A proper dim sum meal is something I would never attempt to make from scratch and serve in a home setting. Too mabusisi or cumbersome, I would think. So it doesn’t surprise me that the only dim sum meals I have enjoyed have been at restaurants in Chinatown(s) or good hotels in various U.S cities or in Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta, Melbourne and a few other places in between. Often, the dim sum meals are delicious but unmemorable. One dish melds into another, and in bad cases, soy sauce and chili mask the sins of bad cooks. Starchy wrappers can range from light and luscious to heavy and unappealing. And tasteless tepid tea is used to keep the grease liquified in your tummy. But every once in a while, you get a spectacular selection of dim sum, you manage to order well and have a mixture of different types of dishes, and you have the finest condiments (some light but flavorful soy, vinegar, mustard, etc.) to enhance the individual mouthfuls and you get to write a post about the experience. Such was the case at dragon-i last week in Hong Kong, where a friend took us for some rather “upscale” dim sum…
I am often wary of restaurants with very chi-chi reputations serving typically down-to-earth food, but our friend assured us that this ultra hip bar/club by night had a great dim sum menu at lunch and we were not disappointed. We managed to score a table outdoors on the terrace, and it was set simply with blue and white china, black cups, black napkins and several dishes for condiments. An extensive menu outlined either an a la carte menu or an all you can eat option for some US$20 per person or so. We decided on the latter.
Steamed spinach dumplings with a nearly luminescent and incredibly light wrapper were among the first items to arrive. They were delicious.
Pork dumplings followed with just the right amount of steamed and pan-fried portions of the wrapper.
Next, Steamed Fresh Dioscorea with Lily dumplings. Don’t ask me what dioscorea is. And I am not sure what it tasted like. :(
Pan-fried turnip cake that was well-done, it didn’t feel like it was going to sink to the bottom of your stomach like a soft brick.
Steamed glutinous rice with chicken in a lotus leaf was shared by three, and I don’t think I could have eaten much more of this as it was quite heavy but tasted great nonetheless.
Excellent shrimp dumplings…
…followed by some braised/steamed fatty pork ribs.
Some poached pork dumplings with spicy oil broke up the lightness of early steamed dishes…
…while this SUPERB deep-fried bean curd sheet roll with wild mushrooms was a brilliant way to segue into the fried dishes.
These potato/taro deep fried balls were crunchy on the outside and heavy on the inside. One of my least favorite picks.
But these deep-fried crab meat claws with a bit of mayonnaise and hot sauce were quite good.
Vegetable spring rolls were superbly executed, with even crisp skins that weren’t oily at all.
Finally, some deep-fried squid rings with sweet and sour sauce were just a bit over the top at this point. Yes, we had had our fill of dimsum for the trip. Oh, and they had a few teas to choose from, so the hot pots of tea were constantly being poured as we consumed this mini-feast. A wonderful lunch in a nice setting. Click the link up top to get details about the restaurant and their contact details and location.