Grand Palace Restaurant is an old school dim sum palace that can seat 700 people across three dining rooms. Dim sum is served from a fleet of roving push carts that patrol the dining rooms and when you request a dish from a cart the server stamps a paper ticket on your table. Since I moved to Philly I have been on a mission to find great head-on, shell-on, salt and pepper baked shrimp and now my mission is complete, the salt and pepper baked shrimp at Grand Place was excellent. The egg custard tarts were divine, get these. Grand Palace also has an extensive a la cart kitchen menu that boasts over 200 items. Dim sum is served from 10am to 3pm daily.
The Dumplings: The dumplings on the carts were all fresh and tasted great. Although still good, my least favorite were the pork and peanuts steamed dumpling. I was hoping the peanuts would provide a nice crunch texture but the peanuts were really soft. These dumplings were tasty but didn’t have the texture I was hoping for. The crystal shrimp dumplings were excellent, the shrimp were sweet and had the pop texture of steamed fresh shrimp and the wrappers were light and slightly chewy. The shrimp shumai were filled with more chunks of the sweet, fresh shrimp and were really good. If you don’t like the texture of rice flour wrappers on crystal shrimp dumplings, get these shumai instead, because Grand Palace serves great steamed shrimp. The best dish was the pan-fried chive buns, which had a fresh, slightly pungent onion taste from the filling and a salty savory taste from the bun dough. Even though the buns made a slow, cart borne trek to our table from the kitchen, the buns still had a crisp and slightly chewy texture.
The Location: Grand Palace is in the New World Plaza at 6th street and Washington Street in the Little Saigon section of South Philly.
Sounds like a “New York City” style place. I remember having Dim Sum ay a place that sounds just like this in China Town. Have never heard of Salt & Pepper Baked Shrimp before but sounds nice. Maybe we can have a little outing there when next we are back in Philly.