Dim Sum Piggies
Can we talk about enablers for a moment. We’ve all got them. I love Albany Jane, but she’s a bad influence. My oldest friend ADS is also encourages me to eat and drink more than I otherwise would. Raf does that too, cooking all sorts of tempting, and delicious treats.
Recently when I visited Raf at his new New York home downstate, he even offered me a tasty morsel of fried chicken skin. The old Raf would have eaten it all himself. It’s amazing to see how people grow and mature as they get on in years.
But this isn’t a one way street. Surely, I serve as Mrs. Fussy’s enabler when she’s jonesin’ for some cake batter, a carton of ice cream, or an occasional stiff drink. And just on Monday, I made an awful suggestion to a group of Yelpers when we were out at Taiwan Noodle for a dim sum dinner.
“Let’s just eat the whole menu,” I cavalierly said.
Taiwan Noodle has a long menu. There are lots of things on it. But the dim sum section has a much more manageable list of fifteen items. With ten people sitting around the table, some of those menu items would need to be ordered two or three at a time, just to make sure we had enough pieces for everyone.
It seemed like this might be overkill, so I started to read out loud what the order would be if we ordered enough that everyone could have a piece of every dish. Just hearing all of those words, made it sound like we were in trouble.
“Three orders of soup dumplings, three orders of pan-fried dumplings, three orders of pork and leek dumplings, three orders of pan fried pork buns, three orders of shrimp dumplings, three orders of shrimp shu mai, three orders of chicken shu mai, three orders of spring rolls, three orders of shrimp rolls, three orders of veggie dumplings, two orders of scallion pancakes, two orders of fried wheat collar, two orders of spicy wontons, and one order of fried wontons.”
It was clearly way too much food. But you know what? We ordered it anyway. And man, what a parade of delights.
Somehow we must have gotten really lucky, because the dumplings I had at Taiwan Noodle this past Monday were some of the best I’ve had from the kitchen.
I was seriously dreading the shrimp dumplings and the soup dumplings, but these were the best I’ve ever had them here. Yes, the dumpling wrapper is way too thick on the soup dumpling. But these contained the most broth of any I’d ever experienced at Taiwan Noodle. And the shrimp dumplings finally lived up to the hype expressed by Albany Jane many moons ago. They must have just been made, because the skins were smooth and tight, and the shrimp inside had good snap and sweetness.
The plates from the kitchen came out fast and furious. It was a struggle to keep up with them. But the Yelp gang was heroic. Not only did we eat through that deluge of dumplings, we even ordered dessert.
Sweet rice balls, were the last item on the dim sum menu that we hadn’t ordered, and those made the cut for dessert. But these hot and oily, peanut butter filled orbs were not the only sweet we ordered. I thought it would be fun to get some egg custards too.
Sadly, they were out of the dan tat, aka custard tarts, and I was reluctant to order a round of steamed egg custard buns for the table. The bun dough can be heavy, and after such a big meal, I thought it might kill someone. So I asked the waiter if we could order five or six buns and have them cut in half.
He brushed me off, and said that the egg custards would be on the house.
It wasn’t clear in the moment if that was because they were out of the thing we really wanted, or if he was going to comp us a final dish just because we ordered so much food. When the egg custard buns arrived, the answer was obvious.
I’ve never seen bao art like that before. How cool. These were almost too cute to eat. But they were delicious.
When everything was said and done, with tax, and a 20% tip, the total came to $21 per person. Not bad for literally eating everything on the menu. Our next dim sum outing will be to a place that’s more expensive, but I’m sure it will be equally fun.
Now it’s time to go to Yoga and sweat off one bite of one of the dumplings. I’m really enjoying the class, and it makes my body feel great. But I’m not so sure it really qualifies as exercising, yet. That, however, is a discussion for another time.