2012 update - the dim sum place in Robinson Township died a few years back. I miss it. I'm not sure why this blog post gets so many visits. When we go to Washington, then we get decent dim sum! [[I can't recommend the York Buffet Sushi & Grill across from the Mall at Robinson. I've been there maybe three times, it has a few kinds of dim sum, everything there tends to taste stale.]]I've had dim sum many times in Boston, New York and San Francisco since at least 1982. When I moved back to Pittsburgh in 1993, I kept waiting for a genuine dim sum restaurant with the carts to open up. I figured that since Pittsburgh was always at least ten years behind the times, maybe one would open up by 2000. I shouldn't have held my breath.
It's not that I haven't had good Chinese appetizers in Pittsburgh - I have. The China Palace in Shadyside has excellent appetizers. Ditto the New Dumpling House in Squirrel Hill, Spice Island Tea House in Oakland and Ya Fei in Robinson. We always meant to try the Hong Kong in Dormont, but as they only served dim sum one Sunday a month, it was easy to forget to go there. And while there seems to be a dim sum place in Allison Park, I've never been to Allison Park.
So I was delighted to stumble over the Golden Palace, 5920 Steubenville Pike (near Beaver Grade Rd. on the same side of the street) in Robinson Township (412-489-5398). It's in a former Chinese buffet restaurant that closed last year and has just reopened. While they don't serve buffet, it's no great loss. It has a pretty typical Chinese menu and it has dim sum every day. Not only dim sum, but dim sum from carts on the weekends! (The menu online is in Chinese, but they include photos of some items.)
It was pretty good. The menu isn't huge, but the steamed buns were excellent as were the shrimp dumplings and turnip cake. We didn't have any dessert, but the dessert cart had some good-looking custard tarts and sesame balls.
It's definitely worth the trip to Robinson Township to go to this restaurant. It's on the same side of the road as the Arby's and the Eat and Park. Maybe if they get more business, they'll add more kinds of dim sum!