Longtime San Francisco dim sum tea house Yank Sing has a mixed reputation – some people love the delicate dim sum treats while others shy away because of the premium prices.

It’s been a long time since I visited this dim sum classic inside the Rincon Center near the Embarcadero, and when my niece was visiting town and had a craving for dim sum, Yank Sing was an accessible choice being close to BART.

High-end Setting
The decor is classic Hong Kong-style restaurants with the white table cloths and gold-colored furnishings. Many people choose to sit outside in the atrium, next to a water fountain at the center of the Rincon.

My niece and I chose to sit inside, and we didn’t have a problem getting a table when we arrived at 11:30 a.m., unlike the bustling dim sum places like the extremely popular Koi Palace in Daly City.

From top left: Lo mai gai, siu mai, rice noodles with beef, and pot stickers

From top left: Lo mai gai, siu mai, rice noodles with beef, and pot stickers

The service at Yank Sing is extremely efficient, with servers pushing the traditional dim sum carts coming around often and others checking on you to see if you want to order additional items from the menu.

Tasty Bites
We got an assortment of dim sum – as many as two people could eat  – and I was impressed with several items, like the Shanghai soup dumplings with kurobota pork filling. The skin looked a bit dumpy after being steamed, but the soup broth encased inside was delicate and tasty.

I also liked the savory flavors of the lo mai gai, or sticky rice with chicken. But others items were kind of average, like the siu mai that was room temperature and not steaming hot or the pot stickers that had a nice crispy bottom but had thick, slightly oily skins wrapped around a dense pork filling.

I don’t remember the precise prices for various items, but they generally averaged about $4 for small plates and as much as $11 to $14 for fancier large plates. My niece and I had multiple dishes and ended up paying $54 for two people.

The Last Bite
While Yank Sing does appeal to more Americanized tastes with dishes like walnut shrimp and Peking duck making the rounds, it still pleases for all families with its traditional and classic dim sum offerings. The setting is clean and pleasant and the service is fantastic, and it’s nice to go for dim sum once in awhile without the crazy crowds, even if it comes at a price.

Rating: 3 out of 4 camera snaps

3-snaps

 

Yank Sing, 101 Spear St. (inside the Rincon Center), San Francisco. PH: 415.781.1111 Open weekdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and weekends, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. yanksing.com

Yank Sing on Urbanspoon

Shanghai soup dumplings with kurobota pork had a delicate broth

Shanghai soup dumplings with kurobota pork had a delicate broth

I loved the glass tea pot served at Yank Sing. It is also one of the few dim sum spots that serve my favorite tea, sau may, which is a peony tea popular in Hong Kong

I loved the glass tea pot served at Yank Sing. It is also one of the few dim sum spots that serve my favorite tea, sau may, which is a peony tea popular in Hong Kong

This cart served up Peking duck skins in buns, purchased per sliced

This cart served up Peking duck skins in buns, purchased per sliced

Overflow crowd in the atrium inside the Rincon Center

Overflow crowd in the atrium inside the Rincon Center

Steamed egg custard buns are my favorite. But I typically order the baked ones. A sign of the higher price, Yank Sing only serves up two in a basket instead of three.

Steamed egg custard buns are my favorite. But I typically order the baked ones. A sign of the higher price, Yank Sing only serves up two in a basket instead of three.

Portrait of Alice Chan, the original proprietor and founder of Yank Sing

Portrait of Alice Chan, the original proprietor and founder of Yank Sing

4 Responses to Dining on Dim Sum at Rincon Center’s Yank Sing

  1. hungry dog says:

    Good old Yank Sing! I worked there for a couple of years back in the day and pretty much ate dim sum every day and still didn’t really get tired of it. I still like their char siu bau and haw gow. And rice noodle thing. And shanghai dumplings. And taro dumplings…ok, clearly I need to get back there soon!

    • Ben Ben says:

      Wow, I don’t know if I could eat dim sum every single day. But I guess when you’re young, anything’s possible. :)

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    One of my fave dim sum places. Yes, it’s pricey. But it’s worth it for the quality overall. I always take out-of-town visitors there, and it never disappoints.

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