Dim Sum Extravaganza
For all the foodies out there, Tony and I are back in Thailand, the food lover’s ultimate paradise. Burmese cuisine was experimental, and certainly interesting, but it’s time to get back to old-fashioned staples such as dim sum. I know, this is a strange thing for a German to say, but having lived in California, I now consider dim sum as basic as sausage and sauerkraut.
Dim sum, Cantonese breakfast food, is one of my absolute favorites, and what better place to sample it than in Bangkok’s Chinatown. What started out as a sightseeing tour of the tight, winding markets turned into a feast at Hua Seng Hong Restaurant. The busy eatery caught my eye when I spotted a display case full of cha siu baau, steamed bready dumplings filled with barbecued pork. The tour of Chinatown stopped right there.
Pushing past dried shark fins on metal hooks and piles of bamboo steamer baskets, we entered the crowded restaurant and found an empty table next to a couple of bewildered looking tourists. Clearly, the menu had too many options. Being dim sum pros, we quickly ordered steamed dumplings stuffed with pork, gigantic deep-fried hairy-looking taro cakes, scrumptious egg tarts and pan-fried turnip cakes spiked with bits of dried shrimp. And that was just the beginning.
We kept ordering, and the waitress delivered basket after basket in the typically brisk Chinese fashion, there was no time for superficial niceties. After all, it’s all about the chow, not about the smiles. At $1 a dish, we didn’t mind – we, too, were all business. However, one business we didn’t want to be part of was the house specialty: shark fin soup, a serious no no for those attempting to be environmentally conscious. There are limits, and my food cravings stop at threatened animals such as sharks, turtles or cobras. Instead, we grabbed a jin deui to go, a deep-fried, sesame-covered rice-dough ball filled with red bean paste. No harm in that, except maybe to our arteries.