Golden Unicorn Restaurant’s Dim Sum: Waiting for Taro

Golden Unicorn Restaurant’s Dim Sum

Another Saturday, another chance to take a little foray-cation.  This time we decided to start with dim sum in Chinatown, and chose Golden Unicorn because we heard that they have the best dim sum, dumplings and other bites of Chinese culinary yumminess.  After lunch at Golden Unicorn, we planned to see a movie at Landmark Sunshine, and then maybe make it to Terroir Wine Bar, hopefully in time for happy hour.  But we were open to having other unplanned adventures along the way.

Golden Unicorn was a bit of a disappointment.  They advertised having over 100 varieties of dim sum, but I would say that at most, there were 2 dozen different things being offered on the food carts circulating through the large dining room.  Yes, the steamed pork buns and spinach dumplings were delicious.  But the sweet and sour pork was mostly pork bones, and the clams with brown sauce was pretty ordinary.  And we never got any taro cakes, even though we asked for them almost immediately after sitting down.  At one point, a waitress walked through the room with a whole tray full of taro cakes, and we waved at them, but for some reason, the whole tray was earmarked for a table in another corner of the restaurant.  When the waitress walked by us and we asked about the cakes, all she said was “later.”  Very frustrating.  Then it took more than 10 minutes to pay, almost making us late for our movie.  Doubly frustrating, if not downright infuriating!

Good Chinese tea: one of the best part of our meal at Golden Unicorn

Luckily, although we arrived at Landmark Sunshine Cinema long after the stated beginning time for our movie, Beasts of the Southern Wild, when we walked into the theater, the movie had just begun.  We settled down and enjoyed what was an unusual and intriguing film, about a young girl who lives with her father in a rural community in the Louisiana Bayou.  The best way for me to describe it is as primitive and visionary at the same time.

Landmark Sunshine Movie Theater

With the movie still resonating in our consciousness, we walked up First Avenue toward Terroir.  As we passed by Dual Specialty Store, I motioned to Therese for us to go in.  She didn’t understand why I would want to go in there, but I reminded her that we wanted to find some curry spices.  We found two things that captured our imagination: a can of green curry paste, and a bag of sweet curry powder.  We are planning on using them very soon!

Dual Specialty Store

Curry purchases from Dual Specialty Store

We were the first people to arrive at Terroir for happy hour, and though it was only our second time there, the waiter remembered us, and treated us like royalty.  We got our complementary glasses of Oloroso sherry, ordered some appetizers, and puzzled over Terroir’s encyclopedic menu, seeking the perfect Riesling to fit the mood of the afternoon.  An Auslese on their happy hour page turned out to be the one, and two glasses of that wine for each of us did the trick.  If we were already having a great day before we arrived at Terroir, by the time we left, it was an extraordinary day.

Terroir’s Wall of Riesling madness and wine literature for the connoisseur

The afternoon was nearly spent and the evening fast approaching when we left Terroir, and the question of what we would do for dinner came up.  I had been thinking of cooking when we got home, but it seemed like it might be a better idea to pick up some takeout for our dinner.  Therese asked if there was a sushi restaurant nearby, and I told her that the East Village if full of good sushi restaurants, and I know one that is particularly wonderful.  So I took her to Hasaki Restaurant near St. Mark’s Bookshop, and we ordered a few sushi rolls to take home with us.  After Therese ate them back at home on the Upper West Side, she knew how wonderful Hasaki is.  Golden Unicorn and our lack of taro cakes was nearly forgotten, and all was right with us and the world.

If we ever move, and decide to leave the Upper West Side, we would definitely seriously consider moving to the East Village.  I have always loved that neighborhood, and Saturday was just another example of what kind of adventures are to be had there.

About Karl Peterson

Karl Peterson is an avid traveler, passionate about food and food-related entertainment, completely allergic to dairy. He is founder, owner and principle contributor to "The Dairy Free Traveler" blog. The Dairy Free Traveler perfectly dovetails two of his greatest areas of interest: traveling near and far, and searching for great cuisine (especially dairy free!) The Dairy Free Traveler publishes original material about the dairy free lifestyle, eating the best food in the most interesting destinations around the world. Karl's tours take him from thriving New York City, to exotic Marrakesh, to elegant Paris bistros -- (yes! even Parisians have gotten on the dairy free bandwagon.) The Dairy Free Traveler himself also engages with independent dairy free food producers, highlighting new dairy free product launches and events that support dairy free entrepreneurs. Peterson is among the top 7 most widely read TripAdvisor reviewers in New York City and is repeatedly cited as a Top Contributor at His reviews have garnered more than 542,000 readers -- half in the U.S., and half among the many countries he has visited around the world. Beyond writing this blog, Peterson is a published author, with contributions to "Savoring Gotham" edited by Andrew F. Smith (published 2015 by Oxford University) and the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Cheese (a bit ironic, yes, but a professional is often asked to stretch beyond their comfort zone!).
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