Hei La Moon is a Cantonese restaurant located near South Station, just outside of Chinatown. They serve dim sum and dinner, although I’ve only tried them for dim sum – a traditional Chinese brunch, typically served family style, with many shared small dishes. I’ve also heard dim sum described as Chinese tapas. Severs come around with carts of food, you choose the dishes you want, and they stamp your bill which is totaled at the end and usually very cheap ($3-$4 per dish). The language barrier means you don’t always know exactly what you’re getting, but I enjoy this and think of it as part of the experience. I could however, see this as difficult for vegetarians or less adventurous eaters.
I’ve never had dim sum outside of Boston, which I’ve heard doesn’t compare to NY or San Francisco, but Hei La Moon is by far the best I've had. The food is always fresh and high quality, and even when the line is out the door, I’ve never had to wait more than ten minutes for a table. It does get crowded during peak hours, but the place is huge and they do their best to keep the line moving. They seat smaller parties together at large tables, and the carts go by quickly. I’ve had to flag down my favorite carts and have seen people get up from their tables and find specific carts, but I also see this as part of the experience.
The options are standard dim sum fare including several types of dumplings (most with pork or shrimp), steamed and baked buns (pork, chicken, and shrimp), tofu rolls, shrimp rolls, chicken feet, rice wrapped in banana leaves, crispy noodles, spare ribs, steamed greens, etc. My favorites are the fried taro and shrimp dumplings, shrimp rolls, and pork buns. The pork buns are the best I’ve had, both the steamed and baked are light and fluffy, and stuffed with tons of roast pork.
|Pork and Chive Dumpling|
|Fried Taro and Shrimp|
|Pork and Shrimp Dumpling|
One of my friends introduced me to this place several years ago, and although I have tried others since, Hei La Moon has remained my favorite. I’ve brought several friends in over the years, and they’ve also agreed it’s the best in Boston. It’s a fun alternative to typical Sunday brunch, and the perfect meal after a Saturday night out!