Thursday, December 15, 2011

North London Dim Sum Interactive Map And Reviews

View North London Dim Sum in a larger map 

The aim of the follow list is to create a comprehensive list of dim sum restaurants in the north London area, between zone 2 and Hemel Hempstead.

North London Dim Sum Restaurants listed in alphabetical order

  • Location: Near to Wembley Stadium.
  • Parking: Excellent road next to the restaurant with lots of free parking.
  • Public transport: Approximately 12 minute walk from Wembley Park tube station on the Metropolitan and Jubilee line in zone 4.
  • Accessibility: Two floors. Need to check whether they have lift access.
  • Food: Average 2/5: My family felt that the quality and portion sizes of the food here was not good. Cheap decor, no tablecloths, 'cafe' type feel.
Dim Sum House
Dragon City
  • Location: Dragon City is on the first floor of the Chinese supermarket Loon Fung, Alperton. 
  • Parking: Excellent retail park size car park. 
  • Public transport: Approximately 5 minutes walk from the Alperton tube station on the Picadilly line in zone 4. 
  • Accessibility: Has two entrances via steep stairs only. No lift. 
  • Service: Good 4/5: Waiters helpful with accommodating families and children, not too rushed. 
  • Food: Average 4/5: Most notable is that prices for noodle and rice dishes are astronomical! Almost £10 for a crispy seafood noodle dish and was very gloopy. It was almost £10 for char siu roast duck rice, which was extremely small. However, dim sum menu is small but the prices are average and the quality is good for London.
  • Notes: Loon Fung, Alperton is an excellent supermarket, with great deals on fresh meat. No fresh bakery. The only place I've seen that not only sells A&W root beer, but also its diet variety.  
  • Update 02/01/12: Since 2012, all dim sum prices have risen by approximately 20p per dish, although this is still in the average £10-£12 per head category for dim sum.
Golden Palace

Green Cottage

Local Friends

Hoo Hing 
  • Location: First floor of Hoo Hing supermarket.
  • Service: Good 5/5: Staff here are really excellent, and made us feel very welcome.
  • Food: Average 3/5 - Frozen but cheap: A self service cafe rather than a dim sum restaurant. No dim sum is prepared here, it is prepared from frozen. However, food is pretty much the cheapest possible, for siu mai or har gao are £1.70, whereas most dim sum restaurants would charge around £2.60. Rice and noodle dishes are prepared freshly, and dishes such as won ton noodle soup is £2.75, and the portion sizes are very good. I would treat this place like the Ikea restaurant; a great value meal but not the main reason for visiting this place. The Hoo Hing supermarket is fantastic and has a very large variety of food compared to other Chinese supermarkets.
  • Notes:
Imperial China, Watford

Old Tree Bakery
  • Location: Ground floor on the end of a quiet high street. Across the street from a well-stocked small Korean supermarket.
  • Public transport: Approximately 8 minutes walk from Golders Green tube station on the Northern Line zone 3. 
  • Accessibility: Only one mixed sex toilet which is shared with disabled users. Not very good!
  • Service: Good 2/5: Waiters kept trying to clear away plates which still had food on it. 
  • Food: Average 3/5: A good approximation of Taiwanese fare, although not as good as Leong's Legend and more considerably more expensive. Decor reminds me of a typical cafe in Taipei, all dark wood, no tablecloths. Lots of choices for bubble tea, but mine was made far too sweet and with the boba slightly undercooked.
  • Notes: Bakery items look absolutely exquisite. However the two buns that we bought were very stale and very overpriced.
Royal China, Harrow-on-the-Hill

Wing Tai
  • Location: Ground floor next to the Wing Yip supermarket, as well as a number of other Chinese shops.
  • Parking: Small number of spaces directly outside the restaurant, and a medium sized underground carpark. A lift from the carpark to the restaurant is available. Parking is heavily oversubscribed - arrive before 1pm on a Sunday to get a space.
  • Public transport: Approximately 20 minutes walk from Cricklewood Rail, which is 15 mins train from King's Cross. Walk involves going past a high street and a busy main road.
  • Accessibility: Good accessibility in general, but can get very crowded during peak periods.
  • Service: Average 3/5: Service is prompt and efficient. However, we have had the bill over-calculated on a number of occassions. Always check your bill before leaving. Also numerous occasions where orders have been missed completely due to how busy they are.
  • Food: Average 4/5: Dim sum quality is good and portion sizes are good, and the food is good value.
  • Notes:
    • Wing Tai is the largest restaurant on this list and definitely the most popular. However, arriving late at to this restaurant for Dim Sum on the weekend will usually mean queueing for up to 1hr. When you walk in, watch out for the raffle ticket lady, who will call out your number when a table for your party is free.
    • Bakery is available from the Reindeer Cafe who also sell good value arge plates of rice and noodle dishes, and offer bespoke cakes with 4 hours notice. One summer, their restaurant had a large number of flies buzzing around even in their bakery covers, but their hygiene has improved lately (as of 2011). During busy periods they will enforce table sharing.
    • Wing Yip is the largest Chinese supermarket chain in the UK. Other services in this retail complex are available nearby, such as a hairdressers, etc. which I have not tried.
    • The entire inside of Wing Tai and Wing Yip has very poor mobile phone reception.
Yum Cha Silk and Spice 
  • Location: Ground floor, near to northern exit of Camden Town Market.
  • Public transport: Approximately 10 mins walk from Camden Town tube on the Norther line in zone 2.
  • Food: Average 2/5: From what I remember, the dim sum experience is quite disappointing, even considering the large discounts available Monday-Wednesday. Standard prices are quite expensive, and the quality of the food does not match it.
  • Notes:
    • Monday-Wednesday 50% off dim sum (as of December 2011).
    • Delivery is available after 6pm for dim sum, but not for steamed items like cheung fun.
Best Dim Sum next to a Chinese Supermarket
A typical family Sunday day out for a Chinese family will involve coming out for a dim sum meal followed by doing some Chinese grocery shopping. Here are my top 3 picks for north London:

  1. Dragon City - above Loon Fung, Alperton
    • A good balance of serving good quality dim sum and not being too busy.
  2. Wing Tai - next to Wing Yip, Cricklewood 
    • I would definitely avoid during peak times, but when it's not crowded or when you can get there early, it's definitely worth coming here for the good dim sum and other amenities nearby.
  3. Hoo Hing - above Hoog Hing, Park Royal
    • Not a 'real' dim sum restaurant, but an excellent place to come for great value and great service.