Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dim Sum Fiasco

We haven't eaten much Chinese food since we've been in Chicago, so we were intrigued by an article in the Chicago Tribune about a neighborhood that is sometimes referred to as "New Chinatown" or "Little Saigon". We were happy with the vietnamese pho and banh mi in the area, so this morning, we tried the dim sum restaurant that was mentioned in the newspaper article.

Big mistake.

The restaurant was relatively empty when we arrived (which should've been a clue), but the hostess wanted to seat us at the table next to the door. After we managed to get a table in the center of the restaurant, we were greeted by the familiar carts, but instead of ornery middle-aged women, they were manned by a bunch of teenagers wearing neon green t-shirts who spoke to us in English. Overall, the staffing was rather strange; at one point, we counted 15 servers, many of whom were standing in the corner chatting. At the time, there were about 10 tables of customers. For the most part, however, the teenagers were working relatively hard.

We started with a few dim sum staples (siu mai, har gow, shrimp rice rolls, gai lan), and quickly noticed that the food was lukewarm (at best). Not only that, it seemed to quickly cool to below room temperature (only a slight exaggeration). In hindsight, we definitely should've sent the food back, but I think we were too shocked by the whole situation.

We stopped ordering dim sum items, but foolishly decided to try one of the "weekend specials", a seafood chow mein, thinking it would at least be made to order (and therefore, hot). It was indeed hot, but it was by far the smallest portion of chow mein I've ever seen, and had a strangely sweet sauce.

I guess we'll keep looking for good (hot) chinese food.

1 comment:

angi said...

whoa! that totally reminds me of this dimsum place in oakland we went to with my dad a few weeks ago. the carts just weren't keeping the food hot enough - i don't care how well made the dimsums are, tepid dimsum is immediately bad dimsum. i hope you'll find a good place soon!