So yesterday’s eats were quite uneventful (although I did make delicious biscotti – there will be a different post on that at a later date) so we’ll skip straight to today’s delicious dim sum brunch at China Pearl in the Boston’s China Town district. As I mentioned during my interview, my husband and I are going to Hong Kong and Singapore in less than 2 weeks so in preparation for our trip we decided to get a group of our friends together to enjoy a little bit of Chinese finest right here in Boston. Everyone was pretty excited even though most of us didn’t even know what dim sum was. Just in case you don’t know what dim sum is, here is a little description from Wikipedia for you:
Dim sum (literally meaning “touch the heart”) is the name for a Chinese cuisine which involves a wide range of light dishes served alongside Chinese tea. It is usually served in the mornings until noon time at Chinese restaurants and at specialty dim sum eateries where typical dishes are available throughout the day. Dishes come in small portions and may include meat, seafood, and vegetables, as well as desserts and fruit. The items are usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate.
I made reservations for 9 people at China Pearl ahead of time, as I’ve heard there are often lines out the door at this place and I haven’t experienced this kind of waiting for food since bread lines in the Soviet Union 😉 When I called, the guy on the other side of the phone was a bit hesitant about the whole reservation process. He said he’ll take my name down but that Sunday at noon is a very busy time so we may have to wait anyway. Upon arrival at the restaurant, I was happy to find out that he in fact did write down my name and we were bumped up straight to the top of the line upon arrival. We still waited for about 5-10 minutes but the line was huge otherwise (my estimate is that we would have waited at least 45 minutes). Let me just say right now that even a 45 minute wait would have been worth it (although I’m glad we didn’t have to wait this long )!
The restaurant is HUGE and the decor is quite uneventful. It’s been around forever and I’m sure they haven’t changed anything since opening. Everything was quite old and gloomy looking but once we were seated at our table, no one was looking around The food took the stage – and there was lots of food! In fact, about 20 seconds after seating down, we were surround by 3 carts with all sorts of dumplings and dishes I couldn’t pronounce if I tried. I heard you’re supposed to pace yourself so we got a plate with shrimp stuffed noodles, a pork dumpling dish and a few other unrecognizable things and waited patiently for another round. It was quite overwhelming at first but we got a hang of it fast enough. This was SO MUCH FUN! My stomach was very happy with me, even though I probably consumed more than I should have. Oh well, this was all research for the upcoming trip
I apologize for all the blurry pictures. The lighting was less than ideal and like I said – this was a bit hectic. We were all way too eager to eat and snapping dozen of pictures would have angered my hungry friends. Use your imagination here… or better yet, find a local dim sum spot and give these babies a try for yourself.
This was the first thing I tried and I think it was one of the best. It was steamed and tasted quite healthy, but very flavorful. We actually got another round of these later on. Good stuff!
These buns were so fluffy. I’ve never had anything like this before. Very very yummy 😀
I actually didn’t have the shrimp ball pictured above – I figured I’d stay away from fried food as there was plenty of yummy steamed stuff to go around. I heard it was one of the best dishes, although it was filled with onions (so I wouldn’t have liked it anyway!)
The pulled bbq pork buns were so interesting, because the buns were actually very sweet (that’s sugar glaze on top). It played up the sweetness in the bbq sauce in a unique way. I loved these too!
There were so many other unpictured dishes, including tofu, egg custard filled buns (again, almost tasted like dessert!), udon noodles, mushrooms stuffed with shrimp dumplings and many others I’m sure I’m forgetting. Every dish was so different. Most were some kind of dough or noodle stuffed with shrimp or meat, but every texture and flavor combination was so unique. Seriously I was in heaven!! And to top this fabulous experience, we were pleasantly surprised by the price! Our check came to $73 with tax for 8 people. All of this food was less than $10/person. Crazy awesome!! I know we’ll be back there soon!
And now I really can’t wait for food in Hong Kong 😀