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With Dim Sum, You Always Win Some!

dim sum photo With Dim Sum, You Always Win Some!

If you’ve never tried dim sum before, boy are you missing out!

Dim sum is a brunch originating from Southern parts of China. In many metropolitan areas (especially coastal regions such as New York City, the Bay Area, and Southern California), dim sum is widely accessible. Many Chinese restaurants serve it in the morning until 3pm in the afternoon.

Dishes are served in small plates (think tapas), which makes it perfect for sharing with a group. There are a variety of savory and sweet dishes (although if you are a vegetarian, your choices will be severely limited. If you’re a vegan, then I imagine most dishes are completely off-limits). At some restaurants, servers will push around carts filled with steaming plates of pork buns or shrimp-stuffed noodles. If something catches your eye, you can order the food straight from the cart. At other restaurants you will be given a menu (some with pictures) and will order from there.

Dim sum is also a budget-friendly brunch choice. With prices as low as $1.50 a plate (usually includes 3-4 pieces), a brunch for 4, including tax and tip, ranges from $35-$50: an incredible value for the quantity and tastiness of the food you receive. Delicious and budget-friendly – what else can you ask for?icon wink With Dim Sum, You Always Win Some!

Some of my favorite dishes are lotus-wrapped chicken, BBQ pork buns (I like the ones with the glazed top, not so much the steamed version), fried taro cake and fried turnip cake, shrimp rice noodle rolls, congee with salted pork and thousand-year-old eggs, and egg tarts. As you can tell, I have many favorites… the one thing that I am NOT partial to, however, is “Phoenix Talons” (or, in less elegant – but much more realistic – parlance, chicken feet). My favorite tea is Chrysanthemum.

What are your favorite dim sum places?

  • A. Marigold - My favorite was always Oceanstar in Monterey Park, until they stopped making my favorite noodle dish (and I still have no idea what it's called). I'm still looking for another place where I can consistently find it before I declare a new favorite. ;)

    I actually can't think of anything vegetarian I've ever encountered at a dim sum restaurant other than those noodles. Even the broccoli is drenched in oyster sauce, and the turnip cakes I always get I've recently discovered are sometimes sprinkled with bits of pork (I tend to avoid pork and shellfish for no particularly good reason). I think vegetarians should probably avoid dim sum altogether, unless they make it at home. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - What noodle dish was your favorite? Oh, so I forgot to add that my "favorites" also include noodles.

      Basically, I love everything in dim sum except chicken feet. ReplyCancel

      • A. Marigold - It's a wide, flat rice noodle that was fried with soy sauce and served with peanut sauce with sesame seeds. But when I say "chow fun," which is what someone told me it was the first time, they now come back at me with the white rolled noodle that is usually stuffed with beef. My quest is not only to find a place that serves it, but also a name to call it that will consistently result in finding the same dish. ;) ReplyCancel

  • The Asian Pear - I've seen dim sum as low as $1.40 at certain restaurants at certain periods of the day, but I think on average for my hometown, dim sum is about $3 now. Eep. I don't actually have a dim sum place as I hate crowds. But my favourite dim sums include shrimp dumplings, and rice roll with deep fried fritter. yummy.

    There are some vegan choices although not many…. Like white congee, tofu with sugar syrup and deep fried tofu with soy sauce. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Mmmmm shrimp dumplings. My favorites are bbq pork buns, the Shanghai buns, congee with thousand year old eggs and salted pork, lotus-wrapped chicken, steamed milk custard, fried taro cakes….

      Okay, I obviously have too many favorites! ;) ReplyCancel

  • StackingPennies - You tell me — best in LA?

    I got hooked on it where it originitaed — Hong kong! I haven't been in a really long time — you have to order well, and I'm not good at it because I always let my friends that grew up with the stuff order it. But now that you remind me how delicious it looks…. i want to go again soon! YUM

  • Jessica - I've never had dim sum – no places here in my little corner of the Carolinas. However those pictures make my mouth water. I'll have to search out some dim sum on my next trip! ReplyCancel

  • Low Income Lady - In Australia, they call this Yum Cha. I tried going to a restaurant serving this style of food but I didn’t know what to pick! And of course I picked things I didn’t like and wasted my money…
    .-= Low Income Lady´s last blog ..Bills =-.ReplyCancel

  • L.A. Daze - You're making me very hungry right now. I have yet to find dim sum that I really *love* here in LA. I've been to places in the east and just wasn't a fan. My favorite is the hakau! And I always get some tofu hotpot dish along with it. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - I haven't tried the tofu hotpot dishes before… but I'll keep an eye for them next time. I really love the big congee carts. Nothing like steaming bowl of hot congee on a Saturday morning. ReplyCancel

  • eemusings - We call it yum char in NZ, too. I loooove Chinese egg/custard tarts! Also a sucker for anything deep fried or dumpling-like. ReplyCancel

    • WellHeeled - Oh yes! How could I have forgotten about the egg tarts? They are so delicious. I'm with you on the deep-fried. :) ReplyCancel

  • Jenn @ Paying Myself - We once went with a vegetarian and Jewish friend who could not eat pork. They left pretty hungry! :-( ReplyCancel

  • Money Maus - I love dim sum! My parents introduced my brother and I to it at a very young age and we've been eating it ever since! My favorite dim sum places are in Seattle (the Int'l District as about 2 per block! recently tried a new place, 3 people for brunch, total of $15 including tax & tip… cheapest I've EVER had!) and also, of course, NYC! Favorite dishes are har gao, shu mai, spare ribs, char shu bao, haa chung fun and sticky rice. I'm sure I'm missing some! ;)

    That's it. I'm on a mission to find dim sum in my city, since I've never actually considered it a decent place for it. :) ReplyCancel

  • J a - Well, if you travel around, here's some of my favorites:

    - Dol Ho: 808 Pacific Ave, Chinatown

    DC Area:
    - China Garden (weekends only): 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington (Rosslyn)
    - Mark's Duck House (weekends only): 6184 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church

    - Jing Fong: 18 Elizabeth Street, Chinatown

    Portland, OR:
    - Ping's (Not dim sum per se, but small plates): 102 NW 4th Avenue, Chinatown

    Probably better places out there that these guys, but these were better than most of the sad imitations of dim sum that exist out there. I enjoyed the meals very, very much. ReplyCancel

  • Louise|UPrinting.com - Dim sum is actually big in our place, since there are many Asian restaurants around our community. Most notable is the siu mai. But all of them are gooooood…. :) ReplyCancel

  • 5 Reasons to Save for Retirement - [...] a comfortable, paid-off home, and plenty of friends and socializing (I’ll be that old lady at dim sum on a Wednesday morning). I would not enjoy my retirement if I spend my days worrying about deciding [...]ReplyCancel

  • Food Waste Wastes Money | Well Heeled Blog - [...] might shop the Thursday before a weekend get away, and by the time we are back on Sunday we go to dim sum instead of scrambling eggs because no one wants to cook, and the food is spoiled when Monday rolls [...]ReplyCancel

  • Phyl - Golden Unicorn, Panama City, Panama. Oh so good! ReplyCancel

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