Biting Into the Dim Sum Hype

Bay Area foodie reviews Yank Sing

Yank Sing is probably San Francisco’s most well-known dim sum restaurant. More upscale, pricier and busier than many other dim sum establishments in the City, it’s the one that I’ve most often heard cited as someone’s first foray into dim sum. My first visit to Yank Sing was several years ago, and I hadn’t been back since.

Until now. I met up with a group for brunch on a late morning one weekend, and immediately we were surrounded by carts. The dim sum at Yank Sing is more Americanized than that at most other dim sum restaurants, but the quality is top notch.

We started with the gingered sea bass.

One of the fun things about dim sum with a group is that you get to try things you wouldn’t normally order. I usually go straight for the dumplings, so the fish was a refreshing departure from the usual. This was incredibly fresh fish, flaky and light.

Next we tried the spring rolls.

These were good, similar to what you might get at any other high-end dim sum restaurant. Thin and crispy on the outside, piping hot and stuffed with shredded vegetables on the inside.

Our third dish was the steamed rolls with shrimp.

This is one of my favorite dim sums and its easy to mess this one up. Sometimes the rice noodle rolls are mushy and overcooked, but not here. Drizzled with a light soy-based sauce, this was a winner.

Next we tried the stuffed mushrooms.

These were good, but not incredible. I order this often when I eat dim sum, and I like the ones with a finer minced stuffing. This had a rougher texture, but flavor-wise was still tasty.

We continued with the honey walnut prawns.

Served with a creamy glaze, this dish was a little too sweet for my taste but that’s a personal preference. Again, the quality on this dish was apparent and we ate the shrimp up in no time.

Our last savory dim sum was the nori-wrapped fried tofu.

This is my absolute favorite dim sum at Yank Sing. I love seaweed and I love fried tofu; the combination is just excellent. The only letdown was that it was a bit too salty, but otherwise perfect.

We finished our meal with an order sesame balls.

Sweet and glutinous, and stuffed with a red bean paste, I always order this at the end of my dim sum meals. It’s a heavy dish to finish with, but it’s delicious and satisfying nevertheless.

I can easily see why Yank Sing consistently draws a crowd, but it’s much more expensive than other dim sum establishments. A seventy dollar bill for two at brunch is the norm here, and it’s almost twice as what you might expect elsewhere. Still, it’s a good place for a special meal and best of all, the dishes are consistently delicious and made with care.

Mariam Hosseini is a Bay Area native who has been writing about food and travel for six years.  She blogs regularly at


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