Last summer, thanks to our network of tipsters, we got word that a new dim sum spot was taking over the ground floor of the historic former Cathay House building in Chinatown (601 Grant Ave.)
At the time, Eater SF reported that the entire building had been taken over by the Yeo family, who are also behind San Jose-based restaurants Straits and Sino. Two restaurants were slated for the space: a fast-casual Cantonese restaurant that was to be called 601 Dupont on the ground floor, and a new incarnation of the Cathay House upstairs.
Instead, the ground-floor space opened this week as Dim Sum Corner, a fast-casual eatery specializing in dim sum, wok-cooked entrees and bubble tea.
According to managing partner Jaynry Mak, the Yeo family is no longer involved with either of the Cathay House projects, which an employee at Sino confirmed. Mak and her business partner, Eric Chung, have taken over both spaces.
For Dim Sum Corner, the pair have joined forces with Daly City favorite Koi Palace, which is serving as a development and concept partner.
All of Dim Sum Corner's recipes come from Koi Palace, and all of its chefs have been trained by Koi Palace representatives, said Mak. Additionally, some of the restaurant's items, like the dumplings, are supplied by Koi Palace's commercial kitchen.
Mak said Dim Sum Corner is a fast-casual restaurant at its core. "You come in and go straight to the cashier, get a number and sit down," she said. "Then we bring it to you when it's ready."
There are no carts, and all of the restaurant's dishes are cooked to order, Mak said. "All of the dim sum is freshly steamed, and if you want something from the wok, it's freshly cooked."
Dumpling options include classic shrimp shu mai; xiao long bao (in standard pork or crab roe, truffle and pork) and an assortment of "crispy" potstickers. Other appetizers include bao sliders, spring rolls and egg custard tarts. For entrees, diners can sample Taiwanese beef noodle soup; beef chow fun and more.
To drink, there's a selection of boba tea drinks and fruit teas.
Mak and Chung are hard at work on renovating the upstairs space that was once home to the original Cathay House, which should open sometime this summer, she said.
The menu is still being developed, "but that one is more of a sit-down, full-service dining experience," she explained. Some interior changes are in the works, "but we're keeping the historic round bar and the bar lounge area."
Mak and Chung are also planning to eventually expand Dim Sum Corner's hours into the evening, offering sit-down table service with the same menu.
In the meantime, Dim Sum Corner is planning a grand opening celebration in the coming weeks, with details to come.
"It's more of a community celebration," Mak said. "We grew up in SF and are foodies and are a big part of Chinatown."
Dim Sum Corner is open daily, 11:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Thanks to veteran Hoodline tipster Al M. for scoping out this new arrival! See something interesting while you’re out and about? Text Hoodline and we’ll try to find out what's going on: (415) 200-3233.