Dim Sum

You wanna know something? I had never had Dim Sum until Sunday. Wait! Do you “have” Dim Sum or do you “do” Dim Sum? Maybe it’s either. I’m not sure. So, as you may already know I spent this last weekend in Chicago, visiting the Kenmore/Craftsman live studios. My departure flight was late on Sunday so I got together with some of my favorite bloggers and hit the town.

Pictured left to right, clockwise: Joelen from What’s Cooking Chicago, Denise, from Creative Kitchen and myself.

When I found out that there was a Chinatown in Chicago, I knew I had to go, mainly for Bento boxes for my girls and a pincushion for my sister. And to try Dim Sum, of course.

For those of you who may now know what the heck Dim Sum is~ don’t feel bad. I’ll explain it the best way I can.

We walked up a flight of stairs to the Phoenix restaurant and into a bright open room overlooking Chinatown with downtown Chicago in the distance.The restaurant was stirring with patrons enjoying assorted small dishes being offered by servers pushing two tiered carts laden with assorted small plates and steaming bamboo baskets. As soon as we settled in, taking off our heavy coats and jackets servers arrived with steamy pots of tea, and cold glasses of ice water.

Instantly, a server arrived offering something I didn’t understand.  I smiled politely and said one moment  and I’m sure I had the bewildered American look on my face as well, she smiled back at me and said with a thick far eastern accent  that she’d come back.

There were no menus, and, myself being “financially challenged” got a little nervous because there was no way of knowing exactly how much things cost.  My friend quickly helped me relax by saying, “Oh, it’s really cheap.”

There are occasions in life where you’re thrilled to hear “it’s really cheap” ~ this happened to be one of them.

Our first item was a steamed bun filled with a sweet and spicy shredded pork called Cha Siu Bao

These were delicious, although very filling. I had to be very careful because I despise when I fill up on the first thing that hits the table…

There was a slew of fragrances wafting through the air with the hustle and bustle of the carts across the restaurant floor.

 

Just look at all those carts going by… and the friendly ladies offering each delightful dish like gracious hostesses.

We got some “classic” short ribs, and I couldn’t help but remember the old joke about cats. I’m not going there, though. 😉

There was also a creamy rice soup, that was the ultimate in comport food-( I have got to make that at home somehow) and some steamed shrimp pot stickers.

My girlfriend saw these go by and wanted to try them,  they were sweet buns filled with an egg yolk custard. They smelled incredible, like a fresh doughnut… but I was in “savory mode”  so I never tried it.

The assorted steamed items were my favorite, and this little trip has inspired me to go to my local Asian market for supplies to have a Dim Sum party at home. Now… if only I could get one of those carts…

Of course, I have to leave you with a cheesy tourist shot. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed Dim Sum with me. I’ll have some more tales from Chicago coming up and I also have recipes, too. I know it’s been a while since I “fed” y’all with a recipe. I promise, food is on it’s way.

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