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I look forward to the post on Dim-Sum. We have been looking for some good dim-sum in the area. We may need to try this place out.

It's always such a treat to eat chinese food with people who really understand the cuisine and can go beyond the menu. The first time this happened, the Taiwanese immigrant mother of a college friend took us to a place in Houston and ordered off the Chinese menu. More recently - and more to the point of your post! - a UM Chinese prof took me (an I.T. type) and a couple of her department secretaries for a special lunch at Great Lakes, to show her appreciation. It was fabulous! I've been afraid to go back, in fear that I'd order the wrong thing and it would ruin my impression of the place. Perhaps armed with your information I can try it again...

There is nothing like a good chinese meal.

I agree with all your comments about Great Lake - it's fabulous. My husband and I love Dim Sum and have tried it in every city we've visited together - from San Francisco to Toronto and New York and yes, even Las Vegas (we wanted something differnt from the regular American fare and actually hunted down the only dim sum place in Las Vegas) . It would not be incorrect to say that before we visit a city, we usually go online to look up restaurants that offer dim sum. We found a couple even in Cleveland, though we were quite disappointed with the food (after one tries Great Lake, everything seems a bit of a letdown!). I don't think I've had better dim sum anywhere in the States! I do have certain grievances against Great Lake though. Lately, they charge for every additional bowl of white rice that comes gratis with dishes like pea tips for instance. When two people dine, it is difficult to eat more than two bowls of rice anyway with everything else that you order, so it was quite surprising to discover that they charge now for the additional bowl of rice. My other pet peeve is that it is very hard to communicate with the servers, so asking for recommendations about the specials or a little information about an item on the menu is usually met with a blank stare of incomprehension. I imagine it is easier to climb the Great Wall of China than it is to elicit some useful information about certain items on the menu that you may be interested in! We just don't know how to work our way around this huge roadblock, which always leaves us ordering the tried and tested dishes everytime! Any sort of advice from you (short of learning Mandarin :>), as regards the above problem will be greatly appreciated. Can't wait to go to Great Lake again!

Promilaa: Mandarin will only help you with a few of the waitstaff -- most of the staff speak Cantonese! We haven't had much problem with getting dish descriptions, though there have been times when they simply do not know the English word for an ingredient. If you're looking to expand the dishes you like, try adding in one unfamiliar dish at a meal. But always order a dish (or more) you like, so you can guarantee that you'll have something you'll enjoy in case the new dish doesn't agree with your tastes.

(KC's husband here)

I haven't run across the rice thing, but we may just not have ordered extra rice.

On the language barrier... In my experience at Great Lake, there's almost always someone on staff who speaks English well, even if it isn't your server. You may have to ask politely if there's someone around who can explain the dish to you, but unless you're there late at night when staffing is low, there should be.

One source of recommendations is the white board by the door that lists specials -- these tend to have ingredients that aren't always available. We've had good luck experimenting with them.

I am definitely going to check it out. This is my second year in Michigan (originally from Hawai'i) and I am so spoiled by the dim sum and other Chinese food back home!

I never knew it until moving here but I think maybe the stuff in Hawai'i is mostly Hong Kong-style. Having Cantonese-speakers also reassures me since that's what most of the Chinese in Hawai'i speak. (I don't, but at least it will sound familiar, and maybe it's a sign that the food will be more what I am used to.)

Last year we went to Evergreen, Lai Lai, and Little Panda in Lansing. Little Panda was the best, but still not as good as we like! I'm so excited to try this place!

I've always had great food at Great-Lake (if not the best service.) I have also had good luck ordering from the small green-type menu inside the regular menu or the specials board. The beef with ginger and green onions is to die for by-the-way (as long as you like a strong ginger kick).

Kate: thanks for the recommendation. We do like a ginger kick in this household.

RobynT: I've heard good things about Hong Hua's Hong Kong style food, too. (Someday we'll make it there.) They're located in Farmington Hills.

Hey L,
Hong Hua is really great. All my chinese friends at work goes there to celebrate Lunar New Year. There are alot of Asian eat there that means something. Maybe you and your hubby and our family should venture out there sometimes. Also, Pearl restaurant on the corner of 10 mile and Grandriver is also great too.


We were in AA yesterday and on our way to Trader Joe's, I saw great lakes, but I could have sworn it was on Washtenaw. Is that a different place?

There's a bank in this area called "Great Lakes Financial," which might be what you saw. Great Lake is still near the corner of Carpenter and Packard, behind the White Castle.

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