Take, for example, my recent visit to Boston, where I bagged a monster haul of points by visiting one of the most Chinese restaurants I have ever come across. Hei La Moon 囍臨門 might be located in New England, but it is very much Old China. This dai jau lau 大酒樓 – the kind of place that serves multi-course banquets by night, and dim sum by day – ticks all the Chineser-boxes (and more) with its gaudy red and gold interior; trolley-service dim sum; fish tanks at the entrance; multi-generation Chinese clientele and, last but not least, a super-auspicious address at 88 Beach St.
|Cha siu bao|
Service was above par; the trolley aunties were friendly and efficient, and I was impressed by the manager who sent a waiter to fetch some dumplings from a trolley stranded at the other end of the dining room. But the real draw of this restaurant is its atmosphere; there's something particularly joyful about trolley-service dim sum in a dining room full of chattering punters. I adore restaurants like Hei La Moon, and while it may be a bit rough around the edges, its enduring old school charm is a winner.
One last thing, in common with virtually all restaurants that serve quality dim sum, Hei La Moon gets really busy on a Sunday. As it serves dim sum from 8.30am to 3.00pm, my advice is to get there early. We went just before 11am, and the dining room on the lower level, where we were seated, was already nearly full. By the time we left, around an hour later, both floors of the restaurant were full and there was a queue outside.
Hei La Moon, 88 Beach Street, Boston MA02111, USA
(Tel:+1-617-338-8813) Nearest station: Chinatown
PS: Happy as I was at bagging a bonus haul of Chineser points, I felt a bit bad having deprived my colleague (of Italian ancestry) of crucial punti italiani. The thing is there could only be one first proper meal in Boston, and I