Restaurant: Joy Luck Palace
Location: 98 Mott St, New York, NY 10013. (212) 219-2828
Date: July 3, 2017
Cuisine: Cantonese Dim Sum
Rating: Not nearly as good as the best in the SGV
Of course I had to try some Chinese in New York, and since I didn’t have time to go out to Flushing I figured I’d play it safe by looking up a top dimsum place. Eater raved about this one in Chinatown.
It’s in the center of the crowded old school Chinatown streets.
Inside it’s pretty typical of these big one room Cantonese joints. Crazy cove lights. On the “low decor side.” Not nearly as glitzy as something like Grand Harbor. There were no white people — I took this as an encouraging sign.
They still use the cart system. That went out 5+ years ago in the better LA (i.e. SGV) places. I hate the cart system. It’s fast, but the food has been sitting, and it’s hard to get them to come by at the pace you want.
Har gow. These crystal shrimp dumplings were fine. Nothing special. As usual it took some work to get water and sauces.
Sui Mai. Pretty typical as well.
Peanut and more dumpling. Stickier skin, pretty good.
Bean curd with pork and shrimp. Just fine.
Fish balls. Slightly different, but also nothing special.
Pigs inside pigs. Chinese sausage wrapped in bao dough. Cute at least.
Shrimp rice crepe. Not the greatest version of this dish.
Vegetarian fried rice crepe. Slightly different and actually pretty good.
Sticky rice steamed in lotus leaf. Fine but not amazing.
Pig shaped custard buns. Cute again.
Besides the cute pig shaped dimsum this place was fine but utterly mediocre. It was about on par with the Palace in Brentwood, which I consider just passable. The cart system made it hard to get anything interesting and we even ended up repeating. The service was worse than Chinese typical. The atmosphere pretty much unappetizing. If this is Manhattan’s best (and I have no other datapoints to judge by) than it has a LONG LONG way to go to even get in the same league as the 5+ best SGV dimsum houses.