Prospects are dim, and that’s good

Never one to pass up a bad pun, the dim prospects of the title relate to dim sum, a style of Chinese dining where you don’t order off a menu but choose from already prepared dishes brought around on carts.  It’s sort of like a cafeteria where the line comes to you.

We ate lunch at Yank Sing, often regarded as the apotheosis of dim sum in San Francisco. They have 2 locations downtown; we were at their flagship site in Rincon Center.

The art of dim sum--bite sized steamed dumplings  to be shared at the table.

The art of dim sum–bite sized steamed dumplings to be shared at the table.

Yank Sing is  a class act–tablecloths, napkins, waitstaff in uniforms.  The room is large and airy, in the completely remodeled edifice that was once Rincon Annex Post Office.  Tables are spaced widely enough to allow a flotilla of carts through, bringing all manner of delicacies to the customers in a relentless flow.

One of the high-stacked carts serving the customers.

One of the high-stacked carts serving the customers.

The food is excellent–the only cavil I had was with the vast number of carts and trays ceaselessly coming up and offering yet another dish.  In their quest to sell the largest number of dishes in the shortest amount of time and turn the table to new customers, the waitresses (and the cart pushers and tray carriers are all female) just swarmed the table, badgering us with delectables.  I would have appreciated a more leisurely pace, the better to enjoy the food.

Peking duck--crispy duck, sliced scallions and steamed buns

Peking duck–crispy duck, sliced scallions and steamed buns

I don't know what these are, but they are sweet and I liked them.

I don’t know what these are, but they are sweet and I liked them.

ano

The cart from whence the Peking duck is served.

The bill--as each dish is dropped off, a mark is made.  They add it all up at the end.

The bill–as each dish is dropped off, a mark is made. They add it all up at the end.

There are a few dishes you have to order–we had the honey Sea Bass, which was an incredible preparation.  I’d love to be able to cook a piece of fish that well.

Yank Sing isn’t cheap–the dishes run from $5 to $19, and you can find yourself with quite a few of them on the table.  On the other hand, they validate the parking in the garage under the building, and that saves quite a bit in pricey San Francisco.

We certainly enjoyed our meal.  The food is excellent and varied; it’s the Chinese version of tapas or small plates.  The key to eating here is to be forceful about not being rushed, to take your time and savor the meal without being hurried.  Do that, and your prospects of a fine meal are excellent indeed.

Yank Sing on Urbanspoon

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