I recently had lunch at T&S - it is dungeness crab season, and I remembered that they do a salt and pepper crab. It was also my first weekday experience with their dim sum offering, so I thought I would post a report.
The dim sum is made to order, and the hot and fresh factor more than makes up for cart service. First, a steamer of har gow - nicely done...the wrapper neither too thick nor too thin, encasing the fresh, almost crunchy shrimp filling that managed to hold its dumpling shape while still offering plump chunks of shrimp. The siu mye were great too - they had an almost gamey taste of meat about them, and the noodle wrapper was delicate and delicious. I wasn't sure what I was getting when I checked the box next to "cantonese pan fried dumplings," but what I got was dumpling nirvana...the cabbage and pork filling was savory and delicious, but the thin, deeply golden wrapper was folded in such an exquisite way as to allow the edges to crisp, even as the main part of the dumpling stayed steaming and moist. The crusty, crunchy edges provided a textural counterpoint that puts any regular old potsticker I have ever eaten to shame.
The main event was the crab, and it didn't disappoint. A whole, fresh dungeness crab cut into chunks, pre-cracked and given the "salt and pepper" treatment T&S does so well. It did the trick...the larger legs and claws proffered sweet, tender chunks of perfect meat, which, when combined with the delectably seasoned batter coating, is heaven. The body chunks were also wonderful, and I admit crunching through some of the internal shell pieces in my frenzy. The smaller legs didn't fare quite as well...as is so often the case with this method of cooking crab, the smaller pieces get a little dried out and stringy. Still good, though, as was the mess of batter covered innards under the carapace shell...
So, two things: Thing One: To weigh in on the dim sum discussion, I think T&S ranks right up there, and is better at dumplings than Marco Polo. Thing Two: Do any Austin hounds have any recommendations for other places that serve dungeness crab?