As I mentioned, the Boy and I headed up north to celebrate his birthday earlier this summer. We ended up having one afternoon to spend in San Francisco before we flew home, which we mostly spent wandering as it was quite a gorgeous day. True to form, our wandering involved food, because what’s a vacation without it?
We had dallied with the idea of dim sum, but we knew it would probably be tricky given our tight-ish timeline and lack of a reservation (it was a Sunday). However, Yelp soon enlightened me to the existence of something I had never heard of before – to-go dim sum.
To-go dim sum is not just going to your normal dim sum place and getting stuff to go, oh no, it is in fact establishments set up for the sole purpose of dim sum takeout. We ended up in the fast-moving, winding line at Good Mong Kok (points for a slightly hilarious name to this immature non-Chinese speaker), where I somewhat blindly ordered a variety of goodies and set off for a nearby park to consume them.
First up: Pork Shu Mai ($2.10 for 3) and Shrimp Dumplings ($2.10 for 3). These were pretty classic, and probably my favorite of the items – juicy, flavorful, and plump. The pork is very savory and spiced, while the shrimp is pretty pure shrimp goodness.
Out of curiosity, I ordered what I think was a Baked Egg Yolk Bun ($1.50) (Side note: this was a while ago and I wasn’t wholly sure what I was ordering, so apologies if I mis-name of some of these…), and this is what we got – a soft, pillowy bun filled with a sweet, sticky orange custard. I did not expect this to be so sweet, but once I realized that it was more of an egg yolk custard, I was able to appreciate it. Still, a touch on the sweet side for me.
The Sticky Rice Roll ($1.10), something I also ordered on name alone, was similarly not what we expected (I think I expected something rolled in rice, versus the other way around). It was probably my least favorite item, as the rice wasn’t quite flavorful enough to hold up as a solo filling to the tender, but also bland, dough.
Finally, a giant slice of Pan Fried Scallion Cake ($1.00), which was a sort of cross between a scallion pancake and, well, cake. It was pretty tasty, and the Boy particularly enjoyed that it was a sweeter, differently textured twist on the beloved scallion pancake. Do I prefer an actual scallion pancake? Probably. Does that mean I didn’t enjoy this? Nope!
We follow up our takeout dim sum with a visit to Boba Guys, a hot San Francisco boba chain. They’ve got a sort of choose-your-own-adventure menu, and I went the matcha route (and if I recall correctly, the Boy got a horchata boba). The perfect way to end our meal!
In the end, did we dine at the BEST dim sum establishment in San Francisco? Probably not. But did we find somewhere that enabled us to satisfy our dim sum cravings quickly, easily, and cheaply? You bet.(The whole meal for two cost less than $9, and we couldn’t even finish everything.) I also think I probably could have done a better job ordering, which is often tricky at big-menu places like this one – if anyone out there has been and knows what I shoulda coulda woulda ordered, let me know!
Good Mong Kok Bakery
1039 Stockton St
San Francisco, CA 94108