Chinese: Golden Unicorn

Eating Out

I had first mentioned my love for dim sum here, with the familiarity of the most popular dishes lending a comfort-food type of appeal.  Never mind the fact that while you’re stuffed when you walked out the door, you’ve still got room for dessert and are hungry 3 hours later. Like I said, never mind that.  The next stop on my quest for the best dim sum joint was Golden Unicorn.  Despite the fact that the logo on the napkins and plates aren’t actually a unicorn (is it a griffon? Mythology fans, help me out here), I give the restaurant props for having its own website.  Additionally, Golden Unicorn has the unique feature of pictures and English names posted on the pushcarts, meaning you won’t accidentally order chicken feet unless you truly want to.

All that is great. But how was the food?

I first started out with one of my personal faves – the haam sui gau:

Don’t be afraid of the three syllable name, kiddos – any word butchering is worth it for these babies.   Putting to use that sweet and savory combination that I love so well, haam sui gau is a deep fried (yeah, baby) rice-flour dumpling that is filled with pork and chopped veggies.  The outside is slightly sweet and chewy and when served hot, the combination is superb.  Sometimes this dish has been around the block for a few rounds and has gotten stale, but I’m happy to report that Golden Unicorn’s haam sui gau was hot, fresh and crispy.

I next ordered the rice rolls (or cherng fun) in two varieties – the beef (gnow cherng):

and the shrimp rice rolls (har cherng):

Cherng fun is one of my ultimate comfort foods – when I was little, my grandfather used to order plates of them, along with har gow (coming up in the post), to appease my cousins and me.  The beef variety is seasoned with delicate cilantro and garlic, while the minimal ingredients in the shrimp roll would appeal more to purists.  While I’ve found a place in Chinatown that has the very best cherng fun by far (I’m saving that post for another day), Golden Unicorn‘s were pretty satisfying.

I next ordered the char siu bow, or roast pork bun (first picture).  The roast pork bun can be ordered either steamed (jing) or baked (guk).  I went with the white fluffy steamed ones – while they were a little on the smaller side, the pork was nicely seasoned and flavorful. Additionally, the bun was fresh, as evidenced by the soft, fluffy dough.

I soldiered on with the gow choy gow – or garlic chive dumpling, mentioned in my previous dim sum post.  Golden Unicorn‘s gow was heavy on the filling, just how I like it!

I rounded out the savory part of the dim sum meal with the aforementioned har gow:

While Golden Unicorn‘s har gow were a tad on the smaller side, the shrimp were flavorful and delicately prepared.  I guess good things sometimes do come in smaller packages!

I finished the meal with some mango pudding – while not something I traditionally order, you can see that it was deeelish:

Golden Unicorn is great for both the dim sum novice and expert alike – there is a good variety of staple dim sum dishes as well as more contemporary interpretations. The restaurant is clean and bustling, and the pictures and English names on the sides of the pushcarts make ordering a breeze.  If you’re just whetting your appetite with dim sum, Golden Unicorn is a great start!

Dim sum the easy way.

18 East Broadway (btw Market/Catherine)

What are your go-to comfort foods?

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  • Reply
    January 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Yummy! We're going to dim sum for lunch at work today to welcome a new associate at our firm. I can't wait, and this post has made me even more excited for it!

  • Reply
    San Jose Love
    January 7, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    har cherng is one of my favorites. Thanks for phonetically spelling everything. I never knew how the cherng fun's were pronounced.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I haven't been to golden unicorn in forever! Growing up, it was my grandpa's favorite dim sum place. He'd always walk in with lots of people to say hi to! Should visit again soon 🙂

  • Reply
    honey my heart
    January 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    i heart dim sum & wish to eat it more often. har cherng is my all time fave 🙂

  • Reply
    January 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I used to come here as a kid with my grandparents as well. Just about every Satruday we'd go up to meet my grandparents in their apartment in Confucius Plaza and walk to Golden Unicorn. Ahh.. memories!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    ooh yummy! dim sum is so fun and tasty. you didn't talk about the celebrity customers, though.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Okay, now that I'm drooling on my keyboard…

  • Reply
    January 8, 2011 at 2:23 am

    Oooh we'll have to try this place out when we go back to New York. And what a fun name!
    Dim sum is a big part of our lives as FIL is a dim sum chef. We go all the time and love eating it in different areas of the country and abroad. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 8, 2011 at 3:49 am

    the haam sui gao is my favorite too! you should definitely try dim sum go go, it looks westernized, but it's actually very good and yummy!
    -kelly h.

  • Reply
    Big Mouth Bride
    January 8, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Yum! I mentioned Golden Unicorn when I commented on your last dim sum post – so happy to see a review here. Personally, I really liked it but am always searching for great dim sum so I'm looking forward to future reviews. 🙂

    Now that I'm officially moving to Seattle, hopefully I'll find some fab little joints there that you'll need to come for a visit and check out with me! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Yumm! I don't know which dish I want to try more…the pork buns or the haam sui gau! Yummmm

  • Reply
    January 8, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    this was kind of a special occasion place for us for a long time, but i think i've been only once in the past 8 or 10 years now. now i want to go back.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2011 at 3:23 am

    This place sounds great! I've only had dim sum once but really want to try it again so I'm going to check this place out. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 10, 2011 at 3:57 am

    I love dim sum! Your posts always make me wish I lived in New York… but at least I know where to go next time I'm in the city 😉

  • Reply
    AmyJean {Relentless Bride}
    January 18, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    OMG. that looks so good!

  • Reply
    July 21, 2011 at 12:42 am

    So it’s six months later but since no one has answered- yes, that thing is a unicorn. It’s a kirin/qilin, often called a Chinese unicorn, looks nothing like the European unicorn. Lots of legends and mythology and stuff about it, I am too lazy to go look them up now, but they were considered to appear during the reigns of good rulers or before the births of great sages and that sort of thing. Generally Auspicious.

    • Reply
      July 21, 2011 at 1:16 am

      Wow, thanks for the insight! 🙂

  • Reply
    Big Apple Nosh: NYC Food Blog | New York | Food | Restaurants | Recipes | Reviews | Fun Fact Friday
    January 27, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    […] Har gow (shrimp dumplings), from Golden Unicorn […]

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