Today seemed like the perfect day for dim sum. Sara and I made plans to get together, and I found out today she’d never had dim sum before. I’ve never gone before in Philadelphia, but finding ourselves in close proximity to Chinatown we headed to what was highly recommended to me, Joy Tsin Lau. With not too long of a wait, we sat excitedly at our table sipping on tea, eyeing up the carts making their way around the large colorful restaurant.
My favorite was the sizzling cart, full up with pork dumplings, chive and spinach dumplings, taro cake, and stuffed peppers, along with a few other items, crackling as they cooked in the portable kitchen.
(Taro cakes and pan seared pork dumplings)
I love seared dumplings so much— the crispy skin on the outside and the savory filling inside. The chive and spinach dumplings were really tasty and not exactly something I’ve had before. I think I could have an entirely dumpling lunch and be completely happy!
There are two tricks with dim sum: pace yourself and be adventurous. There are so many carts coming around, it’s important not to jump too quickly at any one thing, but wait to find out what exactly is on the menu. I always prioritize dumplings, pork buns, and sweet sesame buns, but like to try something new, too. It’s also nice to go with an adventurous crowd. You’re not always exactly certain what is coming around, but it’s likely to be yummy (though I can’t lie— we zealously avoided the tripe dumplings and chicken feet). I’ve always tried something new when I’ve gone for dim sum, and it’s never disappointed (taro cakes were a new try and have become one of my favorites).
We feasted on several kinds of dumplings, pork buns, taro cakes, wonton soup, Chinese broccoli, and shrimp and pork shumai. A pretty focused sampling which left us all totally stuffed. We skipped the “dessert” dim sum, but if I was still hungry I would have had a sweet coconut bun. And the best part of dim sum? After relishing our afternoon dumpling feast, leaving us completely satiated, the bill totaled $25 for 3 of us.