Good Mong Kok is situated in San Francisco’s Chinatown district and takes its name from a district in Hong Kong. It’s a little bakery known for its dim sum and Chinese pastries; Good Mong Kok is run by a a group of Chinese women like other Chinese bakeries. There are no-frils and no tables establishment.
The little mom and pop shop boasts a line in the morning and steam trays upon steam trays of dim sum; however, the line moves efficiently as the women fulfill orders and get patrons on their way. There isn’t much time to figure out what you want cause everything looks good in the window. It’s like asking a child which puppy he or she wants to take home. The child’s response will always be “all” and it’s my response when I get into the door at Good Mong Kok.
The reason? Well, a plastic bag full of goodies will not run you more than $10. It’s essentially a steal in a city where the tech explosion has raised housing prices to Mount Everest level and a meal will set you back at least $20. Furthermore, San Francisco is one of three cities in the United States to boast restaurants on the Michelin Guide. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to find a quality meal for under $10.
Now, the food. I always get the same thing when I eat dim sum; it’s the two staples of dim sum–pork shiu mai and har gow–and pork buns. However, I decided to add Beef Shiu Mai to the list this time around as it’s not a typical item on a dim sum menu.
- Beef Shiu Mai – The gobbets of beef wrapped in golden signature dim sum wrappers and steamed until fully cooked. The beef shiu mai had an interesting flavor and a bite to it; however, it was different from the normal pork and shrimp shiu mai. It seemed to be a bit overcooked and not as good as the Pork Shiu Mai.
- Pork Shiu Mai – The juiciness of the ground pork, morsels of shrimp and mushroom was definitely tasty. However, it came without the typical crab roe on top. The soft golden wrapping on the shiu mai stuck to the meat like a newborn to his or her mother. The pork filing was tasty and full of the natural flavors of pork versus sugar being added to the paste. It was a very good pork shiu mai.
- Har Gow – This is the staple dim sum dish I always order. The translucent wrapper showed the shrimp, cooked pork fat, bamboo shoots and scallions. The large morsels were juicy when you bit into it and the flavors of the shrimp paste consumed your palate then tapioca wrapper stretches as you pull away. The little heavenly morsels were succulent and flavorful. It was har gow well done and the same size as golf balls.
- Fried Pork Buns – The deep-fried Pork Bun were fantastic. The oil added an extra element to it and dripped over your lips as you bite into the dough then the sweet pork fillings overwhelmed your palate. The texture of the dough was where they definitely excelled. The texture was soft and chewy like boba but a lot more comforting and tasty. Fantastic deep fried goodness.
Overall, Good Mong Kok Bakery provides quality dim sum and large portions for cheap. It’s efficient and gets you on your way. I’ve had dim sum in Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Seattle, Boston, Taipei, San Francisco, Orange County, Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, Seoul, Chicago, San Jose, San Diego and Cranford. Does it warrant the title of Best Dim Sum in The World? No. That title goes to Tim Ho Wan.
- Service - 7/107/10
- Presentation - 6/106/10
- Flavors - 8.5/108.5/10
- Decor - 7/107/10
- Ambiance - 6/106/10
Good Mong Kok Bakery is the perfect location for locals and tourist looking for a quick meal. It provides quantity and quality dim sum for dirt cheap in a city where prices have become u-nmanagable. Furthermore, the dirt cheap prices will amount to a plastic bag of food that will run you less than $10. Definitely worth the stop.