East Brunswick, NJ 08816
- Cost: $$
- Alcohol: Full Bar
- Parking: Private Lot
November 22, 2010
Sunny Palace may be the best place in New Jersey for Dim Sum – the Hong Kong style meal of small plates and steamer baskets ordered from roaming carts circling the dining room.
China is a gaping hole in my travel resume, so I can only compare the Dim Sum I’ve tried in the Chinatowns of Manhattan and Brooklyn (larger, but lesser known than Manhattan’s). The best Dim Sum I’ve experienced is at Seafood Palace in Brooklyn. Some of my favorite items: Gao (various steamed dumplings), Char Siu Bao (steamed pork buns), beef spare ribs and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf. For me, great Dim Sum means variety, volume and taste. There should be a wide variety of dishes to choose from – not just dumplings. The place should be busy when Dim Sum is available, so everything on the carts is fresh. And of course, it needs to taste good. It’s always cheap.
At Sunny Palace with friends, our table of four adults and five kids polished off about two dozen tins of shrimp dumplings, pork dumplings, beef and pork spare ribs, clams in black bean sauce, chinese broccoli, scallops wrapped in bacon, steamed meatballs, taro cakes and cold chicken feet (quite a texture for the uninitiated!). Everything tastes good. We arrived in the last hour of Dim Sum service on a Sunday, so the number of carts was slowing down. Unfortunately, we never saw steamed pork buns or sticky rice.
The word “Palace” is appropriate to describe this restaurant, a large place with its own ample parking lot on Route 18 South in East Brunswick. Sunny Palace has multiple large dining rooms, a full bar, a huge fish tank at the entrance, and a pair of cement dragons outside. Since the servers generally speak some English, the service is not as intimidating for non-Chinese diners as some of the packed Dim Sum halls in the City. Or just point at whatever looks good.