Getting dim sum is something I love doing but don’t do nearly enough. Kind of like brunch. And now that I think about it, they’re similar in that if you go on the weekend, particularly Sundays, which is prime time for both, you better go early or be prepared to wait. In Texas, I was used to only being able to get dim sum on the weekends, but coming here, I’ve found that a lot of places have it on the weekdays too, and on top of that, it sometimes runs all day long instead of just being an early afternoon thing. Because of that, when some friends were visiting, I thought that we should go get dim sum on a Thursday to hopefully avoid the crowds. And how could I say no to a place with “Golden Unicorn” in the name?
When I think about it, I realize that almost every dim sum place I’ve been to has required me to go up an escalator or elevator to the actual dining floor. Now if you haven’t done dim sum before, this might seem a little weird, but when you enter the relatively nondescript Golden Unicorn Dim Sum from the street, you proceed to the elevators inside up to the third floor. No worries if you’re confused, as there’s a hostess when you enter who will point you in the right direction.
The restaurant is a fairly big space with plenty of round tables. There was even a raised stage along one side with chandeliers above the tables there that we kept referring to as where royalty must get to sit. I’m still wondering how you get to eat up there! If you’ve never done dim sum before, the way it works is that waiters push around carts with plates and steamers of food, stopping by tables and asking if you want what they have. Each cart has a little something different, and once you order something, they mark it down on your ticket which you then hand in when you’re ready to pay and leave.
A word of advice when getting dim sum for the first time…pace yourself! It’s going to seem a bit hectic when you first sit down and all the carts swarm you and everything looks delicious, but don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s very possible to order way too much at once, which is never fun as the food gets cold and it just makes you eat faster so before you know it you’re completely full and it’s only been like 15 minutes.
I was a little let down by the selection offered when we went, because there didn’t seem to be that many carts going around and there was little variety. Maybe it’s because we went on a weekday? Possibly. We were still able to get all our favorites though like shu mai, ha gow (those plump little shrimp dumplings), rice noodle rolls, egg tarts, and sesame balls. We also got some chicken feet and pork ribs so we weren’t loading up just on dumplings. We also tried ordering taro dumplings, which weren’t on any of the carts but can often be found at dim sum places, but after asking for them a second time and waiting a while, it just didn’t look like they were going to come, so we just said forget it. Even when you’re doing dim sum, you can order things off the menu or request things from the kitchen, so maybe we just weren’t explaining ourselves well enough? Oh well.
Please ignore the food stains on the tablecloths in the photos. We were just a teensy bit ravenous. Isn’t that when things taste the most delicious anyways? When we left, we each ended up paying around $15 each, which is not bad for the Manhattan standards and how much we ordered. I may have to come back on a Sunday and see if the selection is any different, but from what I’ve heard about the lines then it could get a little crazy.
Pork and shrimp shu mai, ha gow, chicken feet, pork ribs, pan fried pork dumplings, rice noodle rolls, egg tarts, sesame balls
18 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002