Monday, August 25, 2008

"Dim Sum Good Soup!"

A couple of years ago, after reading an article on local dim sum restaurants, C-Dub and I had our first experience with dim sum at Happy Valley on Buford Highway. It was love at first bite.

Our trip to Happy Valley kicked off a dim sum feeding frenzy. Each weekend thereafter, we tried a different place - Oriental Pearl, Canton House, China Delight, Royal China - we just couldn't get enough! Well, that is until one day when we could. We were totally dim sum-ed out. At that point, the thought of eating another siu mai made me nauseous. So, we took a break.

Since then, we have occasionally thought of eating dim sum but usually at the wrong time. (Dim Sum is a kind of brunch and getting there late - after 12:30ish - means that you aren't getting the best stuff.) So this past Saturday, when C-Dub was on the verge of starvation, we headed over to Royal China.

Before Royal China was Royal China, it was Honto. Honto was thought by some to be one of the best chinese restaurants in town. It was a place that I went often with my family as a kid and it was always packed. While I've since learned that Honto was home to some of the best esoteric dishes in Atlanta, I never swayed from my usual dish of beef and broccoli. Sadly, before I ventured out to try something new, Honto failed a health inspection miserably and closed shortly thereafter.

A sign of days gone by

When I discovered last year that Honto was now Royal China and that they serve dim sum, I was eager to try it out. It was delicious and Royal China quickly went to the top of our dim sum list.

Now, months later, we finally got back to Royal China. It was as good as I remembered.

Steamy goodness

We got a great seat near the aisle, as a good seat near the steam carts is key to a satisfying dim sum meal. We grabbed nearly all of our old favorites - shrimp rice noodle rolls, siu mai (shrimp dumplings), char siu baau (steamed barbecue pork buns), mátuǎn (a chewy dough filled with red bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds, and deep fried) - and even tried a new treat, steamed sponge cake.

Cheong fan

Cha siu baau, inside and out!

Mátuǎn leads the pack

Steamed sponge cake tastes like a warm angel food cake

It had been so long since our last dim sum visit that we way over ordered, each new cart carrying familiar goodies that called our name. Once we spotted the cart where the waitress fries up some dumplings and taro cakes made to order, we could hardly resist even though we had a table full of food.

Fried up to order!

Taro cakes, for the uninitiated, kind of taste like mashed potatoes

To complete his meal, C-Dub picked up a cup of almond flavored tofu topped with fruit cocktail.

A cart of pudding-type delights

If you want a great dim sum experience, I definitely recommend Royal China. On top of the carts rolling by with delectable delights, Royal China has friendly and courteous service.

Ahhh, dim sum. It's been too long.

Royal China
3295 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Atlanta, GA 30324

By the way, if you want to have a nostalgic experience after the dim sum, make your way up the street to Biggar's Antiques. Be sure to tell Mayor McCheese I said hello!

We've missed you at the playground, McCheese!


Chloe said...

Oh, cool -- you like Royal China! I'm there just about every Sunday brunch. Next time I see you guys, I'll definitely stop by and say hello. I saw you guys at Woodfire Grill but didn't want to bother you during your dinner.

Btw, I did a post on Royal China:

Glue&Glitter said...

Oooh I haven't had dim sum in forever! That place looks delicious! The almond tofu sounds really good.

GrabMoL said...

Hey Chloe - If you see me out and about, please don't hesitate to say hello! (I agree with your review on Royal China, by the way - yum!)

Becky - we should go to Dim Sum sometime. I think we might be able to find a place with vegan dishes!

mingaling said...

man, now I want some har gao!

ETK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ETK said...

Yum! I wish there was stuff I could eat for dim sum! :) I love the first picture - great shot.

ETK said...

Wait. I just read all these comments. There's such a thing as vegan dim sum??? Ithought it was all seafood and chicken feet!!!

I wanna go!!!