Yank Sing is two award-winning restaurants in San Francisco, both specializing in dim sum. The difference between Yank Sing and other dim sum places is that Yank Sing is neither an authentic hole in the wall nor a tourist trap. Chinese businesspeople eat there for YS' innovative ways with their favorites and the classy setting. Other people eat there for the friendly, English-speaking service--and the classy setting. Yank Sing covers all the standards--pork buns, etc.--and adds interesting new things like spinach-tarragon dumplings and bite-size servings of Peking duck. The servers will explain at various levels according to how confused you look, from "Dumplings." to "This is pork and cabbage, this one is salty chicken, this one is ..." --which is a definite bonus for the dim-sum neophyte or the seafood-phobe such as myself. They'll also bring you something if you don't spot it (we requested custard tarts to finish off]. I managed to avoid the shrimp dumplings and liked everything I tasted very much.

Now for the drawbacks: If you're bringing visitors, this is about as far from the Chinatown dim sum experience as you can get. Both locations are in financial and office areas (although not too deep, so you can dash down from Market, eat, and return to take BART or Muni to more interesting areas). The other drawback is price. A full dim sum meal inevitably adds up even at the cheap places, but things add up faster at Yank Sing. It's the price of the decor, the white tablecloths, and the lack of crying babies, I suppose, but our meal wound up at $60 for three. However, we were well-fed for that price, and it was Starrynight's first time for dim sum, and I didn't ingest any shrimp, so...YMMV. I do think it's a great place to take people, but you don't want to make this place your dim sum haunt unless you're much better off than I.

Two locations just south of Market in San Francisco. See www.yanksing.com

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