Hei La Moon

Open Hours: 8:30am-11:00pm

Phone number: 617 338 8813

Price Range: $10-$15 per person 

English Address: 88 Beach Street, Boston, MA 20111

Website: http://www.heilamoon.com/

T Station: Green Line Bolyston or Orange Line Chinatown 

It's the start of Lunar New Year and you know what that means...an endless stream of hong baos (red packets), supermarkets packed with people stocking up on groceries/snacks and workers rushing to travel home on time just to sit at that round table with the rest of the family for new years dinner. This will mark the second year that I miss celebrating CNY with my family, but no matter, spending it with friends can be just as heartwarming - even when the weather outside is an unbearable -13C.

Dim sum is a traditional meal popularized in Hong Kong where a variety of small portioned dishes are served alongside tea. It is typically eaten during lunch on weekends when people are more free to relax and socialize over bite-sized food. Since all of our class schedules were busy, we decided to have dim sum at night as well as order some family styled Chinese food. 

The first dish to arrive was our Hot Spicy Tofu (Ma Po Tofu)

A bit watery for me - I've had better Ma Po Tofu elsewhere. 

Next we had the Scallion Pancake.

We also ordered the BBQ Honey Glazed Pork. 

The pork was too dry for me. There's a restaurant across the street that I'd recommend; they serve BBQ pork that's more tender and sweeter in flavoring. 

And of course, we can't have a new years dinner without lo mein because noodles symbolize the hope of a "long life". We decided to have the House-Pan Fried Noodle Special. 

The egg noodles were fried until crispy gold drizzled in oyster sauce and topped with shrimp, carrots, Chinese veggies, chicken and beef. We all agreed that this was a winner.

We also felt the need to order some wontons since it's tradition to have dumplings on new years (they symbolize wealth because they look much like the silver and gold ingots used in the ancient Chinese times). The medium sized wonton soup provided 1-2 wontons per person at a 7 person table.

The broth was tasteless, but the wontons were chewy and well seasoned. 

Next came our actual dim sum orders. One of my favorite dishes was the BBQ Honey Glazed Pork Buns,

Unlike the BBQ pork served as a main dish, the BBQ pork within the buns were tender and rich in flavor. So good that I had a whole steamer basket of buns to myself...oops. No brainer that I'd highly recommend this order.

Another staple dim sum dish we ordered was the Shrimp Hargow. 

Personally liked the way they make their Hargow; thick skin with a hearty jumbo-sized shrimp in the center.

And of course we had to order our staple Pork Shui Mai. 

Second favorite dim sum dish at Hai Le Moon (the first being Baked BBQ Pork Cake which they sadly didn't serve at night). Would recommend to those of you who are looking for a solid shiu mai order in Chinatown. 

Lastly, just to make sure we live reaaaallyyyyyyyyyy long lives, we decided to place another order of noodles - Beef Chow Foon. 

Not a bad way to end our massive Chinese New Year feast. 

Overall, Hei La Moon is a great place to bring a big group of friends or family. Although I'd say you could get better Chinese dinner elsewhere, the dim sum is really their strong suit (and still my favorite place to take people visiting Boston). I would highly encourage you to come for lunch on the weekends where they push fresh carts of dim sum dishes around on display for you to pick and choose. That is when they offer the most variety of dim sum plates and when the restaurant is the most alive and bustling. Note: great thing about this place is that if you come with a big group of people, the total split cost won't damage your wallet too bad.