London doesn’t tend to have so many places that do dim sum Hong Kong style with the carts, so it was nice to visit Jing Fong in New York’s chinatown and experience the real deal. Though we were told it would be about a half hour wait, in reality, it took us only 20 minutes to get a table.
This is the waiting area to which the guy checks numbers and is constantly calling out numbers. They have a constant stream of people going up and down, so it’s quite easy to wonder what the restaurant looks like
More of the waiting area.
As you can see though, the entire dining room was massive – my estimates were that it held at least 600 people and almost all the tables were constantly full. I’m glad they don’t do a lot to cram huge numbers of people at a table – we shared a single table with another couple though there were a few small places for lone diners to also share.
In true fashion, you’re given the dim sum ticket guide where the cart attendants would stamp small, medium, large or special depending on the dish you order.
The classic steamed pork buns were pretty good. I was pleased not to encounter unpleasant globs of fat although the bun was pretty small of itself.
We ordered a prawn rice noodle roll (cheung fun. Two giant prawns in each roll and the serving was extremely generous.
The har gau (prawn dumplings) were also a very generous serve made up of huge prawns. The only complaint was that the dumpling wrapper on these turned out to be a little thick and stuck to the paper rather than peel off a bit more delicately.
We ordered the taro croquette that I can image would have been tastier had it been hotter and to its left (in the picture below) a durian dumpling crossing our fingers it was going to be mooli (it wasn’t!) but also wasn’t as offensive a flavour of durian it could have been.
Tofu wrapped duplings were freshly made and delicious.
And although the portions of the turnip cake were massive I found the mixture too mushy and tasteless for my liking.
Here is a picture of the durian dumpling on the inside. As you can see, it’s like a sweet custard that lifts the strong durian flavour away.
I really enjoyed our experience at Jing Fong. The carts add a lot of drama to the entire experience, as does trying to hunt down your favourite dumpling on the carts, fresh before other people do as well. I was hugely impressed at the sheer size of this place and glad to see it doing well when I hear many of the places in Chinatown really struggling.
Name: Jing Fong
Found at: 20 Elizabeth Street, New York, New York