Dim YUM (Ton Kiang -- San Francisco, CA)
I feel like Bubba Gump when I go to Ton Kiang. Shrimp and snow pea, shrimp and spinach, shrimp and scallops, shrimp and mushroom...the dumplings I love to shove down my pie hole never end.
Now if you live in San Francisco and you've never been to Ton Kiang, you might as well move. Seriously. You are a waste of space. There's really no excuse.
Ton Kiang churns out the finest dumplings and other assorted dim sum in this city. Yes, Yank Sing can give it a run for it's money, but TK is cheaper and more basic and I just love it to pieces. Itty bitty tasty dim sum pieces.
Everything there is just super delish. Besides the dumplings, they've got peking duck, crispy calamari, chicken feet, tofu pudding, fruit bowls...the list goes on and on and on and on (just like Erykah Badu). It's all GREAT.
We usually go on the weekend which can be very busy. When it's the two of us, it's no problem. Larger groups can have a big wait. The exception to this is Christmas. We were there during Christmas of 2002 when we stayed in town because I was understudying a play and couldn't leave. Apparently, everyone else who lives in SF eats there on Christmas, too. We waited 90 minutes. Worth every second.
Here's a little secret, they open at 10 a.m. on the weekdays and 9:30a.m. on the weekends. Get there when they open and you'll be alone in dim sum heaven. Going for dinner is fun, too. They serve dim sum until 4 p.m., but you can order 9 dim sum items for $35 any time after that. It's just super.
The only problem is I always get a coke when I go there (I try not to drink soda). I just need the fizzy sweetness to cleanse my palate between the select fried bits and pieces.
And really, the best part of dim sum is that, in theory, you can be eating something as soon as you sit down at your table. It's like a dining experience just for your id. Freud would love it. I sure as hell do.
"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art."