Vegetarian Dim Sum House

Manhattan, New York City

All vegan dim sum in the heart of Chinatown

Restaurant, Coffee/Tea/Juice

For those of us veggies who once tasted dim sum but never got to return to this realm of delight because of its unavoidable meaty potential, this is your dream come true. Great prices. If you choose to order from the non-dim sum menu, this will do you well, too.

Some favorites include the treasure balls and turnip cakes.

Everything on the menu is vegan except for the mango pudding and some of the bubble teas.

Added by Karrin Cheifetz on Apr 1 03 (last updated Mar 14 12)

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Most Recent Reviews

Image for Cass Danger

rating star

This place is amazing. All the food is really good and the dim sum is cheap. Their regular menu items are fairly pricey, but most of the dim sum is around $3 an item and you can fill up on 3 or 4 if you're pretty hungry. The treasure boxes (puffy fried, unidentified goodness, stuffed with some bean/soy meat mix) are definitely my favorite, followed by the fried turnip cakes. I also like the mock pork steamed buns and the spring rolls.

After eating the dim sum for several years, I finally adventured to the normal menu and got the wonton noodle soup. For $6, the "small" noodle soup was really substantial and filling. I also tried my friend's mixed vegetable soup, which was good if you want a really healthy, all-vegetable soup. It had a seasoned broth and huge chunks of broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and Chinese broccoli - no tofu, noodles, or other items. This soup was $5 and smaller than my wonton soup.

I think my favorite trip here was on Chinese New Year a couple years ago. As expected, it was exceedingly busy. Fortunately, one friend was Cantonese and ordered us some traditional Chinese New Year foods that they had specially prepared that day.

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

Update: My second time to this place I ordered some dishes that I heard were classics. We had the "mashed taro treasure box" which were great, savory, crispy things filled with taro and maybe some mockmeat. It was hard to tell.

The famous "treasure ball with assorted flavor" was basically a fried, dense potato dumpling. Unfortunately, it had limited flavor and was really heavy; I'm not sure why these things are lauded (maybe because they're like french fries).

The "red bean cake" was sweet with a gelatinous rice covering on the outside. The inside paste tasted akin to peanut butter; this would make a good dessert, as would the split pea sweet cakes (see my earlier review below).

The "sesame paste bun" comes steamed by default, though it may have been better fried. We got it steamed and it too had a peanut buttery-interior filling, but way too much fluffy white rice outer bun.

The "preserved Cantonese cabbage buns" had way too much outer rice covering, but the interior filling was unusual and good.

Lastly, the "Buddha's bean curd rolls" had good taste (fried tofu skin in a soy marinade), but they came floating in way too much sauce, which made the crispiness of the bean curd dissipate immediately. It would have been nice if they put the sauce on the side, so the bean curd could stay crispy.

In general, the proportions of outer covering and interior filling are off at Veg. Dim Sum House. There's always too little interior stuff and way too much exterior. This is annoying as it suggests a haphazard quality to the preparation of each dish.

The menu also needs a massive update, which descriptions of each dish. The current menu just lists the name of the dim sum, and then you have to take a risk to figure out what it's like in reality. At the very least, they need to indicate which dim sum are sweet and which are savory.

The service was okay, but not particularly friendly. This was also the case with the first time I visited. I'd come back here again, though, as it's unusual, relatively cheap, and pretty fun to share with friends. Also, the menu's large enough that you can pretty much get new stuff even after three or four visits.

Original review: I came here around 11 a.m. on a Saturday (during the Chinese New Year's Parade, no less) and didn't have trouble getting a table. That said, the place steadily filled up by noon.

The service was extremely curt and not very helpful, so I picked some dim sum options arbitrarily and hoped for the best.

The "sharkfin dumplings" were good (thinly sliced tvp inside a fried outer shell), as was the "rice flour with Chinese kale" (think a cross between celery and asparagus, wrapped in flat rice noodles, covered in soy sauce). I've since heard that I should have ordered the "treasure balls" and the "turnip cakes" as well.

I didn't enjoy the "roast mock pork buns" which seemed to be 90% fluffy bun and 10% mock pork.

Lastly, I ordered the "split pea sweet cakes," which were basically slabs of tofu or rice flour (I couldn't tell) embedded with split peas. The "cakes" had the consistency of jello. This made a great dessert by accident, though I didn't realize it was a dessert-style dish when I ordered it. It definitely went well with the free tea they give you.

While the dim sum prices are cheap and in the $3-5 range, the main menu prices were extremely high; most of the mockmeat dishes ranged from $16-20 per plate. I find this amazing, given that the restaurant is cash-only. I can't speak to the quality of these main menu dishes, but based on the look of the restaurant and the menu, I suspect they'd be similar to what you'd get at old-school vegetarian Chinese places like Golden Era and Lucky Creation in San Francisco or Bamboo Garden in Seattle.

Definitely come here with a couple of friends so you can order lots of dim sum and get to try a larger variety of dishes. It's way better than tapas.

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Neighborhood

Chinatown

Directions

At Mott Street.

Non-Smoking

No Reservations

Wheelchair Accessible

Prices

$$ - average

Cash Only

Cuisines

  • Dim Sum

Features

  • Large Group-Friendly

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main image for Vegetarian Dim Sum House image for Vegetarian Dim Sum House Turnip cakes, steamed pork buns, dumplings, miscellaneous fried goodness

Hours

10:30am - 10:30pm

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