Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dim Sum Delight

In which Tyler eats chicken feet

When Tyler and I went out to Sunset Park on Saturday, we went for Dim Sum. For those of you who don't know what Dim Sum is, it is a Cantonese tradition, and it involves small dishes of delicious food.

But, it is oh-so-much-more than that...

Dim Sum restaurants are usually loud and crowded massive ballrooms with hundreds of large, round tables that you share with strangers. On weekends, there is often a host at the entrance, giving out tickets and calling out numbers like you would at the deli. When your number is called, you're whisked off into the restaurant, where you are seated in record time and served tea. An empty bill is automatically placed on your table.

And then the food comes. And comes. And keeps coming. The waitresses move with carts full of small steamer baskets and plates. They'll bark at you, trying to pawn off what they have: Rice! Soups! Pork buns! Shumai! Shrimp! Dumplings! Chicken feet! Snails! And tons of other dishes I can't distinguish for the life of me. When you partake, the waitress takes a little stamper, stamps your bill, and scurries off while you wait for the next cart.

It. Is. Awesome.

Last weekend, I tried something that threw me for a loop. Soup dumplings. If you don't know what soup dumplings are, I'd like you to picture them in your head.

Soup dumplings.

Are you picturing the dish?

There ya go. Got a nice little picture in your head?


Did you picture this?

Where is the soup? I asked when it was placed in front of me. And what I discovered, my friends, nearly blew my mind. The soup was inside the dumpling. INSIDE OF IT, people.

Stick a fork in me. I'm done.

Have you ever had Dim Sum before? What about a soup dumpling? Ya know, the dumpling where the soup is inside of the dumpling. INSIDE OF IT, I tell you! I was amazed...


  1. The first time I went to Dim Sum with my sister, she said to me, "Don't try to figure out what anything is -- just eat it." That advice helped me enjoy the food so much more.

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  3. I've had Dim Sum, but definitely not like the ones in your picture. They look delicious!

    Great Post!

  4. Melissa, was this your first time having dim sum? If so, I applaud you. And god job for Tyler trying fung chow (chicken feet). Having grown up in Hong Kong, dim sum is in my blood. Ha ha. I usually go to a place on Mott Street. There's also a good place in NJ near where I live, too, but I'm always up for new adventures. Please give me directions to where you guys ate.

    Do you know how they get the soup in the dumpling? When the chefs make the dumpling, rolling the filling into the skin, the soup is a slightly frozen congealed glob. It melts into soup-proper as the dumpling is steamed.

  5. Soup dumplings - they do exist! I saw them featured a few months ago on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on Food Network. Ingenius!

  6. I love Dim Sum. However, this was where I ingested my first sea cucumber. Because I'm an idiot, I was picturing a vegetable from the sea NOT a giant slug. Wasn't a taste to my liking at all! But yes, Dim Sum is awesome! Soup in a dumpling sounds yum.

  7. I love reading blog posts about food! Never been to a Dim Sum restaurant and my mind is boggling over the notion of soup inside dumplings. I'd pictured the dumplings floating in the soup.

    Don't think I'd like chicken feet. Did Tyler enjoy them?

  8. I miss dim sum. Thanks for sharing the photos...they really look yummy! :)

  9. Those look very unusual but tasty (soup dumplings, that is, not chicken feet)! Thanks for sharing about them.

  10. No I've never had Dim Sum, or soup dumplings, or experienced this kind of Chinese restaurant altho it sounds so FUN! Out west the Chinese restaurants seem to all be buffets. Every town has a dozen Chinese buffets.