Discussion in 'General Chat' started by itsstillmatt, Aug 2, 2012.
I haven't had dim sum in a year or so. It is one of my favorite things.
Me too. But it sucks in New York. I mean, it's terrible. Even the places in Flushing that are supposed to be the best suck in comparison to what I can get in suburban Maryland.
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AAlso, all my friends in New York are Jews and "like" to eat dim sum even though they cannot eat pork and generally don't like anything sticky or gelatinous. Essentially, they eat the shrimp dumplings. A small plate each. And then they are done. Meanwhile there I am ordering like a proper Chinese person, with 12-15 small plates covering the table, and liquified pork fat flying out the corners of my mouth. Also, they insist on going at "lunch time," which is like 1:30 in the afternoon, and don't understand all the good stuff will be gone or stale by then.
It's not fun when you do it with people who don't do it right.
Din Tai Fung FTW
To be fair, I'm exaggerating about how sloppy I am. Actually, I'm not at all. The point was more that it's nearly impossible to really eat dim sum unless you can eat pork--and that is broadly true of Chinese food. Also, dim sum is supposed to be a communal, family-style meal. You're supposed to share the experience together, each reaching for the same little plates, not sitting with your plate of shrimp dumplings kept to yourself. It's not the right spirit of things. I get irritated later on when I reflect on the grimaces and looks of disgust as I unpack my pork fat drenched sticky rice from its lotus leaf. But at the time, I'm too busy enjoying the delicious gooeyness.
I just don't think many non-Chinese really "get" what dim sum is supposed to be. It's like people who "love" sushi, order a single $4.99 order of spicy tuna rolls for themselves, and then wonder why the waiter doesn't give a crap about serving them well.
My people are good jews, and by that I mean we eat dim sum correctly.
Edit: Except for my mother. She won't let anybody else touch the black bean spare ribs. If somebody else at the table wants some, we have to get two orders.
Also, if you eat f*cking Peking duck, you must pack in some meat and the crispy skin. You must roll it up in the pancake (which should be paper thin, yet pliable and unbreakable). If you don't, and only eat the meat, and don't use the hoisin sauce or scallions, you don't get to complain that it isn't anything special. Plus, you've just f*cked my meal, because now there is no meat left. I love the skin, but I cannot eat a skin-only Peking duck roll.
Oh yeah, it's not a f*cking Chipotle burrito. Slow down f*cker. There's like a dozen and a half wrappers. Seriously, you need like two or three pieces of meat, the same number of skin slices, and that's it.
Now that is just wrong.
Seriously. I've never seen somebody only eat the meat. My wife only eats the skin (in a pancake with hoisin and green onion) which pisses me off to no end because I have an excess of meat. Also, pancakes versus buns? The two best Peking duck places in SF differ mainly in this regard, and we choose based on which we want that night.
I'm sorry, and I'm only speaking for myself here, but my mod powers only go to moderating Dumb Threads, not Dim Sum restaurants. I understand your irritation though. Okay, not really. I've never done Din Sum so I have no idea what you're talking about.
And you live in SF. It's not fair that you aren't Chinese or that I am not you.
Anyway, my broader beef (or pork, in this instance), is with people who don't earnestly try to participate in cultures they are exposed to. There is a way to eat Peking duck, just as there is a way to eat a good steak. My cousins from Taiwan were visiting my parents years and years ago. I grilled them some ribeyes because my mother wanted them to have real American steak while they were here. They joked about how big the cuts were and how Americans are fat and uncivilized. I got up to go get something from the kitchen and by the time I had gotten back, he had cut the steaks into slices, which he piled up on another plate.
I think leaving out the skin is the most egregious. It's like eating pizza without the cheese.
My girlfriend (ex-Jewish) doesn't eat shrimp and hasn't totally warmed up to pork yet either. We met some friends at dim sum and there was almost nothing she would eat. Kind of awkward, but at least she didn't pick through anything and ruin it, which sounds inexcusable.
I do wish there were a little guide for each dish on what you are supposed to do, because I know I'm often doing it wrong.
Worse is when non-Chinese order entire dinner "entrees" for themselves. Who actually enjoys eating an entire plate of bok choy? It's insanity. And the next person has an entire plate of beef.
I would like to try Peking Duck one day.
There is. There is a little laminated thing that looks like a map which shows you what dish is what.
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