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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Chinese, Dim Sum
Upmarket restaurant

Daily 11:00am–3:00pm
Daily 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Congress Ave. Area
107 W. 5th St.
Austin, TX
(512) 637-8888
Mon–Wed 11:00am–10:00pm
Thu–Fri 11:00am–midnight
Sat 5:00pm–midnight

Northwest Hills
3407 Greystone Dr.
Austin, TX
(512) 343-9307
Daily 11:00am–3:00pm
Daily 5:00pm–10:00pm
Western aesthetics notwithstanding, there’s authentic and delicious Chinese food here

Look beyond the glass closet flaunting expensive, prestigious wines (that don’t pair well with this cuisine anyway) and the red-and-black lacquer of the original Chinatown; there’s a fair amount of convincing authenticity on the plate. The Downtown décor is more sterile-chic; admittedly, we like the former’s hokiness better.

The original, also, serves some of the best weekend dim sum. Although the 50-plus options are the priciest in town, and some of the more authentic things you’d expect (like chicken’s feet) rarely or never come around, they’re terrific. Some are even griddled at the table. The soup dumplings, alas, don’t work, nor do fussier dishes like steamed sea bass with miso glaze, insipid bacon-wrapped shrimp in honey sauce, and overcooked coffee spare ribs.

The regular menu hops around China, making concessions to Western tastes on the way. Pork dumplings have subtle ginger and leek flavors, but their fiery hot sauce lacks that vinegar punch. We also recommend Szechuan bean curd, soft and spicy; and a Yu Hsiang dish of pork threads and julienned eggplant, rich with garlic and lots of crisp water chestnuts and green onion. Up North, Chinatown’s space-sharing arrangement with Musashino means an excellent and extremely fresh, if small, sushi selection. The downtown spot, on the other hand, is wise not to attempt sushi at all (nor dim sum). But for late-night eating, it’s a solid choice.

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