Sometimes I’m not too smart. Moki and I planned on having dim sum in Chinatown today, so I suggested meeting at Jing Fong at 12:30 pm. Hmm, 12:30 on a Sunday, at perhaps the most popular dim sum restaurant in Chinatown… no way it’ll be crowded!
When Jing Fong’s exceptionally busy like it was today, waiting customers spill out onto the sidewalk and it becomes a dim sum cattle call. Two maitre d’s hand out numbers and yell them out over crappy microphones, while not-so-gently pushing the hungry mob to the side to clear room for those lucky folks who are heading upstairs (One poor guy kept coming inside every few minutes to show his number to the maitre d’, only to be immediately brushed off and sent back outside— “Seinfeld, four!!”).
By the time your number is finally called, you’re so ecstatic that you feel like you just won the lottery. The long escalator takes you up to second floor, where you enter a gargantuan banquet hall and are seated at a round table, usually with complete strangers. The room is noisy, packed and definitely violating some sort of fire code. Maybe there are better dim sum restaurants in Chinatown, but eating here is an EXPERIENCE.
Dim sum can be overwhelming and confusing for the newcomer since the dishes look unfamiliar and most servers speak limited English. Here are pics and descriptions of what we ordered— hopefully the info’s helpful for when you venture out for your own meal…
There were many more dishes to try, but we were stuffed. Next time!
Jing Fong Restaurant
20 Elizabeth St.
New York, NY 10013