Sunday morning dim sum with the Serious Eats crew…there are few better ways to start your day than by clogging your with arteries with fried crullers wrapped in cheung funn, and doused in sweet shoyu. Make sure to check Robyn’s write up on our morning in this 88 Palace post on Serious Eats…from spare ribs to boiled chicken feet, I think we covered fair ground
I’ve only had dim sum at three or four restaurants in this city, but can definitely concluded that dim sum in New York City may as well be another cuisine when compared to dim sum in Hawai’i. Back home, the same dishes, be wu gok or loh mai gai (pictured above), always taste significantly lighter. I could eat a hundred million dan tats and feel just dandy. Less fatty, less rich. Why? I do not know…must be something in the island water.
My grandparents drive from Sandy Beach all the way to Chinatown to start off each morning with dim sum, most often at Tai Pan, but they switch it up with Legends. They have dim sum every single morning. Now I don’t know how often you dim sum, but my stomach would be quite furious with me if I were to stuff it with mochi rice, fried chestnut cakes, and custard baos seven days a week. Granted my grandparents favour steamed dishes – dumplings and vegetables. An impressive feat nonetheless.
Dim sum in LA in a completely separate matter. No small places a la Tai Pan in Honolulu or Dim Sum GoGo here in NYC. Instead, big bustling restaurants…I always feel like I’m on the verge of a heart attack. So much food! The carts most so fast! Aggressive Asian people! A heart attack of the good sort, of course. I always dim sum-ed with relatives living in San Gabriel, relatives fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and everything in between. In LA, we power through these morning meals quicker than you’d imagine, amidst heavy chatter of the big dining halls. The item selection is significantly bigger than NYC or Hawai’i. But in exchange, the food quality is noticeably lower when compared to Hawai’i.
Honolulu is doubtlessly my favourite city to dim sum, I cannot help from comparing every other city to my hometown. Our family visits Shanghai and Hong Kong from time to time, and it is interesting to see the leisurely approach to dim sum in these big cities. My uncle who resides in Hong Kong there, will sit at the table for a solid three to four hours, poring over the day paper and eating each morsel one…by…one…ever…so…sloooowly. Apparently this is how it’s supposed to be done! Shanghai was where I first learned of the gum sah bao, quite literally, The Golden Sand Bao. How glorious is that? I won’t say too much about it because I already have in the past here. If you haven’t tried this before you must spend the rest of your life hunting it down. It’ll change your perception of dim sum foooorever. o_O
Dim sum odd and end post – come to think of it, I didn’t even say anything about 88 Palace. That’s what Robyn’s post is for right? Oh! Here’s a little bit: if you eat at 88 Palace do not leave without a plate or two of the fried mantou shown above. I’ve only seen this dish while dim sum-ing in Asia. So simple, more places ought to serve it. Six plain mantou buns, deep fried to a crisp and served with (what else) a pool of condensed milk! Ahhh, plain goodness ^_^
88 East Broadway, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10002
(the East Broadway Mall under the Manhattan Bridge)