I went to Eastern Buffet today, and this is the latest and probably final installment of this story.
For those who are just joining us, this story began several years ago in Glen Burnie, where there was a restaurant called Grand Palace which had dim sum daily. While certainly not on the level of Toronto or Vancouver, the dim sum was hand-made, fresh, and on the par with anything in the DC area.
About a year ago, Grand Palace morphed into an Italian place called Jupa. The dim sum continued for a couple of months, and then left. As it turns out, the chef and a couple of waitstaff turned up at Grand Palace. (As it also turns out, everyone else went to Oriental East in Silver Spring). While they downsized the menu because of the loss of customers, what they had was still good. But there were rumblings that the dim sum side was not making enough money to keep the staff that it required.
(Ironically, Jupa also failed and is now a Chinese buffet with sushi.)
Which brings us to today. I learned that the dim sum chef had been fired a couple of weeks ago (and may have gone to Bamboo House in Wheaton), and the owner, after spending three or four months trying to learn how to make dim sum, had taken over the cooking himself.
I will not go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that there is a reason that dim sum chefs get paid upwards of six figures; there is a reason why dim sum restaurants do not open up like Steve DeCastro restaurants, and there is a reason one cannot learn to make dim sum in four months.
So while we hardly knew thee, I personally will be going elsewhere for my fixes. And unless one has a morbid fascination to see what dim sum could be under the wrong hands, I will strongly recommend others do the same.