We have not ventured out to San Francisco Chinatown in a long time; so when H & S visited I took the chance to take them for dim sum in Chinatown. It has been almost a year ago since our last visit to Great Eastern and I remembered the experience fondly.
When we got there, there is a reception desk where we got a number.
The wait was about 20 minutes and then we got a table at the lower level. The restaurant was way bigger than I remembered.
Menu is a fully pictured menu with a crazy amount of items (over 70 dim sum items, then another 20 plus lunch items offered after 11 am)
After deciding on what we wanted, note it on a yellow piece on paper and then pass it to the waiter.
There is also a Chef’s Special selection on the yellow piece on paper that is not on the picture menu (which were a little overpriced IMHO).
Snow Pea Sprouts w Dry Scallops & Shrimp dumpling $3.30
This was not bad. The pea sprouts was a nice change – something light rather than the usual meaty filling. The skin was a little too thick for my liking but flavours were not bad.
Shrimp dumplings $3.30
Tasty Har gaw. The skin was thin and delicate with nice shrimp filling that was seasoned well.
Steamed Spareribs $2.60
Pretty good spare ribs; some pieces were a little on the fatty side – but it had a nice black bean flavour and was tender with a little chew to it.
Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf $3.70
I have always liked little individual wrapped sticky rice instead of one big lump of rice.
I quite enjoyed this. It is not as sticky as it “should” be, with the rice falling apart the moment the leaves are peeled open BUT the rice had a nice bite, great seasoning and bits of meat & lap cheong (Chinese Sausage).
Rice Noodle Roll Stuffed w Shrimp $3.70
Really good. The rice roll was thin and delicate with big fresh shrimps in the centre. The sauce was salty and sweet. It was one of the better rice rolls I have had in the Bay Area.
Not bad, good seasoned pork & cabbage stuffing. The skin was a little on the thick side for me, but it was seared nicely.
Pork & Shrimp Bean Curd Skin Roll $3.30
Not a bad dish. I thought the meat & shrimp filling was a little dry but the sauce and beancurd skin helped a lot.
Deep Fried Minced Meat Turnover $2.60
Tasty and crispy dumpling yet not greasy (which is always my biggest worry when ordering these at any restaurant). The glutinous rice shell is chewy & sweet with a nice crisp to it. The pork filling was not bad – mix of minced pork and vegetables.
4 orders Mushroom & Pork Shrimp Dumpling (Siu mai) @ $2.60 each
Pretty good. I have always been partial to Siu Mai, so it has to be really bad for me to dislike it. These were juicy with every bite bursting with fat. There wasn’t a lot of shrimp but the pork was seasoned well. I probably would have liked more mushrooms in it.
Total Damage: $52 (including tax & tip)
Personal Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (pretty darn good)
Honestly, you can’t beat the price and quality in this establishment. Their dim sum selection is massive, and all the items were ordered were good or very good. The prices are pretty cheap compared to other popular dim sum places around the bay area.
Service was quick (not the friendliest but it is almost expected of a chinese restaurant), and quite efficient. There was always someone around we could flag down when we needed something.
I was quite disappointed that they ran out of Egg tarts & BBQ pork buns when it was only noon!
Great Eastern Restaurant
649 Jackson St (Chinatown)
San Francisco, CA 94133