Good news! We found a place where you can get dim sum locally! Dynasty Restaurant in the El Rancho Shopping Center on Portola serves dim sum on Saturdays and Sundays, from 11am-3pm. My mom was in town this weekend, so she watched the sick kids while Matt and I went out to lunch on Sunday. It was great! For those that don't know what it is, dim sum is:
In Cantonese, "dim sum" means "heart bits," little foods to touch your heart, by way of your mouth and stomach. Traditionally eaten in the early afternoon, this unique meal stretches its centuries-old roots to the teahouses along China’s legendary Silk Road. Weary travelers and hungry workers gathered to engage in traditional "yum cha" (tea drinking), adding heart-touching snacks. Chinese immigrants coming to America in the 1800s brought this civilized custom with them, to the New World’s benefit.
Growing up, my Japanese family would go to dim sum on the weekends, to the large Chinese restaurants where big Chinese families would sit at the round tables. Waitresses would push around little carts with the different dishes on them and we would choose based upon the looks of the food (as we never really understood what the ladies said when we asked them what it was) and believe me, some of it looks pretty strange! Some of my favorites were classics like pot stickers and egg rolls, the little pork dumplings (shu mai), steamed bbq pork buns, and especially prawns in bell peppers. My mom's cousin would always get the chicken's feet, which would gross us kids out. We'd leave stuffed every time. Mmmmm, good memories.
Anyway, we'll all have to go after church one day. I could probably go every weekend, now that I know it is there!
P.S. I just ordered these super cute board books: First Book of Sushi and Yum Yum Dim Sum, by Amy Wilson Sanger. Check them out!