Ordering dim sum, for those of you who haven’t experienced it, is sort of like being at a Chinese sushi bar, in that you order many individual, tasty little dishes. Of course, dim sum itself is nothing like sushi. Rather, it’s a range of pot stickers, pan-fried dumplings, baos (soft, doughy buns filled with such meat as barbecued pork), translucent rice noodles wrapped around shrimp, sticky rice in lotus leaves, chicken feet, and so forth. Some of it is steamed; some is fried—for that extra-good grease! You can make your own dipping sauce by combining soy sauce, vinegar, and hot-pepper oil. The waitstaff pushes steam carts filled with little dishes; point, and they’ll attempt to tell you what each one is. Better, just blindly order a bunch and dig in. Each dish is only a few bucks, the server makes a note of what you just received, and the total is tallied at the end. Dim sum is usually available only until midafternoon.
- Rick Garman