Monday, September 5, 2011

Golden Unicorn - New York

Saturday morning in New York, surely it’s time for brunch. I can just see it now, eggs Benedict, hash browns on the side, a cup of coffee, a bloody mary, and the times on my kindle…life would be good. However, I chose a different approach to my late Saturday morning meal. I took a cab to Chinatown in hope of finding some quality dim sum. Several blocks of traffic later, I was dropped off on East Broadway and I made my way into the rather inconspicuous Golden Unicorn. After the usual confused stares at the request of a table for one, I was seated in the middle of the hustle & bustle of a weekend dim sum service.

First on the table was an order of classic pan-fried dumplings.
Thick skin, a crispy fried bottom, and a juicy green onion & pork filling, it’s your standard dumpling and a great start to the meal.

A serving of crispy fried dumplings was next.

Although the doughy, sweet pork filling had its charms, these dumplings had been on the cart far too long.

Yellow egg dumplings joined in as dumpling number three.
Also pan fried, these dumplings had a very chunky filling. Even though they were quite satisfying, I can’t remember the last time I saw corn in a dim sum dumpling filling.

Stuffed bean curd has become one of my fast dim sum favorites

The best part about stuffed bean curd is the contrast between a crunchy filling and the soft, shearing quality of the bean curd skin, but these wraps had an extra bit of gelatinous mouth feel. I’m used to stuffed bean curb having a thick sauce, but this was like jello.

It’s impossible to eat a dim sum meal and not try an order of har gao.
With an extra sticky wrapper and mealy, dried out shrimp filling, these were certainly a disappointing batch of dumplings. It’s not often that I encounter an inedible batch of har gao, but these fit the bill.

Along with har gao, siu mai is one my favorite dim sum litmus tests.
Topped with a touch of roe, these shrimp and pork dumplings were juicy and greasy but just a touch overcooked. While certainly better than the order of har gao, these siu mai were nothing spectacular.

Even though I had a variety of plates hall full of uneaten dumplings, I was looking for something a little different to try. When a waitress appeared with a cart bearing taro and pork dumplings, I decided to give them a shot.

Beneath a thick, sticky wrapper was an oddly soupy filling that was heavy on the taro and very light on the pork. While I enjoy taro in odd dishes, this dumpling was not for me.

I suppose that last comment on the taro & pork dumplings about sums up my meal at Golden Unicorn. While, outside of the har gao, there was nothing entirely unpleasant about the meal, it smacked of banality. A few items, namely the pan fried dumplings from the start, did satisfy my need for chili sauce, dumplings, and tea, but I felt mildly disappointed in what Golden Unicorn had to offer. I suppose the next time I'm in New York, I'll just look somewhere else for my dim sum dumpling fix.

Golden Unicorn Address & Information

18 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002 // 212.941.0911

Golden Unicorn on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Lisa Burnett said...

unfortunately, golden unicorn has been going downhill for quite some time now...for an authentic dim sum experience in ny, head out to flushing, queens and bring lots of people along...worth the trip!