The story: The people behind the extremely popular dim sum tea house Koi Palace in Daly City has entered the heart of San Francisco with a new restaurant called Dragon Beaux in the Outer Richmond neighborhood. It serves dim sum during the day and turns into a gathering for hot pot dining at night.
Why I went: This review focuses on Dragon Beaux’s dim sum offerings. I tried to get a group of people to get dim sum on a recent Saturday, but it ended up just being myself and my good friend Jeanne. Because the restaurant is a bit smaller than most dim sum spots, we ended up sharing a table with a couple with two young children.
The vibe: The modern, high-end decor has a bit of a lounge vibe to it, from the dim lights to the somewhat loud music. There are still a few carts circulating the room and servers carrying trays with dim sum for sale, but much of the items are ordered from a menu sheet and turned over to the main servers.
The menu: The dim sum offerings are limited because Dragon Beaux tries to put creative spins to old classics, so I guess the kitchen tries to focus on these few items. Some examples of new spins to classics include dumplings with new fillings such as sea bass and squid ink, then custard tarts are topped with abalone, and rice rolls get new filling options such as Mongolian beef or bitter melon chicken rice.
My favorite dish: I liked the sea bass dumplings ($6.88), which were both colorful in presentation and filled with juicy white fish inside. I also liked the flavorful filling in the Kurobuta pork puff ($8.88), although it was a bit messy to eat (you have to stuff your own puff shells with the minced pork).
The last bite: While not every item is a success (the crab roe xiao long bao had a dumping skin that was more like an egg-yolk type won ton skins than the delicate Shanghai soup dumplings) and the desserts seem a bit simple, most items had good flavor and the new twists made dim sum eating a bit more fun and interesting.
The deets: Dragon Beaux, 5700 Geary Blvd., San Francisco. PH: 415.333.8899. Open weekdays for dim sum, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (till 3 p.m. Friday); weekends 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; hot pot dinners daily from 5:30 to 10 p.m. (till 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday). Reservations accepted only for dinner. Major credit cards accepted. www.dragonbeaux.com
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