Vt-ers in search of good dim sum were "sum-what" dissatisfied at the Phoenix Restaurant in November 2005. I'd come to town specifically in search of a satisfying experience of good Chinese "a la cart." Phoenix is strongly recommended as one of the gems of Chinatown, but perhaps we simply caught the place on a bad day. Maybe the kitchen was simply overwhelmed by the Saturday lunch rush - but for some reason, the carts did not circulate as they should. There were long periods - even as long as twenty minutes - when only a single forlorn dessert cart would pass our hungry table. Moreover, the dishes that were available were too often disappointments. It wasn't as "delightfully unpredictable" as I'd come to expect the dim sum experience to be. Ah.
Of course, if I could give a separate evaluation of the company, I would give the highest possible "six star" ranking. We were a happy party: Dabs and her husband David, Martin B., Sam Barnett, and my recently married attorney friends Janet and Gerard.
Phoenix is always named as one of the best places for dim sum in Chinatown, but there's always a huge wait on weekends so we've always headed to other places. But we finally ate there on 11/5/05 when Yooperprof came to town. We had to wait for about 30 minutes on a Saturday afternoon.
The main upstairs dining room serves dim sum until 3 pm, service is from carts being rolled around the room. Several of the items we would normally get never came by and there were HUGE lulls between carts so we actually ended up eating much less than we normally would. The food was good but not so good that I would wait in line if we returned.
I found Phoenix to be more expensive than other dim sum places in Chinatown, dinner for 2 with a tip was over $30, about $10 more than I usually spend at Won Kow or Shui Wah.
Favorite Dish: Because we ordered from carts, I'm not entirely sure what we were eating. We did have some good shrimp egg rolls, the taro dim sum was good and the shrimp crepes were good
The Phoenix restaurant provides white table cloth dining and excellent service for dim sum with a variety of dishes to try.
Women push carts and proclaim what dishes they are serving. Yes they are saying it in Chinese but you can always wave them over and they will be happy to show you what it is.
The dishes you try are tallied onto a score card like menu.
Order a pot of tea with your dim sum meal.
The noodle house caters to a younger crowd but still offers the dim sum served in the upper dining room. The noodle house also sells the ever so popular bubble teas and fruit smoothie with tapioca beverages
Favorite Dish: The Taiwanese pot sticker is delicious and a surprise. It has a delicious broth inside the wrapping and tastes great with fresh ginger and rice wine vinegar.
The sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf
Shrimp spring rolls
We also order a larger entree of flat rice noodles with beef and chinese brocoli.
If you are still hungry there is a great steamed sponge cake.
If you are thristy, my favorite beverage to take with me on the go is a mango smoothie.
Phenix--a dim sum (Cantonese food) restaurant
Customers get to pick food from the carts which move around the restaurant. It's fun!
Favorite Dish: It's been sometime, so I can't pinpoint now. But please try everything. They really know how to make good and authentic Cantonese food.