Cognoscenti of soup dumplings and other Shanghai treats have flocked for five years to the dreary fluorescence of Dim Sum Garden, on 11th Street between Filbert and Arch.
As The Inquirer's Craig LaBan wrote in 2008: "This neon-lit box of an eatery ... resides on possibly the dreariest and most obscure corner where one could park a restaurant in Center City. To find it, navigate the phalanx of panhandlers in front of the Arch Street Wawa, and then plunge deep inside the diesel-fumed darkness of the 11th Street tunnel that runs below the Hilton Garden Inn. A sign touting fried chicken wings and french fries, an effective come-on to the hurried bus stop crowd, is an added decoy from its true culinary glory."
(Well, at least the bus stop is now gone.)
Come Saturday, Sept. 28, the fans will have a lovelier destination: Dim Sum Garden's second Chinatown restaurant, 1020 Race St., next to Shanghai Bazaar and across from Hop Sing Laundromat.
The 11th Street original is not going away, insists manager Sally Song.
The new spot, open from lunch through late night (BYOB), will have an expanded menu (see the photo gallery for the dim sum menu) and a tea counter.
Dim Sum Garden, by the way, provides the Shanghai soup dumplings (aka Xiao Long Bao) served at Jose Garces' Asian small-plater, Yubōka, at Revel in Atlantic City.
Post updated: Sally Song says there is no affiliation in the locations.