cha siu bao. (Mei Lai Wah on Mott in NYC makes the best. Oh yeah!)

Personally, I think it's harder to make baked cha siu bao than steamed. You gotta get the right consistency with the dough and the proper texture. I just think the dough for the steamed one is a bit (not that it's uber-easy, mind you!) easier.

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OK, definitely sounds like enough interest for the Monkey County dim sum comparo.

What we need to decide:

Day of the week (I propose Sundays)

Time (I suggest 1pm - after the lunch rush, but before the kitchen is winding down)

Frequency (bi-weekly?)

Start date (we should give at least a couple of weeks notice before we start - maybe 9/25?)

Which places to hit, and which order (sounded like New Fortune, Oriental East, Hollywood East, and Good Fortune are definitely in, with Silver Fountain as a possibility)

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Sundays at 1pm, every other week starting September 25 - works for me. Why don't we visit them alphabetically? This would give us a few extra weeks to decide whether Silver Fountain is added to the roster.

We should have a standardized selection of classics to be obtained at every restaurant. Har gow, sui mei, turnip cake, baked char siu bao, and custard tarts are universal. Otherwise we can grab, well, just about everything that rolls by...

(I know it's not a traditional dim sum item, but I love those deep-fried popcorn shrimp at NF)

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Sunday is obviously the best day of the week for dim sum. Kinda like going out to Sunday dinner after church. The selections are better and more numerous.

Each place has its strengths. NF has a much larger selection than the others, but like I said does not normally have duck feet. Both NF and GF have great selections of interesting steamed dumpings. I haven't been to Oriental East recently, but I like their dim sum, just not the space, too narrow and cramped. I haven't tried Hollywood East on the Blvd. yet either, wanting it to get into stride before going, besides with NF and GF to go to, why? Silver Fountain has always been where we go when we just don't want to drive as far as NF or GF, so we haven't been lately, but I always felt that I was getting less than great treatment because I am not Chinese. I often had to ask for things as the cart attendants would just assume I didn't want something. While I don't want tripe, there is little else I won't try. Of course, I prefer the steamed stuff to the fried.

I'm a baked cha siu bao fan myself, as I don't really care for the steamed ones. O love the steamed spareribs in black bean sauce.

Another place that serves dim sum in Wheaton is China Chef. While we don't go there very often, the dim sum there has been very good on occasion. Like I said, all the places have strengths and weaknesses, and there are a couple of things that China Chef does that are very good.

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We gave up on China Chef a few years ago after yet another greasy, mediocre dim sum meal. Seemed pointless to take our chances there when the reliable Good Fortune was right around the corner! However, what the heck, I'm willing to give it another chance.

I also won't be able to do as much eating as everyone else, so I'm volunteering to act as official note-taker.

NF does have duck feet regularly, or at least it's almost always offered to our non-Asian table. Not that it matters, with my usual companions. Grrrr.

Edited by perrik
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OK, definitely sounds like enough interest for the Monkey County dim sum comparo.

What we need to decide:

Day of the week (I propose Sundays)

Time (I suggest 1pm - after the lunch rush, but before the kitchen is winding down)

Frequency (bi-weekly?)

Start date (we should give at least a couple of weeks notice before we start - maybe 9/25?)

Which places to hit, and which order (sounded like New Fortune, Oriental East, Hollywood East, and Good Fortune are definitely in, with Silver Fountain as a possibility)

Add Mark's Duck House to the list!!

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Mark's Duck House isn't in Montgomery County.  But any place that is Robert Parker's favorite must be pretty good.

ooops...didn't read the trail above...

They have a good variety of dumplings...beyond the usual har gow, sui mai, etc. I like their steamed GIGANTIC oysters too. If you are going as a group and plan to order the oysters, order it from the menu. It's cheaper than getting one from the cart!

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What is the name of that Dim Sum place in the Gannet building in Alexandria?  I had been there a few times with an ex and I always thought it was wonderful.  They have the carts and you can also order off the menu as well.

Any idea of the name of this joint?

That's China Garden. I've never been, but have heard that it's quite good.

Guess we'll have to do a NoVa dim sum comparo as well, once we recover from the MontCo one.

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Why does it have to be in Montgomery County?  Any (decent) dim sum place in the area should be on the list.

Some of us are scared to cross that big ol' river. :lol:

Count me in on some of these outings. I might bring Emma along once or twice - she loves dim sum, especially turnip cake.

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My first visit to China Garden this afternoon was most pleasant. We actually had food on the table within 3 minutes of sitting down! The standout dishes were the steamed pork and shrimp dumplings, clams in black bean sauce and the corn pancakes. The room is quite large and was bustling. The service was quick, efficient and personable. 3 of us gorged ourselves on so many tasty things and the bill came to a whopping $42! I'll be going back for sure.

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Why does it have to be in Montgomery County?  Any (decent) dim sum place in the area should be on the list.

We're putting together a Montgomery County dim sum comparison, thus the geographic limitation for that particular list.

However, you know we're going to have to do a Northern Virginia comparison as well! That will cover Mark's Duck House, Fortune, and China Garden... and where else?

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I'd suggest going earlier for dim sum, say 11:30/12pm. The carts and the food starts slowing down at 1pm.

I know it's not considered late for brunch/lunch for most people but for Chinese people, if you suggested a 1pm dim sum in this area, it would be considered quite late and most importantly, you'd miss out on the freshest food. That's more of a crime!

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I'd suggest going earlier for dim sum, say 11:30/12pm.  The carts and the food starts slowing down at 1pm. 

I know it's not considered late for brunch/lunch for most people but for Chinese people, if you suggested a 1pm dim sum in this area, it would be considered quite late and most importantly, you'd miss out on the freshest food.  That's more of a crime!

If we had 4 people in our group, I'd agree with you wholeheartedly. However, my guess is we're going to have 10+ people, maybe even 20, and in all of the places we've named (including the absolutely cavernous New Fortune) we could easily wait 30-45 minutes for a table at 11:30 or 12.

The 1pm is simply a nod to the size of our group.

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