Dim Sum at Asian Pearl, Richmond

Ever since I’ve relocated to this lovely city by the bay, I’ve been asking every local denizen that enjoys good food (and yes, there are quite a few of you) the hard question: Where can I find good dim sum?

I almost always hear the same reputable establishments — Yank Sing, Ton Kiang, Mayflower.

In a perfect world, I would find the ultimate dim sum spot where the food is exceptional, the wait not frightening, and the prices so low they incur giggles of disbelief and delight at the end of the meal. I know, it’s a tall order, but somewhere out there I know … it awaits me.

And, I must admit, the quest is not a painful one (usually). I have stumbled upon some tasty discoveries worth sharing, such as these star dishes at Asian Pearl in Richmond.

Steamed Egg Custard Bun (Lau Sah Bao)

Not your run of the mill dim sum dish, these Steamed Egg Custard Buns are hard to come by. It takes a master dim sum chef to create these treasures of molten, buttery, yolky sweetness, encased in fluffy white steamed buns. The golden lava filling is a shock to the senses, and utterly delicious.

Marinated Tofu (Lo Sui Dao Fu)

The silky fine texture of the tofu is unreal, and seems even more so highlighted by the contrasting crunchiness of the thin fried casing around it. Light as air, but tons more flavorful. This will turn any tofu-sneerer into a believer with one bite.

Crispy Stuffed Rice Noodle Roll (Ja Leung)

A common dim sum dish done exceptionally well, Asian Pearl’s Crispy Stuffed Rice Noodle Rolls were executed perfectly. The fried dough inside was freshly fried and extra crispy, and the rice noodle wrapped around it was thin, smooth, and slippery. Mmm you just can’t beat carb on carb.

Pan Fried Rice Rolls (See Yao Wong Cheung Fun)

These Pan Fried Rice Rolls were a crowd pleaser. The noodles had a nice chew to them, and were fried fragrant. Like an appetizer version of your typical chow fun, with an amped up seared crispy dimension.

Ranch 99, Asian Market

And with dishes priced from $2.60 – $6.50 (with a majority of them at $3.30 for “medium” plates), you can take all that money you’ve saved and head over to the Ranch 99 just a few doors down. Stock up on Asian delicacies and condiments before heading home with your satiated self.

All in all, Asian Pearl, thumbs up. But is it “the one”? Afraid not. True, the variety and specialty dishes wooed me, but 1) I was sorely disappointed by their BBQ Pork Bun, one of my old standbys, botched up by too much cooking wine in the mixture; and 2) it’s in Richmond. And I’m in SF with only a ZipCar to my name.

Maybe my dream is a pipedream, but this girl’s not ready to give it up.

So, my dear readers, where can I find some good dim sum around here?

Yours truly,
Desperately Seeking Dim Sum

Asian Pearl
3288 Pierce St., #A-118
Richmond, CA 94804

Desperately Seeking Dim Sum 3 June,2009Stephanie Hua

  • Amy

    Hong Kong Lounge 5322 Geary Blvd (between 17th Ave & 18th Ave). Just be prepared to go on the early side, the masses have already discovered how good it is and the wait to get in can be maddening.

  • S&T (Sunset)
    The Kitchen (Millbrae)
    Hong Kong Lounge (Geary)
    Gourmet Delight (Oakland)

    lots of places to try – all of these are better than the ones people list: Yank Sing, Ton Kiang, Koi Palace, Mayflower

  • Try Joy Luck in San Mateo, my foodie girlfriend just turned me on to this place. Great Peking Duck, Chicken Feet, Chasiu Bow, Chive and shrimp dumplings, etc…

  • Diane

    Restaurant Peony in Oakland is always good, if crowded.

  • Organic Dim Sum at Imperial Tea Court. Location in Berkeley and at the Ferry Plaza Building.

  • diana

    Good Luck Dim Sum on Clement in the Inner Richmond – great dim sum bakery style – not a sit down place but great food.

  • @Amy, hotfoodporn, Dina & Rebecca: thanks for all the recos! looks like i’ve got my dim sum excursions planned for the next few months.

  • @diana: thanks!! dim sum on the go, good to know.

  • Matt Lynch

    When I am in San Fran, one of my first stops is Dol Ho for Dim Sum. 808 Pacific. Fresh, cheap, plentiful, and busy. Get some hot sauce to go. It is great.


Stephanie Hua

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well.

Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine.

Stephanie’s writing and photography have been featured in Fodor’s Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.

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