Monday, January 23, 2006

The Dim Sum Experience

That sounds like the name of a progressive rock band. But it isn't, at least, not one that I know of.

Instead, it is meant to refer to the fact that I had dim sum for the first time this weekend.

We went to Boston to meet up with Lizzy, Ethan, and Reid for the dim sum-ness. Allen and Reid had been playing phone tag for about 2 weeks, so it was nice to get the two of them together finally. Reid is moving to Wisconsin in either May or September (he hasn't decided yet) for at least a couple of years, so we're trying to spend time with him while we still can. Dim sum was the perfect excuse, especially since Reid actually speaks Chinese.

I highly recommend bringing a Chinese-speaker with you, if you can, to your first dim sum experience. The folks who push around the carts full of bamboo steamers really, REALLY want you to try everything, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. It's easier to deliver a firm No Thank You in the server's actual language.

The food was fabulous, if a little shrimp heavy - "hey, let's get that, that looks good, what's in it, oh - shrimp". I must have had 48 cups of tea. There were a few stand-outs for me -

One of Lizzy's faves, and a definite must-try is the Char Siu Bao, or steamed pork buns.

You wouldn't know it from the picture, but the center of the bun is filled with delicious barbequed pork.

I also really enjoyed the Shu Mai, which are another type of pork dumpling, w/chinese cabbage.

And the Ha Gau, one of the many shrimp dishes we sampled.

This shrimp rice noodle dish was the first thing I tried, actually, and it was good but difficult to eat with chopsticks, though they cut some of the larger food so you can share more easily.

I did manage to share one of these with Allen after mutilating it with my chopsticks, I'm not sure what they are but it was some kind of steamed beef meatball w/ scallions, I'm pretty sure. It wasn't the best looking thing we tried, but was still very, very good.

There were some sweet foods, too. There were the "donuts", a deep fried sweet roll with a ton of granulated sugar on them, and then the fried sesame balls, which I think out of everything were my favorite.

We assumed they were filled with red bean paste, but everything I've read about them online says "lotus seed paste", which makes me worry that I might forget all my friends and family, but then again, it's been more than 24 hours, and I still remember everything. Besides, would it really be all that bad if I forgot about my family? Ha! Just kidding! A-Hem.

(I'm sure no one really wants to read the whole poem, but it's really fantastic. If you were willing to sit through TROY, goddamn it, then read the frickin' poem.)

I think we're going to try to surprise my brother Ivan with a dim sum trip this weekend, depending on money, time, and other issues which may or may not be lotus related.


Anonymous said...

I wanna go! I wanna go! I love dim sum- my dad's been taking me for years.... all those pics you posted are like old friends.

Angela said...

i wouldn't mind being better friends with the sesame balls.

We'll go sometime!

Anonymous said...

Next time look for noodles with meat sauce- it's nothing like beef stroganoff ;)