Saturday, March 15, 2014

Restaurant Review: Grand Palace (dim sum)

Grand Palace - lunch on March 3, 2014
This is the restaurant my niece Lauren and I went to for dim sum for our day in San Francisco. We didn't do anything technologically advanced to find it - we didn't check yelp, we didn't do a google search on best dim sum places in Chinatown. Instead, since we were in Chinatown, we just walked around until we found a sit down restaurant for dim sum. Which is not hard to do.
It wasn't fancy or all that cheap considering it was Chinatown and some might even say it was a little rundown but we weren't that picky. The restaurant ran long and narrow so it wasn't conducive to dim sum carts roaming the aisles. Instead we ordered dim sum from the menu along with pan-fried noodles, Hong Kong style. There was a regular menu that spelled Grand Palace correctly and a pictorial dim sum menu that did not. What I liked about the pictorial menu is I could finally see what some of the dim sum items were called. For the most part, my guesswork in the past was fairly correct. My "pork puff pastry thingie" is called "BBQ Pork Puff". Close enough.

Our food came out promptly and it was really good. The siu mai was a notch above the usual dim sum fare and everything else was up to our high dim sum standards. The BBQ Pork Puff was really flaky. It could've used a little more BBQ pork filling but otherwise was tasty. The only things we didn't get that we normally do were the pork buns and egg custards since we'd already bought those at Garden Bakery.
BBQ Pork Puff
Siu Mai
Har Gow (shrimp dumpling)
Lotus Wrapped Pork & Sticky Rice
Pork & Sticky Rice
Pan-fried noodles, Hong Kong style
While the dim sum was good, the prices aren't cheap considering it's Chinatown. For all of the above dishes, including tip, our bill came to $35. That's actually expensive for dim sum. One word of caution: according to the rather abrupt waiter, they only take cash. A fact that is belied by the Visa/Mastercard stickers on their cash registers at the front. Either those stickers are just for show or they do take credit cards and they push for cash unless someone fusses and points out the stickers. I tend to pay cash for most things anyway so it wasn't a big deal to me but it might be to others. Grand Palace also seems more Americanized than what I would've expected in Chinatown and, looking back, the patrons while we were there were mostly non-Chinese folks. I don't think that was because of the food because we thought the food was pretty good so maybe it was due to the prices. No elderly Chinese people here.

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