Thursday, October 14, 2010

More China Town

Yes, look closely and you will see the chicken feet in sauce, alongside tripe and blood sausage in most shops...and wait...ONE, and only one, tall, blonde person!!!
Ever since reading all the Pearl Buck novels I could get my hands on as a young teen in south Alabama, I have loved the idea of steamed dumplings and rice....dim sum. We had tried to find authentic dim sum when we were in San Francisco with the kids about 7 years ago and hadn't really succeeded. This time we hit the jack pot. As you walk along in China Town, especially if you are blonde and on the main street, you are constantly accosted by women with fliers advertising various restaurants. They don't speak English, because if you try to actually speak with them, it is not possible, but they do know a few English phrases...."Eat here. It good." "Real good Chinese...down street 3 doors." There are also those who stand directly in front of the restaurant entrance and try to lure you in...."Eat here. Dim sum good. You like!!" One was so cute, and obnoxious, that I fell for her. So, Brent with a big question mark for a face, followed me in. Rather, up. Many of the shops in China Town are actually above or below the street level. In this case, it was up. Steeply, up...many steps. We made it, and were suddenly in a cool, quiet sanctuary...with high ceilings and open windows looking over the street below. Simple, but clean and nice. Ladies came by regularly with trays filled with fried or steamed dumplings, egg rolls, wontons, shu mai (little wanton wrappers twisted around a pork filling and steamed in bamboo steamers), pork buns (my least favorite...they are very pretty round buns of a rather doughy bread that may house a variety of things in the this case pork from Chinese barbecued ribs...but they can also be filled with pickled fruits and jams....they may be very white when they are just steamed or golden and sticky when coated with some sort of sweet syrup). Anyhow, all these items are just a bite or two and each plate comes with 3-4 per plate. When you point to a plate or miniature bamboo steamer, the server places it on your table and stamps your ticket so that at the end of the meal the correct bill can be tabulated. It was really fun and delicious.
As we were leaving, the same obnoxious hawker was trying to lure two couples in. With my encouragement, reporting how good it had been, they headed up the stairs. Brent just shook his head. Hope they liked it!!! HA! We even went back on a different day! Yum dim sum! Just up the stairs. It good!!!

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