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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dim Sum!!

A couple of friends and I decided to try the new dim sum offerings at Peking Palace for Sunday brunch today. We're all big fans of assorted Chinese dumplings served in little steamer baskets but the closest place to get dim sum until now has been Kansas City. I think after today this might become a regular Sunday brunch thing.

What was the name of the golf-themed sports bar that used to be in this building on the south side of 83rd & O? Knickers? Well, the oddly rasta-influenced colors of Knickers still decorate the facade but just trust me that there's a really good Chinese restaurant (a Lincoln oxymoron) in there .

We arrived around 11:30 and the place was about half-full. We got seated in a raised area which appeared to be a detriment since the dim sum cart can't climb stairs but I think it was better for all of us in the end. We could only get two or three items at a time instead of grabbing everything off the cart at once. Since we had to wait a little longer none of us got grotesquely full but just pleasantly overfed. Of course, this might have a little to do with the fact that staff seemed a little short. By 12:30 they were running out of things and I think they were supposed to be serving dim sum until 3:00. I felt bad for some of the late arrivals but we were happy and full by 1:00.

Now the food. We grabbed three things right off the bat - Shaomai (wonderful little pork dumplings) , Lo mai gai (sticky rice stuffed with meat and mushrooms and steamed in banana leaves) and a little cup of Chinese beef stew which I first saw made on the original Iron Chef years ago. The pork dumplings were a huge hit and I really liked the lo mai gai. The beef stew was just as I imagined; a rich beef broth with chunks of tender brisket and tendon (which looked really tough but just melted in my mouth) and potatoes delicately flavored with star anise and ginger.

We also had fun guo - little dumplings of pork, shrimp (our server said "assorted meats"), peanuts and mushrooms; har gao - very simple shrimp dumplings; and char siu baau - BBQ pork cooked inside light fluffy cake-like buns.

Of course, we were content to sit and sip tea while we waited for more food to come around. We had some battered and fried shrimp balls and some shrimp balls with no coating at all. There was also a mysterious green-tinged dumpling that I can't seem to find anywhere on-line that was stuffed with shrimp, fish and mushrooms. I'm sure I'm missing something. I wish I would have tried the chicken feet. Maybe next time.

For dessert we each had one of those golf-ball sized hunks of sesame seed coated dough stuffed with some kind of fruit paste that taste like they must each be worth about 1000 calories.

If you go, don't let the sullen attitude of Jason, the 12-year old host and cashier, get you down. Just give him some grief back and it'll be more fun.


Anonymous Mr. T said...

Dude if you are ever in the Twin Cities and want to find a good place that serves tons of Dim Sum, let me know.

5:52 PM  

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