Earlier this week, I went to Golden Unicorn Restaurant to meet Ching-He Huang, the newest face on The Cooking Channel, to have dim sum (點心) and her talk about her recently debuted show, Easy Chinese: San Francisco.
Golden Unicorn is arguably one of the original dim sum restaurants that still around for several decades without losing its quality. My parents have been there over the decades and still find their food pretty good – and that’s a compliment knowing that they’ve been to many dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong and parts of mainland China. Even myself, stuffing my face with dim sum almost everyday when I was in Hong Kong two years ago, I still find Golden Unicorn pretty dependable dim sum in Manhattan.
The restaurant still serves dim sum the “old school way” meaning that it’s still served in rolling steam carts. If you been to Hong Kong or China for dim sum, they actually take orders like you normally would in a Western-style restaurant and bring over your food to your table. The exception is if you’re ordering vegetable lo mein or other dishes that aren’t really fit for the carts, the kitchen has to cook it for your table.
As done in traditional Chinese etiquette, as if we’re in a Chinese person’s home, we’re fed to the point like you’re about to burst. We’re served 15 dim sum dishes, 3 different types of tea (pur-eh, jasmine, and chrysanthemum) and a plate of desserts, containing an egg custard tart (蛋撻), sesame ball (煎堆; jien duy) and coconut jelly (椰子糕).
All were very good and well made dim sum. The best of the savory courses was the steamed chive dumplings you see above. Something remarkable about those plump dumplings – juicy, flavorful from the chives and shrimp, and the skin is perfectly thin yet sturdy enough to hold its contents. If I had more stomach space, I would eat more than two.
Eventually, we’ve been graced with the presence of Ms. Huang at my table with six other guests. As a group, we’ve asked her about what good dim sum places are around San Francisco and the slight differences between Cantonese and Taiwanese (where she was born) dim sum. She did recommend a dim sum restaurant in the United Kingdom, which surprised most of us. (As a side note, Ms. Huang eerily reminds me of my cousin in Hong Kong. Similar statures, figure, face shape, and demeanor. I adored my cousin as I found her a doll.)
Not too far from our chat, she demonstrated with Golden Unicorn’s dim sum chef, how to wrap dumplings. The chef and Ms. Huang first demonstrated folding shu mai (燒賣), then she continued on showing three other ways of folding dumplings (wonton, dumpling, and something similar shape to a “beggar’s purse”).
In all, Golden Unicorn is a very good place to have Cantonese-style dim sum in Manhattan. The food is still freshly made and there’s still quality control, unlike many other Chinese restaurants I’ve been to in Manhattan. As for Ching-He, I’ll be tuning in her show on The Cooking Channel every Saturday afternoon when I have the chance.
To see more photos of this dim sum and Ching-He Huang’s demonstration of folding dumplings, please click through the slideshow below:
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18 East Broadway (between Catherine St & Market St)
New York, NY 10002
Telephone (212) 941-0911
Ching-He Huang’s show:
Easy Chinese: San Francisco