One cold morning last winter on the way to our usual International District dim sum haunt, my family and I had to zigzag our way through the crowd waiting outside Harbor City, a stone’s throw from our destination. And so we decided to change course and wait alongside the shivering throng to see what all the fuss was about.
That’s the day my dim sum loyalty changed; I now crave Harbor City’s steaming dumplings filled to bursting with crab and shrimp, or shrimp with cilantro; its wide rice noodles in soy sauce; its fried chicken feet. Another favorite: tender shrimp dumplings and gai lan (steamed Chinese broccoli), which we order so that we don’t feel as guilty eating the pork and chive dumplings, all of which disappear too quickly.
The full menu offers surprising range: There are pan-fried noodles with pickled vegetables and intestines ($9.95), though I prefer the mixed seafood—perfectly cooked scallops, squid and tender white fish—with spicy XO sauce (made of dried shrimp and chiles) and two kinds of noodles ($10.95). The cashew chicken ($8.95) is especially good, white meat softly sautéed with snow peas, celery and toasted cashews, and the Mandarin string beans with minced pork ($8.95) are a little bit addictive. The place is on the small side, and service ranges from sparse to harried but present. But for these prices and for food this satisfying, I’m not complaining.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Chinatown-International District, 707 S King St.; 206.621.0228. $ Get directions