There’s Something About Dim Sum
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A true staple of Chinese menus, dim sum is at the heart of the cuisine’s rich history, as it has long been closely associated with the practice of yum cha, or taking tea. Dim sum also is heartwarming because it provides bite-sized bundles of comfort food, all rolled up to welcome in feelings of satisfaction — both for physical hunger and for the emotional craving of the familiar.
Since it opened in 2001, Golden Palace has grown to offer more than 40 different options of dim sum on its menu, in addition to other Hong Kong cuisine infused with local touches. Manager Gary Lam elaborates on how and why dim sum has left such an indelible mark on the restaurant’s legacy.
“Dim sum really has brought us to where we are today,” he says. “We have the lowest prices on the island, and have always been able to offer that without sacrificing portion size or quality.” It’s a system that has worked well for Golden Palace, as Lam sees the same steady clientele come in to enjoy dim sum, many on a daily basis.
Another part of its appeal, according to Lam, is variety. “Part of the beauty of dim sum is that it’s served in relatively small portions, so you can try several different kinds, and with a ton of versatile flavors, ingredients and options, you don’t get tired of it.”
Proving his point, Lam wheels out five fantastic items representing the diversity on the dim sum menu. Fried Bacon Flower ($2.49) is a newer item, recently unveiled by Lam and his father. Featuring shrimp wrapped in bacon and chives, then deep-fried and rolled into a tiny floral-shaped bundle, this pretty-as-a-picture offering is almost too lovely to eat.
“My dad and I created this because we are always looking to introduce new ideas, and even update our classics,” explains Lam.
Shanghai Soup Dumpling ($2.49) showcases pork and hints of ginger spice marinated in a broth-infused pouch. “As it cooks, the juices from the pork really marinate flavor into everything,” describes Lam. “That’s why we use the specific wrapper (that’s more sturdy) to hold in the juices and broth from the pork.”
Another popular choice, Pork Shumai ($2.49), cinches pork, diced mushrooms, and shrimp into a shumai (egg-based) wrapper, while Shrimp Look Funn ($3.90) wows with a rice flour noodle that’s steamed, stuffed with shrimp, then steamed some more before it is rolled into a trio of seafood treasures. A sweet soy sauce served alongside “really accents the dish and adds flavor,” says Lam.
Ma Tai Soo ($2.49), with its water chestnuts, pork and shredded turnip filling piped into a golden flaky shell, will make you think you are about to devour a pocket-sized pot pie — but you won’t be disappointed, as these are just as delicious. The secret is in that savory crust, which Lam explains is “where the name ‘soo’ comes from … because it is layered and flaky.”
And if the popularity of Golden Palace’s dim sum menu is any indication, the restaurant’s ever-evolving masterminds will continue to serve enticing Chinese fare to its loyal patrons.
GOLDEN PALACE SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
WHERE 111 N. KING ST., CHINATOWN
HOURS DAILY, 7 A.M.-10 P.M.