🙂 = Family restroom with changing table. Carts of food – so, you can see your food before you “order” it. Lots of kids around!
🙁 = Parking in Chinatown can be nuts (consider parking on the Lower East Side around on Chrystie Street or Forsyth Street and walking over). Sometimes it’s hard to understand what it is you will be eating. No actual server to check up on you. No kids’ menu.
Notes: Open Monday through Friday from 10:00AM-10:00PM. Saturday and Sunday: 9:30AM-10:00PM.
Because we knew that it opens at 9:30AM on the weekends, we arrived at Jing Fong bright and early for some dim sum. If you have never been to a dim sum restaurant, imagine food brought to you on small plates (often brought around by cart), and you get to pick what you want. Sometimes, you can easily tell what it is, or what is inside, but more often than not, you see what looks appealing and just ask what’s inside. The answers in most instances include beef, pork, shrimp, or vegetables (or some combination). Let’s just say this place isn’t great for super picky eaters who want to know every ingredient in their food. But it is a great place for toddlers who want to look at something before deciding if they want it or not.
So, let’s start at the beginning. You walk into the doorway of the restaurant and are faced with a super tall escalator. Right next to that is an elevator. If you get here after 10:30-11 am, you will also likely be faced with a VERY long line and a crowded entryway. Luckily, this place is ENORMOUS. It fits hundreds of people easily, and people don’t usually sit around for super long. So, the wait times should never be too horrible. We made it up the elevator and were escorted to our table on the other side of the huge restaurant. It took a few minutes, but we got a high chair (a somewhat old-fashioned one with cloth and a very small table-top), and we were also given some hot tea. We tried the tea and had to use our own cups, as there were no kiddie cups available (or at least we couldn’t get anyone’s attention to ask). We also noticed that we were some of the only people in the restaurant who couldn’t speak Chinese. But what a cool cultural experience!
When we were seated, we also given a piece of paper (the ticket) on which to track our order. If you’re new to Dim Sum, this is how its works (or at least how it did at Jing Fong): Waitresses come around with carts of food, and when you see what you want (by “seeing,” we mean sometimes you have to flag them over), they mark on your ticket whether it’s a small, medium, or large dish.
All of the dishes were under $5. So, we never asked what size any of them were, and the bill at the end was fairly low, considering how full we were. Most of the food available is some combination of buns and dumplings. There are some vegetables as well, but our favorite food item is the sesame buns that we eat once our meal is done (though they come around at random times). You will sometimes see the same cart pass by 5 times, and some carts never go by. Thus, keep your eyes open, or tell mommy too. At the end of the meal, we asked the waiter for the bill and took the bill to the register near the elevator to pay. We loved the dumplings, especially the ones with beef & shrimp and veggies & pork. We actually loved them all, and even though it was a bit hectic, we will definitely be back.